Thursday, May 29, 2014

Oh, Brother


[Disclaimer: this is my own personal musings about type and family. I am not a professional practitioner of typology but a “civilian” explorer. Take that as you will. Anything else I say here may or may not be true.]


Brother and I may both be INTPs. Imagine that.


It has taken me some time to write out my thoughts on an INTP brother. As a reminder, he studied typology a bit for a course in college, and generally knows more about this kind of stuff than I do, so I am going by INTP for him because that’s what he remembers he was back when he studied it.


I don’t disagree with INTP for Bro; rather, I don’t think I can be very objective about what I have observed about him. I probably don’t show it as much as I ought to, but I do have a little-sister-admiration-for-her-big-brother thing going, so understanding that I am an INTP and looking at what a wonderful brother I have, who seems so different from me, seeing INTP for him becomes confused. (Not that an INTP cannot be a wonderful sibling.)


Most of our differences I attribute to birth order, gender, and individual personal experiences. For instance, Bro was quite the obedient child (as my memories go), which may have been due to having a few years as the only child until I came along, or perhaps he became more obedient because I came along and he felt an older brotherly affection/ responsibility over me. I was the not-so-obedient child; being mainly responsible for myself only, I stubbornly didn’t take naps when I was told, didn’t clean my room ever, and ate a whole bag of Skittles candy when I was told to only have 5 pieces. Maybe Bro’s obedience developed as a response to my disobedience, because one of me was enough for the whole family!


Oh, and Bro has a better brain than I do. I know, it’s not difficult to have a better brain than mine, but dude’s got accolades to back it up. (“Accolade” is a funny-sounding word in my mind.)

This might have been the moment Bro realized that
having a younger sibling wasn't as fun as he'd hoped.
I have started to see points where we are very alike in ways that are probably INTP. Science, computers, and gaming, I have sort of deemed as Bro’s realms, while mine leans towards design. However, we still come together over a few similar interests, like in movies, music, and books (mainly science fiction and fantasy). When it’s about common interests, we can talk on.


We seem to respond to our parents in the same way. We both received comments/ complaints from our teachers about not doing homework, yet we both did well on the tests. When we’re into something, we get into it, like having the complete series of a show or book series, and some extras or specials if they’re available. We both enjoy the featurettes and commentaries for movies and shows that we like.


I think we’re both our own worst critic. I know this of myself, because I make mistakes all the time and can be hyper-aware of them. I don’t imagine that Bro makes a lot of mistakes. One happened recently, and for me it triggered a recognition, memories, of Bro being very tough on himself. Thankfully, our parents are very loving and understanding - they just want to know that we’re first okay, and then that things are being handled. We both tend to go over errors again and again… and again… again… and our parents do their best in not adding to it.


Differences, other than my obedience-training failure? Hmm… nothing else seems to be as glaring. Bro is more responsible than I am *shrugs*. Oh yes, and he talks more than I do.


Bro tends to do things in a wider manner while I do things in a localized manner. For example, he can do all manners of cooking well, whereas, I can’t bake and I haven’t really tried grilling, etc. He seems confident exploring/ travelling wherever he is on his own, whereas, I am confident exploring on my own locally.

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So, the conflicts.


I’d say… they’re mostly typical sibling stuff. Actually, I don’t think we conflict a lot. The year that we were at the same high school was probably horrible for Bro, when it came to me, because I was a brat.


Tense moments occur here and there, but, I get over them quickly and Bro seems to as well. I assume that any irritation I felt was unintentional on his part. I think it’s mostly misunderstandings, like Dad will plan things out with him, in front of Mom so she knows about it, kind of, but I will be in my room by myself, unawares of any plans which apparently involve me also. Sometimes, I am trying to catch up to what the plans are, ask Bro a question, and he’ll respond in a gruff, irritated way, as if I’m dumb (which, to be fair, is not impossible). Sometimes, our common language of sarcasm sets off a minor explosive that was hidden, where it’s just not a moment for humor but the other person didn’t know it - it’s like innocently patting someone on the back without knowing (or sometimes momentarily forgetting) that they’re recovering from back surgery or something.


Otherwise, I would say that we get along great. I think some of it may be because we do have our own areas; I can’t recall anything serious where we were very competitive with each other.

Christmas: this is how ALL of our photos with Santa look
- smiley bro, annoyed Santa, and sis just trying to get it over with.
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A few fond memories: I remember being woken up by a strange noise in the home - I think I was maybe 5 or 6. I snuck into Bro’s room because I was scared. I think that’s the night Bro… described Santa Claus to me. Well, basically, Bro calmed my fears.


I remember following Bro up trees. I remember trying to keep up with his stride - probably why I tend to walk quickly at times. I wanted to do what he was doing, and just as well as him, though I think I learned soon what a challenge that could be. I don’t think I complained about people much, yet when I would, he would reply, “Want me to beat ‘em up?”


In the 7th grade, I took up band. I played the clarinet, partially choosing it because it was small enough to carry around. Still, Bro would pick me up after school, occasionally carrying the clarinet for me as we walked about 20 minutes to the high school.


Bro treated me to a few theater productions, also providing for me to bring along a friend at least once. I think we saw “The King and I” and “A Little Night Music.” He’s also invited me out with his friends a few times, usually hiking or the movies, out of his own volition, because he thought I’d be interested. What have I invited him to?- not much.



Overall, a wonderful brother, I have!


Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment in the section below :)