Let's quickly review the Introvert and Extrovert traits from post #4 and explore the next pair of traits – how we gather information to make decisions and manage our lives through Sensing or Intuition.
Remember this information about our personalities. When we understand our personalities better, we have the advantage or the power and edge to help our teens and young adult children navigate their lives. By staying in our lanes, we won’t cross the median to change our children’s personalities and natural talents and behaviors. Instead, we will see how they can use their best traits to make decisions that better fit their best selves and take on the challenges of their lives.
I encourage you all to go to the 16 Personalities website and take the assessment and follow along.
To review Introverts, get their energy or recharge by being quiet, alone or thinking, Extroverts get their energy by being out in the world, visiting with people.
My idea is that we CAN understand our personalities and behaviors better and the same with our kids, and we CAN purposefully and intentionally act around those differences to help our kids be their best selves and navigate through any situation.
Knowing if you have Introvert or Extrovert traits are powerful pieces of self-awareness that can lead you to preparing for any important interaction you want to have with your family. The key point is to pause and prepare with your traits in mind. Take the time and see if everyone involved is in their right headspace and has the energy to fully participate.
Next, the two traits that describe how you gather information and data to engage with the world. This trait pair is Sensing and Intuition.
Intuitives are more interested in ideas. They rely more on their imaginations and possibilities. I like to say that intuitives are comfortable going with what’s in their heads and bodies. They have a vision or hunch of what could be.
Sensors or Observants are more interested in facts and objects. They focus on the real world, the situations or experiences around them. People with the sensing trait like to gather information based on things they can see, hear, and touch.
How could this play out for you? I took this right from the Type Talk book I told you about in Blog #4. Here it is...
Because Sensors are literal, they will ask a specific question and expect or want a specific answer.
Because the Intuitive person uses their imagination or vision, they will ask the same questions and expect or want an answer that is wide, imaginative and not even close to what the Sensing person wanted.
Can you hear or imagine the communication problem? Here’s a little experiment.
Try this with your college student to stay in your lane and to help them learn how to fend for themselves or navigate a problem, if necessary.
Also, you may find out through this little experiment if you have a sensing or intuitive child. At some point you’ll ask them to take the 16 Personalities assessment, too so you all know for sure. However, I would wait a little while until you are confident in your own traits. Entirely up to you.
For example, maybe you would like to know how your college student is getting home for Thanksgiving break. If you have a high school teen, imagine they need a ride home from an after-school activity.
First, tell your child you are trying to improve your communications with them. They may laugh a little but let them know you are really trying to be your best parent self.
If you are a Sensor, ask them to tell you the facts and details about their travel plans – who, what, when or where. If they are sensors, you may get that information right away. Give them a little room to get back to you maybe by text. You can text one or two more times because they may not be great with details.
Remember, you have to meet them on their trait’s terms but in a "stay in your lane" sort of way. You may have to ask them to be specific to get the information you need because they don’t naturally think that way. In your now very parent savvy way, be patient and let them do this work. Try not to bug them about it.
If you are an Intuitive, go out of your normal behavior pattern and tell them to be very specific with the exact place and times for pick-up. If you have a sensing child they may tell you with just a little prompting.
If you have an intuitive child, they may need more prompting with your specific needs to get the details you need. Again, take a deep breath and remember to meet them on their traits so they can do this without too much pressure and prompting on your end. You will be much less frustrated, and they will begin to see that you are trying to be a better communicator.
Regardless of your traits, you may not get a response at all. Ah ha, and here come the natural consequences. When they call for you to pick them up, you lovingly tell them you never heard back from them. You tell them to take an Uber or Lyft from the airport or train station when they call to be picked up because now you are too busy getting ready for the holiday dinner. They get home and you taught them how to figure it out and fend for themselves! How about that!! And, if they are upset, they will get over it.
*****If we have minor teens, under the age of 18, they are not permitted to take an Uber or Lyft. I just learned this and it is a policy for both Uber and Lyft. As a matter of fact, drivers are not permitted to drive kids under the age of 18 unless they are accompanied by an adult and that means teens over 18. If you have to pick up your child without them getting back to you, you have to pick them up or they need to make arrangements to get home with a friend. For natural consequences, I say go to your family’s rule book. For some families, this is a case to be grounded or not permitted to attend that activity the next time. Up to you to how your family handles it. All I can say is be strong and stick to your family’s rules. It may save you frustration and they hopefully will remember next time to respond.*****
To wrap up… We now know about Introverts and Extroverts and how people get their energy to tackle their day, work, and relationships. We now know how people gather information – through their senses, through data and details, or through their imagination, ideas, and the big picture as an intuitive - Sensing or Intuitive. My friends, we are just skimming the surface on all this material. Please go online and learn more!
If you haven’t already, please take the 16 Personalities assessment. Please share this video with your family and friends. Give your kids a hug and practice staying in your lane.