To continue with our exploration of our personalities, we are going to quickly review the Introvert and Extrovert, and Sensing/Observant and Intuitive traits from last time. We’ll explore the next pair of traits – how we make decisions and cope with emotions. This pair is referred to as Thinking or Feeling traits.
Remember this information about our personalities gives us an advantage or the power and edge to help our teens and young adult children navigate their lives. By staying in our lanes, we give our teens and young adult children the chance to practice adulting.
Don’t forget to go to the 16Personalities website and take the assessment. (www.16Personalities.com)
To review, Introverts gain their energy or recharge by being quiet or alone. Extroverts get their energy by being out in the world or visiting with people.
To review further, Sensing/Observant people gather data to get along in the world by using what they see, touch, hear, etc. Intuitive traits lead people to gather data through ideas, their vision or a hunch.
These concepts give us better self-awareness that can lead 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. Try to pay attention to your mind and body before you speak or act.
The next step is to consider the two traits that describe how you make decisions and cope with your emotions. This trait pair is Thinking and Feeling. We all have feelings however, there are differences in how we react to those feelings and what role we want them to play in decisions, especially in how we interact with others.
Thinkers are more interested in logic, rational thoughts, and rely on what is in their heads. Thinkers keep their emotions close to themselves. Please don’t get the wrong impression about Thinkers. They have emotions, but just aren’t as outwardly expressive. It may be hard to tell what emotions Thinkers experience.
(FYI, thinkers do have strong emotions. My husband Dave is a Thinker and that man is very capable of sharing his love, hopes and dreams. He’s just less effusive than his highly Feeling wife.)
Feelers are the ones who you see crying at commercials and laughing hard. You know how critics rate movies with stars? We Feeling types may rate movies by the number of tissues we use or laughing out loud moments. We are very happy to share our emotions with others. You can tell where we stand emotionally, most of the time.
How could this play out for you? Let’s go back to the Type Talk book I told you about in Vlog #4 and 5.
Because Thinkers are literal, they can stay cool, calm and objective when others are upset. They will most often settle an argument with what is fair and just. Thinkers may often be happy telling people that they are correct or right. Thinkers can see the world objectively and don’t mind making difficult decisions.
Feeling types would rather smooth over a situation than argue about who is right or wrong. They may overextend themselves to meet others needs and prefer harmony to clarity. These are the "empathy" people. I think feelers are inclined to worry more.
Are you beginning to see how communications by different types are misunderstood?
Let’s continue with our Thanksgiving or after school transportation experiment from the last blog. Remember the situation? 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.
Already, our children know we’re trying to improve our communication skills. But, the difference in this scenario is that you are now acting with your thinking or feeling trait. You are going to have to decide how to cope with your emotions because you must deal with a problem that arises. Play along with me here.
If you are a Thinker or a Feeler, you will continue to request the facts and details about their travel plans – who, what, when or where?
If they are Thinkers, like 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 to stay in your lane and let them figure out the details of their transportation plans. Try not to nag them about it.
If you are a Feeler, try not to worry about their travel plans. They can do this.
Remember, you may not get a response at all. If you don't get a response at all, then there are natural consequences.
These are 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 or you made other plans.
For you Thinkers out there, you will naturally be objective. Just think logically and rationally. If they don’t know how to use Uber or Lyft, no worries. Send them instructions by text. They will figure it out. Or they will navigate their way home with friends.
For you Feeling types, hang on and try to relax. You may have to breathe a little deeper. You are going to assert you own needs over your child’s right now which may make you feel uncomfortable. Breathe!
No matter what type you have, try not to play into their emotional responses. Your children may whine or get angry. Hang in there!
Tell them about the Uber and Lyft options or to get a ride with friends. Again, they will figure it out. You may feel better about sending a text or two with some instructions regarding Uber and Lyft. This is completely okay but do not, I repeat, do not rescue them!
With the time you would have spent trying to rearrange your schedule to pick them up, you could have warm chocolate chip cookies or some other comfort food ready for them when they get home. Or, maybe you could have done something for yourself?
Alert***My friends, for some of you who have seen this before November 14, 2018 you will notice this is an edit. I just learned something important that I want to share with all of you… And for anyone with teens under the age of 18, it may be a game changer… If we have minor teens, under the age of 18, they are not permitted to take an Uber or Lyft unless they are accompanied by an adult - someone who is 18 or over. 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.***
If you have to pick up your child, then there are natural consequences. You can 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 about 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 in time for you to provide assistance.