One way to Stay In Your Lane is to know more about yourself, who you are and why you do the things the way you do them, in other words your personality and behavior characteristics. These are the traits that makes you, you. Others may describe you as outgoing, a good listener, imaginative, dedicated, or inspiring. However, how you describe yourself is what is important for now. So, how do you get to know you a little better?
I want to recommend that you start with the 16 Personalities Assessment to find out more about you. Also, I am not being sponsored to tell you about this assessment. I suggest this one because it is easy to take, free, and comes with a wealth of information. If you want to be more self-aware and help the people you love get along better in the world, take it. Why not?
By the way, this information is not new. It comes from a variety of philosophies and psychological constructs. I could go into detail about the science and research of the 16 Personalities Assessment. I will tell you this, it is a Myers Briggs type assessment which is based on the work of Carl Jung and I have been using assessments like this one for over 25 years with people in business. Wait to you see what you can learn about the people in your family.
The biggest take away I would like to share is that different people approach life differently and that applies to you and your children. The sooner we accept that our children are not exactly like us and that we need to ACT on the idea that they are different, we will be much better able to help them launch to adulthood. That’s exactly why I like the 16 Personalities Assessment.
I would like to mention, we are looking at normal behavior. There is no good or bad behavior when it comes to this assessment or any of those I reference. Remember, if you feel unsettled by any of what you discover about yourself, please get help from a mental health professional.
After you explore the 16 Personalities site and take the assessment, you’ll see there are 4 pairs of preferences that tell us how we like to act, make decisions and organize our lives according to the assessment. Many of you have heard of these but may not know the correct way to describe them:
Introversion vs. Extroversion – how you prefer to get your energy;
Sensing vs. Intuition – how you prefer to gather information;
Thinking vs. Feeling – how you prefer to make decisions; and
Judging vs. Perceiving.– how you prefer to organize your world.
That is a lot! So we’ll break this down over a few blogs just on behavior traits.
To be self-aware, is to know how we act in the world. We’re going to only consider the first pair now -- where we get our energy, what type of situations light us up or zap us of our fuel. Commonly known as being an Introvert or an Extrovert.
We all know we need to have energy to deal with our children and if our energy tank is empty then we can’t be our best selves when we relate to them. We must put our oxygen masks on first, before we put theirs on, right?
I happen to have pulled this all from a book called Type Talk, by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen.
And, remember this discussion is about preferences meaning that we will sometimes need to use behaviors that we don’t prefer but may not have a choice or you may like to use both types of behaviors because you are somewhere in the middle. You’ll see what I mean.
Extroverts get their energy by being out and about in the world and socializing with others. Extroverts like and in some instances love to talk about what they sense in the world, what they think feel and observe. They like to share before they think things through. They talk more often than they listen. And sometimes wish they would have kept quiet instead of over sharing on ideas or opinions.
Introverts would rather keep their observations inside! Introverts are energized by thoughts and ideas rather than intense discussions. You are probably an introvert if you need to recharge by being quiet, and alone with your thoughts or spending a few hours with one or just a few people. This does not mean introverts are shy. Some of the most people interactive people I know are introverts.
Here is where we run into trouble with our children. You have probably seen or heard this… You are an Extravert and you want your introverted child to tell you about their day. They won’t tell you anything and you think they are being rude or… You are an introvert and you have just walked in from a very busy day at work and your energy is gone. Your 18-year-old has been waiting since they got home from school for the car keys and you just ask them for a few minutes to put your briefcase down before you talk about the car, and their reaction is stomp off angry at you. For goodness sakes, you just walked in the door.
Imagine if you knew you could handle each of those situations differently and get a good result, a happy you and a happy teen. That’s what knowing if you’re an Introvert or Extrovert will get you.
So, please take the 16 Personality assessment. Let me know if you are an Introvert or Extravert. Let me know what this little test told you about how you get your energy, or what depletes your energy. We’ll explore more in the next blog.
Please share this blog with your friends and family. Give your kids a hug and practice staying in your lane.
Type Talk, The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love and Work, by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen, 1989 (An oldie but goodie!)