WHEN ARE YOU YOU? WHEN DO YOU HIDE WHO YOU ARE.
Topic #220:Do you blog anonymously or do you blog as “yourself” and why? My theme song is “I Gotta Be Me.” Thank you Sammy Davis, Jr. That means I publish my blog as me and am generally self-disclosing. This need to be me probably accounts for why I am into blogging. One of my concerns and fears about the world is that image has come to matter so much a core level of honesty has been lost. Moreover, the idea that you have to meet one or another image has many people too worried about things that really don’t matter and hiding huge parts of themselves. So I try to model being who I am, in the hopes others will be free to be more comfortable being who they are.
This way of being was better explained to me when I took a Myers Briggs test during a management training and found out I was an Apollo type; the key characteristic of that type is the need for authenticity. Also if my memory has not totally wigged out due to aging, think about 16 % of the population fits this particular profile.
Briefly, what this means is I am driven to know myself and be myself. The test also described me as intuitive, but on the actual test scoring analytic thinking was only a point behind intuitive thinking. Not so with the items describing me as interested in how me affects others and wanting to help “humanity perfect itself.” These were strongest on the test and suggested I could easily consumed by the needs of others. I remember one workshop leader telling me “You care more about others than many care about themselves.” The test seemed to confirm that and my need for strong boundaries. That’s me, I am the kind of person who cries at TV commercials and that speaks for weak boundaries.
My husband also took the Myers Briggs test and was characterized as the Promethean type–someone who constantly questions authority. Also confirmed something I already thought, but it is always nice to have your thoughts confirmed. Actually, the confirmation helped our relationship. My need for authenticity lead me to marrying someone who tells it like it is. Also gets him in trouble or makes other people uncomfortable, then I do my care-taking thing. Now does it surprise you that the very thing we married each other for also is a source of friction. Shouldn’t.
At another training I was given the Kolb Learning Styles Inventory, which characterized me as a doer. David was characterized as a thinker. He says I am the one who gets us to do things; going camping on an island in Lake George for our honeymoon and many years thereafter is an example of what he means. I found that curious, because if he had never expressed the desire to visit Lake George and go camping it never would have happened. Again my care taking and his thinking about things jive well.
What was more revealing about the Kolb test was it turned out eight top managers in the division I was working six were thinkers and only two of us were doers. Explained why meetings were so tedious and the other doer and I felt more than a little overwhelmed.
These types of tests are useful. Are they scientific? Well, I think they carry a little more weight when it comes to self-examination than Astrology, but as always they are generalizations and everyone is a very specific being and not a type. These two types and their characterization of both me and my husband rang true, but didn’t totally catch who we were.
STAYING STRONG TIP: Some awareness of your personality type, needs, values, way of being, and wants is part of what makes relationships work. Another part is knowing the other person’s personality type, needs, way of being, and wants. You can go online and take a Myer’s Briggs test; see if you learn something about you. You can probably find a 100 tests that propose helping you learn more about you, but do try to stick to the ones that have some research backing; the two above do. At the same time, know, however, that you are you, the other is the other and tests like these are food for thought, but are generalizations. Such tests do not provide definitive descriptions of an individual any more than gender, educational level, race, religion or political party describes exactly who a person is. So as with most things, take what is useful and leave the rest behind.
Stay strong, share and care.