MBTI Series WhyAren\

Over a period of an hour this week I watched a parent interact with their young child. I don’t know the adults MBTI type but what I observed would lead me to believe that they had preferences for Thinking and Judging. What I do know is that they spoke in an even unemotional manner, efficient with their language and got straight to the point. Their child was like champagne bubbling over effervescent and enthusiastic… non-stop questions and requests plus dancing, jumping and twirling. Many times in the hour the adult said NO to the child. NO you can’t do that. NO I won’t do that with you. NO… STOP… DON”T.

On the one hand I appreciated that they were being a good parent by setting out clear boundaries. What it also did raise for me is a couple of questions. What happens when a parent and child are personality opposites and there is more to the picture than simply guiding appropriate behaviour? The parent has the power and authority in this relationship so they could potentially stifle or thwart their child due to a lack of appreciation of differences. Something that an individual might take care to adjust to on a work team might simply be trumped in a family dynamic. MY HOUSE … MY RULES. I have been guilty of that many times over.

I think that it is worthy of some thought… giving family members the same respect and latitude as we would a colleague and appreciating their perspective would go a long way to creating harmony, self esteem and developing personal responsibility and mutual appreciation.

It is also never to late to start. I remember a discussion between 50 year old and their 80 mother. These two were opposites in many respects- an INTJ son and ESFP mother. They had never contemplated personality type differences previous to this conversation. It was an amazing moment when this lovely caring woman grasped how she may have impacted her (now very accomplished adult) son. Giving him more space to be quiet and by himself in their visits together at the family cottage suddenly became something that she understood and not something to take personally.

Category: Best practices
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