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Monday, May 15, 2006

When Silly Things Prove Useful

Hello. I'm an INTP, an Introvert iNtuitive Thinking Perception type. (Sometimes I test as an Extrovert, though. Depends on the day.)

I'm an INTP planning a wedding. As an I, I wanted a small wedding, but, thanks to my E folks, it's going to be huge. As an N, I like the big-picture, not details. In fact, being bombarded by too many details can stress me out in no time. Weddings involve a lot of details. As a T, I approach decision-making largely through a thinking framework; I'm more concerned with logical accuracy and efficiency than with muddy feelings. Weddings involve a whole lot of but Cousin Teddy and Aunt Wilma will be unhappy if..., things that T's don't give a rat's ass about, things that annoy the crap out of T's when they interfere with efficiency. As a P, I deplore schedules, deadlines, concrete plans, and anything else which interferes with a we'll-see-what-comes-up approach to life. Too much advanced planning makes me feel hemmed in, stifled, and unable to use my creative process. Hey, it would seem that I deplore weddings.

My mom and I had a little squabble yesterday, on Mother's Day. I've felt like a bad daughter since. But every time I see her, she bombards me with wedding questions. When I don't have the answers, she gets aggravated, and bombards me with more questions. Questions about details, schedules, and how to make everyone happy. It was finally too much. I snapped, she was hurt. We had a "discussion". As eloquently as I made my very good points, I still left their house feeling like a bad child.

Then, I realized. I realized it, and all my conflicts with Mom ever suddenly came into focus and made sense. I realized that she is an FJ, a feeling-judgment type. She sees the world through the warm, gooey world of emotion, and is most concerned with other people being comfortable and with their needs--other's needs-- being met. Her world view is one that never made logical sense to me, but it's because she lives through her heart, not her head, with all the good and all the infuriating, inefficient things that come with that. As a J, she feels stressed if decisions aren't made, and she doesn't understand why I don't--can't--produce an answer or make a decision on the spot. She thinks I'm withholding information to be stubborn or difficult. She doesn't get that I really don't have all the details worked out in my mind, and I don't care to work out all the details myself.

I called her and explained all this. It seemed to help. She'll try not to bombard me with detail questions, and I'll try not to snap at my sensitive mum if she does. Thank you, Carl Jung. Thank you, Isabella Meyer-Briggs.


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