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October 14, 2006

More About Me

Awake at 4am, I decided it would be a good time to take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Why? Because the internet is fastest early in the morning, and it is also my most honest and least self-censoring time of day. The results?

I am an Idealist. This means that I am

passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self -- always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey. Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and whether in education or counseling, in social services or personnel work, in journalism or the ministry, they are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials. Idealists are sure that friendly cooperation is the best way for people to achieve their goals. Conflict and confrontation upset them because they seem to put up angry barriers between people. Idealists dream of creating harmonious, even caring personal relations, and they have a unique talent for helping people get along with each other and work together for the good of all. Such interpersonal harmony might be a romantic ideal, but then Idealists are incurable romantics who prefer to focus on what might be, rather than what is. The real, practical world is only a starting place for Idealists; they believe that life is filled with possibilities waiting to be realized, rich with meanings calling out to be udnerstood. This idea of a mystical or spiritual dimension to life, the "not visible" or the "not yet" that can only be known through intuition or by a leap of faith, is far more important to Idealists than the world of material things. Highly ethical in their actions, Idealists hold themselves to a strict standard of personal integrity. They must be true to themselves and to others, and they can be quite hard on themselves when they are dishonest, or when they are false or incinsere. More often, however, Idealists are the very soul of kindness. Particularly in their personal relationships, Idealists are without question filled with love and good will. They believe in giving of themselves to help others; they cherish a few warm, sensitive friendships; they strive for a special rapport with their children; and in marriage they wish to find a "soulmate," someone with whom they can bond emotionally and spiritually, sharing their deepest feelings and their complex inner worlds.
I quoted this description at length because it is so flattering, which makes sense because the website wants me to sell me my full "Temperament Report."

I was actually a bit surprised to score as an Idealist, because Idealists are NF (iNtuitive Feeling) in terms of the Myers-Briggs personality types, and I thought I was NT (iNtuitive Thinking). In the Keirsey temperaments, NTs are Rationals. In Myers-Briggs terms, I thought I was ENTJ (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging), which, translated into Keirsey, would make me a Field Marshal, one of the four types of Rationals. The famous example given is Margaret Thatcher. Given that I don't identify in any way with Margaret Thatcher and because, let's face it, she is just downright evil, I'm glad I scored as an Idealist rather than a Rational! Of the four types of Idealists, my extraversion and judging make me a Teacher, or an "educative mentor." Big suprise there, given how much I have always wanted to teach and mentor. The famous example of a Teacher is Margaret Mead, with whom I identify much more than Margaret Thatcher!

I'm still surprised to have scored as a feeler rather than a thinker, though, because I have always prized my rationality. However, as I learned when I initially took the Myers-Briggs test in college (my results at that point were inconclusive), women are socialized to be feelers rather than thinkers. So maybe, as I have gotten older, that socialization has become more complete. But when I think about my teaching experience it makes a bit more sense. The hardest part of teaching for me has always been grading (don't tell my students!). As a grader for multivariate calculus in college, I put happy faces next to all of my students' correct answers, and I was always eager to give them partial credit whenever I could. But I am definitely Judging rather than Perceiving, as my fondness for deadlines and insistence on "correct" grammar suggest!

Posted by eklanche at October 14, 2006 04:32 AM


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