Meet the Shoulds

Continuing with the 16 Sets of Cognitive Blueprints

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MEET THE SJs

SJs come in four basic blueprints. They are keepers of tradition, deal in “what has always been” more often than “what if”. They are more likely to adhere to a system most of the time (systematic) but occasionally can be pragmatic. They play by the rules and what to do what is lawful. They do what they SHOULD do and expect you to do the same. They tell lots of stories of the way things used to be and are very aware of their physical bodies. They are safety-focused and may talk a lot about their health. They NEED things to be planned and organized. An itinerary, color-coded binders, closet organizers, filing cabinets, clocks, calendars and sticky notes are their best friends.

ESTJ

Ego: Te, Si, Ne, Fi

Subconscious:

Ti, Se, Ni, Fe

ISTJ

Ego: Si, Te, Fi, Ne

Subconscious:

Se, Ti, Fe, Ni

ESFJ

Ego: Fe, Si, Ne, Ti

Subconscious:

Fi, Se, Ni, Te

ISFJ

Ego: Si, Fe, Ti, Ne

Subconscious:

Se, Fi, Te, Ni

ESTJs in a word: ORDER. They are orderly, objective, lawful, keepers of tradition, often blunt go-getters who start things and move at their own pace. They are directive when they speak more often than they are informative and even when they are informative, they sound directive. They are often seen as unyielding and “by-the-book” but there is far more to them than that. They need to know you appreciate their hard work and see them as compassionate people, because understanding other people’s values is their greatest area of struggle. Their decisions are often based on the “system” of which they are a part.

ISTJs  in a word: SAFE. ISTJs are safety-conscious keepers of tradition with a penchant for details and sometimes, conspiracy theories who like to see things get done (they may not be the ones doing them but they will dutifully and systematically remind the “doers” until the thing is accomplished.) They are orderly collectors of information and knowledge. They are systematic and direct in their communication. They appreciate being told what they should do and they like to have a precise order to do it in. ISTJs are inventive in practical ways and can come up with mechanical inventions that make life more comfortable and easier. They need to know your intentions and that you want to be with them, because feeling afraid of other people’s intentions and feeling unwanted are their greatest struggles.Their intuition works to  make them suspicious and causes them to imagine what others might be doing or intending to do.

ESFJs in a word: SUPPORTIVE. ESFJs are duty-conscious, self-sacrificing, caring, hard-working traditionalists who go the extra mile to help those in their circle of influence. They are informative in their speech, aware of what’s accepted in their culture and live by their “shoulds” doing what they “should” do. They need you to listen to their ideas and assure them that you find them useful and intelligent because they doubt their own intelligence and when you don’t listen to them you reinforce their doubts. They need to know that you value them enough to listen to their ideas. They make excellent community leaders and event organizers.

ISFJs in a word: PLANNING. ISFJs need to be safe and comfortable. They dislike the unfamiliar and being in situations where they don’t know the intentions of others or where there is an element of danger.  Like the ESFJ, they are informative in their speech. ISFJs are masters at dropping “hints” which they expect you to pick up on and act accordingly to what you “should” do. They are usually neat, tidy and organized. Trust an ISFJ to plan your family vacation and pack snacks for everyone. They may fix your hair or pick lent off your clothing. Tradition is everything to them; it provides them with the comfortable, predictable and familiar. They are all about what they “should” do and about feeling safe. ISFJs are behind-the-scenes kind of people and don’t enjoy being put in the public spotlight. This is often uncomfortable for them. They need to know your intentions. They make excellent managers and come up with wonderful inventions for use in their work environment and in their homes. Their intuition works to  make them suspicious and causes them to imagine what others might be doing or intending to do.

 

 

16 Types: Part III

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Below I give a brief overview of the four basic temperaments, according the categories in my previous post..

Then I follow with examples of people from each temperament category. Finally, I break the types down and give a very brief description of each. I put the negative possibilities in italics. I will return soon to post all of the types in more detail. Right now, I simply want to familiarize people who haven’t heard of these cognitive preferences before with them.

I am endeavoring to simplify to the point that anyone can understand, but an ISFJ friend did recently warn me, “Some people won’t understand it, no matter what you do, because some people can’t understand it.” Maybe she’s right. I don’t know. But, it’s not for a lack of trying on my part.

SJs have Sensing Introverted in their top four functions which makes them past-focused and comfort-seeking.  This means they may be apprehensive about changes and need a tether to the past to be comfortable going into the future. Stability and focus matter to them.

Conscientiousness George Washington, Martha Stewart, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts,  Tom Clancy, Woodrow Wilson, Colin Powell, Harry Truman, Sam Walton, Apostle Paul

Funny Fiction Character: Monica from Friends

SPs have Sensing Extraverted in their top four functions which makes them concerned about and in-tune with their present physical environment and the experiences that are going on around them. Exploration, self-expression and independence matter to them.

 

Survivalism–Bruce Lee, Frank Zappa, Clint Eastwood, Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Tom Cruise, Christian Bale, Orlando Bloom

 

Funny Fiction Character:

Joey and Rachel from Friends

 

NTs have either Thinking (Extraverted or Introverted) in their top four functions, so they will all either rely heavily upon reason or upon logic. They value independence, theories, experiments and exploration.

 

Innovation–Einstein, C.S. Lewis, Hawking, Benjamin Franklin, Ayn Rand, Tesla, DiVinci, Darwin, Carl Sagan, Napoleon

 

Funny Fiction Character: Brain, from Pinky and the Brain

 

 

NFs have Feeling (Extraverted or Introverted) in their top four functions which means that they all are either concerned with the values and directions of the human race at larger or with their own internal values and personal growth.

 

 

 

 

Existentialism–Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Tolkien, Agatha Christie, George Orwell, Van Gogh, William Blake, Tom Selleck, Hitler, Jesus

 

 

Funny Fiction Character:

Phoebe from Friends

 

ESTJ–Efficient, organized, strong, determined–blunt, stubborn, elitist, rude, intimidating

*aptitude for leading/government/law enforcement

ISTJ–conscientious, loyal, honest, dependable, knowledgable–fretful, suspicious, comfort-seeking, insecure, lazy, hopeless (lose all hope for future)

*aptitude for keeping records/science/law enforcement/research

ESFJ–dependable, organized, self-sacrificing, funny, warm, family-oriented–overbearing, guilting, manipulative, covert contract holders, socially destructive

*aptitude for nursing/social work/counseling/elementary education

ISFJ–kind, nurturing, family-oriented, innovative, dependable–neurotic, lonely, fretful, comfort-seeking, guilt-inducing, victims of abuse

*aptitude for nursing/ data tracking/elementary-education/some fields of science

ESTP–Practical, pragmatic, resourceful, analytical, mechanically inclined, trouble-shooter–rude, abusive, critical, harsh, stubborn, tunnel vision, short-sighted

*aptitude for foreman/construction/heavy machine operators/building contractors

ISTP–physically attuned, analytical, practical, tactical, mechanically inclined, quick to catch on, self-sufficient–short-sighted, harsh, critical, arrogant

*aptitude for machines/electronics/some fields of science/tactician

ESFP–fun, loving, inventive, creative, physically attuned, good-natured–selfish, undisciplined, disorganized, narcissistic, lazy

*aptitude for entertainment/partyplanning/cooking/ fashion/teaching in some settings

ISFP–creative, charming, talented, physical aptitude, mechanic aptitude, easy-going, adaptable–self-absorbed, undisciplined, anger issues, narcissistic 

*aptitude for music/art/woodworking/machines/anything physical and creative

ENTPs–open, charming, caring, witty, innovative, independent, self-sufficient, analytical, ingenious–succumb to Stockholm syndrome, narcissistic, overly nit-picky over how things are phrased, presented  etc., critical

*aptitude for research/applied and theoretical sciences/inventing/ poetry/comedy

INTPs–innovative, analytical, peaceful, open mentally–insecure, lazy, failure to launch, childish emotions.

*aptitude for computers/sciences/think tanks

ENTJs–enormous sense for business, dedicated, hard-working, smart, witty, determined–harsh, abusive, judgmental, cruel, unaware of how words and actions affect others, unrealistic demands of loyalty.

*aptitude for business of any kind/overseers/commanders/officers

INTJ–Focused, determined,  original, rational, independent, strategic, pragmatic, self-sufficient, observant–oblivious to other’s feelings, suspicious, unrealistic demands of loyalty. 

*aptitude for science/research/computers/medicine/anything that requires strategic planning

ENFJ–altruistic, caring, merciful, kind, see the “big picture,” organized, planned, enthusiastic, positive, unwavering, determined–unrealistic visions of the future (live in a dream world at times), master manipulators, con-artists

*aptitude for performing arts/public speaking/missionary work/teaching

INFJ–strategic, focused, analytical, observant, non-judgmental, creative, linguistic aptitude, generous, kind, highly productive, determined–unemotional, manipulative, cold, calculative, obsessive, physically destructive

*aptitude for languages/writing/art/sciences/medicine/research/teaching (especially in a university setting)

 

ENFP–fun, innovative, creative, open, entertaining–fickle, selfish, moody, overly dramatic

INFP–creative, unique, observant, loyal, kind, generous, detail-focused–hoarders, lonely, misunderstood, self-pity, depressive, 

*aptitude for literature, music, art, some sciences, editing

1.     Traditional

2.     Do what they “should” do, what is “right.”

3.     Past-focused

1.     Non-conforming

2.     Do what “works.”

3.     Present-focused

1.     Non-traditional

2.     Do what “works.”

3.     Future-focused.

1.     Idealistic

2.     Do what is “right.”

3.     Future-focused

 

 

My Easy “W” chart! (16 Blueprints: Part II)

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Before I continue on with the 16 type introductions and fictitious examples, someone suggested that I make a basic chart, so I did that. I know there are tons of such charts on the internet, but I just quickly threw this simplistic one together and gave each group a “W” name that I thought was interesting, catching and positive. I want to emphasize that there is NO BEST TYPE and there is NO WORST TYPE.

SJs–Watchmen SPs–Warriors NTs–Wizards NFs—Wisdom Keepers
ESTJ, ISTJ, ESFJ, ISFJ ESTP, ISTP, ESFP, ISFP ENTPs, INTPs, ENTJs, INTJs ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP, INFP
1.     Traditional

2.     Do what they “should” do, what is “right.”

3.     Past-focused

1.     Non-conforming

2.     Do what “works.”

3.     Present-focused

1.     Non-traditional

2.     Do what “works.”

3.     Future-focused.

1.     Idealistic

2.     Do what is “right.”

3.     Future-focused

 

16 Blueprints: Part I, The Basics

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So, let’s start with the notion that human beings are born (for the most part) with the capacity to learn and grow. In order to do that we must take in information about our world and then we must utilize that information in our day to day lives, communication and interactions with others, with nature, with the physical world, with concepts, with spirituality and so forth.

We call the ways of taking in and utilizing information cognitive preferences. In the same way that most people have a preference for handedness (right or left) people have a preference for the order of their cognitive functions.

The way we take in information is called our perceiving function. The manner in which we utilize or act upon that information is called our judging function.

Think of it this way:

Perceiving = in-put.

Judging = out-put.

There are two categories for perceiving functions: Intuition and Sensing and two categories for judging functions which are called Thinking and Feeling. Now, intuition can be either introverted or extroverted. In psychology circles this is abbreviated as Ni (intuition introverted) and Ne (intuition extraverted). Sensing is also either introverted (Si) or extraverted (Se).  Thinking is also introverted (Ti) and extraverted (Te) as is feeling, Fi and Fe. I will use these standard abbreviations throughout my posts.

Let me take a moment to give a brief description of these functions.

Se–is attuned to the physical world and is concerned with what is happening outside of one’s self (it is extraverted…outward focused). Se is concerned with what others are doing and with the experiences others are having, their comfort, their safety, whether or not they are enjoying the moment. It is present-focused and in the moment. 

Si–is attuned with the past and the experiences one has already had. It compares present experiences or possible future experiences to past experiences and is inward-focused. Si is concerned with one’s own comfort and safety. 

Ne–is attuned to possibilities outside of one’s self. It looks outward and at multiple combinations, connections and outcomes of any system or situation. It tinkers with ideas and theories, always seeking to find another way.  It is experimenting and  future-focused, asking “what can be?” 

Ni–is attuned to finding what is the “best” or most efficient outcome. It looks inward and is concerned with “what will be.” Ni connects invisible dots and sees patterns and pathways to infinite numbers of outcomes pertaining to one’s own path forward. It is strategic and future-focused. 

Te–is outward focused on external frameworks. It is objective and adheres to proven structures to support its conclusions and in order to form conclusions. It looks to the experts and to foundations that have already been laid. It seeks to find the most practical way to accomplish objective tasks.  It basically asks, “how to do it?”

Ti–analyzes and dissects, seeks to understand how something works and why something is.  Ti is inward-focused on one’s internal framework and understanding of structures. It questions the purpose and meaning of everything. It takes apart in order to put together, synthesizes. 

Fe–is concerned with values of others. It understands the cultural and social values of any group that it is put into and forms an ability to adapt to those values.

Fi–is concerned with one’s internal values and seeks to be true to one’s self.  

 We all have all the functions but the order of dominance and development is different. The placement of a cognitive function determines how it plays out in each of us. There are sixteen different orders in which these functions can be arranged. The J or P on the end of each set of  cognitive preferences denotes which preference a person extraverts. It doesn’t mean whether or not they are judgmental as I have heard some say. I am showing the sixteen different orders below. The ones in bold are the functions that we are most adept at using. The ones in italics are our weaker, more *”mirror universe” functions.  You may notice that the functions always appear on an axis, which means they are aways paired opposite of each other. The axis are as follows:

Se & Ni; Si & Ne; Te & Fi; Fe & Ti

The four letters after each arrangement or line-up of functions are what we call our Type Code.

  1. Se Ti Fe Ni Si Te Fi Ne =ESTP
  2. Ti Se Ni Fe Te Si Ne Fi = ISTP
  3. Se Fi Te Ni Si Fe Ti Ne= ESFP
  4. Fi Se Ni Te Fe Si Ne Ti= ISFP
  5. Ne Fi Te Si Ni Fe Ti Se= ENFP
  6. Fi Ne Si Te Fe Ni Se Ti= INFP
  7. Ne Ti Fe Si Ni Te Fi Se= ENTP
  8. Ti Ne Si Fe Te Ni Se Fi= INTP
  9. Te Ni Se Fi Ti Ne Si Fe= ENTJ
  10. Ni Te Fi Se Ne Ti Fe Si= INTJ
  11. Fe Ni Se Ti Fi Ne Si Te= ENFJ
  12. Ni Fe Ti Se Ne Fi Te Si =INFJ
  13. Te Si Ne Fi Te Se Ni Fe= ESTJ
  14. Si Fe Ti Ne Se Fi Te Ni= ISFJ
  15. Fe Si Ne Ti Fi Se Ni Te= ESFJ
  16. Si Te Fi Ne Se Ti Fe Ni= ISTJ

And here’s how the order affects our functions and our lives:

Our Strength Functions:

  1. Our Hero Function–our “go to” way of being, the mode of operation when we are allowed to be our most authentic selves. This function is where our optimism lies, our confidence.
  2. Our Parent Function–the function we kick into when we’re trying to be responsible. This function is where we go when we think about consequences and safety. It’s a more pessimistic function because it’s always on guard for pitfalls and dangers.
  3. Our Child Function–our purest function; This function is where we play and enjoy ourselves. It’s optimistic and usually like the child in the “Emperor’s New Clothes.” It’s the function that simply sees what is there.
  4. Our Aspirational Function–this function is the one where we feel the least confident and we may aspire to work harder when using this function, but if forced into it continuously, we may burn out. However, when an individual is not under stress and allowed to “just be” this function can offer a change of pace and an outlet.  
  5. Our Nemesis Function–it’s the function that casts doubt on our Hero.
  6. Our Critic Function–it’s the inner voice of criticism
  7. Our Trickster Function–it’s our delusions function. It’s the one that lies to us about ourselves.
  8. Our Demon Function–Just as our number four function is the one that spurs us to aspire, this one is accessed when we have lost all hope or feel lost in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey to Realms of Depth Psychology

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Depth psychology looks at the cognitive blueprints (natural tendencies) that frame a person’s basic perceiving and decision-making processes. These blueprints are the foundation which our personalities are built upon. They are shaped by character, environment, faith and culture, making every person totally unique. I believe that understanding these blueprints can make us better communicators and help us understand others better. As a teacher and a parent, I think that learning our children’s basic blueprints will help us do a better job in guiding them in the way they should go as they grow.

I am, at the core, basing my ideas in this post on the works of John Beebe, Dario Nardi, Linda Berens, Vicky Jo Varner (whom I took an online course under when I won it in a competition on a typology forum), Mike Boudria, C.S. Joseph, Cynthia Tobias, Howard Gardner, Anna Barsova and Tim LaHaye, all who have, in one way or another, influenced my thinking on this subject.

PHASE I: Teacher Test

I was an eighteen-year-old artist who was recovering from bulimia and I had been accepted into college. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, to sow seeds of kindness, joy, hope and love. In my freshman orientation class they plopped a “test” down in front of me to help me identify my “calling” in life. The results would give me a bunch of letters like I, F, S, P and so forth. They told me these letters would be arranged in one of sixteen ways. So, I read the questions and answered them based on what I thought it took to be a “good” teacher.

My call letters turned out to be an ENFJ. All that mattered to me about that result was that it had the word “teacher” listed under the recommended occupations.  A few months before, all that would have mattered was the word “artist.” But I had decided, at the urging of one of my own teachers, that I would make a better living as a teacher. I watched Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie and Christy and read Jesse Stuart’s, A Thread that Runs so True and I wanted to be one of these heroic people that made a difference in the life of a child, that changed someone’s future for the better, so I answered as if I was Anne Shirley herself.

By the time I graduated there were no teaching jobs in my area so I went to work in a hospital as an X-ray clerk. My favorite moments were the ones I spent alone, quietly working at my desk, developing film in the darkroom (yes, it’s been a while.) Co-workers said I was a ray of sunshine and patients loved my quiet mannerism and gentle nature. Of course, everyone loved my humor that was quirky and innocent. I mean I was still very young.

Then came the day that I finally got that teaching job and I was off and running. Little did I know that my personality wasn’t a typical elementary teacher’s personality. In fact, I would be reprimanded for “being too timid” on more than one occasion, until the day I realized that what others mistook for timidity was simply my preference for being calm. It was during these early years as a teacher that I was sent to Dayton, Ohio, to a teacher’s convention that would lead me to seek to not only understand myself, but everyone around me.

PHASE II: Temperament Tantrums

I attended that convention in Dayton where a gregarious and bouncy blonde public speaker introduced me to the concept of temperaments. The lady gave us a paper test with columns where we could read statements and rate them from “most like me” to “least like me.” We were all supposed to discover our primary and secondary temperaments. Of course, I had a tie. I mean, I would be the only person in the room who tied on all four temperaments, so I went to her to help me break the tie and “learn about myself.” She took a look at me. I was wearing a white sweater with a teddy bear on it and a pair dark-washed-jean. She said, “Oh, you’re a Sanguine. I can tell by your clothing. Only a Sanguine would wear that sweater.”

I was miffed. How could she tell by my clothing? That was silly. I stewed about it all the way home. I then started buying books on the Four-Temperament theories and it didn’t take me more than a chapter to realize that the lady had read my teddy bear sweater all wrong. So, I decided to order myself the genuine Tim LaHaye Temperament Analysis. I was so excited to receive my manila envelope in the mail and took great pains to read and re-read every question on the test. I said a prayer that I would answer honestly and truly tried to step outside myself and analyze myself.  I knew there was something to the idea that we all come into this world wired differently and any two people facing the same situation will react differently. I wanted to understand my “human” nature, my initial blueprint. I wanted to know what made ME tick. I didn’t think the idea was wrong or that it had no validity. I DID think the presenter was too quick to form an opinion.

I took the test, sent my answers in and waited about a month to receive my results: Melancholy Phlegmatic—a creative introvert who loved peace and harmony, who internalized things and was reluctant to ask others for help, who had trouble saying “no” to others, who was highly gifted and slightly messy. Yes. That was me. As it turned out, my report went on to say that I was not extremely introverted but I definitely was not an extrovert, not a Sanguine. So, Melancholies and Phlegmatics COULD wear teddy bears on their sweaters! All joking aside, this basic understanding DID help me understand myself and somehow it helped me to stop being so hard on myself. More years would pass before I started to go beyond the Four Temperaments of Hippocrates.

PHASE III: Depth Psychology and Jungian Cognitive Preferences

Somewhere along the journey I began writing novels and my desire to learn more about human nature sky-rocketed. I didn’t know what I was looking for. I only knew that I couldn’t stop looking. I used my temperament knowledge to write the characters in my first few books.

Many years after the ENFJ test at college and long after the Temperament phase, I was assisting two people with their undergrad homework, a man and a woman. They were taking a test called the MBTI. I recognized it as the same one I had taken in college. So, we took it, all three of us together. The man came out as ISTJ. The woman came out as ISFJ and I came out as INFJ. So, together, we sat down and looked up our call letters and read the descriptions.

His fit him—perfectly. Hers fit her—perfectly. And mine fit me—well, beautifully.  My ENFJ was gone, because it was never there in the first place. This time, I was already a teacher and had been for over ten years. I didn’t need to answer like what I thought would be the “ideal” teacher. I just answered true to myself. This revelation led me to interacting with others online, to joining a forum and buying books by the authors listed above. I wanted to understand the Love Languages, Multiple Intelligences and more than anything, Depth Psychology.

By this time, I had several published novels under my belt and I realized that going beyond temperament, beyond the basic Myers-Briggs test and really understanding the idea of cognitive functions, allowed me to write characters with emotional depth, three-dimensional characters. It also caused me to differentiate with my students and to realize why I had so much more trouble with some students, parents and co-workers than others. We were speaking entirely different languages! We had completely different values.

PHASE IV: Sharing a Passion

I do not believe that we can be pigeon-holed and each person in the world is a unique snowflake of sorts, yet, we DO all come into this world with different natural tendencies, blueprints. However, the house that is built upon any single set of blueprints can be vastly different from every other house that is built upon those blueprints. In the same way that paint choices, flooring choices, furniture choices, window dressing choices, appliances, etc. can make a thousand houses built from the same blueprints different, so can our environment, education, faith, life experiences, and so forth can make any two people with the same personality blueprints different.

It is my hope to delve into the sixteen types in the next few posts and hopefully, those of you who are interested will find something of value. I also have started doing youtube videos on Depth Psychology, not because I’m an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but merely because I love the subject and I have a profound need to learn and to share.