Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Myers-Briggs nightmares

Wow...I knew it had been awhile, but not that I hadn't even posted yet THIS YEAR! No hope of catching up, so here's what I was planning to write anyway.
I am quite aware of the potential for problems when applying labels to anything, and especially to anyone, and while I find the Myers-Briggs personality types very interesting, I certainly don't see them as written in stone. Each one of the four aspects is not only a spectrum, but the same person might be at different parts of the spectrum at the same time, and/or different parts at different times. There's not much doubt that I fall pretty squarely into the Extrovert category, for example, but I've discovered more and more Introvert tendencies, especially in the last several years. Still, when it comes down to it, although I love long solitary walks, if someone I like to spend time with is willing to come with me, that only makes it better. :-)
So something going around on Facebook caught my eye:

The Definition Of Hell For Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type

"They say that one man’s heaven is another man’s hell and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to the sixteen Myers-Briggs Personality Types. Each one is inspired, enraged and absolutely tortured by something slightly different. Here’s the destiny that would psychologically destroy each Myers-Briggs Personality type."
I tried to read through them without looking at the letter-combinations and found it fairly easy to narrow it down to a few that were the worst for me, and was not particularly surprised that the one that truly seemed to be the worst nightmare was, indeed, for the type I most often come out as in the evaluations. ("E" vs. "I" is non-negotiable, as is "T" vs. "F", but I often come out quite balanced on "N" vs. "S", although I always tip solidly one particular way when reading full descriptions. "J" vs. "P" is the one that always trips me up, because the description of one of those versus the other seems more like me, whereas the overall description containing the other letter always matches me. Yes, I KNOW it's not supposed to be a "good" versus "bad" thing at all, but when I read them, I feel like I have all the things that I would qualify as negative from both categories, and none of the things that I would qualify as positive. Whatever.)

To get to the point: if you're still reading this and haven't yet clicked on the link to the original article, here are all of the supposed "worst nightmares", withOUT the M-B labels, each one followed by my comments...

1 – An incredibly impractical person is put in charge of all of your major life decisions. You have to do whatever they say and are powerless to argue or reason with them.

Irritating and annoying, no question. But my reaction to this is anger, not fear. And me being me, who says that I'm powerless to argue? To reason with them, sure. To perhaps lose my life or freedom, yes. But I'll go down fighting. I don't recall ever having had a nightmare in this vein.
2 – Your deepest thoughts and feelings are exposed to a large audience and everyone thinks that you’re pathetic and unoriginal.

I'm pretty much an open book and have been used to being thought pathetic, at least during all of my school years, and I know that I'm unoriginal, so this is a total shrug. So what.
3 – Every time you open your mouth to say something intelligent, something entirely idiotic comes out instead.

Um, yeah. I'm used to that. Like this whole blogpost.

4 – Someone you love is in dire need of practical help and you can’t give it to them. Worse yet, they think you’re refusing to help them out of pettiness and they’re mad at you.

This makes me think of having one of my babies crying and crying in pain, and yes, it's terrible. Elisabeth did not react to ANY kind of pain relief for teething and sometimes screamed for hours on end while I rocked her, sang to her, tried to breastfeed her, etc., and the feeling of hopelessness on my part was awful, and thinking that she might not understand how much I loved her and wished I could help her was also not nice...but at the end of the day (or rather, at the end of the sleepless night...), I knew that I HAD done everything I could. If I CAN'T, then I CAN'T. I'm fairly good at accepting that that's a fact, once I've been convinced it's a fact. Not a nightmare issue.

5 – You are stuck in a room by yourself for the rest of eternity.

Okay, I'm sure that I would hate this eventually. I mean, yes, of course, I know that I would. Eventually. At the moment, this sounds something more like a nice dream than a nightmare, and certainly not my worst nightmare. The question is more what else is in the room with me. Plenty of paper and black, medium-point, ballpoint pens? All the books in the world? A piano? What about drums, which I would like to learn to play? Maybe even internet access? A comfortable bed? If it's just a bare room, oh well, at least I could go to sleep.

6 – The Zombie apocalypse happens but you’re suddenly the world’s weakest fighter and must depend solely on your loved ones to keep you alive.

While I don't like feeling powerless, knowing how much some of my loved ones love me, this is more comforting than anything else.

7 – Every minute of the rest of your life has been scheduled for you – and it’s a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks.

Sometimes life feels like this, and sometimes it's annoying. But hey, if that's what needs to be done, that's what needs to be done. The "arbitrary" bit gets to me, but it's too beyond my realm of imagination to become a nightmare. And if they're solitary, at least I can sing without bugging anyone.

8 – You have to listen to rude people criticizing your personal choices, your appearance and your art form all day long. Nobody cares that they’re hurting your feelings.

I literally laughed out loud at this one. This IS my life. Major shrug. Not that my feelings are often hurt--usually, as long as I'm happy with my choices, I really couldn't care less what anyone else thinks. It is true that most rude criticizers don't care that they MIGHT be hurting someone else's feelings, but the reality is, I don't care enough about rude people's opinions to BE hurt.

9 – Your loved ones are in dire need of guidance but every piece of advice you gives them inadvertently makes things worse for them.

I'm lousy at giving advice and very rarely do unless specifically asked, so how could this happen?

10 – Everyone you love is yelling at each other and it’s all your fault.

Hmm. This is practically a daily occurrence. I hate it. It's not a nightmare, it's just life.
11 – You are expected to complete a highly esteemed project with absolutely no guidance as to what’s expected of you.

This sounds totally cool: FREEDOM! And if they don't like what I did, so what?? They didn't let me know what their expectations were, so it's impossible to fail, and I got to do what I wanted!!
12 – You are eternally damned to working for a morally corrupt company that aims to exploit the weak and generally degrade conditions for all of society.

Um...isn't this the definition of living on planet earth, with governments and humans and irritating things like that?

13 – You are completely paralyzed, lacking even the ability to speak.

But I can still think, right? Can I move my eyeballs? Then I can read, and I can communicate, if not speak. Horrible, yes. Nightmarish, yes. My worst nightmare, no.

14 – Freedom of speech is revoked from the constitution. Voicing your opinion in any way is now illegal.

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Hit the nail on my head. This does inspire fear in me. This was what was happening in Germany when we were threatened in 2005 with a "Zwangsgeldbescheid": a fine that can be continually, without limit, raised, until you change your opinion. Are you KIDDING me?? Do you seriously think that any amount of threats and force could CHANGE MY OPINION??? You might be able to force me to keep quiet or to lie, if doing otherwise means danger to my children or my husband, but if it's not going to mean consequences for anyone ELSE, I can't see anyone managing to shut me up. (Incidentally, they never did levy that particular fine on us, and dropped the other fine they had imposed, when they dropped all charges because they realized that THEY had made a mistake, something we had been pointing out to them for nearly a year. But that's neither here nor there. They didn't get me to change my opinion, nor to stop voicing it.) Disagree with me all you want. Get angry with me and threaten me. But voicing my opinion--my OPINION--meaning that I will suffer dire consequences (fines? imprisonment? torture? death?) is, from this list of 16 scenarios, my worst nightmare. No question.

15 – You are eternally condemned to researching an extremely vapid topic using wildly inaccurate methods, mostly involving interviewing people who have no idea what they’re talking about.

I laughed out loud at this one. Isn't this what any serious journalist faces? Obviously, I don't want to do this. There was more than one reason I didn't study journalism after all. But on the other hand, if I had to do this, I could take off with creative writing. In fact, this reminds me of 11th grade English, with a very nice and very dorky teacher who didn't, as far as I could tell, have a clue what he was doing. It was the only year I got all "A"s in English, and the year I did the least amount of work and the least amount of staying on topic. It was probably good for my creative writing. A few weeks into the school year, he gave us an idea of what grade we were likely to get at the quarter, and mine didn't look good, because I had done almost done of the daily homework assignments, which were to write half a page or so on some given topic. One day, as I was trying to finish one up before he collected them, I overheard a classmate ask him how he managed to read 32 of these and hand them back the same day, and he said, "Oh, I don't read them, of course, I just see that they're the right length and check them off." I stopped in the middle of the sentence I was writing and wrote something like, "So, Mr. P. just said he doesn't even read this, so I don't see any point in writing what he asked us to," and continued on until it was the right length, handed it in, and got full credit. Except for the two so-called term projects (book reports on books I'd read many years before, one of them I didn't even re-read for the project, and the same book for the entire class!), I didn't write a single word the rest of the year on the assigned topic, did all of my homework (that must be the only class in all my years of school for which THAT was the case), and got an A. My personal favorite paper was on how the shape of the capital letter J and the lowercase letter f are mirror images in my handwriting.

16 – Somebody is wrong, and they’re directing a large group of people! You can’t do anything about it and will have to obey whatever inefficient policies they decide to implement. 

Yeah, well, 16 years of school and 44 years of church and having worked in preschools...need I say more??