Thursday 3 May 2012

The rift in my soul

I am told so many things
nice things, mostly
about my outer shell and my outer soul
I am an extrovert they say
I listen

The inner side of my soul
is silent, only
wrestles to voice when in pain
they listen.
I am an introvert I say

Happiness of the extrovert
is running wild
is content for the introvert

The rift in my soul
is mine, forever
balancing two halves of the same
I mend you, it says
I listen 

Wednesday 2 May 2012

I took a test...

... no, not an exam, and not one of those magazine style 'How good are you in bed?' or 'How much of a chocolate addict are you?' either. No, it was one of those seriously psychologically analysing ones. It felt a bit like a test, though, and if a friend wouldn't have asked me to give it a shot and to answer the things honestly, yet quickly from the top of my head and the depth of my guts, I probably would have chucked the thing into the bin.

It is called the 'Kiersey Temperament Sorter', which in itself doesn't sound promising to me, and it has seventy, that is 7-0, questions which need a choice of a) or b). And difficult some of them are; rather instantly I started taking notes as if I needed to excuse my choices; it felt as if my answers were all over the place.

This happened quite some time ago until eventually my friend and I found a slot in our diaries to meet in a pub and to go through the results. Still a bit defensively but calmed down due to the time lapse I ticked my answers into the result sheet, he did a lot of mystical counting and then proudly exclaimed: You are something between an INFJ and an ENFJ.


The entire test is based upon the theory that everybody is guided in thinking and doing by four parameters:
  • Energy - Extrovert vs Introvert
    What makes you tick? Interaction + spontaneity, or taking time + focus
  • Information - Sensing vs Intuitive
    How do you gather it? Five senses + brain, or inspiration + gut
  • Decision making - Thinking vs Feeling
    What is a decision giving you? Truth + logic, or harmony + empathy
  • Live Orientation - Judging vs Perceptive
    What are you seeking when attending to lives tasks? Closure + order, or opportunities + flexibility
This is it in a nutshell, and amazingly enough I found in the end that indeed nothing else is needed to describe my ways of thinking and acting. These eight traits describe the ends of their respective spectrum and the 70 questions are phrased precisely enough to reveal the preferences in each of the four.

So far, so very academic. According to my friend I have quite clear tendencies towards the Intuitive, the Feeling, the Judging... and in regard to Energy I hang smack bang in the middle... I am neither an Extrovert nor an Introvert, hence the double result.

So, now what? There are 16 different possible combinations of traits, so there is a sheet for each of them explaining what sort of person one is - which actually is a quite nice mirror to look into. Sometimes it helps to get things spelled out, and even the things I find odd about myself, all of a sudden appear quite normal since somebody bothered to create a case study for it... apparently I am not alone in the world. And there is a list of gentle guidance as well, e.g.'learn to relax', or 'try to embrace imperfection and mundanity of the world'.

And then it hit me!

I had hoped that with this indecisiveness in regard to 'energy' I might get away easily. I thought that if I am neither nor, then it might kind of not be there... until I read the character list for each of them: And I can sign every single line of the assessment.

It is All me!

The person who engages and drives things forward to a decision, the creative one, the dreamer, the party girl as well as the hermit. That is a lot of person to be, no wonders that I am constantly chasing my own tail. I am good in a lot of those things, and I really like doing them all. And not just that I CAN do all of those things - I NEED them all! I need the thought, the focus and the hermitage as well as the attention of the crowd, the teamwork, the stage!

All my life I tried to find out why sometimes I feel like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde personality. I often blamed it on the hormones, but since a while this cannot be an excuse anymore. Well, maybe the respective trait got enhanced by the power of those little chemical buggers, but apparently they only triggered something that always was my nature anyway. A lot of my articles on these blogs are about balance, but I am always referring to balance between tasks, I never could really nail it down to where the balance is supposed to come from. I guess everybody has issues in regard to keeping work and family in balance or a laid-back lifestyle vs a healthy one, in that respect I guess my articles are still valid. But now for the first time I found something within myself with which I can make my peace.

Sometimes that needs just a bit of  help from a good friend!