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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Who Am I? Beyond Introversion and Extraversion--Embrace Your Natural Working Style

You have gold inside...

how do you bring it out so you sparkle and shine?

Who Am I? How Do I Succeed in Relationships and Life?

Want to get MORE out of life? Then get busy figuring who you are--what you value; how you pay attention; what grabs your attention; how you make decisions; what moves you; what gets your blood boiling. 

We all have naturally occurring--completely healthy--preferred ways of dealing with life. When you identify and use your personal preferences as your home base for navigating life and relationships you'll get the most satisfaction out of life.  

As you learn to trust and embrace your natural inclinations you'll get better at:

  • Managing stress, time and life.
  • Choosing a more satisfying life and career.
  • Consciously and deliberately choosing to act differently when it serves you.

Your 100% Healthy, Normal Way to Deal with the World

The MBTI, or 'Myers-Briggs' is an incredibly straightforward system that can help you clarify which of 16 healthy, normal ways to deal with the world you personally prefer. 

The MBTI helps you organize what you already know about yourself and others so you can more effectively communicate and deal with life.

The 16 types are comprised of 4 combinations of 4 preferences. You fall into one type based on your natural preferences for:

  • Living more of an inner life (introversion) or outer life (extraversion); 
  • Using sensing or intuition more often for collecting information (perceiving); 
  • Using thinking or feeling more often for coming to conclusions (judging); 
  • Using judging or perceiving more often in the outer world (the face you show others). 

The Four Preferences: What You Prefer Using MORE, not Solely

When you trust and work from your natural preferences you hold the key to foraging a satisfying and successful life. 

Since we're naturally inclined to spend more time doing what we prefer or enjoy--embracing and working out of our natural preferences ultimately results in getting more skilled dealing with the world in ways we find satisfying. 

And as we learn to consciously and deliberately work in non-preferred ways we can get better at doing things that don't come naturally too.

You may get confused identifying your natural style because you witness yourself using both introversion and extraversion; sensing and intuiting; thinking and feeling; and judging and perceiving. 

The key to figuring out who you really are is to understand we all do everything some time, but we prefer spending MORE time introverting or extraverting and using our preferred functions MORE than our non-preferred functions--as detailed below. 

Introversion vs Extraversion: Defines which world you favor--the inner world or outer world--and therefore where you'll spend more time--in your head or interacting with the people and world around you. 

If you prefer introversion, you'll spend more time inside your head and less in the outer world; if you prefer extraversion, you'll spend more time interacting in the outer world and less in your head.
We all introvert and we all extravert. Our preferences simply determine where we prefer to spend more time.

Learning Styles Differ

Want a quick way to determine if you're an introvert or extravert? Look at your learning style. 

The extravert's style is to just jump in and learn as they go. 

  • Are you more likely to just jump in and learn as you go? 
  • Do you start doing something or talking about a subject before you've collected your thoughts? 
  • Might you start pulling weeds in the garden to figure out where you want to place new plants? 
  • Do you just start playing with a new computer program to see how it works?

Consider: You're an extravert.

The introvert's style is to think, think, think, think, then do....and probably think some more.

  • Are you more likely to think a long time about something before taking action or talking to others about what you think? 
  • Do you need time to ponder an issue before sharing your thoughts with others? 
  • Do you like to present perfectly articulated ideas? 
  • Are you more inclined to find out how something works before beginning to use it?  

Consider: You're an introvert.

Extravert and Introvert Differing Styles: The 'So What'
Extraverts are more likely to bounce ideas off others to figure out what they think. Introverts are more independent and less likely to rely on others to work through what they think.

Extraverts whose favorite world IS the outer world will appear more relaxed to others than Introverts whose preferred 'home' is in their head. Introverts will appear less accessible and more reserved.

Extraverts want to change the world through interacting with it; Introverts want to understand the world through pondering it.

Extraverts are energized by interacting with people and things in the outer world; Introverts are energized by the inner world.

Sensing vs iNtuition: Defines your preference for how you prefer to pay attention and collect information--through the 5 senses or through listening for the underneath or unseen. 

If you prefer sensing you'll spend more time paying attention to 'the actual' of what you presently experience through your senses--what you hear, taste, see, touch and smell--rather than exploring the possibilities of what 'could be' through your intuition.

If you prefer intuition you'll spend more time paying attention to the exploration of hunches, theories and concepts for 'future possibilities' than current specific realities. You are comfortable living in your imagination and letting ideas present themselves 'out of nowhere'.

We all use sensing and we all use intuition. Our preference for sensing or intuition will point toward which process we are inclined to use more.

Sensors and Intuitors Differing Styles: The 'So What'

Sensors trust their experience; Intuitors trust their gut. For sensors if they haven't experienced it, it isn't true. Intuitors collect the facts for sensors to prove what they already know to be true from their intuition.
Sensors, who are present focused, ask questions about what is; intuitors, who are future oriented, ask questions about what could be. In a job interview a sensor asks for specifics, 'tell me about your previous experience' while an intuitor asks hypothetical, 'if you were to join our team what challenges do you anticipate facing?
Sensors are linear, precise, and methodical thinkers--preferring to start at the beginning and work their way through step-by-step; Intuitors are associative, inspirational, imaginative thinkers--sometimes starting in the middle and taking leaps of thought.

Thinking vs Feeling: Defines your preferences for coming to conclusions--through a logical, impersonal analysis or through considering the human values and needs of a situation.

If you prefer thinking, you'll spend more time coming to conclusions and making decisions in a dispassionate, principle-based manner that values 'truth over tact' rather than a passionate, human values-based manner. 

If you prefer feeling, you'll spend more time coming to conclusions in a passionate, human values-based manner in which 'tact is valued over truth' rather than a dispassionate, impersonal manner.

We all make decisions based on feeling and thinking. Our preference for feeling or thinking will determine which one we are inclined to use more.

Feelers and Thinkers Differing Styles--The 'So What'

Thinkers are more brief and business-like in their communications; Feelers are warmer and softer in their communications.

Thinkers' speech is unadorned and monotone; Feelers use adverbs and adjectives to provide emphasis and passion to their language.

Thinkers value fairness (what is right for 1 person is right for all) and principles; Feelers value harmony, compassion, and treating people individually (believing in extenuating circumstances).

Judger vs Perceiver: Defines your preferred way of being in the outer world--when you're extraverting (introverts and extraverts alike)--and thus how you'll appear to others--as 'open' or 'closed'.   

Judgers and Perceivers Differing Styles: The Face You Show to Others

When relating to others in the outer world, Judgers present as people who plan life in a decisive, orderly manner, while Perceivers present as curious and adaptable people who take a more open and flexible approach to life. 

When extraverting: Judgers move toward closure (ie coming to conclusions) and Perceivers move toward collecting more information (ie staying open). When introverting: Judgers 'open up' to consider more information and Perceivers 'close down' to come to conclusions.

When you understand your own preferred ways for dealing with the world, it can help you understand the best way to navigate your life so you are more satisfied and successful in a career that let's you work from your preferences. 

The chart below shows you how two of the four preferences can translate into career choices. 


Technical Skills
Science & Technology
Impersonal analysis
of concrete facts
Prefers using
Personal warmth applied to immediate situations
Prefers using
Creativity to meet 
human needs
Solving Problems
Real Estate Broker
Manufacturing & Production
Handling precision machines & materials
Financial Management
Physical Therapy
Occupational Therapy
K-12 Teacher
Social Worker
Selling Tangible Products
Service Industry
Retail Sales
Real Estate Broker
College Professor
Selling Intangibles
Marketing &
Social Media Strategist
Public Speaking
Scientific Research
Research and Development
Military Leader
Computer Scientist

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For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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1 comment:

Jean | said...

Sue, your explanation of the different preferences is very clear. A friend introduced me to the MBTI decades ago, and it has been an ongoing interest/factor in my life. I have "tested" many people over the years. Friends with children have found it invaluable in raising their children and in helping their children of different types get along well together. I've found it very useful in work situations.