|"No, I really do not want to talk to you." The Servant, Carol L. Douglas.|
When I was younger, career opportunities for my Myers-Briggs personality type, ENTJ, just didn’t exist for women. “Yours is the least common type,” I was told. “And you share it with Adolph Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander Hamilton, Margaret Thatcher.” And, more recently, Donald Trump.
I don’t have the patience to be a genocidal murderer or even a world leader. I’d be more interested in running a cult, but, except for the wonderfully weird Madame Blavatsky that is a male-only career path, so I became an artist, the next best thing.
This has been on my mind because my church is doing a program on discerning one’s calling. Part of that involved taking the Myers-Briggs, which I respectfully sat out. I’ve taken it enough times to know that my personality, while dictatorial, ruthless, rational and insensitive, is also set in stone.
I’ve mentioned that to people who only know my public persona. “Oh, there must be some mistake,” they say. My family, who know me best, just laugh bitterly.
My son has also been Myers-Briggsed extensively. He is just like me except that he’s an introvert. I have exactly ten times as many friends as he does on Facebook, which isn’t that surprising since he uses an alias and fake picture. The puzzling part is that he likes people a lot more than I do.
Shouldn’t an extrovert like her fellow man? I often don’t. That same judging thing, the belief that people could live orderly lives if they only cleaned their rooms, often gets in the way of sympathy. This is why, I’m sure, I was turned down for the job of Savior. The answer to “WWJD” is probably not “mow them down with gunfire if they don’t straighten up.”
|"OK, I'll talk if you won't be an idiot." Married, by Carol L. Douglas|
“I never think about other people’s business if I can help it, and then only if they are determined to confide in me,” said my current favorite fictional heroine, Dame Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley. Dame Beatrice is, ironically, a psychiatrist. I’m sure she, like me, is also a disallusioned ENTJ.
On Sunday, our pastor—who also has Myers-Briggs on the brain—made a joke about the J component of the Myers-Briggs. That J-P preference, by the way, describes how you live your outer life. Are you structured and decided (judging) or adaptive (perceiving)?
“Ordnung! Order!” I shouted, but in a quiet, orderly way. This was church, after all. He didn't hear me. Later, Naomi and Kimberly and I talked about it. Order, we agreed, is necessary for beauty, and beauty is paramount for artists. So screw all that touchy-feely stuff. We're going for a high polish.
I have four kids, so you can bet your life that there were times my house wasn’t orderly. “But you still wanted it,” noted Kimberly. That was a great insight about the “J” personality. - You don’t actually have to succeed at obsession-compulsion to feel the impulse.
Still, my incontinent, elderly, senile Jack Russell terrier knows that if he goes out every two hours to pee, he gets a treat when he comes in. So he does, and the floors remain clean. There’s not a lot of difference between that and training myself to be alert and ready to work at 9 AM in my studio.
Js. We’re so misunderstood.