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Occasional ramblings and writings. Occasional being the optimal word.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ISFP (My quest to understand existentialism)

So, I’ve been away from the blog for a few days. I’m not sure exactly what writer’s block feels like, but I think I’ve got it. So, who knows what this blog-week will bring…

I sent my cousin a text earlier to remind him it was a blog day and said I didn’t know what to write about. He responded I should write about existentialism. (What are they teaching in high schools these days?) Anyway, I did some looking around online for what exactly existentialism is.

Here’s the simplest definition I could find:

“Basically, they [existentialists] don't believe a god influences their lives but they create their own destiny.”

It took a few searches before I found this definition. I’m sure it’s still pretty basic.

As I read through all the other definitions, I realized that I didn’t feel like I was quite understanding it. I started to search online for something to explain why, but I didn’t know the correct search terms I wanted.

Eventually, I went back to over ten years ago when I attended a leadership conference with the student government at Fresno City College and had the chance to take the Myers-Briggs test. When you take the test, you’re given a “type” which is expressed by a four-letter code.

From the M-B site:

“Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).

Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).”

My “type” from way back when is ISFP, so I looked up a description to see if it still fit.

Here are some highlights that I think are true. You can feel free to agree or disagree:

“ISFPs tend to be quiet and reserved, and difficult to get to know well. They hold back their ideas and opinions except from those who they are closest to. They are likely to be kind, gentle and sensitive in their dealings with others. They are interested in contributing to people's sense of well-being and happiness, and will put a great deal of effort and energy into tasks which they believe in.”

ISFPs are action-oriented individuals. They are "doers", and are usually uncomfortable with theorizing concepts and ideas, unless they see a practical application. They learn best in a "hands-on" environment, and consequently may become easily bored with the traditional teaching methods, which emphasize abstract thinking.”

“ISFPs are warm and sympathetic. They genuinely care about people, and are strongly service-oriented in their desire to please. They have an unusually deep well of caring for those who are close to them, and are likely to show their love through actions, rather than words.”

“ISFPs have no desire to lead or control others, just as they have no desire to be led or controlled by others.”

Dislike disagreements and conflicts, do not force their opinions or values on others.”

I’m not sure if I found the answer as to why certain concepts or ideas are more difficult for me to grasp. Perhaps the section above where it talks about ISFPs being “doers,” etc., is a start. For example, at FCC I sit on a lot of committees and many of them have to do with long-term planning. Sometimes, the discussions just go in one ear at out the other. I’m much more interested in planning when the ending goal is actually within reach or site—like an event or something like that.

Part of it could also be that I overcomplicate things sometimes. I think they’re harder to understand than they actually are.

Kind of like this post I guess. Thanks for taking this small little journey into what goes on in my head sometimes.

Oh you have no idea what’s in there. The half has not been told my friend…

 PS: Feel free to leave any comments about the ISFP description. Does it fit or not?  

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