Hi, I’m Tara.

What started out as a private blog to document our adoption journey has evolved into my journey through therapy, spiritual awakening and whatever I feel like writing. Without our struggles to build a family, I’m not sure I’d be waking up, and for that I’m grateful.

Personality Schmersonality - Updated

I recently checked out (on my Kin.dle - yay!) Your Parenting Personality by Lev.ine.  It's based on the Enn.eagram.  If you haven't heard of the Enne.agram, it's premise is that there are 9 personality types, and we all have dominant traits that fit into one of the nine.  We also have secondary traits that fit into another number, and when we're stressed we go to yet another number.  What I remember from the test years ago, courtesy of S because his company was training their mangers-to-be, were a few very telling things.  First, S came into the house with the test and said "Take this test, I already know what you are".  That should tell you a little something about how strong my personality is.  I dutifully went through what seemed like hundreds of questions on preferences (very similar to Mey.ers-Bri.ggs) and at the end was less than shocked to discover that I turned out to be a 1/Perfectionist.  With the Perfectionist personality, I had a secondary preference to the 5/Investigator.  Makes sense, I like to research and analyze.  Especially how to live with my personality type! 

So, what does this mean in daily life?  It means that I procrastinate a lot.  It means that I quit teaching Jazz.ercise because my inner critic is so strong that I had a hard time ignoring it and generally thought of myself as a bad teacher when reality was the opposite.  It means that I have no idea how I really appear to others.  I may appear to be in control outwardly, and the inner monologue is far different.  It's exhausting sometimes, especially when I'm trying to project confidence when I don't have any confidence in myself.

In parenting, this book seems to be making the point that you need to recognize your personality type more than anything.  I'm a "Moralist" and S is a "Peacekeeper".  I'm confrontational and judgmental, and S is passive aggressive.  I suppose this will come into play as Baby X grows older and S is trying to keep me from insisting on my way or the highway.

 Lev.ine gives some suggestions, especially in the realm of anger expression, something that apparently all moralists (not just me) have issues with.  Apparently tamping down emotional energy is detrimental.  I have to admit, I'm not sure how much "tamping down" I actually do.  I have a temper, especially with S and I feel like I tend to let it all out.  Maybe not.  But what's clear, and I do agree with Levi.ine on this point, I always end up being hurtful.  I can deliver a deep cut in 4 words or less, and often it's before I even realize what I'm saying.  Not exactly the productive way to argue.  So, my action item is to express anger calmly and rationally.  To handle the energy with calm and serenity.  Ummm...sounds good.  But how?

Another action item is to take time off and have fun.  This is where S helps quite a bit.  It's still difficult for me to leave a messy house on the weekend to have fun, but I'll do it.  Given, it makes at least the first part of the week stressful, since I then spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about what didn't get done while we were off playing.  The best thing for me as far as relaxation goes is to get the hell out of the city and plop my butt on a beach.  On vacation, I'm relaxed, spontaneous and fun.  Probably because permission to be a slug has been granted.

There are other action items and some suggestions for dealing with the issues that come up.  Mostly, I think this is a good book for learning and recognizing traits and suggesting how to deal with the less desirable aspects of our personalities.

I've come a long way from where I started once I recognized aspects of my personality were holding me back, but the inner critic still won't shut the hell up.  Hopefully, in parenting, I can learn to ignore it a bit more.  Right now, it's fairly easy.  I only read parenting books if there's something that we have trouble with and then, I get the information I need while trying to ignore the parts that make me feel like I'm doing something wrong and my kid will never get into an Ivy League.  I'm sure, many of the suggestions in this book will come in handy when we hit the school age years and the super competitive parents.  Resisting that will be a herculean effort.  Maybe this is why I continue to work.  I need something to distract me from becoming a super competitive hover parent.

And now a couple questions for you:  What's your personality type? If you don't know exactly, the how do you deal with the less desirable aspects either when parenting or interacting with people on a daily basis?

The link I provided is for the parenting personality.  If you don't want to go there, here's another to the enne.agram.


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