post

How NOT to Use Your MBTI Type

Have you seen those posts floating around about “Discover your dream career with your MBTI type!”?

I’ve seen LOTS of them over the years, and now that I’ve just spent the whole last month writing about The Personalities (click HERE to check out post #1 in that series), I’m seeing even more MBTI posts popping up on my social media and Pinterest feeds, too.

Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the MBTI. As a Career Counselor, I LOVED walking individual students or entire classes through their inventories and helping them discover what those results meant for them. It’s a great tool.

In the right context.

I’ll explain more about that “right context” in a minute. First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what MBTI types are. Here is a quick run-through of what the eight MBTI function (letter) dichotomies mean: Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

post

How to Use The Personalities to Improve Your Marriage

You’ve made it to the very last post in the Improving Relationships with The Personalities series! Congratulations! So far in this series, we have…

Today, we uncover the secret to improving our MARRIAGES with The Personalities!

The bottom line in most marriage improvement strategies is to UNDERSTAND each other. The Personalities are no different in this regard. It’s all about learning to UNDERSTAND our spouse and then COMMUNICATE using this new understanding as a foundation. Understanding and communication. Sounds pretty easy so far, right? 😜

So, here’s the game plan for improving our marriages with The Personalities! Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

post

How to Use The Personalities to Improve Your Relationships with Your Kids

It had been a HORRIBLE day.

Mom pulled our old, maroon Oldsmobile up to the curb, and I flung my 11-year-old self down into the seat, backpack smashing into my lap.

“Bad day?” Mom asked.

“The worst.”

Mom then launched into her best stand-up comedy routine in an effort to coax a smile from her distraught daughter. It was NOT working.

With the hardest glare imaginable, I ground out, “Why do you think EVERYTHING is SO FUNNY??”

The shocked look on her face said it all. Then, as quickly as it appeared, it was gone, replaced by a smirk. “Girlie girl, I think it’s time you learned about The Personalities.” Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

post

Using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to Improve Relationships

Last week, we kicked off our series on The Personalities with a look at why The Personalities are the EASIEST tool for improving relationships. One of those reasons is that The Personalities are DESIGNED to be relationship-focused. The meat and potatoes of this tool is using The Personalities and emotional needs to improve relationships.  Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

post

The Easiest Tool for Improving Relationships (+ a Giveaway!)

Relationships are HARD. But The Personalities are the EASIEST tool for improving relationships and helping you navigate your way through them. Here’s how!

Relationships are HARD, right? People who think differently than us drive us crazy. People who think exactly LIKE us drive us crazy. Why do relationships have to be so complicated??

I have good news for you: they don’t!

There is one AWESOME tool you NEED to have in your relational toolbox. Are you ready? It’s called The Personalities! Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

post

My Secret for WAHM Time Management

Time management is hard. WAHM time management is ridiculously hard! Thankfully, I have discovered one secret to keep me on track lately. Can you guess what it is?

I have struggled with the time management concept my entire life, and the struggle only got worse once I became a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom, for those new to this particular brand of alphabet soup). My baby, C, was 10 months old when we moved out of the 24/7 “Dorm Mama” life to start building my husband’s career and let me focus on taking care of our family. That first year, I’m pretty sure I watched every G- and PG-rated movie and series available on Hulu and spent most every day in my pajamas, letting C play on the floor around my feet and toddle around our small duplex.

Not exactly the best use of my time. But, it seemed like anytime I tried to do anything more productive, like get on my computer for any reason, C was automatically in my face wanting me to play with her or wanting me to let her play with all the fun buttons, too. Sigh… Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

post

Arguing & Always Being Right

“It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.”
~ Proverbs 25:27 (NIV)
I’ll be honest and say this particular devo had me stumped for several days on how to respond. The devo itself focused a lot on not arguing about things that don’t matter, not stirring up trouble, and just leaving well enough alone sometimes. It wasn’t until I looked up other translations for this verse that I finally got a clue. For most translations, the second half of the verse focuses on avoiding self-seeking glory:
  • “… or to seek glory after glory.”(HCSB)
  • “… so for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory.” (AMP)
  • “… and so is trying to win too much praise.” (GNB)
  • “… nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” (ESV)
Combine the original commentary about not arguing with this other concept of not seeking out one’s own glory, and my own version of the verse came to light:
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to arguably “persuade” someone into my own way of thinking or insist my way is the only way all the time.

Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

post

The Personalities: An Overview

Have you ever screamed in frustration, “I just don’t UNDERSTAND them!” If so, it’s time to learn about The Personalities — the easiest to use personality typing system, designed to improve your relationships!

I need to apologize to my readers: I had written most of my “Confessions of an Incurable Melancholy” posts with the assumption that anyone who read them would understand The Personalities, which was mostly true when my only readers were family and close friends. However, now that more people are reading these posts, it seems like the perfect time to give a brief overview of the Personalities for those who may not be familiar with them.

So, let’s dive in!

An Overview of The Personalities

You’ll notice I use animal images with each Personality type as you scroll through this post. Those animals are the same ones Gary Smalley uses in his version of The Personalities. I don’t typically refer to the animal names, but if they help you remember the different types, go for it! 😊

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities -- the easiest to use personality typing system, designed to improve your relationships!According to this theory, The Personalities consist of 4 distinct types: Popular Sanguines, Perfect Melancholies, Powerful Cholerics, and Peaceful Phlegmatics. All of us are a unique combination of these four types, but generally, we are predominantly one more than the others with a strong secondary. For example, my type is mostly Melancholy with a strong Choleric streak. My husband is largely Phlegmatic, but has a Sanguine side, as well.

Let’s take a look at some quick descriptions of how to recognize each type and what some of their main traits may be. (Remember, these are generalizations – not every Sanguine is going to display every trait listed within their description, and there are many more I have not given here. To learn more and explore the COMPLETE Personality picture, be sure to check out the book, Wired That Way!)

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities -- the easiest to use personality typing system, designed to improve your relationships!Popular Sanguine

The easiest Personality to recognize is the Popular Sanguine – fun, bubbly, charismatic, and sometimes flighty, these “People-People” are generally characterized by a loud voice, loud clothing (lots of bright colors and patterns), open mouth (always talking), and an open life (no secrets here!).

Everything about the Sanguine is fun-loving and wide open. They love people and assume that everyone loves them right back. One of my husband’s best friends is definitely Sanguine and recently told us, “Oh, everyone loves me!” For the most part, that statement is true.

It’s hard not to love a Sanguine, though their tendency to be forgetful or child-like can be irritating. But then they’ll apologize and charm you right out of your frustration, making it difficult to stay mad at them.

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities -- the easiest to use personality typing system, designed to improve your relationships!Perfect Melancholy

The second easiest Personality to recognize is the Perfect Melancholy, mainly because they are the exact opposite of the Popular Sanguine. Where the Sanguine lives life loud and wide open, the Melancholy is known for his quiet voice (and tendency to mumble), quiet clothing (traditional, no loud patterns or colors combinations here), closed mouth (doesn’t talk much), and closed life (operates on a “need to know” basis).

These “Detail-People” are perfectionists, tending to focus on the individual trees, instead of the forest as a whole, and can detect a flaw in a single leaf faster than anyone else. My radiologist father is a Perfect Melancholy, and because he catches such small details, he is definitely the one you want reading your x-rays and CT scans.

However, when a Melancholy spots an imperfection in her life, she can become depressed. These individuals are generally very intelligent, highly artistic, but tend to be moody when life isn’t as perfect as they would like.

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities -- the easiest to use personality typing system, designed to improve your relationships!Powerful Choleric

Powerful Cholerics are the third Personality type and are usually recognized by their “powerful” presence, “powerful” walk, and “powerful” body language. When a Choleric walks into a room, the whole energy of the room changes: it either becomes charged with anticipation and a knowing something big is going to happen, or the atmosphere becomes incredibly heavy and stressful, depending on whether or not the Choleric is living in his strengths or in his weaknesses.

Cholerics walk, talk, and gesture with purpose and intensity, especially when they’re focused on something important to them, so they can come off as bossy and unyielding if crossed while they’re on a mission. My residents often notice these traits in me at the beginning of the year when we go over policies at our All Hall Meeting and during fire alarms when I’m running around, yelling to get everyone to get out, and then trying to find out what happened, drill sergeant style.

These “Natural-Born Leaders” also make decisions very quickly and often on very little information, making them perfect for taking charge in a crisis.

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities -- the easiest to use personality typing system, designed to improve your relationships!Peaceful Phlegmatic

Last, but certainly not least, we have Peaceful Phlegmatics, the “Natural-Born Peacemakers.” Personally, Phlegmatics are some of my favorite people – especially since my husband is one of them! When I’m freaking out about one of those bazillion things in life that goes wrong, Phlegmatics are the ones who can peel me off the ceiling and help me calm down. I’m still not sure how they do it, but with their calming presence, calming voice, and relaxed body language, they simply exude peace.

Phlegmatics are content with life and their place in it and are quite possibly the most patient people on the planet. One of my best friends and her now husband, another of my good friends, dated long distance for two years and were engaged – also long distance – for another year before finally getting married and moving to the same state. Because both of them were Phlegmatics, they were fine with the drawn-out courtship and were willing to wait for what they knew was God’s best for them.

The trouble for Phlegmatics comes in that they can appear disinterested or unenthusiastic to the more expressive Personalities. Generally, Phlegmatics have to be identified by process of elimination. While the other types are overtly something – loud, quiet, strong – the Phlegmatic notes a distinct lack of anything obvious. They are the chameleons of the Personality world, able to fit in with any crowd and assume any trait as needed for the given situation. If you’re ever not sure what type someone may be, or they seem to be ALL of the other three, they’re probably Phlegmatic.

The Personalities Is All about RELATIONSHIPS!

While it’s easy to view The Personalities as just another “put you in a box” typing system, it’s important to understand that this tool — and any personality theory, really! — is simply that: a TOOL. It’s a TOOL to improve our relationships, improve our communication skills, and minimize conflict that arises simply because we don’t understand each other!

Speaking of conflict, be sure to check out the 5 MASSIVELY Important Life Lessons about Conflict & Confrontation and snag your FREE Conquering Conflict Resource Guide. There is a TON of information packed into these two resources, and it is ALL information that has the power to radically change your relationships for the better! You’re not going to want to miss out! 😊

Learn More about The Personalities!

While these descriptions may help some of my readers understand the basics of The Personalities, they are by no means exhaustive. If you’re interested in learning more about The Personalities and how to use this information to communicate well with people of all types, check out Wired That Way by Marita Littauer or Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. I was trained in personality theory by these two women, and I highly recommend their materials.

One final, shameless plug: If you’re interested in having someone present The Personalities in an entertaining, informative, and interactive workshop, please let me know. I do these presentations periodically and would be happy to come talk with your Sunday School class, community group, or other events. Just contact me here or let me know in the comments if you’re interested!

I hope this post has been helpful for you in beginning to understand yourself and others. Stay tuned for more adventures in the land of The Personalities!

Read more:

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

post

Confessions of an Incurable Melancholy: Ambushed by Good Intentions

Once we announced we were expecting our first baby, it started. Well-meaning women (and men, at times) would stop me in the hallway or pop in to my office and ask, in that sing-song voice I’ve come to despise, “Soooooo… How are you feeeeeling???”

People who have not talked to me in years all of a sudden come out of the woodwork wanting to know all the personal details of my pregnancy. I’m almost dreading the day I begin actually showing because I know everyone will think my belly is public property and can by fondled at any moment they choose.

Adjusting to my new role

As a Melancholy/Choleric, I am generally comfortable staying mostly in the background, quietly running the show. For the most part, people leave me alone and just let me do my thing, which is great by me. But now, all of a sudden I’m on everyone’s radar. If I enter a building, every woman within a 50’ radius knows and comes running to see how I’m “feeeeeling,” and there is no sneaking quietly in and out of meetings. It’s like I have a flashing neon sign floating above my head at all times declaring, “Pregnant woman here! Stop what you’re doing and come talk to me!”

I don’t generally like being the center of attention anyway, so I am becoming increasingly frustrated and agitated by all the interest I’m suddenly receiving. All these lovely, outgoing people simply want to celebrate with me and love on me, but I interpret the constant attention as bombardment and bothering. After several weeks of trying to hide and avoid people as much as possible, I’ve finally figured out the problem:

Remembering emotional needs is key

As a Melancholy, my most important emotional needs are support, sensitivity, space, and silence. However, I work with a lot of Sanguine people, whose emotional needs are attention, affection, appreciation, and approval. So, when all these dear Sanguines are attacking and fawning over me, they believe they’re giving me what I need, which in their minds is the same thing they would want in my situation: attention and affection. However, the Golden Rule only goes so far, and definitely should not be applied when deciding how to best support and love on someone of a different personality type. Doing unto a Melancholy as you would do unto a Sanguine, just doesn’t work. The heart is in the right place, but the actions don’t translate well.

In order to best support me as a Melancholy, I need the people around me to give me space to be my introverted self, silence to process new information and still get my work done (SURPRISE! Work doesn’t stop just because I’m running to the bathroom every 15 minutes), support when I bring an issue to their attention, and sensitivity to the fact that all this is completely new and slightly overwhelming for me, which means I need even more space and silence to process the newness of it all – a completely foreign concept to most Sanguines who don’t tend to know what they’re thinking until they hear themselves say it out loud and NEED people around to help them process.  

My needs are not the same as your needs

The other piece of this puzzle is that while Sanguines want to tell everyone their exciting news and have a hard time keeping a secret, we Melancholies only want to share our innermost thoughts and secrets with our closest friends. Sanguines will talk to a fence post, but Melancholies have to establish a level of trust and respect with someone before they’re really allowed to see the messiness and excitement of our lives.

I don’t mind talking about the baby or how I’m doing with my best friends or others who have been actively involved in my life before a baby entered the picture. When someone who has been solely an acquaintance and has shown little interest in my life up to this point, all of a sudden is asking a bzillion questions and wanting to know everything about the baby and my birthing preferences, I feel used. You didn’t care about me before, but you care about me now just because I’m pregnant? No, I don’t think so.

Just because I’m having a baby doesn’t mean I’m going to trust everyone with the thoughts and experiences that are closest to my heart anymore than I used to. Please don’t expect me to share openly with you – and don’t be offended if I don’t – if you have not been an important part of my daily life before now.

I’m not intending to be harsh

I realize this post may come across as harsh, but my intent is mostly to help my well-meaning acquaintances and coworkers understand where I’m coming from, why I can seem withdrawn and anti-social, and what they can do to help me feel more comfortable in this new stage of life. I do believe most people are genuinely excited and innocently nosey, but if they really want to support us Melancholies well as we usher life into this world, they need to understand the our unique emotional needs and how to adjust their approach so we won’t feel assaulted by their good intentions.

I hope it helps!

Question for you, readers: Are there any other Melancholies out there who have felt similarly overwhelmed once everyone found out you were expecting? How did you handle it? Any tips would be much appreciated from the Melancholy population out there!

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

Whitewashed Tombs

 

 

 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Matthew 23:25-28 
“I just want it clean, okay?”
I slammed the used micro-fiber cloth into the laundry basket, frustrated with Erik for not understanding the importance of having a spotless house when our guests arrived.

Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

Confessions of an Incurable Melancholy: Schedules, Sickness, & Sabbaths

** After one very long fall of repeat illnesses, I realized it was time for a refresher course on preventative maintenance for this Incurable Melancholy. Enjoy this re-post of an old blog entry as I remind all of us to take better care of ourselves heading into the holiday season.**
For weeks now, I’ve been getting sick. For most people, getting sick is a pretty quick process, but for a Melancholy-Choleric, getting sick doesn’t fit into our schedules, so we just don’t allow our bodies to break down like they’re threatening to do. I’ve sucked on elderberry lozenges like hard candy, and I took up drinking Echinacea tea (though I typically loathe the taste of “dead leaves in water”) solely for the purpose of staying as well as possible. You see, I had four major vocal events to get through in December, and I simply didn’t have time to be sick in bed or lose my voice, so I did anything and everything I could think of to not do so.

The week leading up to this last performance – singing two rather out-of-my-range songs for my cousin’s New Year’s Eve wedding – I had been coughing more frequently and feeling more and more tired. But, I had no time for that nonsense, so I chugged more tea, popped more Echinacea pills, and sucked more elderberry lozenges. I made it through, but barely. During the reception, I began to feel wimpy again, but I still had to get home before I could really allow myself to fall apart.

On the drive back to Texas, I gulped down coke after coke in my attempts to keep my puny, exhausted body awake and alert, and I was ever so thankful that a friend called to talk with me for an hour or more on the tail end of the trip. I kept thinking that if I could just make it home, I could have two entire days to be sick before I was needed anywhere again.

Finally, I did make it home, and after unloading the car, I nearly collapsed onto my bed. I turned off my alarm, took the prescription, knock-me-out cough syrup I keep on hand for these lovely occasions, and determined to spend the entirety of the next day in bed.

This part is where I had to laugh at myself: I had consciously scheduled a day to be sick. Only a Melancholy-Choleric would be so determined to be in control that she would choose her preferred day to fall ill and do whatever it took to follow the plan. What a mess I am!

Tonight, I was reminded that we Melancholies need to be sure to schedule alone time to recharge. (I’m currently reading Taking Out Your Emotional Trash by Georgia Shaffer, which is like having my own personal counselor in a paperback. It’s very good, if you’re looking for something new and helpful to read.) The take away point I learned was that if I don’t have time in my schedule to be sick, then I had better schedule time to prevent it!
The problem had been that I had allowed myself to get run down. I had been super stressed for weeks, then had been with family and friends nonstop since arriving at my childhood home a few days before Christmas. While I had hidden away for short periods of time while I was there, none of those times had been substantial enough to be truly refreshing for this introvert. On top of being physically run down from fighting sickness for so long, I was also mentally and emotionally exhausted from lack of “me time.” I needed to schedule that day alone to do nothing but spend time with God and allow Him to refresh me mind, body, and soul.

No doubt it is for this reason that God instituted the Sabbath, a day of rest, for His people. He knew we needed that down time to stay healthy in all aspects. As God knew, I hadn’t really given myself a Sabbath in weeks, and my body was showing the signs of this neglect. Thankfully, He also saw fit to lead me to a place where I had no choice but to rest in Him and just stopfor a good long while. As I begin to heal from my illness and be restored in both heart and mind, I pray that I will take note of this lesson: Observe the Sabbath! Schedule thy day of rest! And live well without interruption from needless exhaustion and sickness! HERE, HERE!

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to educate and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.