The Life of Bon: Personality clash

Monday, November 07, 2011

Personality clash

There exists something in this world called the Myers-Briggs personality test.

It is a test that measures and breaks down four different parts of your personality.  There are four categories and a person is one of each category.  So you are either
E- Extroverted- get energy from spending time with people or
I - Introverted- get energy by spending time alone,

S- Sensing- trust five senses to gather information or
N- iNtuitive- rely on intuition to gather information,

T- thinking- make decisions based on logic and reason or
F- feeling- make decisions based on personal values and emotions,

J- Judging- more comfortable with scheduled, structured environments or
P- Perceiving- flexible and diverse, more comfortable with open, casual environments.

If you want more information (and more accurate information!) go here.  To take the test and see what you are, go here.

I am an ESFP... meaning I get energy from being around people, gather information based on the five senses, make decisions based on my feelings, and am flexible and casual.

Hubs is almost my exact opposite.  He is an INFJ.  This means he gets energy from being alone, gathers information through intuition, makes decisions based on his emotions, and likes structure and following the rules.

So far the biggest hurdle for the two of us has been the last category... the J/P difference.

Js like structure and rules and social protocol.  Ps like spontaneity and craziness and taking people by surprise. 

Por Ejemplo:  (Watch out!  I've warned you before that I switch into Spanish mode at anytime!)

Last weekend Hubs and I were sitting at a stop light.  I looked over to see two guys in two different cars talking to each other.  Now it's not every day you see two guys, two cars, windows rolled down, chatting it up at a stoplight.
"Hubs!  What do you think these dudes are talking about?"  I asked. 
Hubs looked over.  "I don't know,"  Hubs doesn't get too involved in the lives of perfect strangers.

I continued to watch them.  It looked like a dang good conversation. And I am all about being a part of a dang good conversation.  Naturally, I wanted to join in.

I rolled down my window.  "HEY!  What are you guys talking about?!?!?!" I yelled over to them.

Hubs whipped around, mortified.
"Bon!  Are you serious?" he said to me as he hastily rolled up my window and put the child lock on it.
"No!  No!  No!  That is not okay!  You are not to do that in the car.  You do it again and all shotgun privileges will be revoked."

I pouted.  Folded my arms and looked out the window.  No one likes getting child-locked after all.

"There's no reason to be mad," Hubs reasoned after I went a few minutes without saying a word.  "All this is an example of my J not wanting you to holler things out the window.  You're a P, so you think it's all fun and games, but my J just can't handle it.  Please understand."

I understood. 

But that doesn't mean I have to like it!

Afterall, Ps love having freedom, hollering, breaking rules, and doing things their own way.

The problem is I come from a long line of Ps.  Rule breakers.  People who march to the beat of their own drum.

When Hubs was first introduced to my family, the J inside of him was screaming for structure.  Family get togethers are pure chaos with eight siblings and fourteen little nieces and nephews running around.  The J in Hubs was on a constant and futile search for order. 

The first time we went to a movie with my family, Hubs didn't understand why all of my aunts, uncles, and siblings thought it was okay to talk through the whole thing.

"I don't see anything wrong with it," I said, "I think it makes the movie more fun."
"This isn't your living room, Bon.  You are in a public setting!"
"So what?  You can still talk when you leave your house."
"No.  Not in a movie theatre.  That's not following social rules.  It bothers the people around you!"
"Oh.... I guess I never thought about the people around me."
"Exactly!  And you have to put your legs down too!  You can't just have your feet up on the seat!  It's rude to the people sitting in front of you!" Hubs scolded.

Sheesh.  These Js, they really don't let you have any fun.

This weekend we went to a movie with my mom and my brother and his wife.  The movie experience consisted of every possible thing a J could hate.  FIRST we arrived twenty minutes late because of poor driving directions.  THEN on our way into the theatre we saw my Aunt Reeta pop out of the theatre side door searching for her husband.  THEN we pretty much snuck into the theatre because the line was too long for us to wait for tickets, and we were already late.  THEN my mom kept talking to us in the theatre before remembering Hubs intense desire for silence while watching a movie.  THEN I started falling asleep in the movie.  THEN there was some candy being passed around the group that was a) snuck in from outside the theatre and b) in a very loud plastic bad.  THEN my mom answered a phone call in the theatre.  ("Hi Brother Jensen!  I'm in a movie, that's why I'm whispering!...")  THEN I forgot the rules and put my feet up on the chair in front of me before Hubs reminded me with his look of death.

As we left the theatre, I felt certain that Hubs would ban me from ever going to a movie with him again.  Just like he banned me from hollering out his car window.  The J in Hubs was most definitely begging to never go to a movie with his P wife and her P family ever again.

The first few minutes of the drive home were silent.
"Sorry about all the craziness in the theatre..." I trailed off, not really knowing what to say next.

"Hm?" Hubs looked confused.

"You know... the breaking rules, not following social protocol..."

"Oh, that,"  Hubs laughed softly and reached for my hand.

"It's okay.  In fact, it was kind of fun."


You see... that, my friends is the first step in a J's conversion to the P side.


  1. Amber is a total J, I am a total P. All those things that drive Gregg nuts about our family are the same thigns that Amber has a hard time with.

    At a movie I hate paying for snacks, but Amber thinks it's correct and we support the theatres by doing it. I sneak candy in, Amber buys a kid pack everytime we go. We don't go to expensive theatres, instead we go to the cheap theatre and the money we save goes to the snack pack and "supporting the theatre".

    Amber is always thinking about other people and the right way to do something when it never crosses my mind. Sometimes it drives me nuts. For example I have to wait now in lines at big social gatherings for food until the kids have all gotten their food. I used to always be the first no matter what. Now Amber tells me to wait until others have been served.

    You are a total P though Bonnie. As P as they come, and yes most of our family is too. I am an ENFP, dad is an ISTJ. Isn't that funny, Dad and I are total opposites. If I had to guess Amber I would guess an ISFJ.

    So funny!

  2. the matriarch of the P family, a bit of clarification.

    First of all, you did not exactly "sneak" into the theatre. The ticket lady said to go on in, because there was some confusion about the ticket purchase, AND the line was super long. MY daughter would NEVER dishonestly sneak into a movie theater (right, Bonnie???).

    Secondly, our family gatherings are not "pure chaos." I work hard to establish order, calm and serenity. We have the normal amount of "activity" for a family our size. Any other level of noise, confusion, etc, is abnormal.

    Finally, I offer Hubs my sympathy. He did choose the MOST P person in our family. I'm actually hopeful that you might "temper" some of Bonnie's "spirit." Good luck with that.

    Loved the post, Bon...from your ESFP mom