Temperaments, defined

Last year I blogged about a funny (in retrospect) incident where the bumper of a government car we were driving was ripped from its socket, thanks to a lousy driver who tore out of the next parking spot. The three of us went through the necessary actions of calling the police, filling out paperwork, making the car road worthy, and all the required actions for a parking lot incident in the government arena. The driver’s lack of accountability (not to mention the latent humor of the whole thing) drove my recollection.

Well, I was driving to work today when that incident floated by in my head. Only this time, I’d been thinking about MBTI personality type theory and Jungian temperaments. I went over in my mind how the three of us – Micki, Landon, and I – reacted. And I had to stop the car, I was laughing so hard, which made me late for work.

I now know that, if any of us ever questions our Jungian temperaments, we only need to think back to this instance to be reassured. Let’s just take a look, shall we?

What Landon Did
Landon was serious. He stood guard, talked with the police, served as the official voice and made sure paperwork was in order and the rules were followed. He worried about the fact his name was on the driver’s paperwork and wondered if we had broken any governmental travel rules (we hadn’t).

What Landon Is
Landon is a Stabilizer (SJ). That temperament is practical, cautious, down to earth, respecting of rules and authority, and a guardian of traditions, institutions and people. They also like to be prepared for any kind of contingency.

What I did
I started the ball rolling, parsing the procedures for accidents (until that got boring), brainstormed options, thought about who we should call and what needed to be done in a big-picture kind of way. I did my best to lighten the mood, make everyone laugh (even the cop) and restore our harmonious camraderie by cracking jokes, taking photos, and soothing tensions. The next morning I made phone calls back to travel to cover all the bases for Landon.

What I am
I am a Catalyst/Idealist. That temperament is enthusiastic, intuitive, seeks self knowledge, and is inspiring. They’re gregarious with complex communication, playful and fun-loving, but also helpful. They’re all about relationships and interconnectedness.

What Micki did
Micki got down and dirty and examined the bumper, trying to figure out what happened, what might be done, and how to get the system back in place — thinking of ways to fix the car so we could drive it home. She made the phone call to the police department and, when a police car pulled in but drove past us to another incident in the lot, she went right after it to bring them to us. She left Landon and me alone to venture off to buy some duct tape (an unauthorized procurement, mind you), and proceded to take charge of fixing the bumper.

What Micki Is
Micki is a Theorist/Rational (NT). That temperament is a problem solver, a natural at systems, an achiever who respects competency and tends to ask why. NTs are independent and constantly acquiring knowledge.

What the Lousy Driver Did
He or she hit our car while pulling out of the parking space beside us (poorly, I might add), then took advantage of the fact no one was there (or yelling) so he/she zoomed off, obviously anticipating no consequences.

What the Lousy Driver Might Be
Let’s pretend he’s an Improviser/Artisan (SP), mainly because that simply makes this a tidy illustration. That temperament is an impulsive, resourceful risk-taker who is action-oriented. Improvisers don’t plan so much; they’re great at adapting to what happens and handling the moment. They’re always looking for opportunities and confident they can deal with any situation. (Mind you, I’m not suggesting Inprovisers/Artisans are under-handed, like our Lousy Driver friend.)

What do you think? You can’t make this stuff up. And you can’t ask for a better illustration of type and temperament, either.

If you’re curious about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the concept of personality type, and temperaments, drop me an email.

3 thoughts on “Temperaments, defined

  1. Patrick Josaphat says:

    Hello Jennifer! My Name is Patrick. May I have you permission to use those 4 photos of each temperament personally on a forum? It is PersonalityCafe if you wanted to know. Great site & have a good afternoon!

    1. Jennifer Crow says:

      Sure! I put those together using royalty free art. The original concept can be found on users.trytel.com/~jfalt/colours/index-ad.html. The small images are part of a larger poster we use for group sessions. If you would like it, let me know and I can email that to you as well.

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