Friday, February 19, 2010

Getting Into Character: The Sensor's Friday and that means we are going to take a look at another facet of personality. The last two weeks we looked at the first of four "couples". I should tell you that these come from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI. I'll talk more about the test and its history later.

You should have been able to pick yourself, your spouse and possibly your children out of one of the descriptions. And for my writer friends, you can do this for your characters. Now you can assign yourself (or someone you know well) a letter--E for Extravert or I for Introvert. The population is split roughly 50/50 between Extraverts and Introverts. If you are still not sure if you are an E or an I, look at how you approach homework or big work projects. If you are an Extravert you will enjoy working with others and seeing what everyone is contributing. You may schedule group work times that tend to have a party atmosphere with talking, laughing, brainstorming, and snacks. If you are an Introvert, you will prefer having time alone to work on your individual part of the project and may not need or want any input until it is time to put all the parts together. You will find yourself longing to finish group time so you can process, concentrate, and construct on your own.

Today we'll move on to the first part of the second pair--Sensors. This pair deals with how we perceive the world and all the information around us. How do you gather information? What do you pay attention to while sorting through all the data that bombards us daily? For the Sensor, you will pay attention to actual facts and details. You gather information through your five senses. What can you hear? What do you see? How does it taste? What do you feel? How does it smell?

The Sensor is concerned with the practical, common sense information they can gain from observation and first-hand experience. They value accuracy and what can be seen and proven. A Sensor will be able to tell you "what is". They are methodical and proceed in a step-by-step fashion. Sensors like rules and they value tradition, often looking at what has worked in the past to attack a problem or situation today.

Sensors will stick with a project until it is done. They are the people who will finish reading a book they can't stand or complete a movie not to their liking because they don't like to leave things undone o they might miss something important.

If you see yourself in this description, rejoice because you are most likely a master at seeing things for what they are and sensing practical methods of dealing with the information in your life. You behave practically and keep tradition and the common alive for those close to you. You are most likely a good communicator because you see and can present facts and details; you are orderly in your presentation of information and tend to be straightforward.

If you don't see yourself here, there is a high probability that you see your honey. If so, you may find yourself asking why s/he always does things the same way. Or you may wonder why s/he can't break the rules and look at the whole picture--not just the facts. You will need to deliver information in a more concrete manner than the way you deal with it. And don't try to win an argument--if s/he says it was this way, you can be assured the information if accurate. Be thankful that your significant other will have a plan and work at it until completion.

If you see your child in this description, they are going to want things explained in facts and details. S/he will need your help to "think outside the box" or to let loose with a little creativity. Fact-based subjects in school will come more easily for him/her than subjects like art, literature, philosophy, or drama. S/he may also have trouble with theology or religion because they want "proof" and "facts".

If you see yourself in this description, but not your child or spouse, you will need to beware of treating their opinions as less simply because they are not based on things you can see or prove. You will be wise if you learn to add your penchant for the facts to their ease at seeing what lies beneath the surface.

This one is a little more difficult to call out in others because so much of the processing takes place beneath the surface. I am a Sensor and so is Justice. My husband is not and neither is Jewel. Jot has tendencies for both, but seems to lean more toward the Sensor as well. A classic example of Justice's Sensor-ness is if I tell them it is 7:30 and time to go to the bus. He refuses to take my word for it and will look (taking in info. through senses) at the clock himself. If the time is actually 7:29, he will be sure to correct me (accuracy). And Jot, as a kindergartner, went through the "Too Good for Bullying" program from the school guidance counselor. She told them, "You are the boss of your body. No one else can tell you what you have to do with your body." Well, the next time I told him to clean up the toys in his room, this statement was parroted back to me (accuracy and sticking to the rules). It took a phone call from me and a personal visit to her office to convince him that parents also have a say in what your body can be expected to do (as long as they are not asking you to do something wrong, of course).

Who do you see in your life that is a Sensor and how might this information help your relationship?

Next week we will look at the flip-side of Sensor--the Intuitive.

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