Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I took this test like several folks before me and I'd say it's all correct except for the very last two words...

You Are An ESTJ

The Guardian

You're a natural leader and quick, logical decision maker.

Goals are important in your life, and you take many steps to achieve them.

You enjoy interacting with others, mostly through work related activities.

Your high energy level means you are great at getting things done!

In love, you tend to bring stability to relationships.

You feel comfortable being in charge, and you enjoy being a provider.

At work, you take charge. You thrive in structured environments and don't mind enforcing the rules.

You would make a great teacher, judge, or police detective.

How you see yourself: Realistic, stable, and pragmatic

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Rigid, bound to rules, and a bad listener

Now, I asked my husband if he thought that made sense and he said he didn't think I was perceived as a bad listener at all. Perhaps what is meant in this context is that I'm not a "good listener" when I'm being the "in charge, enforcer, realistic, rigid, bound to rules" parts of myself. I know that I generally don't feel open to listening if I perceive that someone is trying to talk their way out of something that I have determined already to be their issue or fault or problem. I can totally be a hard ass about things and very black and white in communication sometimes, but then I have also been told that I'm very articulate and eloquent too which usually lends itself to listening and sharing. Obviously we don't all react exactly the same in every situation regardless of our personality type, but I'm thinking about this and fishing for some examples in my memories...

I'm definitely not trying to get out of having flaws, DO NOT get me wrong, I have many flaws other than possibly not being a good listener and if anything I think it's important to look at how people perceive us and how our body language/communication can play a part in creating either a positive or negative outcome as we interact with others. Each of us can be easily generalized, but there are other factors to be considered which contribute to our personalities and the mutations they experience as life and other circumstances effect us. I know I don't want to be perceived as a bad listener, that definitely stings a little and I'm going to have a hard time not mulling it over awhile and keeping it in mind for when I interact with people. I really cherish the times when I've been able to be there for someone to listen and to support them or encourage them and maybe it's my definition of listener that needs to change a little too. Perhaps I was seeing it as one thing when that isn't always the best way to listen... Or the only way to listen...

I listened to an 87yr old woman today, I listened well and I heard her say she was heartbroken over being old and having her body fail her. I have the pleasure of knowing many elderly people through my work and I'm increasingly aware that we are so bad to our elders in this country. I'm astounded at how we push them aside and often discard them when their minds are still sharp and ripe with history. The lovely woman I worked with today has lost a great deal of her hearing and her sight is so-so she also has some trouble with fine motor skills like penmanship. Throughout the process of checking her in and discovering she was without many of the details we would have liked to have for her visit with us (medication list, allergy information etc.) she kept a brave face and laughed about being forgetful and such, but once I got her alone my listening skills kicked in and I had her in tears telling of how alone she felt and how invisible. Turns out, last weekend brought about a family get together and nobody would talk to her because of her hearing difficulties. She was so saddened by people not even trying, people who should know better than to discard her like that. I told her it was their loss and that I was sure she had many good stories to tell. I benefited from our time together today. I will cherish her smile when I told her I would love to hear her stories and even more, I will cherish her disbelief when she asked, "do you even have time to listen to me?" To which I replied, "absolutely."

We cannot let go of these beautiful people just because they are harder to talk to sometimes or need a little more help or patience to get around. We cannot miss out on what they have to tell us about our history and the lessons they've learned from surviving. We cannot see beauty as only being without wrinkles or in perfect health and with all bodily functions in good working order. We cannot let them feel invisible, nobody deserves that.


Raven said...

Thank you.

always sunny said...

fun huh!?
i think the thing about the listening is, that is exactly it- "they don't get you" and i think when people dont get you, they dont know you- and they are inclined to read you wrongly. if there is anyone in the whole wide world that will listen to me, it's you.