I wrote about being tolerant of and kind toward those who are “fed up” with political discussion for the last several days. I tried to approach the topic from different perspectives in order to illuminate different reasons why this attitude might develop. As I was finishing up the three posts, there were several other topics that kept popping up about which I really wanted to write that I had to put on the shelf for a few days. Today I am covering the first of the hodge podge of ideas, which I equate to a tumbling tumbleweed, that plagued me as I wrote the weekend political posts.
I wrote the series of political posts as much for myself as for others. According to the Myers Briggs Type Inventory, a psychometric assessment tool often used in in organizational setting, I am an ENTJ. It is the J assessment in that inventory that is the part of myself with which I struggle the most. I am not going into any great detail here, but I will simply list the description of the type from the Wikipedia entry:
ENTJs are among the rarest of types, accounting for about 2–5% of those who are formally tested. They tend to be self-driven, motivating, energetic, assertive, confident, and competitive. They generally take a big-picture view and build a long-term strategy. They typically know what they want and may mobilize others to help them attain their goals. ENTJs are often sought out as leaders due to an innate ability to direct groups of people. Unusually influential and organized, they may sometimes judge others by their own tough standards, failing to take personal needs into account.
From what I know of myself, this assessment matches my own. It also helps me to understand why I was not successful as a cog in the wheels of the academic service industry when I worked in libraries and museums. Both “professions” are hold overs from earlier days and define themselves without external standardization or qualifying examinations. My type of personality is eventually viewed as a trouble maker within hierarchical systems that block my advancement for technical or nepotistic reasons. When I could not work my way into a leadership position, I would grow frustrated. And these career areas are extremely low paying even when advanced degrees are expected for consideration for hiring as an hourly employee and one who was exempt from overtime pay.
Deadend jobs and career frustration when I worked for others lead me to believe I have to work for myself. I do become sad when I view myself as a woman in her 50s who has still not made her mark on the world professionally. It makes me feel like a failure. Funks like this one do not usually last more than a day or so, but I still have a couple days like this per month. Success beyond money is usually just a matter of perception and mood.
Knowing what things should be like and seeing multiple paths that should lead there can be almost debilitating when progress is slow. I judge myself harshly, and I judge others in an equally severe manner, unless I am being mindful. I know what I should be capable of doing, and I expect other people to be at least as capable as I am. This gets me in trouble. Making judgments and having too high of expectations lead me to always be dissatisfied. This is why I am spending some time this election season attempting to understand other people perspectives. I don't expect to agree with their beliefs, but I can understand why they feel the way they do. I can be kind and empathetic, but it doesn't come naturally to me. It is hard work and I often end up learning as much about myself as the topic I cover when I decide I have to write on a topic.
I tend to pay attention to the recurrent thoughts even if I don't know what they mean at first. These thoughts of being too judgmental rolled all over my consciousness this past weekend dispersing seeds that are anchoring themselves in good spots to wait for rain. This was but the first shoot to spring up.