Entries for month: November 2014

Blue Skies and ENTPs

Blue sky

My husband and I were sitting in bed reading one night. For some reason, I stopped reading and started thinking about him. After awhile I had myself worked up into a state of gushing gratitude. I told him, “You know what, John, you are the best husband in the world. I’m grateful for everything you do for me and I want to do something for you. Please tell me one thing I can do to show you how much I love you.”

“Let me finish reading my paper,” he said.

Gushy moments are not John’s thing and talking about his good qualities just embarrasses him. He actually enjoys it more if I tease him about his faults.

Since I can’t thank John for being John, maybe I can thank his type. After all, he isn’t responsible for that. So thank you, ENTP personality type, for all of the good things you have brought to my life.

Thank you, ENTP personality type, for making people who see goodness everywhere they look. Unlike most spouses, John almost always comes home from work with good stories to tell about people (“He’s a smart guy,” or “She has amazing energy.”) When we’re at social events, I’m often surprised later at the positive qualities he notices about people. He’s not unrealistic, and has an almost psychic ability to spot troubled people, but most of what he sees is talent and effort.   

He does that for me too. He tells me good things about myself that I hadn’t noticed, or ignored because I was too busy thinking about my imperfections. Once I was telling him about a difficult decision I had to make. He didn’t comment, so I said, “Aren’t you going to say something?” He said, “I’m not worried. Whenever you have a problem you run around in confusion for awhile, but then a few days later you always have it figured out.” In my entire life, I have never felt such relief from another person’s comment. 

Thank you, ENTP personality type, for making people that love the new and the interesting. Living with John, I always hear about people finding clever solutions to problems. Last week he told me about a pianist who fell in love with Handel’s Water Music. She wanted to share her excitement with others, so she had her grand piano put on a moving platform and towed by a car. That way she could play the lovely tunes while being pulled around town.

Whenever I tell him about a new idea, he is very interested. When I was going through all of my new enthusiasm for psychological type or homeschooling our children, he was excited right along with me. (For an INFJ, that’s heaven.) He doesn’t devote his life to a few new ideas, as I have, but he’ll pull them out whenever he thinks it will help people move forward toward their goals.

His love of the new is always there, even in the oddest situations. We were at a dinner party on the day that Tiger Woods’ extramarital affairs hit the news. Everyone except John was spouting off opinions. Finally someone said, “What do you think, John?”

“I guess I hadn’t thought about it,” he answered. “What amazed me was that my computer alerted me there was a big story about Tiger Woods in the news today. I’d never seen that before.”

Thank you, ENTP personality type, for making people who have so much belief in people, and in their ability to change the world for the better. In his work as a management consultant, people are often telling John, “We can’t do that,” and he is often telling them, “Yes you can.” By the time he gets done talking, they believe it too. He convinces them they can do greater things on a much larger scale than they had ever envisioned. (He’s learned not to do that with his family, however, at those times when they need comfort rather than inspiration.)

Thank you, ENTP personality type, for making people who are such creative problem solvers, who can take black and white and turn it into gold. Once, a friend was complaining about a man who had gone into an angry tirade during a meeting, so the group spent the rest of the meeting trying to placate him. John surprised us by saying, “Angry people are great for a group, because they have energy and want to do something. You just have to help them articulate the positive goals that they stand for, and then, ask them to help the group reach those goals.”

This is the way many of our conversations go. I feel anxious because a situation seems hopeless and conflicted, but a few minutes later, John turns it into a great opportunity to make the world a better place. 

When there is a really difficult problem that most people would run from, John runs toward it. He knows that he has the analytical skills to understand problems thoroughly, the creative ability to find innovative solutions, and the contagious enthusiasm to sell people on those solutions.

He tells me that his creativity doesn’t lie in pulling solutions out of his own mind, but in listening to people and drawing out the solutions that are already in the back of their minds. Then, because he gets so excited about them, he is able to get them excited about themselves.

John and I were talking about what we would compare each other to in nature, and I immediately said that when I think of him, I think of blue sky. After all, most human problems lie not in reality, but in our perceptions of reality, and no one can blow away our dark and discouraged perceptions and turn them into blue skies better than an ENTP.

 

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