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A family managing stress during challenging times

Coping with COVID-19

Jun 01, 2020
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Coronavirus COVID-19, the pandemic that continues to wreak havoc upon the world, has thrown each of us into a new way of being. Isolation and social distancing, our new normal, catapults each of us into a surreal reality. Who would have thought that toilet paper would be a hot commodity?! Stressful times indeed! From empty grocery shelves, to lost income and jobs, families isolated at home, and sheer panic at the sound of a cough or sneeze, we are living lives that we have only read about in the history books.

Our lives are rapidly changing. Education has turned to online learning. For those fortunate people who still have jobs, many are now working from home. Curbside or home delivery are encouraged by restaurants and stores. Essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies strive to enforce social distancing and keep shelves stocked. Healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line day in and day out (thank you for your dedication and sacrifice). Fear for our health (getting sick or losing loved ones to this pandemic), emotional, and economic well-being, takes stress to a whole new level.

With many families living, learning, and working, under one roof, as you can imagine, tension and anxiety are at a pinnacle. Using personality type language, we call a reaction to extreme stress, being "in the grip." In the grip refers to those moments where we act, feel, and think out of character for ourselves. During these times people often see us as irrational or out-of-control. Extreme stress can trigger a grip experience.

In this Covid-19 experience, families are stressed, isolated, and forced into new ways of conducting business and education. Mandated to stay home, a variety of personality types in tight quarters and under stress may be like a powder keg ready to explode! All personality types are deeply affected by stress. During times of extreme stress, we are often the worst versions of ourselves. We tend to act childish and out of character.


People who take in information through Sensing in the outer world (ESTP/ESFP) like to experience life using their senses in the here and now. When under extreme stress, they catastrophize the future by becoming confused and seemingly out of touch with reality.  Sensing used in the inner world (ISTJ/ISFJ) emphasizes reflection and remembering experiences, especially remembering details. Under extreme stress, they too catastrophize. This leads to the inability to manage facts which leads to confusion and fear of the future, imagining all kinds of negative outcomes.

People who take in information through Intuition in the outer world (ENTP/ENFP) enjoy new ideas and possibilities and are enthusiastic about them. Under extreme stress, they may obsess over unimportant details and become withdrawn and depressed. Intuition used in the inner world (INTJ/INFJ) also focuses on possibilities, however these are often long-term possibilities and are often complex and visionary. When under extreme stress, they may obsess over details in their outer world and attempt to control these, along with over-indulgence in sensual pleasures such as over-eating.

People who make decisions using Thinking in the outer world (ESTJ/ENTJ), value competence and control through organizing their environment. Under extreme stress, they become over emotional but pride themselves on control, and they do everything they can to keep it hidden. Thinking used in the inner world (ISTP/INTP) focuses on analyzing pros and cons. Under extreme stress, they also become emotional, but on the outside. We see them drowning in emotion, often using excessive logic.

People who make decisions using Feeling in the outer world (ESFJ/ENFJ) enjoy helping people and creating harmony. When under extreme stress, they may turn inward, becoming overly critical towards themselves and rigid with "all or nothing" thinking. Those with a Feeling preference used in the inner world (ISFP/INFP) makes decisions based on their personal values. Under extreme stress, these sensitive types become outwardly aggressive and critical.

Research shows that all types benefit from exercise and getting out in nature to help bring them back into balance. More information on how to cope with grip experiences can be found in Naomi Quenk's (2000) book, In the Grip: Understanding Type, Stress, and the Inferior Function.

The bottom line for us is to recognize that we all may be acting out of character during these difficult times, so be patient. How do you react when someone says, "get over it" or "get a grip?" I suspect not very well. If we could, we would! For introverted types, having alone time to reflect often helps, and for extraverted types, it is often beneficial to talk with a trusted friend or loved one. If you find yourself unable to move beyond the grip, do seek professional help. We are all in this together, and you are not alone.  


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Type Tip #6

You know the scenario - you are coming up with ideas fast and furious. If you want others to follow your way of expressing your thoughts, put a frame around them that explains how others should listen. For example, if you are brainstorming ideas you may say, "I am playing with possible ideas but have not selected any one." Now the listener knows these are not final choices but possible choices. This allows the young listener to better sort the information being shared.

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Motivation matters. It is the core of our personality that motivates us, and this shines through in several different ways depending upon our personality type. See how motivation manifests itself in teens with different types.

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Dec 10, 2019
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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The Z Problem Solving Model

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Feb 17, 2021
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Jul 06, 2021
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Oct 04, 2021
Kesstan Blandin, PhD
KESSTAN BLANDIN, PhD is the Vice President of Research and Development at the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type in Gainesville, FL, where she conducts research in Jungian typology and archetypes.
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Nov 03, 2021
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Starting with an understanding of communication styles can make a difference in all our relationships.

In this third article of "From the Kids" Series, Yvonne Nelson-Reid discusses how understanding type differences can help teenagers navigate the complications of high school dating. Her teenage daughter describes the positive impact that learning about, and appreciating, communication style differences based on personality type, had on her own relationship.

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Feeling and Feedback: Type Tip #14

Young children with a Feeling preference may interpret a lack of feedback as being undervalued or disliked. It is not an issue of ego or self-esteem. Since the Feeling preference is typically about doing something for someone, they need assurance that what they did met the need. Parents with a Thinking preference may underestimate the importance of feedback to a child who prefers Feeling.

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Word Choice Matters: Type Tip #15

Frame your question with the mental process (Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, Feeling) you want them to use. Your choice of words influences which process is used in the response: "Find the flaw..." (Thinking), "Help me explore other possibilities..." (Intuition), "What do we already know?" (Sensing), and "What makes this important?" (Feeling). 

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Students using their strengths and exercising their stretches to get along

Student Outcomes (Research Series – NC Part 3)

Jan 05, 2022
Kesstan Blandin, PhD
KESSTAN BLANDIN, PhD is the Vice President of Research and Development at the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type in Gainesville, FL, where she conducts research in Jungian typology and archetypes.
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This is the third, and final article of the two-year study at Combs Elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the MMTIC® instrument and system was comprehensively incorporated into the school system. In this article Kesstan Blandin highlights the education the third-grade students received on decision-making using the psychological type Z-model, and student outcomes for the study.

The seven main student outcomes were: (1) developing type awareness, (2) enhancing their self-awareness, (3) advocating for their choices, (4) challenging themselves to improve their stretches, (5) improving classroom community, (6) enhancing their self-management, and (7) promoting motivation and engagement. Three of these outcomes are discussed in more detail.

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Teens living their best life with a healthy sense of their own identity and respect for each other

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning (SEL Series – Part 1)

Feb 01, 2022
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Imagine a world with well-rounded, caring, emotionally aware, and capable people living their best life with a healthy sense of their own identity and respect for others. Isn't this what we all want? In this article, the first in a series, Yvonne Nelson-Reid explores the interrelationship between personality type and the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) movement, and how that connection can benefit the healthy development of youth and adults alike.

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Mother and daughter understanding the type differences of how they manage time

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Self-Management (SEL Series – Part 3)

Apr 04, 2022
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Personality type awareness offers a way to manage stress, be more comfortable with our stretches, and further develop our strengths. This month, in this third article of the SEL series, on the core competency Self-Management, Yvonne Nelson-Reid highlights how we can resolve the conflicts that arise when dealing with one another's opposite preferences, especially the Judging and Perceiving preference pair. Self-management, especially in stressful moments, becomes easier with an understanding of personality type.

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Second Chance: Type Tip #18

Sometimes preteens, with a preference for Extraversion, say things first, before they think it through and then may feel they have to stand by what was said. The strategy of "second chance" allows an alternative. When a student said something that might be considered rude, I would say, "Second chance. Do you want to say that another way?" So often they would. If a child just wanted to be rude, they would say a second rude comment. When that happens then you know it is not Extraversion but is rudeness and you can give an appropriate consequence. 

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Get ready for school: taking the MMTIC assessment for self-awareness can make your school year less stressful

Back to School: Don’t Forget Supplies for Self-Awareness

Jul 28, 2022
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Back to school! Now more than ever, young people need social and emotional guidance. In this article Yvonne Nelson-Reid encourages giving your child the gift of the MMTIC® assessment to help your child become self-aware. Type awareness teaches your child what their natural strengths are and where they may find learning challenging.

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Siblings in conflict can use type awareness to navigate their differences and appreciate each other's natural type preferences

It is Okay to be Me! Navigating Sibling Conflict

Aug 30, 2022
Sandra Etherington
SANDRA ETHERINGTON is a mother of two and the host of the Family Personalities podcast, a show that helps break down personality type models so that we can use them in our everyday parenting. A UCLA alumna, with a background in mathematics, Sandra has a love of models that help us understand humans and our interactions with one another.
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This month’s article is by Sandra Etherington, a mother of two who is an MBTI® and MMTIC® certified professional. Sandra eloquently shares her own parenting experience dealing with her children and a conflict that arose between Thinking and Feeling preferences.

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The Joy is in the Details: Type Tip #24

Children with a Sensing preference enjoy sharing all the rich details of an event. How could you possibly understand the ending if you don't know all the pieces? When asked to describe a presentation at school a young child who prefers Sensing started with "We were on Unit 22 - Rounding" and then she continued with explicit details. Their joy is sharing. If you do not have time to listen to everything it would be better to say, "Tell me Chapters 1 and 2 now and save the rest of the story for later. I can listen better then." Hurrying a child's (Sensing preference) narration can send a secondary message that the details are not important when they really are important to them.

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