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Understanding personality type differences can help turn holiday chaos into holiday cheer

Happy Holiday Type Tips for All

Dec 05, 2023
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), 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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How do you celebrate the holidays? Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Boxing Day, or Omisoka, December brings together family and friends. With great excitement and anticipation, we all look forward to seeing loved ones. As wonderful as it is to see each other, misunderstandings leading to stress and drama often arise when different personalities mix. Here are some Holiday Type Tips to help get you through the season: 

Extraversion: Children who prefer Extraversion (E) may be eager to interact and connect with everyone right from the start. Non-stop chatter may be annoying to some family members. Sometimes the energy boost that people with a preference for Extraversion get from interaction can be overwhelming to others. Validate their need for talking while gently reminding them that listening is valuable, too.   

Introversion: Respect that your child who prefers Introversion (I) may not want to mingle with everyone over a long period of time. Allow them some quiet time away from the crowd. Forcing them to interact with cousins they have not seen in a long time could be stressful. It may take them time to warm up to everyone. Expecting them to sit on Santa’s lap may be a tall order! Offer them a comfort item to hold onto (a favorite stuffed toy or blanket) and let them know it is okay to stand beside Santa for that treasured photo, even if it means several feet apart. 

Sensing: Traditions are particularly important to people who prefer Sensing (S). They remember those yearly traditions and expect everyone else to, as well, and if any are forgotten, you will hear about it. Yes, I am speaking from personal experience. Rather than trying to remember all the details myself (I prefer Intuition), I rely on my children with a Sensing preference to keep our traditions going. They feel important and pride themselves on experiencing the moment and remembering the past. 

Intuition: The more imaginative, the better for those children with an Intuition (N) preference. Include them in brainstorming party plans and coming up with creative ways to celebrate. Let their quirky and original style shine through in their choice of clothing and ideas. The more ingenious the gifts, the better! 

Thinking: Children who prefer Thinking (T) may not feel comfortable with physical affection. So, if old “Aunt Myrtle” shows up to the party wanting hugs from the kids, respect their need for boundaries. As for Santa, they might just think it is a ridiculous idea (not logical)! 

Feeling: Be aware that children with a Feeling (F) preference will want to keep everyone happy and not let anyone down at the expense of their own needs. They seek harmony, so any holiday stress may be extra difficult for them. They may hug a relative because they think they should or to make their parents happy. Talk to them ahead of time and let them know it is okay to set boundaries.  

Judging: Understand that your child with a preference for Judging (J) may need to know the plans so that they can feel less anxious about what comes next. Remember, they like to control their environment with plans and schedules. Let them know where you will be going and who you will be seeing so that they can mentally prepare for the gatherings. 

Perceiving: Flexible and spontaneous, children who prefer Perceiving (P) will likely go with the flow over the holidays. They love surprises! However, if you have some place to be at a specific time, you may want to remind them as the time gets closer since they may be busy playing and lose track of time. 

Bear in mind, these type tips apply to adults as well as children (or the Inner Child in all of us)! All in all, there is no doubt that, as joyful as the holiday season can be, it also brings its share of grief. Understanding personality type differences can help turn holiday chaos into holiday cheer where each person feels valued and appreciated, alleviating stress by letting everyone just be themselves.  

Happy holidays from People Stripes! May these type tips be our gift to you, bringing you peace, joy, and love with the hope of acceptance this holiday season. 

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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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Shifting your perspective to see the gifts of a child's personality preference can help you find gratitude in moments of frustration.

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What are your kids' personality preferences and have you ever found yourself frustrated by them? In this month's article, Sandra Etherington shares how to shift your perspective to discover reasons to be grateful for your child's individual personality preferences.

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Strengths and Stretches: Type Tip #28

When children are using their personality type preferences, we say they are using their STRENGTHS. Using a strength feels natural, comfortable, easy, and typically requires less concentration and focus. When the task at hand requires them to use their opposite preferences, we say they are STRETCHING to do the task. When a child has to stretch to complete a task, they may feel awkward, uncomfortable, and it typically requires more time, greater concentration, and someone to show them what to do. When stretching, the younger the child the more help they may need to successfully complete the task.

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Good Type development is using your Type strengths and Type stretches appropriately in any situation.

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Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
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The language we use when talking about personality type, or Type, is directly linked to how we understand it. In this article, Yvonne Nelson-Reid answers the question "What is personality type, really?" and outlines why Type language matters.

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Meeting Our Needs With Respect: Type Tip #27

People who prefer Extraversion re-energize by engaging, doing, and interacting, whereas those who prefer Introversion need solitude and quiet time to re-energize. As a parent who prefers Introversion balancing the needs of a child who prefers Extraversion can at times be challenging. When a parent comes home at the end of the workday wanting solitude or quiet time to recharge, they can feel overwhelmed and frustrated when their child with a preference for Extraversion wants to follow them around ready and excited to interact. An adult who prefers Introversion, without those needed moments of solitude, can "act out" just as much as a child who prefers Extraversion who doesn't get enough needed interaction and engagement. Instead of "acting out" and treating one's child as if his/her behavior is wrong or annoying, a parent can say, "I need a few quiet moments alone after my busy day. Then let's play and talk about your day." Parents can ask for their needs to be met, too.

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Understanding personality differences can provide a framework for a better, more respectful relationship.

Love is in the Air: The Challenges and Gifts that Come with Personality Type Differences (From the Kids)

Jan 31, 2023
Gracyn Nelson-Reid
GRACYN NELSON-REID is a senior at the University of Texas San Antonio. She is majoring in Biology and plans to attend graduate school in the field of Microbiology research. Gracyn has been immersed in personality type theory from the time she was born! Her mom is a certified MBTI® and MMTIC® professional who introduced type theory and type language to her children to help them understand and appreciate differences.
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Gracyn Nelson-Reid, writing an article for the From the Kids series, tells us how her preference for ESFJ and her boyfriend's preference for INTP has caused numerous disagreements between them due to their complete opposite personality types. It hasn't been easy for them but understanding their personality type differences has provided a framework for better, more respectful communication.

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Homework Help: Type Tip #29

Homework management may be personality type related. A parent's timetable may be quite different from their child's. Young people with a Judging preference typically do their best work when they start early, setting a plan and working on a project in a scheduled way. Whereas young people who prefer Perceiving tend to do their best work when pressure-prompted, as the due date approaches. Depending on the child's and parent's preferences for Judging or Perceiving, homework management can be easy or exasperating! Supporting your child's natural style may mean learning to stretch your own. A young person with a Perceiving preference may need reminders when a due date is approaching, whereas a child with a Judging preference may need reminders to relax and have some fun. Reminders, not demands.

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Sisters celebrate May the Fourth with personality type awareness

May The Fourth Be With You! The Force May Not Just Be in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

May 01, 2023
Gracyn Nelson-Reid
GRACYN NELSON-REID is a senior at the University of Texas San Antonio. She is majoring in Biology and plans to attend graduate school in the field of Microbiology research. Gracyn has been immersed in personality type theory from the time she was born! Her mom is a certified MBTI® and MMTIC® professional who introduced type theory and type language to her children to help them understand and appreciate differences.
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May the fourth, popularly known as Stars Wars Day, is a day to think about the force within you. Gracyn Nelson-Reid celebrates this day with an article about the force (type awareness) within all of us that can be accessed every day. Everyone has the capability to access the “type” force and make the world a more understanding place. It starts with becoming aware of your personality type and what strengths and stretches you have.

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Personality type awareness helps mom understand her kids behavior when playing with the new puppy

Personality Preferences and Puppy Play!

Jul 31, 2023
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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Pets, personality type preferences, and high energy kids make a chaotic house for Sandra Etherington. Using her handy-dandy knowledge of typology, Sandra figures out how to how to change her kids behavior in order to improve their relationship with the new cute, cuddly puppy.

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Kids who are going back to school can learn to use their strengths and stretches to succeed in learning, studying, and test-taking

Back to School: Personality Type and Learning

Sep 05, 2023
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), 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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Now that summer is nearing an end and kids are back at school how do we best prepare them for success in learning, studying, and test-taking? Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD, shares type knowledge on how to help children use their strengths and how to deal with the challenging stretches this school year.

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Become an effective parent and strengthen your relationship with your children through type awareness

Parenting and Personality Type: The Myers-Briggs Company Podcast with Dr. Yvonne Nelson-Reid

Oct 03, 2023

People Stripes is proud to share The Myers-Briggs Company Podcast on parenting and personality type, featuring Dr. Yvonne Nelson-Reid, our in-house Type expert. In this episode, Dr. Nelson-Reid dives into the most commonly asked questions about personality type and parenting.

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Understanding one's own personality type can enhance one's daily gratitude process.

Leaves are Falling; Gratitude is Calling (From the Kids)

Oct 31, 2023
Gracyn Nelson-Reid
GRACYN NELSON-REID is a senior at the University of Texas San Antonio. She is majoring in Biology and plans to attend graduate school in the field of Microbiology research. Gracyn has been immersed in personality type theory from the time she was born! Her mom is a certified MBTI® and MMTIC® professional who introduced type theory and type language to her children to help them understand and appreciate differences.
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Autumn brings forth a resurgence of gratitude for many, but those experiencing hardship in life might need a little help to make every day a day for giving thanks. Gracyn Nelson-Reid describes her challenging year and how understanding her own personality type has helped in her healing process.

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Type is not meant to box you in; it is designed to help us understand ourselves and others better.

Don't Box Me In: What is personality type, really?

Jan 09, 2024
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), 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 language we use when talking about personality type is directly linked to how we understand it. In this article, Yvonne Nelson-Reid answers the question "What is personality type, really?" and outlines why type language matters.

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