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Diverse teens connecting with each other using type-awareness

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Self-Awareness (SEL Series – Part 2)

Mar 02, 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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Yvonne Nelson-Reid is a master practitioner for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) instrument and a practitioner for the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children® (MMTIC®) assessment, who has been helping individuals, families, and children understand themselves better for over 25 years. In the second article of this series, Yvonne integrates her years of experience as an educator with her expertise in personality type to explore connections between type and social emotional learning. New to Type? Click here! 

In part one of this series, Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning (SEL), I explained SEL as defined by the Collaborative of Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) organization. Furthermore, I suggested that SEL teaches an awareness of what we need to know for healthy development and learning personality type teaches how individuals go about doing so based on their natural styles. They go hand in hand. Personality type aligns with and strengthens SEL curriculum. 

How does learning about personality type support the five core competencies of SEL? Parts two through six of this series will demonstrate the connection between type and SEL by focusing on each core competency, one at a time. I begin with Self-Awareness.

Self-Awareness

CASEL defines Self-Awareness as: "The abilities to understand one's own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one's strengths and limitations with a well-rounded sense of confidence and purpose."1

Personality type reflects how we naturally take in information and make decisions, where we feel energized (inner world of reflection or outer world of connection), and how others may see us. Knowing this about ourselves helps us to become more aware of and appreciate who we are. It is more than just knowing our four-letter type-code; we need to understand it, apply it, and bring its language into everyday life. Understanding our typology leads us towards greater self-awareness. 

What comes naturally to me? Why am I so different from my friends, family, and teachers? Why do some tasks seem so much harder for me and others so easy? People just don't seem to get me! Whether our personality type characteristics are encouraged or discouraged has a huge impact on type development. Each of the 16 personality types has potential strengths (gifts) and stretches (possible blind spots). Our strengths may be someone else's stretches and vice versa. Knowing what these are provides an opportunity to evolve and flourish in areas that suit our strengths, to feel confident, competent, and comfortable in who we are (our superpowers), and our stretches (limitations) offer us something incredibly powerful, too. That is in the realization that limitations aren't a bad thing or something to feel embarrassed by, instead, they provide opportunities for personal growth and development. When we know our stretches, we can reach out to those people who have these as their strengths for support and learning. Appreciate our differences and learn from one another.

There are no better or worse personality types, just different ways of being and doing, different strengths and stretches. Knowing and understanding our strengths and stretches improves self-esteem and self-understanding. Although we have access to all the type preferences, we do not access them equally or with the same level of comfort. Type is developmental. As a young person, it may require greater focus and energy to engage with our stretches, whereas with maturity that may become easier. 

Let me share an example of the first preference pair, Extraversion/Introversion, to demonstrate the type and self-awareness connection. We use both preferences, meaning we all interact with our outer world and reflect in our inner world. But we don't tend to use them with equal comfort; people typically have a preference for one or the other. People who prefer Extraversion tend to focus on the outside world directing their energy outward often feeling energized by interaction with people and the environment. They prefer to talk things through, take action quickly, and are often expressive and open (strengths). Too much time alone with their thoughts can sometimes feel draining and may even lead to bouts of depression (cultivating the resources to find value in solitude is a stretch). Connecting with friends or doing an activity can help bring them back to balance. Without awareness, they may inadvertently talk over people who prefer Introversion or overwhelm them with too much chatter. Both preferences for Extraversion and Introversion are valuable, but without self-awareness of how our strengths and stretches manifest, we can act on our preference solely and miss the opportunities to learn through intentionally leaning into our stretch. 

This is also true with a preference for Introversion, where energy is directed inwards. People who prefer Introversion tend to focus on their inner world so finding time to reflect on ideas, experiences, and memories can be energizing. They prefer to think things through, reflect before acting, and are often private and contained (strengths). Being around a lot of people and interaction can be exhausting so finding some time for contemplation will help to recharge (the stretch for a preference for Introversion is to identify the times when leaning into Extraversion is the best choice and becoming more developed in that capacity). Without awareness, they may unintentionally give off the vibe that they are not interested in the conversation or even like the person who prefers Extraversion. Remember, we use both Extraversion and Introversion every day, the emphasis here is on preference and knowing what you need to be your best. Not only knowing what you need but also the ability to convey it to others, letting them know when you might need a break to reflect or a conversation to work through your thoughts. 

Teaching personality type awareness alongside the SEL core competency for Self-Awareness broadens perspectives, affirms, and supports differences, encourages constructive use of differences, while celebrating our uniqueness and interconnectedness as human beings. Self-awareness through an understanding of type allows you to apply your strengths and reinforce your stretches.

Part three of the series will focus on personality type and the SEL core competency for Self-Management. 

1. "What Is the CASEL Framework?" CASEL, October 11, 2021. https://casel.org/fundamentals-of-sel/what-is-the-casel-framework/#self-awareness.

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Related Content

Introversion or Just Shy? : Type Tip #12

There is a difference between the energy of introversion and shyness. Shyness is a social trait which causes a person to hesitate in social encounters. People who prefer Introversion only hesitate when the thought or situation is new. There is no hesitation with familiar settings. Also, introversion gives us a cue about how a person regains their energy. Shyness is a behavioral reaction. A person who prefers Extraversion may also be shy, gaining energy through interaction but hesitating in social situations.

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Motivation and Type Behavior: Type Tip #13

When you are estimating a child's type preference don't just focus on the outer behavior but also look for the motivation for that behavior. An elementary school-aged child, who prefers FP (Feeling with Perceiving), can look and act as if they prefer J (Judging) if the child thinks that will please the parent or the teacher. For a child who prefers Introversion, their motivator is internal. We do not see it. So, a child who prefers INFP is motivated internally using F (Feeling), but we see N (iNtuition) which they use in their outer world through brainstorming with others, so they may appear to prefer Extraversion, even though their overall preference is for Introversion. 

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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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Teens can use the Z-model to make better decisions

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Responsible Decision-Making (SEL Series – Part 4)

May 03, 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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In this fourth article of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) series, Yvonne Nelson-Reid presents how to approach the SEL core competency of Responsible Decision-Making by using the Zig-Zag Process™ (Z-model). The Z-model introduces a balanced method for decision-making by using all four mental processes of Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling to allow for clearer perceptions and sounder judgments.

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Mother and teen daughter with type differences in conflict

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Relationship Skills (SEL Series – Part 5)

May 26, 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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Communication and active listening are essential skills towards building healthy relationships. In this fifth article, of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) series, this month concentrating on Relationship Skills, Yvonne Nelson-Reid describes how best we can communicate with others using their type language by stretching into our own opposite preference.

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A diverse group of students, working together, can develop empathy and appreciation for differences and similarities.

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Social Awareness (SEL Series – Part 6)

Jul 05, 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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In the sixth article of the series, Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning, Yvonne Nelson-Reid highlights how Social Awareness, along with an understanding and appreciation of type differences, can make way for the constructive use of these differences. Differences often drive us apart, but valuing these differences can unite us and instill greater compassion and empathy for others.

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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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Extraverted Introversion?! Type Tip #23

People who prefer Introversion, in familiar settings, may actually look like they prefer Extraversion. Their hesitation and reflection may only occur when processing new thoughts or in new situations. Their daily interactions may appear extraverted to someone watching, especially if the young person with an Introversion preference is with a group of close friends. 

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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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