Posts tagged Personality

To understand each other (Part 5)

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Paul Tournier writes in his book that in order to achieve understanding we need to accept our natural differences.

He says that „instinctively, a very rational man is going to marry a very sentimental woman. Their complementing one another will, at the beginning, elicit an enthusiastic reaction in him. But later on he will want to make her listen to the objective arguments of reason; he will become annoyed at not being successful in this. He will try to show her that she is not logical in her sentimental explosions.“

??? When you look at couples around you – do you see this???

Now he explains what the woman will do. He says that she will „reproach her husband for his ice-cold rational manner which stifles all life.“

Nevertheless: even if people are so different by nature, they are „made to complement each other, that through each other they may discover so much of what they’ve not known or sensed before. This is one purpose of marriage.“ (Page 37)

Tournier says that man and woman are „basically different“ and this is the reason, why they have „such great difficulty in understanding one another and such great need of one another for their growth.“ He mentiones that a man has a „theoretical mind while a woman has a more person-centered mind“ and that a woman „thinks of people, and in terms of people.“ (Page 38) When men gather together they „expound magnificent theories on the way the world should be governed and how universal peace (…) can be achieved. These theories are quite abstract, detached, and unrelated to the immediate situation.“(P.38)

So a man can learn from a woman and he can „aquire a feeling for persons. Civilisation built by men alone would remain abstract, cold, technical, and dehumanized. A woman thinks in detail, also. Details interest her more than general ideas. She has a need to tell all the day’s happenings, once she is with her husband.“ (P.39).

The man „needs to learn from his wife the importance of both concrete and personal details, without which general idas are no more than empty theories.“ (P.40)

Tournier points out the speech itself „has a different meaning for men than it has for women. Through speech men express ideas and communicate information. Women speack in order to express feelings, emotions. This explains why a wife will relate then times an experience she has lived. It is not to inform her husband.“ (P.40)

She „needs to tell it again in order to discharge emotional tension which the experience has built up in her heart. Many men never ebven get to express their feelings, to say the „I love you“ that the wife would like to hear a hundred times. She asks, „Do you love me?“ He replies, „You know that I do.“ It is not that she does not know. Rather, she would like to hear it expressed ever once more. This is the greater since her husband never says it to her. He expresses his feelings in other ways: a caress, a look, or even a rough kind of grunt.“ (P.40).

Tournier tells a story of a woman „who was suffering from just such a lack of ever hearing a tender word from the lips of her husband. One day she came to see me quite upset. Her husband, without even having warned her, had had the workmen come to refinish her living-room floor. The whole house was upset and dirty. This woman was irritated. I said to her, „Each person speaks in his own way! This is how your husband tells you that he loves you. Throw your arms around him if you can understand his language. Tell him how he must love you in order to go to such expenses to give you a more beautiful living room.“

This expample reminds me actually of what my husband did for me. He painted the kitchen, table, shelves…. : everything white (in lots and lots and lots of hours), because I love white furniture! He also planted once tulips for me, because I LOVE tulips. He planted 100 (!!!) tulips for me! Wow – he really must love me =) This is really amazing! THANKS!

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Further Paul Tournier writes in his book, that in order to „understand each other, man and wife must take an interest in what interests the other, and come to understand why it interestes the other. A man will talk of his interest only when he senses genuine interest in another, and it is only when he talks of it that the other can understand better the character of that interest. In this way the horizon broadens for both partners, instead of steadily narrowing. Real understanding always brings with it a going beyond one’s self. Then can teh home serve as a foundation to one’s calling, and the calling can enrich in its turn the spiritual life of the home. The conflict from wich many couples suffer can be solved. Yet, the profound differences which separate men and women are found in the very thing which brings them together: love itself.“ (P.42&43)

Book: „To understand each other. Classic wisdom on marriage“, Paul Tournier

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How to improve understanding between individuals?

In my teacher studies I came across the „Johari Window“ and just a few weeks ago again. I had already forgotten about it and it was very good to read up on it again.

I find it very helpful.

The Johari window is a technique created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in in the United States. It is used to help people better understand their relationship with self and others.

The two key ideas behind this tool is that you can build trust with others by disclosing information about yourself and with the help of feedback from others you can learn about yourself and come to terms with personal issues.

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There are 4 areas:

  • Open Area
  • Blind Area
  • Hidden Area
  • Unknown Area

The open areais things you know about yourself, e.g. behaviour, knowledge, skills, attitudes.

The blind areais things you are not aware of, but that are known by others. This can be simple information that you don’t know or it can involve deep issues (e.g. feeling of inadequacy, incompetence, unworthiness, rejection). These things are often difficult for individuals to face directly and yet can be seen by others.

The hidden area is things you know about yourself but others don’t know.

The unknown area is unknown by you and others.

So what do we do with this knowledge?

The end goal is to enlarge the open area, without disclosing information that is too personal. The more your people know about each other, the more productive, cooperative and effective they will be when working together.

The process of enlarging the open area is called „self-disclosure“, and it’s a give and take process that takes place between yourself and the people you are interacting with.

As you share information, your open area expands (vertically) and your hidden area gets smaller.

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As people provide feedback to you about what they know or see about you, your open area expands horizontally and your blind area gets smaller.

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The „Johari Window“ helps to look to your own character and it illustrates the importance of sharing, being open and accepting feedback from others.

 

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My personality

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In one of my last posts I wrote that I like the topic: personality. It’s so interesting for me. And since about 20 years I am reading about this topic and I constantly discover something more about me and also others. When you know yourself better it is easier to “understand” why you act sometimes a certain way or how and in which areas you can grow.

One thing I read recently about my “personality type” according to Myers Briggs is totally true:

My personality type is motivated in everything that I do by a desire to understand the world around me. I am constantly searching about, mentally and physically, for input that will help me to better understand the Big Picture.

Also this “type of personality” often feels different from others and they feel like they don’t fit in, and can’t find the place where they belong in the world.

When I read this I thought: yes, that’s me. I really want to understand the world around me and see the big picture and often I just don’t see the big picture yet and this stresses me out.
But as a christian I have an advantage: it’s good that I can put my trust in God, because HE knows the big picture already! I often think of a woven carpet. I only see the bottom side of the carpet – there are a lot of different stitches and it doesn’t look that good and interwoven. But when you turn the carpet around it looks beautiful. I only see the bottom side of the carpet and not the “big picture” – but in the end when I look back I see the right side – a beautifully woven carpet. That is how God sees my life already, even when I only see the bottom side right now.

I am asking God in every stage of my life: Where do I belong? Where do you want me to be? What do you want me to do? It’s my prayer to do what’s best for me – what God thinks where I fit in perfectly. Even when I feel (from my personality type) that I don’t fit in sometimes I know that I fit in wherever God puts me! And for this I am praying constantly to find out where God wants me to be and what God wants me to do for his glory.

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Personal growth

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There is one area in my life where I am quite constant =)

I am constantly thinking about myself – and I question myself a lot. I ask myself:

In which area do I want to grow this year? There are lots of areas where I do want to grow:

– relational
– professional/ carreer
– physical health
– spiritual
– character
– emotional intelligence
– hobbies/ recreation
– partner/ family
and and and…..

Last year I worked on some of these areas with a coach and there is still a lot of work to do =) I love to coach people, but I also love being coached because it keeps me accountable. It’s good to think about myself and challenge myself to move ahead.

In the area character I wrote down a few specific things like being more patient and becoming a better listener. I still have a long way to go…..

Yesterday I looked up again my Myres Briggs profile and how I can grow in my personality in different areas. It shows the strengths and the weaknesses of my personality and it’s so good to read it once in a while. It also helps to see that there are so many personality types and why we get into trouble sometimes with one another!

Every person has gifts that are specific to her/his personality type. And if you recognize these gifts and work on their growth and develop them, you will be more content with yourself. You should embrace your strengths and nourish them.

And there are not only strengths but also weaknesses. Sometimes we only think on our strengths and ignore our weaknesses. But if we want to grow as a person we cannot only value our strengths but also face our weaknesses and work on them. I just thought about that I wrote already a whole list with my weaknesses around 13 or 15 years ago. It’s very interesting to read this list again. Back then I did not now about the Myers Briggs Test yet, but about other tests.

And yesterday I looked especially on my Myers Briggs personality type’s problem areas. So I will be busy this year =) and the following……

?? Do you know the Myers Briggs test?? What personality type are you? What did you discover about yourself so far? What do you have to learn? What do you want to improve??

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What is emotional intelligence?

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Like I wrote already in my last posts I am very interested in the topic: “Emotional intelligence”  and read once in a while some quotes about it. I still have to finish reading my e-book about this. I love reading about personality. Because you get to know yourself better and also other people.

I experiences that many people don’t know themselves very good. Maybe they avoid the “personality” topic cause they are afraid of something. Since I started studying to be a teacher I loved the lecture in psychology. And after 3,5 years studying I thought of studying: councelling/coaching.

But at this time I started my 1,5 years training at school and during this time there is NO way to study anything else, cause everybody is glad when surving this tough training – working the day at school, then study in the afternoon at the seminar and in the evening and night preparing for school in the morning. And this goes on and on for 1,5 years. After this nothing can shock you anymore in any job =)

Well, anyways years and years after my studies I finally did a course in coaching and I love to coach people and bringing out the best in them. And there are soooo many interesting books about it.

Maybe you have read a book about emotional intelligence and could recommend it here?

Today I just read this quote and thought: how true!

“Emotional Intelligence is a way of recognizing, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it determines the majority of our daily actions. Research suggests it is responsible for as much as 80% of the “success” in our lives.” -Freedman et al.-

–From Handle With Care: Emotional Intelligence Activity Book

After my studies and training I worked in a school and while working there I attended a 1 week seminar called: Finding your calling. I wanted to know so badly: what did God design me for? I really wanted to live out his calling.

There I did personality tests and I thought intensive about my family background, the strenghts and weaknesses of myself and in which surrounding I can work best.

Since then I was constantly thinking about myself and why I sometimes react the way I do or why I feel uncomfortable in certain situations or with certain people. I tried to be more alert of my weaknesses and tried to work on my strengths.

I was lucky to have a sister who was interested in the same topic and we spoke many many hours about this. It was also interesting to discover what jobs my grandparents had and which strengths they had. You can see clearly what goes on the the family – how we are!

When I look at this quote I think of people who didn’t have that much “success” in life. And I realize that emotional intelligence plays a bit role in it!

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Do what you can

 

This foto shows it: I like books – especially about personality. The ones you see in this foto are not the ones I usually read =) This foto was taken at the world exhibition EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. It was great to be there, cause it reminded me of my time 10 years ago at the EXPO in Germany where I worked in my summer break for around 4 weeks. It was a GREAT experience!

And I remember: I was introduced to the world of INTERNET and EMAIL. Wow – what a different world! And now 10 years later it’s so normal to have internet. Unbelievable!

Since about one year I only buy E-Books, cause I can take them everywhere and I don’t have to decide which book to take: cause all books are constantly in my travel luggage: around 17! I got so fed up of carrying all my heavy books around the world that I started to buy E-books. And I love it!
But the problem is, that I try to read around 5-6 books at once. So it takes a while to finish them =)

And when friends recommend books to me I am interested in, I can’t resist bying them.

So lately I bought the E-book: The “Do what you can” plan by Holly Gerth. I want to summarize a bit what I read so far (of course I haven’t finished it yet, cause I am reading many books at once =).

Already in the introduction its says, why this book is for me:
“If you’ve ever made a goal or resolution and not kep it, this is for you.
If you’ve ever said “When things get back to normal, then I’ll… this is for you.
If you’ve ever felt too tired to do what you know you really need to do, this is for you.

Our culture tells us that we have to “Go big or go home.” But research on change reveals a very different story: it’s the small things that make the greatest difference over time.”

I am a perfectionist – as I told you in another post already. And I have a bit the mentality: Go big or go home. So sometimes I think – if I can’t do it all at once, I don’t do it. And then I loose my motivation cause I have unrealistic goals.
As I am writing this post I am thinking of a special person who will smile when reading this =) and maybe thinks: I told her many times……….
Some people are very constant and they achieve a lot! They do small steps but these small steps constantly. I really admire persons like this. Cause I am not the type of person. My personality is either big or nothing. But that’s not good.
I started to be a bit different and to try to be a bit more consistent – sometimes it works, sometimes not. But I am working on that.

Same with my post. My goal was to write 2 posts a week, but that was a way to high goal for me: unrealistic. And a while I didn’t write any post on this blog and got frustrated cause I didn’t reach my goal – so instead of writing once a week I stopped for a while.

So a realistic goal for me is probably 2 posts a month.

As I was reading in this book I just mentioned, it describes my person further:

“I want to achieve great things. I want to do it all or none at all (…)
It’s time to shrink the change you have in mind down to a more manageable size (…).
Decide on the minimum you’d like to accomplish in a particular area of your life (…). Then divide that by about half (…)
A small goal that actually happens and can grow is better than the grandest one that remains a fantasy (…)
Don’t let unrealistic expectations or idealistic ambitions hold you back any longer.”

Oh boy: that is so ME!

I would love to hear your experiences……… Maybe you are very different, maybe you have a good advice, maybe you have the same struggles!? I would love to hear from you.

You can post a comment on this blog or write me an Email: coach.tabea@web.de
Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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Emotional intelligence

 

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“Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.”

Drs. Travis Bradberry
and Jean Greaves

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