Boy, the ideas of topics to blog about today were as varied as the colors on the leaves around here. I started off my day, as usual, with a bit of knitting time. But then I had to put pants on and go be a grown-up, as today is Election Day. And in a presidential election year, that is definitely a Big Deal. I exercised my civic duty and right and privilege, and cast my ballot for the various political races and issues in my district, county, state and nation. Getting to that voting machine, though, involved a bit of effort, and a challenge, which has led to some personal reflection and self-discovery.

I posted on Facebook this morning about how a particular man in line at the polling site was annoying me with his incessant chatter. As I contemplated my reaction to him, I hearkened back to a “long ago” memory about how my ex-husband annoyed me with his incessant morning chatter. I’m one who needs to ease into my day, moving from the slumber state and transitioning in stages to the point when I am suitable for public consumption (socially speaking). I now realize that this is likely tied to the energy element in my Myers-Briggs personality type. And as I considered the other components in my personality type, I realized what really started to get under my skin about that chatterbox at the elementary school.

I’ve gone through several personality type analysis tools, and our office even had a day-long workshop focused on recognizing our own type and understanding how to work with our colleagues who have the same or a different type. While the “inner” components in the MB test are fairly moderate in my results, the first and last are most definitely distinctively known quantities. I am “an I” and I’m most definitely “a P.” The “I” stands for Introversion, defining my energy source – meaning that I look inward to recharge, and sometimes that means shutting out everyone else. This doesn’t mean I’m an introvert, though in certain circumstances, I am inclined to hold back from a group. In other settings, I can be very outgoing. But because I recharge internally, rather than drawing my energy from others, being in a social setting for an extended period of time can be physically and emotionally draining for me, though this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. This whole concept finally sunk in with me after my son’s graduation party – where I was the common link among all the communities of people that came to congratulate my son. I could’ve slept for a week afterward, but I had an absolute blast.

So yes, I’m an I – and particularly early in the morning, other people may zap my energy more than I’d like just by being around me. And talking. Nonstop.

The other component, though, (for me, P) speaks to what I do with information once I’ve taken it in and processed it. I’m a Perceiver, which is the complement to a Judger (J). A friend summed it up oh-so-eloquently last year when she stated: I am the photographer, while she (a to-the-core J) is a storyteller. I observe and appreciate what is. A Judger draws conclusions based on the information that is presented. And sometimes that really hits a nerve with me. Not always, but sometimes.

I’ve had several friends recently who were hurt by comments made by others, not necessarily directed at my friends, but making bold assertions (judgments) about “people who do (or don’t do) such-and-such.” And this Election Day yapper was making similar assertions about papers that were posted on the wall, showcasing the work of these elementary school students. When I heard him begin making comments, and drawing conclusions about their authors (often negative and critical), I cringed…and silently prayed a thank-you that the students weren’t there to overhear these comments.

I’m an optimist, and pessimists can sometimes annoy me – going back to the whole judging idea again. I do my darnedest not to criticize others harshly, but rather try to build them up and encourage them. So for someone to devalue another person is, to my mind, just plain wrong. I understand this is a pet peeve of mine, and it certainly gives me food for thought to consider that this pretty much boils down to this personality trait, being a P and not a J.

I’ll continue to process this information…and try to move beyond simple tolerance of those who are different from me in this respect. For acceptance is what we’re called to do. Unconditional love. Well, I’m getting there… but it’s going to take time!

And hey, yay for a full six-day stretch to meet this NaBloPoMo challenge!