Kitchen disaster illustrates differences in personalities

Lt. Matthew Riley, NMCB 5 chaplain

Lt. Matthew Riley, NMCB 5 chaplain

Personalities intermingle during family gatherings, just as blending aromas of our favorite meals fill the home with holiday fragrance. Those personalities can involve extroverts and introverts, people whose first preference is to think, and people whose first preference is to feel.

Extroverts receive their needed energy from the world around them. Introverts, on the other hand, often feel energized after having downtime.

Introverts may appear very talkative, but their conversation usually blossoms around people they know or when discussing subjects familiar to them. Their need for seclusion may be strong, and they may actually develop mild depression symptoms if forbidden to enjoy solitude over extended periods of time.

Extroverts may often embrace the holidays with cheer and excitement. Introverts may have mixed emotions, sometimes preferring to keep socializing to a minimum. Their preference is the small gathering of close relatives, as opposed to the large reunion of extended relatives they might not know.

The dichotomy of thinking versus feeling impacts the blending of family members the most. Those who choose thinking often seem direct, logical and blunt when corrections need to be made. They ultimately solve problems first and consider feelings secondary.

The people who prefer feelings make most decisions based on their values or how they feel about a situation. These types of individuals are great for making sure that all family members receive hospitality, but often their feelings may get hurt by trying too hard to accommodate others. They take insensitivity to emotions very seriously.

Let’s say something goes wrong in the kitchen. The oven timer was not set, and Auntie’s favorite green bean casserole melts into a steamy-hot material that could pave roads.

Those who prefer thinking automatically consider the obvious fact: Someone should have set the timer. Quickly they will get up, open the window and unplug the screaming smoke alarm — they will solve the problem. They do not notice or intend to offend others; they simply live to identify and solve problems. The emotions involved in situations like this usually do not grab their attention.

People with a preference for feeling automatically have compassion for Auntie and immediately seek to console her by assuring everyone there is plenty of food. Better yet, they will encourage her to remake the dish, even offering to help her and turn the disaster into a joyous activity they can do together. This creates harmony and teamwork. Feeling types need to connect, and this goal exists in virtually everything they do with others.

Our personalities develop unintentionally, the same way as we choose our dominant hand. No one remembers deciding to write with a right hand instead of the left, yet at some point that became normal. Personality preferences evolve the same way.

We accomplish more by using both hands, and we benefit from learning the skills of other personality types.

On that note, I urge you to enjoy your time with family over the holidays and learn from the differences in personalities around you. Have a wonderful holiday season!

© 2012 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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CAPT. LARRY VASQUEZ

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An estimated crowd of over 200 private industry professionals gathered at Wednesday’s Industry Forum at the Embassy Suites in Oxnard to hear from high-ranking civilian and military personnel from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Port Hueneme Division about doing business with the Navy.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
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