Monthly Archives:November 2016

The MBTI: Pigeon-Holing My Life

26 Nov 16
Anne Russell
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For several years, I was obsessed with personality tests. I was just starting to meet people, and it was easier for me to process social situations if I could put people in categories. I still enjoy personality tests, but I don’t spend as much time studying them. The personality test that I like the most is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). According to the MBTI, there are 16 personality types, based on four pairs of letters. To find your type, you can pick the one in each letter pair that fits you best. (everyone is a mixture, so just pick whichever one is stronger).

The first pair of letters is I (Introversion), and E (Extroversion). Introverts get tired from social interaction. They don’t dislike social interaction necessarily. Extroverts tend to get energy from social interactions, but they still need alone time.

The second pair of letters is N (Intuiton) and S (Sensing). Intuitives tend to be philosophical, and rely on gut instinct. They like to “read between the lines.” Sensors tend to be practical, and rely on evidence.

The third pair of letters is T (Thinking), and F (Feeling). The Myers-Briggs website explains them this way: “When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).”

The final pair of letters is J (Judging), and P (Perceiving). J’s tend to be planned, while P’s tend to be spontaneous. Judgers like to solidify plans, while Perceivers want to keep their schedules open.

After you decide which of each letter pair fits you best, stick them together to get your type. (I’m an INTJ, if you’re interested). Since this isn’t a long blog post, I’m not going to describe each type in detail here.

After I had been studying the MBTI for a while, I realized that I was giving it too much credit. I started to understand that personality types don’t define people. Sure, I’m a INTJ, but that doesn’t mean I must fit into all of the INTJ stereotypes. My type is not responsible for my actions, I am. I realized that the Myers-Briggs is a lot of fun to study, as long as I kept it in perspective.

If you want to learn more about the MBTI, click here. To take a full-length test, go here.

Go forth, and study other people!

 

What Goes In (My Commitment to You)

19 Nov 16
Anne Russell
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What goes in comes out. When you eat junk food for breakfast, you may enjoy it for a few minutes, but your body doesn’t perform as well. You end up sluggish and tired. When you listen to stupid music, you find yourself thinking more and more like the stupid lyrics you fill yourself with.

When I was thinking about what to write today, I was frustrated because I had nothing to say. I tried to think of something helpful, or inspirational, or even just fun, but I had nothing. I tried to write about a couple different subjects that I’ve been thinking about lately, but my thoughts were jumbled and circular.

In the midst of my frustration, I realized that I hadn’t read the Bible at all today, or even thought about it much. I realized that I didn’t have anything worthwhile to say, because I hadn’t put anything worthwhile in my mind. As I thought back to my older posts, I realized that my best posts came from times when I had been consistently filling my mind with Scripture. The times that I didn’t study or meditate on Scripture were usually followed with me staring at an empty document.

So, here is my commitment to you. Today is November 19th, 2016. For the next year, I commit to reading and studying the Bible before I do anything else each morning (eat, take a shower, check my social media, etc.). I’m making this commitment because I think that studying God’s word should be more important to me than taking a shower or checking social media working on music, and because I want to give you quality content that comes from a heart that’s filled with good content.

Ironically, I decided to read Psalm 19 (because today’s the 19th). This passage confirmed what I had been thinking about for the past few minutes:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
and in keeping them there is great reward.

How are you going to commit to filling yourself with Scripture?

Becoming Friendly (Part 2)

12 Nov 16
Anne Russell
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This is part two of my post on becoming friendly. Here is part one, if you’re interested.

***

I continued my internship in the spring, and took a few more classes at Boyce. My thoughts toward people had changed, but my skill set was still limited. I tried to talk to people more, but I was awkward. I did make a few friends during the spring semester, but I didn’t know how to get to know people that I wanted as friends. I enjoyed people, but I didn’t care about many of them.

My intern supervisor in the fall helped me care more about people. He challenged me to learn the names of all of the people in orchestra (which was about twelve people). At this time, I struggled to remember people’s names, and I had given up trying to learn them. This challenge helped me a lot. First, I had a lot more confidence talking to people when I knew their names. Second, when I took the time to learn their names, they became more important to me.

I need to make a confession. As I began to meet new people, I hid behind Adam a lot. We went to some events and stuff together, and I made him be the friendly person so that I could not feel pressured to talk to people. The hiding finally stopped a piano camp this summer. I didn’t have any friends attending the camp as students, so I didn’t have any “human barriers.” It was really weird. I talked to people, performed a parody for their “talent show,” and had fun with strangers that became kind of friends.

Another thing that pushed me into being more “naturally friendly” was a concert that I did with some friends. I talk about this elsewhere on this blog, so I’ll skip it for now.

This semester, I decided to speak to new people when I first met them instead of waiting to feel less awkward. I tried to learn people’s names, which required me to re-ask them a lot. I realized that meeting people isn’t nearly as awkward if I talked to them right away.

As I’ve been pushed and pushed myself into being friendlier with other people, I’ve found more and more that people are amazing. I started talking to people out of necessity, but I talk to people now because I care about them. I want to know them better. However many awkward moments I have with people are far outweighed by the privilege of knowing people. I still have “people problems.” Right now, I’m trying to understand college cafeteria etiquette (I have tons of trouble just sitting down with people without asking). However, I feel more comfortable asking for people to be patient with me as I learn, because I’m building relationships with them.

Lesson time: If you’re reserved and shy, realize that people are worth the effort it takes to get to know them. If I can do this, you can do this! If you’re an outgoing person, please try to patient with your quiet friends. They may be trying really hard to get to know people, or they may have a lot of anxiety. The people that helped the most were the people who were friendly to me even when I was quiet or awkward.

Becoming Friendly (Part 1)

05 Nov 16
Anne Russell
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I wasn’t interested in other people. I thought they were boring compared to the music in my head and the book in my hand. Until about three years ago, I didn’t speak to people outside of my family. That’s why many of my posts are about getting to know people, or learning about how to treat people. I am learning things about others that other people learn much younger. This is the story of how I started talking to people, and learning how to be friendly.

***

About four years ago, I joined a biology group. There were only a few of us, and over time I started talking a little to the group. The other kids in the group invited me several times to a Bible study that they all attended. I was nervous, and didn’t want to go, but they kept asking until eventually I agreed. The leaders and the teenagers in the study, were friendly to me, but I barely spoke to anyone because I was so afraid of people.  I didn’t know how to talk to people without making the whole room uncomfortable, and I wasn’t brave enough to learn.

A few months after I started coming to the study, my family moved to a different church. It was a large church, and I didn’t know many people there.  A few of the kids from the Bible study went there, but I still avoided talking to them. When we first came to Highview, my mom encouraged me to serve in the tech ministry. I had run projection in our former church, so I agreed. The people in the tech booth were friendly and I started talking to them on Sundays as we served. This was one of the first places outside of my home that I felt like I was part of the team, and I enjoyed the people I was serving with there.

At this time I started attending a small group at Highview for girls my age. When I first started going to the small group, I went out of obligation to my church’s youth group. Like in the Bible study, all of the girls were nice, but I didn’t know how to build relationships with them.

After this, my family starting hosting “teen game nights” once a month. We invited the teenagers from Bible study, and some teens from a homeschool group over for games and snacks. We didn’t expect many people to show up, but forty people came the first night, and it continued to grow until we stopped hosting them. At one of the first game nights, a guy named Adam pulled out his violin and played the theme to Sherlock (a tv show that I was obsessed with). Right then I decided two things: I wanted to learn violin, and I wanted to be friends with this dude. This was one of the first times that I wanted to be friends with someone without them approaching me first, so I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. After a long build up, Adam and I became friends, and he has been a friend of our family ever since.

During the winter, I took my first class at Boyce, a J-term on C. S. Lewis. I was so shy that I barely spoke at all. My professor called me by the wrong name the whole class because I was too shy to correct him. But I was hooked, and in the fall, I started taking another class called SWME (Supervised Worship Ministry Experience).  A large part of this class was interning at a local church, and I chose our current church. I started playing in the orchestra (which was terrifying), and attending the weekly intern meetings (also terrifying). I can’t thank enough people for how friendly they were, but I would like to give a special thanks to Adam (not the same as violin-playing Adam), the orchestra conductor, for how friendly he was even though I was really shy and quiet.

This was also my second year in my small group. I made a weird discovery halfway through the semester. I realized that I loved the girls in the group. I looked forward to seeing them each Wednesday, and I thought about them throughout the week. I was amazed that my feelings of obligation had changed after I committed to going to the small group consistently. This was a turning point for me. I stopped wanting to know people because I had to meet them, and I started enjoying them. Not just the girls in my small group, but other people. Strangers. I started wanting to be friendly.

***

Because this is such a long post, I split it into two parts. Here is part two, if you’re interested.