Personality Differences & Temperment
Because each child is a unique
human being in terms of the way he or she thinks & acts, parents often wonder whether these differences should affect their parenting. According to Gary & Anne Marie
& temperaments affect parenting in that they help parents identify areas which require special effort to raise children up to the same standard of moral training."
"However, the standards of
training & the goals don't change with personality differences. Temperament differences aren't an acceptable excuse for sin . . .
The training of children should
be characterized by the same standard of moral excellence regardless of their personality, temperament,
or gender" (Let the Children Come Along the Virtuous Way, Leader's Guide, pp. 47-48).
One of the ways people differ
is in how we express & receive love.
Gary Chapman, in his Five
Love Languages book series, describes these ways as
(1) encouraging words
(2) acts of service
(3) gift giving
(4) quality time
(5) physical touch & closeness
Although all of these forms
should be used, parents can most effectively love their child by identifying & using his or her primary love language.
What Temperment Are You?
You Have a Choleric Temperament
You're a person of great enthusiasm - easily excited by many things. Unsatisfied by the ordinary, you're reaching for an epic, extraordinary life. You want the best. The best
life. The best love. The best reputation.
You posses a sharp & keen intellect. Your mind is your primary weapon. Strong willed, nothing can keep you down. Your energy can
break down any wall.
Cold & Unemontional
You Have a Melancholic Temperament
Introspective & reflective, you think about everything & anything. You're a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life. You love silence & solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.
time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace. You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life. Wise & patient, you can help people thru difficult times.
At your worst, you brood & sulk.
Your negative thoughts can trap you. You're reserved & withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others. You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.
The temperment sorter
Guardian? Wasn't he the leader of the
leader of Marvel Comics Canadian super hero team, Alpha Flight?
Guardians, are the cornerstone
of society, for they're the temperament given to serving & preserving our most important
Guardians have natural talent
in managing goods & services - from supervision to maintenance & supply - & they use all their skills to keep
things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals & businesses.
have a lot of fun with their friends, but they're quite serious about their duties & responsibilities.
Guardians take pride in being dependable & trustworthy; if there's a job to be done, they can be counted on to put their shoulder to the wheel.
Guardians also believe in law & order & sometimes worry that respect for authority, even a fundamental sense of right & wrong, is being lost. Perhaps this is why Guardians
honor customs & traditions so strongly - they're familiar patterns that help bring stability to our modern, fast-paced
Practical & down-to-earth,
Guardians believe in following the rules & cooperating with others.They aren't very comfortable winging it or blazing new trails; working steadily within the system is the Guardian way,
for in the long run loyalty, discipline & teamwork get the job done right.
Guardians are meticulous about
schedules & have a sharp eye for proper procedures.
They're cautious about change, even though they know that change can be healthy for an institution. Better to go slowly, they say & look before you leap. Guardians
make up as much as 40 to 45% of the population.
What Is the MBTI® Instrument?
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument was developed by Isabel Briggs Myers & her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs.
Their aim was to create a
tool to indicate, validate & put to practical use C.G. Jung's work on psychological types. Jung (1875-1961)
was a Swiss psychiatrist whose book Psychological Types was an outgrowth of his efforts to understand individual differences among people.
They first encountered Jung's
ideas in 1923 & began 2 decades of "type watching."
Prompted by the waste of human
potential in WWII, Myers began developing the Indicator to give everyone access to the benefits in better understanding psychological type & appreciating differences.
After more than 50 years of
research & development, the current MBTI® Instrument is the most widely used instrument
for understanding normal personality differences. Because it explains basic patterns in human functioning, the MBTI®
Instrument is used for a wide variety of purposes including the following:
- Self-understanding & developments
- Career development & exploration
- Organization development
- Team building
- Management & leadership training
- Problem solving
- Relationship counseling
- Education & curriculum development
- Academic counseling
- Diversity & multicultural training
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
Instrument is a self-report questionnaire designed to make Jung's theory of psychological types understandable & useful in everyday life. MBTI® Instrument results identify valuable differences between normal, healthy people, differences that can be the source of much misunderstanding & miscommunication.
outer world • people • action • breadth
People who prefer extraversion are energized by active involvement in events & they like to be immersed in a breadth of activities.
They're most excited when they're around people & they often have an energized effect on those around them.
Extraverts like to move into
action & to make things happen - extraverts usually feel very at home in the world.
With their orientation to the outer world, extraverts often
find their understanding of a problem becomes clearer if they can talk out loud about it & hear what others have to say.
People who prefer extraversion may:
- be seen as "go-getters" or "people-persons"
- feel comfortable with & like working in groups
- have a wide range of acquaintances & friends
- sometimes jump too quickly into activity & not allow enough
time for reflection
- sometimes forgets to pause to clarify the ideas that give aim
or meaning to their activities
inner world • ideas • reflection • depth
People who prefer introversion are energized & excited when they're involved with the ideas, images, memories & reactions that are a part of their inner world.
Introverts often prefer solitary
activities or spending time with one or two others with whom they feel an affinity & they often have a calming effect on those around them.
Introverts take time to reflect on ideas that explain the outer world. With their orientation to the inner world, introverts
truly like the idea of something, often better than the something itself & ideas are almost solid things for them.
People who prefer introversion may:
- be seen as calm & "centered" or reserved
- feel comfortable being alone & like solitary activities
- prefer fewer, more intense relationships
- sometimes spend too much time reflecting & not move into action quickly enough
- sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if
their ideas really fit their experience
facts • details • experience • present
People who have a preference
for sensing are immersed in the ongoing richness of sensory experience
& thus seem more grounded in everyday physical reality.
They tend to be concerned with what's:
As they exercise their preference
for sensing, they approach situations with an eye to the facts.
Thus, they often develop a
good memory for detail, become accurate in working with data & remember facts or aspects of events that didn't even seem
relevant at the time they occurred.
types are often good at seeing the practical applications of ideas & things & may learn best when they can first see
the pragmatic side of what's being taught.
types, experience speaks louder than words or theory.
People who prefer sensing
- recall events as snapshots of what literally happened
- solve problems by working thru things thoroughly for a precise
- be pragmatic & look to the "bottom line"
- work from the facts to the big picture
- put experience first & place less trust in words & symbols
- sometimes focus so much on the facts of the present or past that they miss new possibilities
symbols • pattern • theory • future
People who have a preference
for intuition are immersed in their impressions of the meanings or patterns in their experiences. They'd rather gain understanding thru insight than thru hands-on experience.
Intuitive types tend to be concerned with what's possible & new & they have an orientation to the future.
They're often interested in
the abstract & in theory & may enjoy activities where they can use symbols or be creative.
Their memory of things is
often an impression of what they thought was the essence of an event, rather than a memory of the literal words or experiences associated with the event.
They often like concepts in
& of themselves, even ones that don't have an immediate application & they learn best when they have an impression
of the overall idea first.
People who prefer Intuition may:
- recall events by what they read "between the lines" at the
- solve problems thru quick insight & thru making leaps
- be interested in doing things that are new & different
- work from the big picture to the facts
- place great trust in insights, symbols & metaphors & less in what's literally experienced
- sometimes focus so much on new possibilities that they miss
the practicalities of bringing them into reality
• truth • cool • tough-minded
People who have a preference
for thinking judgment are concerned with determining the objective truth in a situation. More impersonal in approach, thinking types believe they can make the best decisions by removing personal concerns that may lead to biased analyses & decision making.
Thinking types seek to act based on the truth in a situation, a truth or principle that is independent of what they or others might want to believe or wish was true.
The thinking function is concerned with logical consistency & analysis of cause & effect. As they use & develop theirthinking function, thinking types often come to appear analytical, cool & tough-minded.
People who prefer thinking may:
- have technical or scientific orientations
- be concerned with truth & notice inconsistencies
- look for logical explanations or solutions to most everything
- make decisions with their heads & want to be fair
- believe telling the whole truth is more important than being tactful
- sometimes miss seeing or valuing the "people" part of situations
& may be experienced by others as too task-oriented, uncaring, or indifferent
personal • value • warm • tenderhearted
People who have a preference
for feeling judgment are concerned with whether decisions & actions are worthwhile.
More personal in approach,
feeling types believe they can make the best decisions by weighing what people care about and the points-of-view of persons involved in a situation.
Feeling types are concerned with personal values & with making decisions based on a ranking of greater to lesser importance - what is the best for the people involved.
feeling function places high value on relatedness between people & feeling types are often concerned with establishing or maintaining harmony in their relationships.
As they use & develop
their feeling function, feeling types often come to appear caring, warm & tactful. Remember, in type language, feeling
doesn't mean being "emotional;" rather, it's a way of reasoning.
People who prefer feeling may:
- have people or communications orientations
- be concerned with harmony and be aware when it is missing
- look for what is important to others and express concern for
- make decisions with their hearts and want to be compassionate
- believe being tactful is more important than telling the "cold"
- sometimes miss seeing or communicating about the "hard truth"
of situations and be experienced by others as too idealistic, mushy or indirect
• decided • organized • scheduled
People who have a preference for judging use their preferred
judging function (whether it is thinking or feeling) in their outer life. What this often looks like is that they prefer a
planned or orderly way of life, like to have things settled and organized, feel more comfortable when decisions are made,
and like to bring life under control to the degree that it is possible.
Since they are using either their T or F in
their outer world, they want to make decisions to bring things in their outer life to closure. Remember though, this only
describes how their outer life looks. Inside they may feel flexible and open to new information (which they are). Remember,
in type language, judging means "preferring to make decisions;" it does not mean "judgmental" in the sense of constantly making
negative evaluations about people and events.
People who prefer judging may:
- like to make decisions, or at least like to have things decided
- look task oriented
- like to make lists of things to do
- like to get their work done before playing
- plan work to avoid rushing just before deadline
- sometimes make decisions too quickly without enough information
- sometimes focus so much on the goal or plan that they miss
the need to change directions at times
• open • adaptable • spontaneous
People who have a preference
for perceiving use their preferred perceiving function (whether it's sensing or intuition) in their outer life. What this often looks like is that they prefer a more flexible & spontaneous way of life,
like to understand & adapt to the world & like to stay open to new experiences.
are using either their S or N in their outer world, they want to continue to take in new information. Remember again that
this only describes how the person’s outer life looks. Inside they may feel very planful or decisive (which they are). Remember, in type language perceiving means "preferring to take in information;" it does not
mean "perceptive" in the sense of having quick and accurate perceptions about people and events.
People who prefer perceiving may:
- like staying open to respond to whatever happens
- look more loose and casual
- like to keep laid-out plans to a minimum
- like to approach work as play or mix work and play
- work in burst of energy, and enjoy rushing just before deadlines
- sometimes stay open to new information so long that they miss
- sometimes focus so much on adapting to the moment that they
do not settle on a direction or plan
Dealing With Temperament Traitsby Theresa of the Cute Kid STaff
Scientists have determined that there are nine basis child
temperament traits that each kid
is born with. It is these traits that help shape your child�s personality. Knowing
what the different child temperamental traits are can help you recognize them within your own child and adjust your parenting
refers to how active your child is. The child, like my daughter, who
has a high activity level is constantly on the move.
She doesn�t really walk but seems to bounce from place to place. I have to provide her with plenty of opportunities
to move around. During the winter I like to play music for her to dance too since it is too cold to play outside. On the flip
side a child who has a low activity level will need to be encouraged
to get up and move around so obesity doesn�t
become a problem.
Distractibility is how easily your child is distracted
by outside influences. When young this is a nice temperament trait for your child because you can easily distract your child
by offering them a different toy or directing them to a new activity. But as your child grows being easily distracted can
offer some challenges. They will easily get sidetracked.
You may find them watching T.V. when you asked them to go get
their shoes. In school they will need to be reminded of exactly what they are expected to be doing. It is important to set
aside a specific area with limited distractions for completing homework.
describes how your child responds. The high intensity child is loud and responds strongly to everything. They will always
let you know exactly how they are feeling and demand your attention. They typically show strong emotion when happy or upset.
With the low intensity child you may have to guess how they are feeling, because they don�t show their emotions as
much. It is important to talk to your child so you can determine how they feeling.
refers to your child�s biological clock: the internal clock that regulates sleep and appetite. Every mother wants a
child that has high regularity because they are easy to put on a schedule. They sleep and eat at regular times with a consistent
pattern. The only problem comes if their schedule gets interrupted. The child who is irregular can usually adapt to whatever
comes along but may get up really early, go to bed later, or not eat at regular mealtimes.
threshold relates to how sensitive your child is to physical things like sound, taste, touch, and temperature.
My middle daughter is very sensitive. She is a picky eater and is very sensitive to noises. It doesn�t take much for
her to burst into tears.
Approach/Withdrawal explains how your child responds
to new people and situations. The approachable child can easily move into a new situation without fear. Although my middle
daughter has a high sensory threshold she is very approachable; her first day of preschool she went in without any problem,
barely giving me a backward glance. The next year she had new teachers at a new school and her response was the same. Children
who tend to withdraw need to be helped in social situations. Arriving at an event early or accompanying a good friend can
definitely help. They also tend to have a few close friends versus a larger social circle.
describes how easily your child can adapt to changes. The child with high adaptability can easily transition from thing to
thing. They will accept changes in their routine without any problem. They can easily adjust to a new situation.
Persistence refers to how long your child will work even if an activity is difficult.
My son is very persistent. When he starts something he wants to see it completed. The persistent child often has a hard time
asking for help so don�t wait to be asked, offer your help instead. Children who have a low persistence level will
need to be encouraged to accomplish things. My middle daughter always asks me for help for things she can do herself. At four
she still likes me to dress her. I often remind her that she can do it herself and then make her do it.
determines how your child reacts to the world. The positive child will focus on the good things in life. They will generally
be happy. Although they do have a hard time recognizing that others can be bad or accepting that bad things do happen. Children
who tend to look at the negative are more serious. As a parent it is important to remind your serious child of the positive
things in life. Help them find something that they can be good at and give them a reason to smile.
What child temperament
traits does your young ones possess?
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Miss or Match
Maria Alba-Fisch, Ph.D.
For generations, parents have been comfortable describing their children as having distinct & recognizable patterns of behavior from birth. Unfortunately, this sometimes had a fatalistic
implication, as if children were born bad or good.
More recently, there's been a newly articulated interest in describing children as born with different temperaments. This perspective doesn't
blame either parent or child. Rather, it implies that understanding a child's temperament can be an effective tool in knowing what kind of help each child
needs to help that particular child grow.
of temperament can be found in the literature. A
formulation I find especially useful & well researched is the classification developed by Drs. Herbert Birch, Stella Chess
& Alexander Thomas. They describe 3 temperament
The Easy Child: Regular rhythm, positive approach to new stimuli, high adaptability, mild or moderate intensity. This
child is usually a delight to raise & makes parents feel good at parenting.
The Difficult Child: Irregular rhythm, negative withdrawal response to new stimuli, none or slow adaptation to change; intense moods, often negative. These children are more difficult to raise & require considerable energy &
self-control in parents.
The Slow-To-Warm-Up Child: Negative but mild responses to new stimuli with slow adaptability, less likely to be irregular than the difficult
child. This child require both patience & clarity from parents so that the slow to warm up child neither is excessively pressured nor is left too much to his/her own limited initial adventuresomeness.
not all children fit neatly into one of these "types". Some are mixtures. Nevertheless,
thinking of each child as having temperamental characteristics from the beginning can help focus
parents' problem solving efforts on behalf of their children.
In my experience, it's also important to think about the 3 way match between a child's temperament, the parents' expectations & the parents' own temperament.
While the Easy Child
is pretty flexible & can respond well to many kinds of parenting, education & experiences, the difficult child &
the slow to warm up child pose a challenge to some parents. If parents love zest & intensity & have both the energy
& patience for the difficult child, they can enjoy & be reassured by this, otherwise, demanding child.
Many parents, however, need help in tolerating the strain & lack of ease they feel, especially in the early years, with this type of child. First time parents are especially vulnerable to feeling inadequate or incompetent with the difficult child. They
may misunderstand their own natural exhaustion as insufficiency & may become frightened by how infuriating this type of child can be.
Similarly, parents who are comfortable with shyness & a low intensity manner may be tickled with the slow to warm up child.
However, if parents are themselves vigorous, active & eager for adventure & want children who are similar, they can easily perceive this type of child as dull
or weak willed or dumb. They can feel very disappointed & in an effort to stimulate & encourage their child, they can actually overwhelm him/her.
Their own fears can mobilize them to be critical of a child who needs extra time. Community pressure can further aggravate their fears by expecting that every child should be eager to try new things.
On the other hand, if parents try,
appropriately, to reduce the amount of stimulation their slow to warm up child has to manage,
they may be criticized by our independence oriented culture as overprotective.
Finally, thinking in terms of temperament can give parents a way to talk to their children about their own
experience. We all dread hearing our own parents say that we were just as shy, difficult, etc. as our own child is.
Often, the implication is that we deserve
what we now get. It can be equally dreadful to hear that you were never shy or difficult the way your child is; the implication being that your child doesn't belong.
However, you might take these shards of wisdom & hone them differently. If it's true that your child is as fidgety as you were, your child may like to hear it from you. It helps
a child to know that his/her mom or dad also had a hard time sitting still or trying new things.
If it isn't true, your child might
like to know that your impatience with him/her partly comes from the fact that you were different & don/t know quite
what it's like to be shy, fidgety, etc.
Thus, it's helpful to realize that parents & children can either be matched
well or poorly with regard to temperament. Mismatching
can result in strain & misunderstanding, but knowing your child's temperament can make it easier to see clearly what kind of help
As in the example above, it helps you
to observe whether limiting stimulation soothes or bores your child. Knowing your own temperament & expectations can enable you to address your own fears & natural inclinations first, rather than perceiving your child's behavior thru those fears & inclinations.
All of us benefit from being understood accurately & without negative judgment. Thinking of our children & ourselves in terms of temperament can aid us in developing the kind
of accurate understanding that forms a solid foundation for making good decisions with regard to children as they grow & change.
THE 16 TYPES:
Below you will find a list of famous MBTI® Types.
- ISTJ: Planner Inspector
How Others May See Them
ISTJ's are sociable when comfortable in the roles they're playing; however, they generally don't share their wealth of rich Sensing observations &
memories except with close friends. Others see their standards & judgments, their desire for structure & schedules, but they may not see their individual, sometimes humorous, private reactions.
Queen Elizabeth II
- ISFJ: Protector Supporter
How Others May See Them
are unassuming & quiet in their interactions, often putting the needs of others - especially family members - ahead of their own.
uncomfortable with confrontation & will go a long way to accommodate others,
thru their respect for traditions & people's feelings can lead them to challenge actions they perceive as hurtful or insensitive.
People see their values, their desire for structure & closure, their kindness. What others may not see is the wealth of rich, accurate internal Sensing impressions & memories.
When they try to communicate their
internal sense of "knowing," they often express it metaphorically & with complexity. They especially value authenticity & commitment in relationships.
Queen Elizabeth I
- ENFP: Discoverer Advocate
How Others May See Them
ENFP's are usually lively, gregarious & sociable,
with a large circle of friends. They're interested in almost everything & bring a zest of life that draws others to them.
At the same time,
they value depth & authenticity in their close relationships & direct great energy to creating & supporting open
& honest communication.
How Others May See Them
ENFJ's are energetic, enthusiastic & very aware of others.
Their genuine interest can usually draw out & involve even the most reserved person.
listen to & support others, but also have a very definite values & opinions of their own, which they'll express clearly. ENFJ's are energized by people & are
socially adept; however, they also have a strong need for authentic, intimate relationships.
- INTP: Designer Theorizer
How Others May See Them
INTP's are usually quiet & reserved though they can be talkative in areas
in which they're especially knowledgeable. Unless their work requires action, they're more
interested in the challenge of finding solutions than in putting solutions to practical use. They prefer not to organize people
How Others May See Them
INTJ's present a calm, decisive & assured face to the world, though they may
find it difficult to engage in social conversation.
They usually don't directly express their most
valued & valuable part: their creative insights. Instead, they translate them into logical decisions, opinions & plans,
which they often express clearly.
Because of this, other sometimes experience
INTJ's as intractable, much to the surprise of the INTJ, who is very willing to change an opinion when new evidence emerges.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
To determine your type by taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument
By Nancy R. Fenn
“There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really
There is a classic children’s book called “The Velveteen
Rabbit” that beautifully describes the rich inner world of introverted children. The
velveteen rabbit wants to become real but he doesn’t know how. Finally he learns the secret from the Skin Horse, the
wisest toy in the playroom. “[Real],” says the old Skin Horse, “is a thing that
happens to you, When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
For many this is a sentimental story about a childhood
fantasy or the fantasies of childhood. One reviewer even describes it as a book “for any child who has ever thought
that maybe his toys have feelings”.
This interpretation is a bit off because
it misses the point about introverted children. To an introvert,
it isn't a question of whether toys have feelings. The story depicts a reality where the child’s feelings infuse the toy with life. We know because of this that the child is most assuredly an introvert.
Relating to objects & people is an inner, subjective experience for an introvert. It's as though they bring an object into their
inner world in order to relate to it. Since introverts give energy when they relate (extroverts take energy), there's an infusing quality to the attention or focus
of an introvert which is an “active” quality in relating. In other words, introverts can infuse someone or something with love whether or not it's alive - or reciprocated.
I once had a friend with whom I fell
deeply in love. His feelings weren't the same & so he told me it wasn't possible that this feeling I had was love. In order for it to be love, he said, it had to be mutual.
To me, that was the most absurd thing I’d ever heard & I
continued to love him for a very long time. It made no difference whatsoever that he didn't love me back. He existed as something inside myself & I didn't need to possess his physical body or even to ever see him again,
since this was his wish, for this to be complete experience. I know this is impossible for an extrovert
A gifted introvert with an excellent
understanding of this phenomenon is Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen has described the basic qualities of introverts very well in many of his tales, the most familiar of which is “The Ugly Duckling”. Two
other fairy tales that express the quintessential qualities of introverts are “The
Red Shoes” & “The Little Mermaid”.
Please separate in your
mind for a moment, the Andersen & Disney versions of “The Little Mermaid”. Disney movies get at the truth
in fairy tales about the same way Whoopi Goldberg gets at your typical homeless experience.
“The Red Shoes” is in the public domain now & can be viewed at http://hca.gilead.org.il/red_shoe.html.
“The Red Shoes” was one of my favorite stories as a child
& I was later fascinated with the movie starring Moira Shearer. It's a morality tale on the surface but underneath it's
a story of passionate obsession. The ability to become obsessed is a characteristic of most introverts.
It's closely associated with our exalted powers of concentration & ability to focus.
Buffet, the world’s best investor, is an introvert. If you read many of his statements
about investing, you'll discover that much of his success is based on his ability to refrain from taking action such as frequent
buying & selling of stocks. It's his intensity which keeps him focused in spite of distractions. Buffet also has the typical
introvert’s ability to “stand alone against the crowd”.
“The Little Mermaid”, in its original version, is
tale of unrequited love that's almost too painful to read. Andersen describes the anguish of worshipping from a distance that's all too familiar
for introverts, who suffer in the extreme at a disadvantage because the depth of their feelings finds no avenue to the outer world. You can read “The Little Mermaid” at http://hca.gilead.org.il/li_merma.html
According to the Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator & the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II, there are 8 different types of introverts. Hans Christian
Andersen was an infp introvert, which Keirsey calls the Healer. Keirsey describes the infp
introvert this way:
“Healers live a fantasy filled childhood,
which, unfortunately, is discouraged or even punished by many parents. These individuals are capable of an exalted kind of
love which transcends the ability of most others to understand…. Wishing to please their parents & siblings, but not
knowing quite how to do it, they try to hide their differences, believing they are bad to be so fanciful, so unlike their
more solid brothers & sisters…. They are swans reared in a family of ducks.”
Once I was teaching a class & asked my students about their relationships.
When his turn came, a quiet man in the front row said he was currently separated from his girlfriend but he spoke of his great
love for her & mentioned her beautiful qualities. I asked when he had last seen her. “Ten years ago,” he replied.
Everyone burst out laughing (I’m sorry to say). These extroverts would put it this way: If you can’t be with the one you love then love the one you’re with.
Dante Alighieri, the Italian poet of the Middle Ages,
first saw his immortal beloved, Beatrice, when he was 9 years old. She died when he was 25 & their love was never consummated. After marriage & family, at 37 years of age, Dante was exiled & began to write “The
Divine Comedy”, a masterpiece in which Beatrice represented his soul & inspiration.
try to explain to my extroverted friends & clients, it isn't necessary to possess a
physical body to love someone, any more than it was necessary for the velveteen rabbit to be real to be loved.
An introverted client of mine loved his grandmother dearly. When she died, he could have had any of her possessions but he took only the quilt from her bed.
He used it for picnics, to watch tv, for the dog to lie on & for extra warmth in the winter. It began to wear & he
was happy because he was loving it real.
An introverted client, Margaret, lived
near the woods in New Hampshire as a child. She spoke to the woodland creatures that came into her yard with great delight.
One day her older brother decided to play a trick on her. He got the
neighbor next door to take a squirrel tail & run it up the side of a tree while talking to Margaret the whole time as
if it were the squirrel. Margaret was enchanted. She fell for it, hook, line & sinker.
her brother broke the news. Margaret’s reaction? It didn’t make any difference to her if the squirrel was real
or not. It still talked to her!
One of the greatest gifts you can give your introverted child is to cherish this ability he or she has to love something real.
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