Sunday, December 13, 2020

Typing Video: Laura #2

Laura works in a caregiving role. She enjoys helping people in a hands-on way, including her own child, disabled children, the elderly, and the mentally ill. She wanted to do nursing for this reason but didn't find it to be hands-on enough. This clearly speaks to strong and likely valued Si, as does her interest in beautifying her environment, making it look "homely", and her own appearance ("girly girl", "quirky prints").

She says she just wanted to help people and fell into her current job - she didn't and does not have any grand life plan. "I just do things as they come along, don't have any concrete plans, just want to be happy." She basically just wants to finish her degree and get a higher paying job - most of her goals are prefixed with "maybe". All this confirms that the strong and valued Si is paired with weak and subdued Ni as Model A predicts.

Laura is a very positive person. She expresses the generic value that you should be nice to people, and "be a friendly face". You don't have to do "really grand, fancy heroic acts to change the world, it's these little things like just being nice to somebody and restoring their faith that people out there are nice... and the world is good in a lot of ways." So a recurring theme here is her way of lifting people's emotional states to a more positive one through mundane acts such as being nice or helping them with their immediate needs. In other words, she is all about Fe+Si, as opposed to Te+Si which is more concerned with impersonally managing everyday activities to make them run better. One may also contrast it with Fe+Ni which can in fact be concerned with "grand" acts that inspire people and energize their emotional state by showing them a greater purpose. (And Te+Ni is of course the complete opposite, as described in her attitude towards the business question: "would be a shit businesswoman".)

Laura's positivity is clear throughout the video: she is not unable to express dissatisfaction but she tends to sugarcoat the truth and focus on the silver lining. She cannot think of anything negative to say about her friends, for example, and of her family says only "we don't have a lot in common." She describes herself as friendly and cheerful, a people person.

She has a lenient attitude with people, has no strict criteria for friends other than "extreme stuff" like racism. She gets annoyed with overly direct people who "say it how it is". This is another manifestation of Si values, and rejection of the intensity of Se. The lack of judgment may suggest low priority on Fi and/or Ti.

Laura does show bouts of anger or harshness, such as with her criticism of her sister's partner when he wasn't helping her sister when she got hurt. While she did bluntly tell him "what's what", again it stems from her motivation to help and protect people. Despite this she seems to feel guilty for getting angry and limits her expression to avoid jeopardizing her relationship with her sister.

It's also notable that Laura wants to be the helper and not the one helped, in fact she has difficulty asking for help.

So far it is absolutely clear that Laura is an Alpha SF - but what about ESE or SEI? Let's look for some clues.

Being an emotional person, Laura sometimes becomes overwhelmed with her emotions: getting stressed, gets things out of perspective easily. This seems somewhat more typical of ESEs, who are generally more in emotional flux than SEIs, and therefore benefit more from the level-headed nature of Ti leading types. But it's still not a strong indicator.

A few other observations:

  • puts herself down, low self-esteem - this is more likely to be expressed by SEIs who have low Ne and therefore are less able to recognize their own potential or positive things the future might hold.
  • difficulty wording things - this would be weak Ti, so more likely of ESEs who have cautious Ti than SEIs with bold mobilizing Ti.
  • cares too much what people think - Fe, so slightly more likely for ESE.
  • dislikes boring, mundane stuff - not an unusual sentiment, though probably many people would consider the things she does as being rather mundane (such as childcare). She probably means boring in the sense of not providing emotional stimulation.
  • has been told that she talks too much, "calm down" - sounds more ESE.
  • cries when she is attacked or put in a conflict situation - lower Se so more SEI
  • doesn't normally get stuck in a rut - likely higher Ne and Se, so more ESE.
  • quite shy as a child, frightened all the time - more SEI.

So there are points here that could go either way.

But perhaps most importantly, Laura describes herself as busy and hardworking: she is a mother, she has a day job, goes to school, and writes on the side. She used to go out with her child every day (!) doing a variety of fun activities. She says that if she doesn't have things to do then she feels restless or bored. She dislikes waiting. Moreover she's determined, bossy with the house, and was frustrated and impatient with illness - "just have to sit on my ass and wait for it to be over." If she won the lottery, she would probably still work - she couldn't just do nothing.

These observations, drawn from various points in the video, portray a very energetic, busy person who doesn't like to just chill and do nothing. That is what leads me to prefer ESE, which has bold Se-8, to SEI which has cautious and not very prominent Se-7, and therefore greater contentment with inaction (rest).

Maybe the most problematic points here are her attitude towards conflict and how she describes herself as a child. An ESE being frightened all the time? Maybe not so likely. She says that she cries when put in a conflict situation, yet she also gave a very specific example where she confronted someone directly and forcefully, apparently without any hesitation (at least in the moment). People can also display contradictory behavior as children so I am not so concerned with that. (Elvis was also described as shy and introverted as a child, but he is universally agreed to be SEE.)

A final point about anxiety. Laura describes herself as anxious and worrisome. Part of this seems type-related and part not. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorders. I've seen this in a variety of types - for example LSI women tend to be far more neurotic than LSI men, who are more likely to come across as "stony" or stable people. On the type front, one might link anxiety to Ni, since it stems from awareness of the possibility of something going wrong. Ni valuing introverts do tend to be more anxious in general. But, worrying is not uncommon in ESEs either (again, more typically in ESE females), so maybe it's also about simple emotional excitability, or the blocking Fe+Ni together.

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