Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our Dysfunctional Selves

I have always loved the study of psychology and personality types.  In my early 30’s I took my first Myers-Briggs test and I learned about the Enneagram in my 40’s.  A few years ago I took the Strength Finders test.  In addition to the tests I have read many books on all the various personality types.  As a result of all of this I know myself very well.  These tests did a very good job of revealing to me who I am, what I am, how I think, and how I act.  One of the biggest benefits of such self-knowledge is the ability to recognize my own dysfunctional behavior.  More often than not I act in a mature way, appropriate for my age and temperament.  Occasionally, however, I can see my dysfunctional self looming on the horizon.  Knowing myself very well, I can usually head myself off at the pass and prevent or minimize my dysfunctional self from making an appearance.  All personality types have a healthy side to them as well as an unhealthy side.  All behavior is a manifestation of who a person is.  When a person is at their best, they are a manifestation of their redeemed or healthy self.  When a person is at their worst and their behavior is bad or foolish, it is almost always an indicator of deeper issues.  Our general behavior and how we deal with the demands of life is an strong indicator of one’s psychological health.  We are who we are and many forces and influences have shaped us into the people we are.  Most people learn from their experiences, grow from them, and over time develop into mature people and the best version of who they are.  Some people, however, never move forward.  They become trapped in their own dysfunctional behavior.  They may not even realize what they act the way they do.  Such people need to take a closer look at their behavior.  Some people need outside help to get a more objective view of themselves.  All of us have to take responsibility for our own emotional intelligence and behavior.  Occasionally that means facing a part of ourselves that we may not like.    

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