June 6, 2011

Not Ideal

"Such interpersonal harmony might be a romantic ideal, 
but then Idealists are incurable romantics who prefer to focus on what might be, rather than what is." 

My dad and I exchange emails fairly regularly, though he lives half a mile away. We find some random internet snippet that the other would appreciate and click the send button. A few weeks ago, he sent me this personality test that he had taken before. I posted the full results below, but the main point was that I'm considered an "idealist".

The problem with that is life is often far from ideal. This weekend was a prime example. I've already ranted about it to a few people, but it involved racing home from two hours away to hug my best friend who's heart had just been broken. That was the beginning of the night. The end of the night involved paying $150.00 to get my car out of a tower's lot when it was wrongfully taken, even after Sky and I both argued with them. I can home feeling like I had failed my sweet friend, Sky, and myself. I was angry that life seems to switch from good to bad so quickly, without warning.

Sky asked me last night why I can't "just be happy". I think the answer might lie in that personality test. I want my world to be perfect, harmonious, and to be able to trust everyone implicitly. But most people are not idealists, and even if they were, no one is perfect- even I will mess up my ideal world. I think I spend more time wishing life was fair than I do trying to accept it will never be fair.

Am I the only one who fights this? Am I the only one who somehow gets caught off guard when things don't go as planned or as promised?

Custom Keirsey Temperament Report for: chambanachik

Your Keirsey Temperament Sorter Results indicates that your personality type is that of the

Idealists, as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self -- always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey. Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and whether in education or counseling, in social services or personnel work, in journalism or the ministry, they are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials.
Idealists are sure that friendly cooperation is the best way for people to achieve their goals. Conflict and confrontation upset them because they seem to put up angry barriers between people. Idealists dream of creating harmonious, even caring personal relations, and they have a unique talent for helping people get along with each other and work together for the good of all. Such interpersonal harmony might be a romantic ideal, but then Idealists are incurable romantics who prefer to focus on what might be, rather than what is. The real, practical world is only a starting place for Idealists; they believe that life is filled with possibilities waiting to be realized, rich with meanings calling out to be understood. This idea of a mystical or spiritual dimension to life, the "not visible" or the "not yet" that can only be known through intuition or by a leap of faith, is far more important to Idealists than the world of material things.
Highly ethical in their actions, Idealists hold themselves to a strict standard of personal integrity. They must be true to themselves and to others, and they can be quite hard on themselves when they are dishonest, or when they are false or insincere. More often, however, Idealists are the very soul of kindness. Particularly in their personal relationships, Idealists are without question filled with love and good will. They believe in giving of themselves to help others; they cherish a few warm, sensitive friendships; they strive for a special rapport with their children; and in marriage they wish to find a "soulmate," someone with whom they can bond emotionally and spiritually, sharing their deepest feelings and their complex inner worlds.
Idealists are relatively rare, making up no more than 15 to 20 percent of the population. But their ability to inspire people with their enthusiasm and their idealism has given them influence far beyond their numbers.
Idealists at Work
Idealists, as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. They are naturally drawn to working with people and are gifted with helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potential both on, and off, the job.
Your beliefs are the arbiter of your actions, even if you cannot articulate those beliefs specifically. You hold a strong, clear sense of the way the universe works, what's "right" and what's "wrong," and what your purpose is in the overall scheme of things. In your ideal job, you can embody those beliefs in your relationships with other people. Because you likely have a talent for de-escalating situations and can almost always find just the "right words", you often significantly improve the morale of organizations to which you belong.

The four types of Idealists are:
Champion (ENFP) | Healer (INFP) | Teacher (ENFJ) | Counselor (INFJ)
Which one are you? 


10 kind comments from you:

annoyed army wife said...

I'm an INFJ and OccDoc is an INFP. I thought it would change over the years, but I've gotten the same result for the last 15 years. You are definitely not alone and you aren't the only one who is disappointed when things don't go as planned or imagined.

Anonymous said...

@annoyed army wife: Okay, that's maybe the second time in my life I've heard another person identify themselves as INFJ (there are so few of us!).

My husband is an ISTP and has a massively different outlook on life. For us it sort of works, but we know we will always look at things differently.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time being disappointed in how things are as opposed to how they should be. I spend even more obsessing about how I'm not the way I "should be". Idealism is not for the faint of heart! Hang in there.

beka said...

i turned out to be an idealist, too....
i'm not sure what that means for me right now.
i need to think about it more.

beka said...

...actually, yes, i do see where i wish things were more ideal.
but a few of those things are just....well, walking away. have walked away in the past. moved away.
sometimes i just try not to think about it.


Mowenackie said...

Yup, that's me! Not the best personality type for a military wife, but it's something we have to figure out or be miserable. It sucks.

I'm an INTJ, but I am also the teacher-type (I'm not one professionally, though I have a Masters in Education). You can tell this by the way I try to teach my husband the "right way" to do everything. And by "right way" I mean, "my way".

I spend lots of time wishing I were as laid back as he is. But then, nothing would ever get done.

I'm a conflicted mortal.

Chantal said...

I've done tests like this before but couldn't totally remember what I came out as. This time, it was Guarding, and it rang a bell - I must've gotten it before! I'd really like to do the full test but I'm too cheap. ;)

A Boring Girl said...

You are a great friend and failed no one. The parking ticket was not your fault and you should not feel that way. It was just a horrible no good day. I think everyone wishes for an "ideal" life....does that even exist?

JennyTheBeatBoxer said...

I'm the same way! I get soooo upset when the plan is changed. I don't usually show it outwardly unless it is something I'm really looking forward to. Or if it's because someone is being completely inconsiderate and just blowing me off. I like to make plans and stick to them...I'm trying to stop that though because I've heard time and time again to never make plans in the military..and that's what my life will be in a short time lol.

Mrs. H said...

Sing it sister!
I'm the exact same way (our car has been towed many a day...people are usually unfriendly and unhelpful even if instill our hope in them...)

But the best medicine is to laugh out loud and remember that in due time it will be over :)

Sarah said...

I'm the same - Idealist INFP (Healer). I've struggled (and still do sometimes) with dismissing people and groups who let me down, often those I'm closest to. They don't even have to be mean to me, just not live up to what I believe to be decent human thought or action. Particularly in our church, I've walked a long slow journey of learning to let love trump the inevitable disappointments, rather than withdrawing and letting bitterness alienate me. It's really hard for idealists like us, but we have to try keep our hearts big and wide-open to remain true to who we are. I have no doubt you'll be able to do that, and I'll be right beside ya, figuratively. :)

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