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Activities: Activity 6.1

From Kelly, p. 58

Jim and Sheila were right about each other. They are different. Yet they were able to salvage their marriage after they were shown how all of us fall into one of four basic personality classifications. With this knowledge, Jim and Sheila learned to be more flexible in their differences.

The theory utilized here was established by Carl Jung. He wrote that, in human communication, people are divided into four distinctive behavioral categories. People who belong to the same behavioral category tend to wear the same kind of clothes, have the same kind of friends, see the world in the same way, and so on.

But the important point of the four categories is how they affect communication style. If our communication styles are similar, we think alike, enjoy the same kinds of activities, and express ideas in the same way. But if our styles are different, we may have a diffcult time fully understanding each other. There are four basic communicating styles: the thinker, the feeler, the intuitor, and the sensor.

The “thinker” is organized, structured, and always searches for facts. He seldom makes quick, unprepared decisions. But once having made a decision, he will stick with it. The “thinker” has a conservative look, an orderly life, and an accurate checkbook. On the negative side, he can get too engrossed in details and be rigid and boring. Only about one in every four Americans is in this category. They include engineers, computer specialists, lawyers, accountants, and teachers.

The second classification is called the “feeler.” The “feeler” is emotional and known for his love of people, adventure, and involvement. For this group, the biggest problem is boredom. They are always trying new things. “Feelers” tend to enjoy pleasing themselves. They like bright styles and bright colors. But for persons with other communication styles, the “feeler” can be a real nuisance: unpredictable, with a “don’t care,” “free-spirit” attitude. Some experts estimate that 25% of our population are “feelers.” They turn up in such fields as acting, sales, writing, and nursing.

The third class is the “intuitor.” They are imaginative and enjoy mind-testing games. The technical details of life often bore them or are just forgotten. People of other styles are easily irritated by the “intuitor” because she gets impatient with anyone who doesn’t see the immediate value of her ideas. She is usually rigid, uncompromising, and impractical. There are not many “intuitors,” only about one person in ten. They are inventors, scientists, and researchers.

The last group is the “sensor.” The “sensor” is easy to spot. They make up about 40% of the American population. The “sensor” enjoys the thrill of the chase, plus a fast payoff. Her answer to feelings of doubt or anxiety is to do something. Many business executives in America are “sensors” and so are many of our best athletes. The “sensor” tends to give and demand total loyalty. If she fails, she tends to blame others for not being as aggressive as she is.

Jim was a “thinker,” while Sheila was a “feeler.” After they understood how each other communicated and dealt with issues, they were able to better handle any conflicts that arose in their marriage.

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