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Hey everyone, I’m Erik Thor, an expert on using personality psychology for flow and personal development.

How You See Your Parents, Based On Your Myers Briggs Personality Type

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In this article, learn that your opinion of your parents is shaped not only by their behavior towards you but also by your expectations of them. It is more common for people to see their parents as opposite to them, despite the fact that we tend to share some common genetics. There have been no scientific studies on the MBTI of a child and the MBTI of the parent. But there have been plenty of studies on the Big 5, most reporting significant similarities in the range of moderate to high (40 – 60%) similarities. We may therefore frequently mistype our parents, simply because we only see their role and behavior relative to what personality we have.

Because parents also have a position of power over us when we grow up, we may also naturally go through a teenage rebellion phase where we wish to separate or grow an individual personality apart from what our parents might expect from us. Still, most tend to report feeling a stronger connection to their parents as they grow older and have kids of their own. This can of course depend on how difficult your upbringing was, and how much support your parents were able to offer you when growing up.

In practice though, we tend to end up a lot more like our parents than we might want to think, and even if we might develop some differences from each other, we are still objectively quite similar to our family members, when we compare ourselves to people outside the family. Some of our experiences may be projected onto our parents because of our unique personalities.

How you look at your parents based on your Myers Briggs Personality Type

Because in general, our parents are more balanced than us, and because personality differences tend to present more extremely in young people, we tend to often type our parents as opposite to us. This leads me to argue the following:

How introverts look at their parents

People who are highly introverted might see their parents as more extroverted. You might say that your parents are too intense, too much in a rush, or too demanding of your attention. It’s more common for highly introverted people to have high self-efficacy, and wants less direct help and support. Because of this, you may have to set boundaries against your parents more frequently, letting them know you need time to process, and preferably a warning ahead of time. Space is more important to introverts.

How extroverts look at their parents

People who are highly extroverted can often feel that their parents are unavailable or inattentive to their needs, or that their parents frequently force them to slow down. This may come from a feeling of not being listened to, of not having the same energy level as the parent, or from feeling like the parent is too busy for them. This can cause a feeling of loneliness or even frustration, as the extrovert may feel that their efforts are not appreciated or reciprocated.

How Intuitives could perceive their parents

Intuitives might think their parents are too traditional and don’t like changes. They might be too strict or want to do things the same way they’ve always done. Intuitives might feel that their new ideas are dismissed or that their parents are too protective. Intuitives might also feel that they are not allowed to be weird or different, and that their parents worry too much about social stigmas and norms.

How Sensors might perceive their parents

People who are highly Sensing-oriented may feel that their parents have an overwhelming approach to life, and consistently introduce them to new things which can cause feelings of insecurity. They might also struggle with having expectations that are too frequently changing, or not clearly articulated or established.

How Thinking types might perceive their parents

When a person is strong in Thinking, they might struggle with or perceive their parents as too unrealistic, with their heads in the clouds, or as unable to think critically about a situation. Thinking children might also feel that their input is not heard or listened to.

How Judging types might perceive their parents

Judging people often feel that their parents are not living up to their expectations when it comes to being proactive, especially when it comes to making plans and organizing projects. They may feel like their parents are too laid back or not ambitious enough, leading them to be less successful than they could be. Or they feel that their hard work is not appreciated or rewarded enough.

How Perceiving types might perceive their parents

Perceiving children may feel overwhelmed by the pressure and expectations their parents have for them, causing them to rarely be able to enjoy leisure activities or simply just play. This can lead them to see their parents as overly strict and not understanding the importance of having fun and taking time to relax.

How can we type our parents more accurately?

It can absolutely be the case that you have typed your parents accurately, and that they really are opposite to you. But it does seem that in general, people exaggerate differences between themselves and their family members. Not that these differences are not notable, but they are often relative to how we present in our family, not in society as a whole.

It’s important to remember that some of our experiences of our parents are projected onto them, not because of who they are, but because our needs are different as kids with a certain personality type preference. Consider what your parents are by themselves, for themselves, not necessarily around you or in their role as a caregiver. Perhaps sit down with them and ask them questions and get them to define and explain how they see themselves and what they want or prefer.

If you have any personal opinions of them, ask them if these opinions are true, and get them to clarify how they see it in themselves. Jung would say it is of the utmost importance that we treat each person as a unique human soul and that we give people a language and a space to define our own personal experiences of life. When a person is not listened to or given a space to share their own point of view, this can damage their self-esteem or cause them to feel more disconnected from us.


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