My Parents’ Influence on My Personality
I recently went through an exercise where friends and coworkers rated my personality strengths and weaknesses. I’m a solid INTP so it wasn’t terrible surprising that the list contained words like: independent, logical, unconventional, shy, jaded, cynical, restless and critical.
My parents are so shockingly different that most people can’t even fathom how they ever ended up married much less how the managed to live together for three years. Even at the basic level – my father leads with logic and my mother is all emotion. What I remember of them together is best defined as contentious. I’d describe my father as calm, controlled, introverted, deliberate and my mother is sensitive, expressive, outgoing and impulsive. My father at his core is a scientist and my mother is an artist. You'd turn to my father if you needed a stabilizing influence and my mother if you wanted to shake things up.
Me? If you haven't guessed by now, I’m certainly my father's child. My strongest personality traits are ones we both share – stoic, autonomous, and thoughtful. On the down side we’re horrible with conflict, detached and distrustful and have a tendency to burn bridges to the ground when we’re done. Where we differ is primarily in self-examination and the desire to be a better person. I used to loathe the comparison and be quick to point out the handful of differences and why they were far more important. As I’ve gotten older though and seen the path of my life go in a different direction than his I’m more appreciative and reflective about our similarities and what that has taught me along the way.