Thursday, January 12, 2012

Was That Really Me?: How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality By Naomi L. Quenk

Was That Really Me?: How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality

Was That Really Me?: How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality By Naomi L. Quenk

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Product Description

Outlining the stress patterns of 16 personality types using the framework of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, this book includes startling information on work-related stress and long-term stress.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #206231 in Books
  • Published on: 2002-08-13
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 1.10" h x 6.00" w x 9.00" l, 1.25 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 368 pages
Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap
In WAS THAT REALLY ME?, Naomi Quenk has provided the next giant step in applying Jung's model of development in healthy personalities. That step is to understand, accept, and learn to handle our hidden personality responsibly. Updating the classic BESIDE OURSELVES, Quenk has given us a way to understand this part of ourselves as well as a practical guide for turning what appears to be negative into a positive awareness that enhances our growth and effectiveness. People typically find this to be a surprisingly freeing experience.

From the Forword by Katharine D. Myers

About the Author
Naomi L. Quenk, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has written numerous research and theoretical articles on psychological type, and is author or coauthor of several books and technical guides on the understanding and use of Jungian type concepts for healthy human development. Formerly president of the Association for Psychological Type (APT) and director of training for the APT MBTI(r) training program, she has conducted type training workshops around the world for many years.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

In the nearly ten years since BESIDE OURSELVES, the first edition of this book, was published, I have learned a great deal more about how and when our hidden personality emerges in daily life. I now have a much greater appreciation of out-of-character episodes as essential to our general well-being as well as to our continuing growth and development. I continue to be awed by the overwhelming evidence that we are born with everything we need to become effective and complete human beings.

In this new edition, the notion of stress is central. Stress is broadly defined as any external or internal event that lessens or depletes the energy we typically have available to conduct our daily lives. I use this expanded definition of stress to explain and illustrate the ways in which stress is a necessary and sufficient stimulus for bringing out our hidden personality. My goal is to help readers arrive at an enlightening and helpful answer to the question "Was that really me?"

I have often been asked just how and why I became interested in individual differences in healthy personalities. As with many of my colleagues, my earliest interest in psychology was in psychopathology. However, psychological problems--difficult childhood experiences, trauma, deprivation, and so on--seemed pretty easy to explain. Accounting for psychological health seemed a much more challenging enterprise. It was therefore fortunate that I was introduced to psychological type in 1960 on my first day of graduate school in the psychology department at the University of California at Berkeley. I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(r) (MBTI(r)) personality inventory along with a number of other personality tests. At the time, the MBTI inventory was a little-known personality instrument used only by a few researchers. Later, when I received my test results, I was surprised that the description of type, INFP, was so positive. Despite my interest in health rather than pathology, !

I had expected results that pointed out the negative and pathological.

Over the next several years I learned more about the MBTI inventory through the creativity studies at Berkeley's Institute for Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). I used the instrument in my dissertation research, although it was not my central focus. I was impressed with its potential as a vehicle for exploring normal, healthy human behavior, which continues to be my focus as a researcher, psychotherapist, teacher, and participant in all other aspects of life.

A major influence that eventually led me to write BESIDE OURSELVES was my reading of C.G. Jung's book PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPES. Over the course of several years I read most of Jung's writings, and my depth and breadth of understanding vastly increased as I came to understand the overall Jungian context within which typology exists. I have included a discussion of the inferior function, or hidden personality, in most of the introductory MBTI workshops I have taught and have developed workshops that focus specifically on this puzzling, yet readily understood, aspect of our everyday personality.

Since the publication of BESIDE OURSELVES in 1993, a great many people have become familiar with their own and others' inferior function experiences through reading either the book itself or a booklet-length version called IN THE GRIP (1996, 2000). Hundreds of people have attended workshops and shared their experiences and insights, which has formed the basis for this revision.

This revised edition has a simpler explanation of type dynamics, type differentiation, and type development than the previous edition and includes a discussion of what each type finds particularly energizing in the workplace. It focuses in part on expressions of the inferior function that persist over time. Using our broadened definition of stress, this may be the result of daily stresses, fatigue, illness, or other disruptions to our available energy. Work stress is used as an example of the kind of long-term, persistent stress that may keep a person chronically in the grip, and a new section describes what each type finds particularly stressful at work. In addition, the large amount of new information from individuals and groups permitted expanded discussion of the influence of the tertiary and auxiliary functions on different aspects of the inferior function experience. Gender differences are included where sufficient information was available.

New "stories" about people in the grip of their inferior function have replaced some of those from the first edition. Each of the eight inferior function chapters contains at least one story that describes the effects of persistent stress and the chronic grip expressions that occurred. The new stories, as well as the new quotations from different types that are sprinkled throughout the book, were obtained from the responses of hundred or workshop participants, psychotherapy clients, and others who answered questionnaires or volunteered to contribute stories for the book. I was fortunate to have questionnaires provided by a sample of several hundred men and women in their early twenties whose training program included learning about psycholoical type and verifying their MBTI type. In addition, research data dealing with stress, coping with stress, and health and illness behavior were available from studies conducted for the revised MBTI MANUAL that was published in 1998. Readers who would like detailed information that covers both research results and anecdotal data on the inferior function will find it in summary form in the second edition of IN THE GRIP.

The information in both the first and second editions of this book is rooted in Jung's many insights, especially his notion that people are naturally oriented toward becoming their individual selves as completely as possible. Such an effort on the part of individuals requires understanding and accepting the seemingly "negative" parts of ourselves as necessary, healthy, and productive. I hope that reading this book will encourage people to appreciate their innate and omnipresent capacity for self-knowledge and growth as individuals, in relationships, and as members of society.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

87 of 89 people found the following review helpful.
5So, was it really me?
By girlboxer5
This has to be one of the most interesting books I've yet read on Jungian/Briggsian personality type dynamics, and probably one of the most accurate as well, when it comes to predicting how a certain personality will react when under stress. Actually, that is the central topic to this fascinating book: how different, normal personalities react in different ways to external stressors, which vary, as well, by the 16 different types.

What's fascinating is to see, for example, that as an INTP, my stressors are radically different than they would be for an ESFJ (my polar opposite). What I find to be stressful, someone of another personality type would find to be the ideal situation in which to find him/herself. My stressors include: routine work, having my space intruded on at work, situations that involve lots of forced small talk, deadlines, inefficient paperwork and excessively (to me) emotional situations. And yet, someone else might find precisely these kinds of things heavenly.

I found typical INTP (related, ISTP) reactions to highly stressed situations to be very true for me as well. From the bitter cynicism, to blowing up emotionally and completely losing control, to losing complete touch with logic, I've seen every one of these behaviors in me when I'm pushed to the max, and am forced into the depths of emotion. Sometimes I don't stay there very long, in fact, I honestly hate being there, exactly as Quenk mentions.

What's even more interesting about this book, is that the behaviors are culled from Quenk's experiences and interviews with hundreds of different individuals from all personality types. While each person's reaction is very slightly different within the explorations of the sixteen types, it's very easy to see some very common patterns. Quenk does this in a very well thought out and a thouroughly researched manner.

My one (VERY) small gripe with the book is that there appears to have been a template used for each of the personality type chapters, because the introductory paragraphs to each subsection of each chapter are identical. But, with the sheer wealth of information in this book, it's really almost irrelevant. I've learned a lot about how to handle my "grip" and stressed behaviors a bit better, and to understand others' stressors as well.

A wonderful book, and a must-read reference for everyone!

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful.
5This was so accurate, it scared me.
By A Customer
This book was incredibly accurate in describing me when I'm under stress. I never knew why, when under stress, I can't seem to keep track of ANY details and I become completely disorganized. Upon reading the book, I found out that people of my personality types (I'm an ISXJ, which means that I fit most of the description for both ISFJ, and ISTJ) tend to lose control of facts and details in their lives, which these 2 personality types are normally pros at dealing with. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of the MBTI types by learning how the types act when under stress (and "in the grip" of their inferior function).

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
5Hauntingly True Descriptions!
By Tang Li Chow
I am learning to practise MBTI. After reading the rave reviews on Amazon, I decided to buy this book.

I have to say the descriptions in the book of my wife's and my Type is hauntingly true.

One of my classmates at the MBTI accreditation program who read her own Type description was also fascinated. She was hooked and could not put it down immediately when the training resumed.

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