Poetry by Charles Joseph

Type Talk – Book reaction

Read Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen to save your relationships and to save your marriage.

One of the most uncomfortable things that this book opened up my eyes to is that everyone can be fit into a box. And this box is bound by 4 letters. That’s problematic to me because, like most of us, I thought I was “unique”. I strive to be different from everyone around me. I am different—just like everyone else.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life telling people, pushing people to “be yourself” and accept themselves for who they are. Meanwhile, I never practiced that. If you know me, or know about me, then you’d be surprised to read that I never applied the “be yourself” advice to myself. Everyone views me as a “very authentic” person who does not care about other people’s opinions as I am always my pure self, blah blah blah. Unfortunately, I’ve led them to believe that lie. Who “I am” is, and has always been, heavily influenced by the opinions and desires of others. I created a false personality that gives the people what they want and who they lack. “Haha, everybody needs a ‘Charles’ in their life!”

My first roommate, after I had moved out of my parents’ place, was beyond confused as he observed that the “Charles” who is always super energetic, charismatic, and making everyone laugh, always stays in his room and barely comes out to interact. As energetic and charismatic as I am, that’s only the part of me that I knew how to let others see. People would laugh that I’m an extrovert, and I’d laugh right back in agreement while secretly confirming with myself that something is off—that I’m actually an introvert. But then how do I explain all of this energy and dare to socialize with others? I didn’t really know who I am. I also didn’t know myself well enough to publicly own my personality or vocalize the suspicions that I had of it. Reading Type Talk has primarily made me realize, “Oh! Wait a minute—that is me! That explains why I feel these urges that I always suppress in order to feed the needs of the crowd!” Reading about a personality type and resonating so much with it is the one thing, after all of this growth and personality development tactics, that made me learn and accept who I am. I feel validated. I am no longer someone who force upon others a phony personality that does the trick.

In conversation with an old coworker of mine, he told me something that will never leave my conscience, “people should be left alone. As long as the person is not killing people…or raping anybody, you shouldn’t be spending too much of your energy being angry at that person” Or trying to make them into something else. He understood. This book made me realize that I need to stop doing something that myself, my parents, and a lot of us have been doing for our entire lives. That something is trying to mold another person into our perception of what the “perfect” person is, or what it means to be an “ideal” person in society. “Why are you like this?” (Why are you not like me?) That something is receiving people from the lens of our personality type but then revolting against them when they do not fit the characteristics of our personality. Each individual is who they are, and no amount of advice, persuasion, coaching, coercing, punishment, mentorship, or self-help book, will change who they are. So, if you want to have a positive (or negative, I don’t know haha) impact on someone’s life or personality development, then try playing the game in their field. Take time to understand the rule of their world. Judge them through their lens. If not, then you will both end up confused with an ineffective method. I have a more concrete education on what it means to “accept” someone for who they are, or free them to accept themselves.

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February 2023

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