Who Are We, Anyways?

At the beginning of this MOPS year, I had my steering team do a little personality exercise.  I asked them all to do this  (sorry – you won’t be able to see it unless you’re a MOPS leader!) and determine what type of personality they were – a lion, beaver, golden retriever, or otter*.  I asked them not to share with one another what personality they’d discovered.

Some info on the personality type activity from the MOPS website- “You choose certain adjectives that most describe you. For instance, if you see yourself as an assertive, take-charge leader, you may be a lion. If you are energetic and fun-loving, you’re apt to be an otter. If you are loyal and nurturing, you’re a golden retriever. And if you’re orderly and detail-oriented, you’re most likely a beaver.”

Then when we got together, I had each of them vote to try to guess what everyone else’s personality was.  I thought it would be fun to see if the majority vote of the team could accurately guess the personality. 

What was fascinating is that I don’t think the “team” (the majority vote) guessed anyone correctly!  And with the exception of a couple of women, most of the team knows one another pretty well.

For example, I had determined that I was a beaver.  But almost everyone on my team guessed that I was a golden retriever.

The bottom line was that there was a disconnect between how each woman viewed themselves – and how everyone else viewed them. 

I keep thinking about this.  It really surprised me that my team didn’t see me as what I’ve always thought I was.  I mean, every personality test I’ve ever taken – Myers-Briggs, etc. – has pegged me as an analytical, practical, introverted, black-and-white type of person.  Maybe sometimes insensitive.  You know, an engineer-type.  But my team sees me as someone who is loyal, faithful, listens carefully, helpful, patient.  Whaaaat? (and thank you!)

So it makes me ask,  Who are we, really?  Are we what we see ourselves as, or are we what everyone else sees?   Maybe it’s just a mix – I suppose those things above aren’t mutually exclusive. 

Is my perception of myself wrong?  Maybe I’ve changed?  Or do I outwardly display different characteristics than what I am feeling inside?  Maybe the women on my team just see a limited view of “me” or they’re just flat-out wrong?  Or has the Holy Spirit made me into a new creation?

I acknowledge that the “test” isn’t exactly the most scientific thing in the world!  But it sure has given me a lot to think about lately.

What do you think?

*The personality test can be found in the book “What Every Mom Needs” by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall and is excerpted from John Trent’s book, “The Treasure Tree”.

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