Posts tagged: personality differences


By , February 23, 2009 4:11 pm

In “Why Cry?” Part One, “Are Women Better At Crying Than Men?”, I pointed to a gender difference, but I also found a better descriptor in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator distinction between Thinkers and Feelers, allowing for a goodly percentage of male Feelers and women Thinkers who do not fit the gender mold on this distinction.

Here, I will compare two videos, one of Eugene Gendlin describing Focusing as a Thinker on the MBTI, a second of Kelly Corrigan describing Women’s Strength and Connection as a Feeler on the MBTI, becoming “touched” and “moved” to tears during her presentation.

Gene Gendlin on YouTube
First, let’s take a look at Gene Gendlin, creator of Focusing,  in person on YouTube, through the wonderful efforts of Simon d’Ortega and Nada Lou. You will see Gendlin, now in his 80s, in his gentleness, his intelligence, his great wisdom, and his wonderful humor. However, you will not see him “being touched” or “being moved” to tears (I have, however, seen Gendlin with tears. So I include these videos just as a contrast in these moments)
Short but sweet, less than two minutes:
“That Place That Knows”
“Theory, TAE, and Democracy 

Thinking At The Edge Part One: Mary Hendricks-Gendlin Introduction
For more, go to and Search Eugene Gendlin.
Being Touched: Kelly Corrigan on Transcending: Words on Women and Strength
I got this message by email from my “Women Relatives” group:
“I wonder if you’ve seen this ~ it’s perfect and so are all of you ~
friends, sisters, moms.” And the following link:
Transcending: Words on Women and Strength 
If you can’t open this, go to  and search for Kelly Corrigan and watch Transcending: Words on Women and Strength. You will see Corrigan “being touched” and “being moved” to tears as she speaks, and you may well find yourself having a corresponding emotional response. My women friends and relatives communicate between each other in this way as a matter of course, sending each other “touching” emails, as well as humorous ones. Corrigan and the women experiencing their tears with her are also being “bonded together” by their shared empathetic response. Feelings are inherently relational and draw people into contact.
Okay, in case you thing this topic of tears is “too heavy,” here are two more humorous YouTubes to check out, totally for fun and having nothing to do with Focusing:
“The Mom Song,” this is hysterical. Sung to William Tell Overture, about 3 minutes.   
“The Mean Kitty Song”
Tears As Harbingers Of Deep Meaning
I have collected countless paragraphs from works of fiction which mention the “coming of tears” as harbingers of deep meaning — profound love, relief, connection, millions of things. We all know that people cry at births and weddings, beautiful, moving music, sunsets, moments of compassion seen between people, etc. Even grieving, if looked at without prejudice, contains many warm, joyful memories and re-connections with the beloved. Etc., etc. 
What matters to me in terms of Focusing is that, noticing even the tiniest sheen of tears in the eyes, or sometimes just the softening of the skin around the eyes, or the quivering of a cheek muscle, or a slight wiping gesture toward the eyes — if the person or the Listener/therapist notices these “openings,” and suggests spending some Focusing time with “Whatever brings the tears,” huge wealth of personal, profound, meaning/carrying forward usually arises, as well as life-giving moments of I-Thou connection between the participants (even a whole group of “witnesses”) that is Sacred/soul-building.

In “Why Cry?” Part Three, I will explore phenomenological research on the kind of crying called “Tears of Wonder/Joy,” a positive experience of awe and transcendence.


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Creative Edge Focusing ( ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

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 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)



By , October 26, 2007 6:21 pm

 Conceptos Básicos de Focusing de Borde Creativo para Padres que Crían de Manera Positiva. 

  • ·        Para criar niños en el mundo de hoy, los padres deben ser “mentores” de sus hijos, para que sean independientes y flexibles en la solución de sus problemas y en la toma de decisiones.  Los niños necesitan guías, mentores como el personaje Yoda en StarWars, no personas autoritarias. 
  • ·        Los niños tiene un acceso natural al “sentir intuitivo” que es básico de Focusing Intuitivo.  La guía interna conduce a la toma de decisiones de manera independiente, tener una “consciencia” y tener una vida satisfactoria la cual satisface el proyecto detallado de vida en cuanto a  talentos específicos y a  aspiraciones únicas.
  • ·        La crianza positiva ayuda a los niños a mantener y desarrollar esta “guía interna”.  Al usar la Escucha Focalizada, los padres aprenden a ayudar a los niños a encontrar su propia solución a los problemas. 
  • ·        El abuso físico, sexual y emocional son el enemigo para desarrollar este sentido interno, esta consciencia y guía para la toma independiente de decisiones. Ellos enseñan a los niños a disociarse de sus cuerpos, desde su “experiencia Sentida” o su “sentir intuitivo”.
  •  ·        Educar a los padres para que críen a sus hijos no es suficiente; los padres deben sanar su propio “Niño Interno” antes de que puedan alterar su comportamiento hacia sus hijos.  El Proceso de Solución de Problemas PRISMAS/S con su destrezas básicas Focusing Intuitivo y Escucha Focalizada son necesarios para el cambio a nivel de Paradigmas cognitivos/emocionales/esquemas de comportamiento que determinan la conducta, las emociones y el pensamiento.       El kaleidoscopio tiene que virar…
  •  ·        Los padres pueden aprender a usar Escucha Focalizada y Focusing Intuitivo en su propia relación.  La Pirámide de Borde Creativo incluye aplicaciones de PRISMAS/S en muchos niveles.  Los padres pueden ayudarse unos a otros con la curación de su Niño Interno a través de turnos de Focusing en Pareja. Pueden usar también Focusing Interpersonal para resolver conflictos entre ellos mismos en cuanto a estilos de crianza. 
  • ·        Los Grupos de Apoyo en la crianza son absolutamente necesarios.  Cuando los padres comparten con otros padres pueden tener ayuda en épocas de crisis ya sea en sus matrimonios o como padres solteros.  La esencia de los grupos de apoyo consiste en (a) Ud. no está sólo, Ud. no es el único experimentando esas cosas, (b) Todos Uds. son expertos.  Al usar sus propios recursos pueden solucionar sus problemas, pueden mover montañas.  Los Grupos de Focusing y la Comunidades de Focusing proveen auto-ayuda, modelos de consejo de pares para grupos de apoyo. 

 CUATRO APLICACIONES DE LA ESCUCHA/FOCUSING PARA PADRES QUE CRIAN:Las destrezas básicas Focusing Intuitivo y Escucha Focalizada pueden ser aplicadas a la crianza de cuatro maneras diferentes, dos primariamente para sus hijos, y dos para Uds. como padres.  Le llamo a esto “Crianza Interna/Externa…” Lea más acerca de las destrezas arriba mencionadas y baje artículos a su computadora como: “Padres como Espejos: Previniendo el Narcisismo”. “Poniendo Límites Mientras se Permiten Elecciones” “Crianza Positiva: Escucharse a Sí Mismo, Escuchar a su Pareja, Escuchar a su Hijo” En: Creative Edge Focusing (Focusing de Borde Creativo)Área de Interés (Positive Parentering) Crianza Positiva http/: you/3a1d.php 

  • Otros sitios web interesantes: 

Jane Nelson (autora de Disciplina Positiva, mi libro favorito sobre crianza) 

Programa de Entrenamiento Padre a Padre en CHADD (organismo nacional para Niños y Padres con Desorden de Déficit Atencional) 

Recursos y

Entrenamiento del programa de crianza positiva   

DRa. Kathy McGuire, Directora


  • TraducciónAgnes Rodríguez. 


By , October 26, 2007 3:37 pm

The Enneagram: Looking At Your Shadow Side 

While the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (see description and tests at )stresses the positive, our “differing gifts,” The Enneagram helps us to take a brave look at our shadow side, our personal demon, and the motivations driving us.

I find it interesting that, even if someone’s MBTI is exactly the same as mine, the person can seem to be very different from me in how they behave. Especially if I am getting into conflict with the person, I often try to figure out their Enneagram as well to see if that sheds light on the situation.

There are nine basic personality types, refined by degree of interaction with the other types.  They are The Reformer, The Helper, The Motivator, The Artist, The Thinker, The Loyalist, The Generalist, The Leader, and The Peacemaker. However, complexities involve leaning toward one”wing” or the other and passing into a different type when ideal vs. under stress, etc.

Riso’s book, Discover Your Personality Type: The New Enneagram Questionnaire (Houghton Mifflin, 1995) provides a simple description and test for exploring your Enneagram profile. However, Helen Palmer’s work with the Enneagram can lead to somewhat different results. Again, try several tests and see what you learn:

More Personality Tests and a philosophy for conflict resolution through understanding Individual Differences at

Dr. Kathy McGuire


Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

Are you Sensing or Intuitive? Look below

By , October 15, 2007 2:02 pm

Two Oz DioramasOkay, I think I have managed to attach a photo of the Two Wizard of Oz diorama mentioned in my first post. Take a look: my iNtuitive(MBTI) one on the left tells the story: the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East, the Wicked Witch of the West put Dorothy, Scarecrow, and Lion to sleep in the poppy field — but Tin Man, because of “no heart,” is still awake, looking for help, and Glenda Good Witch is on the scene. All metaphor.

 The other diorama, strong on Sensing (MBTI), has carefully-drawn bricks on the yellow road, leaves attached, tiny dog and basket details added to Dorothy. But no story-telling. Which one draws you? And why? Please comment! It was hard to get this photo up here (but now look for more to come! This is fun!)

Can the MBTI save your marriage and family?

By , October 14, 2007 3:18 pm

I first came upon the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator when my adopted son entered public school as a first grader. Immediately, he was diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder With Hyperactivity (ADHD).

 Here I had been living with this vastly entertaining, golden boy for seven years (from birth) and, suddenly, because he could not sit still at a desk and listen to a teacher talk, there was something really wrong with him, something needing medication.

Although I am a clinical psychologist, I am not a big fan of medication as the first choice for everything (absolutely, there are times when it is life-saving, can save lives with depression or bopolar and help greatly with ADHD). And, being a client-centered (based upon the work of Carl Rogers) therapist, I believe that every person has a unique path, unique talents, a unique acorn that will grow into a unique tree.

So I started looking for a way to describe all of my child’s positive strengths to his teachers, e.g., no, he didn’t sit still, but, yes, he could do puzzles way better than most children. No, he didn’t sit still, but, yes, he could put objects together and fix machinery. No, he didn’t sit still, but, yes, he was an amazing athlete, always friendly and happy, etc.

The best tool I found was Keirsey & Bates, Please Understand Me (Prometheus Nemesis Book Co.,1984), still my favorite inexpensive, user-friendly introduction to personality differences. There is a modified version of the MBTI in the front with scoring sheet and explanations of the sixteen personality types generated.

I identified my son as an EST(F)P, an “artisan,” an “active, hands-on learner.” (see the tables included at the end of  my short article, “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory”,, for Thumbnail descriptions of each of 16 MBTI “types”). I then could use the classroom-oriented work of Thomas Armstrong (ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, ASCD, 1999) and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory and many other tools to fight for active, hands-on learning options for my child at school.

As a single mom, I also started to apply the MBTI to my understanding of relationships. At one point, thinking I had honed in on the problem, I posted newspaper “personal ads” saying I was looking for an “NF” (iNtuitive Feeler) partner. I found one, and it didn’t work out! Maybe we were too similar!

Instead, I found an ISTJ partner, a wonderful compliment to my INFJ  type. Right from the beginning, I shared MBTI understandings with him.  We knew we shared an Introverted (I)love of quiet alone time and a Judging (J) love of organization and structure. His Sensing (S), reality-oriented common sense balances my iNtuitive (N) “sixth sense” global  imagination. His Thinking (T) ability to be objective and analytical actually complements and balances my Feeling (F) ability to be subjective, relational, and empathic.

However, without the MBTI understanding of our difference, we might have floundered, him finding me “overly emotional, ” me finding him “overly intellectualized,” him finding me “unrealistic,” me finding him “boring and mundane.” 

As a “mature” couple (he on his third marriage, I my second), perhaps we had also realized that compromise, appreciation, and mutual respect for difference were key to continuing relationship. We discussed how our former spouses, both P’s, had brought spontaneity and fun, but also lateness and disorganization that we couldn’t tolerate.

What does the MBTI understanding do for you? When your child or partner does something that makes you think, “This person must be from a different planet,” or “This person is crazy,” or “This person is evil,” looking at MBTI differences can help you see that, yes, this person is radically different from you, but he is like a whole lot of other people, a whole “type” of people with unique talents and unique “gifts” to bring to the table.

A few examples:

I am rushing to get my son to the bus for a winter retreat with his church group, up on a mountain. Arriving early (which, as a J, I like to do), I look down and see that, on his feet, he has no socks and flipflops, his only shoes for the trip. I am screaming at him as I rush home for “appropriate shoes,” “How could you……?!!!!!” Then, I realize, for someone who is “spontaneous, lives-in-the-moment, is the life of the party,” thinking ahead to a snow-covered mountain was just not in his repertoire.

One of my husband’s former wives gave him this reason when, after 15 years, announcing “out of the blue” that she was leaving him: “Remember that time we were moving, and I wanted to stop to say goodbye to friends (F) and you said we couldn’t, we had to stay on schedule so we could return the van on time(TJ) ? That’s why.”

When I am caught up in too much feeling (F), my husband can steady the ship with an “objective analysis” of what is happening (T).

Enough for today. Main point: people really are different and, rather than hate them for it, embrace these many “gifts” by using tools like the MBTI.

Who fell over in Wizard of Oz and why?

By , October 11, 2007 10:56 pm

I’m Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director of Creative Edge Focusing (TM) at . I have thirty years experience as a psychotherapist, peer counseling teacher, and decision making consultant. But, here in this blog, I will talk about whatever comes to mind, be it food (Intuitive Cooking), sex (Collaborative Edge Sexuality), Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening (Core Skills taught at ), shopping, relationships, conflict resolution, personality tests, spirituality, creativity, Creative Edge Organizations — everything I’ve learned and want to share.

I think of this blog as Ultimate Self-Help — sharing what we learn that can help others save time, money, their relationships, their spirituality, their world, their work situations, etc.

The story below points to dynamics that happen in all relationships, be they for love, friendship, or business. I don’t believe that we can understand other people unless we come to grips with the idea that people can be really, really different from us, like from another planet, but that there are categories for these differences, as simple as fire, water, air, and earth, but also way more complex “personality tests.”

You can read a more theoretical presentation about The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), my favorite test of individual differences,  in the article “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory” at and actually find links to take a version of this personality test and others at, but here is a funny illustrative story:

Yesterday, I went to my doll club (yes, this is how I “lighten up”) It was a Halloween party, the theme was Wizard of Oz, I was in charge, and we had contests: Best homemade costumed doll, Best bought homemade doll, Best diorama (this is a scene in miniature).

My story is about my diorama and how it was totally misunderstood because of a personality difference between me (an iNtuitive on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI, 25% of people) and the majority (Sensors on the MBTI, 75% of people).

There were two entries under Dioramas. Both of us had gotten our 5 1/2 ” dolls from a McDonald’s promotion, so the 8 “character” dolls we used were identical. We both used a cookie sheet size “ground.”

In mine, I had the Wicked Witch of the East (was that the first sister, with the striped stockings and ruby slippers? We iNtuitives are really bad at details, but long on imagination and creativity!) lying down with a miniature house lying on top of her, legs sticking out (you know, Dorothy’s house blew away from Kansas in a tornado and landed on the witch!).

I had the other Witch (of the West? In black) standing over Dorothy, Scarecrow, and Lion, who were all lying down in a drugged sleep in a field of “poppies” (red fake flowers) next to the “yellow brick road” (yellow construction paper). The Tin Man was still standing (of course! He didn’t fall asleep because he didn’t have a heart!) in the midst of them all, trying to help. There were small pumpkins, munchkins, and Glenda also in the scene. I thought it was an extremely imaginative way of telling part of the story.

 The other diorama, made by an accomplished seamstress, artist, county-fair winner, had yellow construction paper all over the “ground,” and she had painstakingly drawn in “bricks” (a kind of detail work I would never consider). The eight characters were simply lined up in two rows and “glued” to the base. Now, granted, she had supplemented with a tiny basket and tiny dog for her Dorothy (a detail I would never think of). But, there was no “story-telling” there.

Well, I was busy tallying votes from all the contests, so not watching over the dioramas. But, when I did go over to look, I saw that someone had picked up the house off of the witch and stood the witch up and stood the lion up — obviously, she or they thought all the dolls had “accidentally” fallen over!!!! They didn’t get the story at all!!!

The vote was 8 for Sensing her, 6 for Intuitive me (not bad, considering!!). It seemed like such a great illustration of the difference between imaginative, iNtuitive thinking and concrete, reality-oriented Sensing it made me laugh.

In most work situations, there are only a few iNtuitives, in the “creativity” departments, but they drive a lot of the innovation which the Sensing people so carefully bring to realistic expression.


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