What type kid are you?
What type young person are you? I don’t mean the type who wakes up grumpy in the morning. I’m talking about the word type the way the word is used by folks who study and research how people behave. Many of them believe that people behave, or act, based on one of four ways, or types.
Do you finish your homework most of the time? Or do you wait until the last minute? Do you like to work for a grade? Or do you like to learn just to find out? How you feel about school is one clue to the type person you are. How you act when a problem comes up, what you value and care about, how you feel about moving to a new town—all sorts of ways you act give clues that can help you know what type you are and understand yourself better.
What are the four types? Although people who study the way we act give each type a special name, I’ve given them names that will help you remember them.
Type #1: People-Person. If you are a People-Person, you look for the best in others and want to get along with everyone. You often put what others would like ahead of your own wants. You think long and hard before you make a choice.
Type #2: Sane-and-Sensible. If you are a Sane-and-Sensible, you usually do what you should, with the hope that life will go along smoothly. You like to join clubs and be part of all sorts of groups.
Type #3: Free-and-Fearless. If you are a Free-and-Fearless, you like to take risks. You want action and you want it now!
Type #4: Considering-and-Careful. If you are a Considering-and-Careful, you are thoughtful and like to figure out the best way to do things. You like to learn because you truly want to know, not because good grades matter.
An additional thing to remember is that everyone is also introverted or extraverted. If you are introverted, you need time alone. You may enjoy going to a party, but when it’s over you’re ready to go home. On the other hand, being around people energizes extraverts. When a party is over, they almost have to be told to leave and may want to take the party somewhere else rather than have it end.
Knowing about type can help you understand other people (maybe even your teachers and parents?). You can also understand yourself better. Remember, however, that type is not an excuse for bad behavior. Remember too that no type is better than another. Different—but not better!
Once you decide what type person you are, use the chart that follows to help you study better and smarter. I tell more about type in the books Are You My Type? Or Why Aren’t You More Like Me? and I Need to Get Along with Other People. If you’re older and have a job, the last one is the book for you. If you want some ideas about managing money based on your type, read Money: Save It, Manage It, Spend It.
• In making reports, thoroughly research the topic and be prepared with facts and figures that support ideas you present.
• Choose a study-buddy who is smart in a topic that causes you trouble; if an extravert be careful not to spend study time socializing.
• Ask a super-organized friend for help in developing an organization system that works for you; then follow it.
• Especially if introverted, study alone, but set deadlines that will help you finish work of minimal interest.
• Don’t take a bad grade personally but ask how to make it better; look for motives and goodness in teachers who aren’t warm and friendly.
• If you don’t get approval for work well done, accept that some people don’t realize how much commendations mean to NF types.
• Try to have teachers who give facts and are clear what they want students to learn, when work is due, how it should be done, etc.
• Understand that every failure is not the end of the world; work on “rolling with the punches.”
• If introverted, find a quiet place to do homework where you won’t be disturbed; if extraverted, work with another extraverted SJ.
• If extraverted, be tolerant of failure of others; if introverted, realize that body language telegraphs intolerance as much as words do.
• Apply and adapt solutions that worked before to solve new problems.
• Use the public and school libraries, including information retrieval systems; maximize use of audiovisual equipment and computers.
• Try to get teachers who understand you, especially your need to delve into subjects of high interest to you.
• Be patient with yourself; if you mess up a math problem, relax and carefully, slowly check each step until you find the error.
• If you are unhappy while working with a group, talk with them or with the teacher about the problem you are having and why.
• When feeling overwhelmed, break big jobs down into doable little ones.
• Consider developing a mentoring relationship with a teacher, especially if you are an extravert.
• Try to be patient and understand you have to do some tasks in life that you don’t want to do and that may not even make sense to you.
• Try to have teachers who have a record of being interesting and exciting and who clearly state goals and expectations.
• Choose topics for papers and reports that are unusual, different, and interesting.
• If extraverted, ask to present papers orally; if introverted, ask to use a creative way of presenting (video, poster, bulletin board, etc.).
• Have a parent or friend check homework for details; use checklists to keep track of self.
• Do hardest, most unliked homework first—to be sure it gets done.
• Participate in hands-on activities like band, drama, sports, and art.
by Mary Bowman-Kruhm