Podcast – Episode 0276 – Family Dynamics and Personality Types (with Susan Storm)
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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk with author Susan Storm about personality types and how they show up in family dynamics.
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Commented elsewhere on this website for the first time today, & would just like to say-
I greatly appreciate the work of PH & have even bought your book. Plus read a number of enjoyable articles by Susan Storm recently, as well.
I am so glad you did a Podcast on this topic! One of the primary reasons I have explored typology and your podcast was to better understand important people/relationships/dynamics- at work, my marriage and my family. I have often thought about how the personality types emerge within families, and the impact of type on parenting. I really think this may help resolve some of our family conflicts; our children our quite different from us (I am an ENFJ, my husband is ESFP; our children are INFP and ISFP from what I can gather so far). On the go constant “doer” types can really steamroll the introverted types.
Thank you so much for all the content you share willingly, as this information and guidance is life-changing! I got your book too, and will be hosting my first Typology gathering with friends this week!
This was a very enlightening podcast. As an INFP mother of an INFJ son, I feel vindicated for not following all of the judging parenting advice I’ve gotten over the years! And I know why I wasn’t able to follow that advice, anyway! Thanks guys for another great podcast. I’ll definitely check out Susan’s website.
Very interesting podcast. Got me thinking about my family – four introverts. Each of a different Kersey’s temperament. One interesting thing in my family is that we all use the Fe-Ti, Ti-Fe axis. That may explains why we aren’t very Fi-friendly or understanding.
Regretably, my intuitive parent (INTP) did little to nurture my intuition. Perhaps because this parent was so lost in their own world. But it has been great figuring things out as I have grown older.
Have been wondering if my dad is an INTP (or an INFJ like me), because I’m sure he & I must share some of our introverted traits. Sadly though, I haven’t lived with him since I was a toddler, but I think we are a lot alike.
Forgot to say- I kinda envy your family sharing the Fe-Ti axis. A lot of my family is Te-Fi, so I struggle a lot with feeling like we’re not on the same page/wavelength. [Which makes my Fe (Harmony) sad].
I really enjoyed this! INFJ have such a seemingly unassuming intellect and ability to blend linear discussion with intuitive insight.
I have noticed lately and in discussion with my sister (an ENTJ who has done some profiler training with PH) how these family dynamics influenced us growing up. A large family with the 7 oldest members including parents Using Ne/Si on alternating J/P preferences, then the entj kinda thrown in a bit out of place growing up, not too much though because she probably didn’t care, then an enfp and then an ISTP thrown in at the end for handyman tasks.
But growing up in the upper half of this family as an entp was extremely easy. Nobody ever made me feel weird. I also think the SJs felt at home. And I can’t even remember how many times people have commented about how notable my family is. Intriguingly 3/4 of the kids have left the religion of youth but we all still get along, parents included.
Perhaps this is all to say, I think type can make some family dynamics very easy for some types who in other family situations would really struggle.
I certainly didn’t know how bad life could be as an intuitive before I married my ISFP ex lol. Still waiting to hear more about ANYTHING YOU GUYS MIGHT KNOW ABOUT DEALING WITH ISFP EX’s AS Ne DOMINANTS WINK WINK
also my kids: an enfj daughter—I’m just trying to set up some nodes in her system to teach her to be ethical, namely by pushing hard for her to become a reader (accomplished!) and then feeding her good books. Because honestly I don’t know if she’s ever going to care what I have to say about anything.
Her brother: diagnosed autistic and I have had the hardest time typing him as a result. I’ve noticed with my autistic friends sometimes the more typically prominent J/P preferences are notably confused and erratic. Is the case for my son for sure. I think he’s an NF type though.
Little brother: 2 years old and so incredibly obviously an ESTP it astounds me How obvious it was. I never understood Se like I do watching this kid interact with the world (and with like, women in the grocery store). I am so excited to see what this kid does to the world lol. He’s very very sweet. That lack of Fi man, so much lack of cruelty and also lack of shame Hahahaha.
Joel’s ex is an ISFP. I’m not sure if we could discuss the topic without strong bias. 🤭
Family dynamics with types can be extremely interesting. I’m an only child and an ENFP and my parents are an ESFJ and an ISTP. So, between the three of us, we were always different enough that none of us stuck out too oddly. Of course, I was the only intuitive and the only one on the Fi-Te axis, but my parents just kind of figured “Okay, I guess that’s how she is, we’ll just roll with it.” And I think that’s the best attitude you can have when your child starts showing up as a different personality.
From what I can tell though, my extended family has a high percentage of SPs on both sides. Especially on my mom’s side. I don’t have enough knowledge of my mom’s dad to judge what his type might have been as he died before I was born. If I had to guess, I’d peg him as an introvert. Still, my maternal grandmother was most likely an ISFP (sometimes I think she could have been an ESFP with very poor social skills) and both of my mom’s siblings strike me as SPs as well (I’m more sure of her sister’s type of ESTP). And then there’s my mom who randomly turned out to be an ESFJ. She has a very strong type A personality and a high preference for J. She’s what you would think of as a poster child for the image of the eldest child. Because she was so different from her family growing up, she never really could connect with them and from a young age saw that she had to fend for herself. I honestly think she turned out better for it since she was always extremely motivated and driven to succeed.
As for my dad’s family, his dad and one of his sisters seem to both be ESTPs. His mom is probably an ISTJ (though she could be an ISFJ) and one of his brothers strikes me as an ISFP. He has 3 other siblings, but I’m not exactly sure of their types (his oldest sister has struck me as an INFP at times though). It was more of a mixed bag with his family, so I think the problems he experienced growing up were less due to the lack of understanding of his type.
I also gave hypothesized that our family’s types can inform who we can get along with or can understand better despite there being fairly large differences in mental wiring. Because my mom is an ESFJ, I can respond much better to ESFJs than I have noticed that many seem to be able to respond to my own personality traits. Then again, this will likely vary between individuals. I also tend to find all 16 types manageable. Though I think this is probably true for everyone, but there are probably some types that repeatedly come up as conflicts in a person’s life.
Then again, I’ve seen people who don’t seem to mesh well with their own type. One of my best friends is an ESFJ and she often appears annoyed when other Fe dominant types are around. I think it could be a territorial thing, as in she doesn’t like it when people are showing up super similar to how she is as it’s what she considers to be her own role. Obviously, this is on a subconscious level. But this isn’t constant. I personally don’t find myself put off by other ENFPs at all.
That said, I think sometimes people say things like “Oh I don’t like *insert type*s at all” based on a handful of bad experiences.
I do wonder how genetic personality can be or if it’s more nurture than nature. I have many qualities that are similar to both of my parents. Functions might not really play that much of a role at times. I’m Ne-Fi-Te-Si and my dad’s Ti-Se-Ni-Fe so we share no cognitive functions and we still can show up similarly at times. Then again, our methods of getting from Point A to Point B are different even if the outcomes and appearances are very similar to an outside observer. I also could be mistaken as a J type in many situations due to the influence of both my parents- my mom as a J type and my dad as a perceiver who doesn’t seem like that obvious of a perceiver. I wonder if this could be partially due to him leading with a judging function.
I’ve also wondered what my mom’s paternal grandmother was as far as type. She died when my mom was a teenager, but she was the person my mom was probably closest to in her family. I wonder if they were similar types. I don’t know enough information about my great-grandmother to ascertain a type, but I definitely get the sense that she was bold and had a strong presence, which are definitely traits my mom shares.