My Mom (ESFJ) and I (ENFJ) went on vacation for a week, along with my sister and while we had a wonderful time my mom and I had a little disagreement that I attribute to our Type. This blog post is not about outing my family issues but about highlighting the major differences in Type and how just one letter can make a huge difference in how we are in this world.

So, to the story…..the resort we were staying in required us to charge everything to our room so each day my mom would get our bill from the front desk, get our receipts and divide up the bill between the three of us, down to cents.

As an SJ, this was just part of vacation, not a chore at all but just something she saw as needing to be done, each and every day.

As an N, I can’t imagine anything worse. Having to stand in line each day at the front desk to get our bill, compare our receipts to the bill and then divide it all up, each and every day. UGH, it makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

One morning my mom was telling me there was a discrepancy in the bill and I told her (somewhat jokingly) that I couldn’t handle hearing about it and I trusted she would take care of it. She viewed that as being irresponsible with money and told me so. While I can’t completely disagree with her that I don’t “worry” so much about money as most N’s don’t I didn’t appreciate or agree with the overall statement.

As I reflected upon it I realized this is just another example of Type in action. SJ’s (and she is a strong SJ) live their lives by rules and are concerned about doing what is right. I respect that, I am just not like that. N’s (especially NP’s) are NOT concerned with issues like dividing up bills on vacation, or ever for that matter. I simply trusted the bill would work its self out in the end.

This example is a HUGE part of why I do this work, I don’t want people to pathologize or label each other as bad when we are all just different and unique.

I ended up thanking her for dividing up the bill each day as it was helpful and she apologized for attacking my character. We are similar in many ways but realizing, accepting and even loving our differences can make for a much deeper and connected relationship, as I hope for everyone.

Thanks for reading.

Jessica Butts MA