Daniel Nettle in Personality: What makes you the way you are? Reminded me of my interactions and ratings in some of these, like Enneagram, DISC, Myers-Briggs, Maxwell Leadership assessment, and others. I like what he had to say about attachment theory.
Attachment theorists argue that the mother-infant bond forms a kind of relationship template which the developing person then transfers to his or her important relationships later in life. How much adaptive sense would this really make? The quality of your attachment to your mother is very important for your relationship with your mother, which is a very important relationship. But there is no reason to believe that the type of interaction provided within this one relationship is going to turn out to be predictive of all the interactions you encounter throughout your life. Your mother might be eccentric, or ill, or have heavy commitments other than you. It would make little evolutionary sense to calibrate your whole personality on something so idiosyncratic. This is consistent with the evidence from attachment studies. Children of depressed mothers are unusually subdued in interaction with their mothers. However, this disappears when they are with their nursery teachers, with whom they behave normally. Of course, what they learn from their interactions with their mothers is what their mothers are like, not what the world is like.
Since some claim that our personality is from the environment we grew in and our first relationship with a mother matters this much, how about those of us who had no opportunity to have such luxury? Are we doomed? There is a saying in Kinyarwanda, “Akabura ntikaboneke ni nyina w’umuntu” There is no replacement for a mother.
For thousands of child refugees, orphans, and in war-ravaged areas, a mother is a distant dream; even those who didn’t lose them killed in the conflict as I did may not have them due to other mental illnesses.
I have seen several fascinating details from personality ratings and find them to agree in different areas. The one below came from 16Personalies. You are rating me, Campaigner.
|So, you’re a Campaigner… Now what?
|The Campaigner is a true free spirit with a strong zest for living. They want to get the most out of life and strive to be all they hope to be. But because their interests run in so many different directions, it’s all too easy for Campaigners to struggle to create their desired life.
The rating above describes me 100% correctly. I can agree that many of them are correct, but the question remains, as always, what about the wounded and broken, those who appear, misfits, when it comes to the usual environments.
Anxiety or demonic attacks
My sister, who I knew in the place of my mother after my mother had been killed, died in Church in 1997 in my Eastern province village of Rwanda. She would still be alive had she lived in America or somewhere in a more civilized Nation. She was brought to a small church carried by men like a paralyzed man brought to Jesus through a roof for healing. Her illness was not healed, but she died after a few days. I have lived in two worlds and can’t believe the difference. In Rwanda, where I came to know the Lord and until I started serving in the U.S. Navy, I had never heard of the mental illness descriptions as I know them now, such as anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, etc.
Three years after I had settled in the United States, I gave my neighbor a ride to the hospital, and he explained he had been at the hospital for sleep apnea and was given a CPAP machine. I asked the man what that meant since I had never heard of the machine. He explained to me how the police had found him asleep at the wheel and later diagnosed him with sleep apnea; I did not explain to him what I thought but had been struggling with the same issues of fatigue and sometimes sleeping on the wheel, I had been struggling with sleep deficiency due to what I thought were demonic attacks at night. A single trip to the hospital and a sleep study is all it took to chess away all the demons, I have now been speaking about my experience and exercising what I call CPAP Exorcism.
The big five
Nettle speaks of the big five core personality traits: Extraversion, Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Openness. Looking at the list here, I realize I might have a cocktail of all five with a much larger quantity of Extraversion.
“Extraversion is about positive emotions. If someone has a high level of Extraversion, their brain rewards them when they achieve something by putting them in a good mood.”
I am not an introvert yet an extrovert; I think I remain somewhere in between.
A campaigner is precisely descriptive of me. As suggested very correctly by 16Personalities, “In their unique way, Campaigners can be quite reflective. They can’t help but ponder life’s deeper meaning and significance – even when they should be paying attention to something else. These personalities believe that everything – and everyone – is connected, and they live for the glimmers of insight they can gain into these connections.”
Thank God for Jesus and the freedom in Christ.
The Bible gives us hope and a promise for freedom, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36 NIV. This promise tramps every pain, baggage, and whatever might want to stunt our growth into what God has created us to be, including being an orphan, a child refugee, and any misfit feelings.
 Daniel Nettle, Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).