Seven Up

Several years ago, British television showed a documentary series that followed children from age seven…up to age 35.  The object was to determine whether children have personality characteristics that follow them into adulthood.  The program was later criticized for “editing to the desired outcome,” but in my, albeit limited, association with children, I often see the future accountant in a ten year old, or the nurturer or the one who will cheer you up.  Not always, but sometimes, the future person seems uncannily predictable.

I spent this past weekend with six girlfriends from high school.  It is more difficult to be objective about such close associates – or even to recall who we were so many years ago – but I am sure that among us, the seeds of our adulthood were there all along.  We probably all became exactly who we were intended to be from the start. 

Sociologically speaking, we…

All married

Five of us divorced

Two re-married

Three are childless

Two are grandmothers, so far

Five were teachers or taught at some point

No one stayed in our home town

Several of the girlfriends were familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test that measures how people see the world and make decisions.  It’s an expensive test but there are free tests on-line that give you the same kind of feedback about your personality type.   For instance, today I took the Jung Typology Test (TM) at

Turns out I’m an INTJ:  an introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging person.   Hillary Clinton is an INTJ.   The least flattering description of an INTJ might be:  arrogant, perfectionist, disregards authority, judgmental, and lacks social skills.  But, all that actually translates into a MASTERMIND!  You’d have to read it to believe it.  (The INTJ type actually sounds like author Daniel Silva’s description of his series character, Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy and assassin.  Yikes!)

Anyway, I suspect that whether I took the test today, last year or twenty years ago, the result would not be different.  I am just more certain about my answers.  Yes, it is in my nature to assume responsibility; yes, I trust reason rather than feelings; no, I am not more likely to rely on improvisation than careful planning; no, I do not spend my leisure time attending parties, shopping, etc.; yes, after prolonged socializing I feel I need to get away and be alone.   And so on, and so on, until you start to see the most predominate personality characteristics. 

The only thing is, though, I really do enjoy shopping.  I just like to do it alone.


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