Tuesday, October 4, 2016

"Old Seth" vs "New Seth"

*Puts on The Beatles – Rubber Soul and cracks knuckles*

Ok, let’s do this thang. 

Yup. Another Seth post. Sorry. Normally, I love highlighting funny “little megow” stories or things that I love about the kids. I really not big on talking about myself, however sometimes I just get an idea in my head for a post so I just run with it. 

I’ve briefly touched on this topic a few various times, but I wanted to explain deeper. I’ve talked about my personality and various events that led me to the person I am currently.  The other day I was thinking about a few of my friends. I was trying to figure out how many of my friends really knew the “Old Seth” and really know the “New Seth”. My personality has a physically/emotionally changed significantly the past few years. Like I could feel myself changing. It was a painful process, but it is extremely neat to reflect on the process. It was kind of like when Spiderman got bit by the spider, but instead of just one night, it took place over the course of about 2 years. So since many of you never met me before I went through a marriage crumbling apart and a divorce, this is who I was. For my old friends who I don’t see often enough, this is who I am now.

The main way I can examine how I’ve changed is to look at my Myers Briggs (MBTI) results.

 *Quick note: I’ve talked extensively about my love for Myers Briggs before on facebook and I believe I’ve mentioned it here before. So If you are curious about finding out yours, I really encourage you to take it. It’s free and takes about 5 minutes. Click here to find out yours! It’s helpful in self-reflection, relationships, friendships, etc.*

Ok. Back on topic. For years every time I took my MBTI, my results were ALWAYS ENTJ. It was so neat because during all of the mess and divorce, I took it twice and I could see my results pulling more and more towards another result. Finally, I took it and I am a true ENFJ now. I’ve taken multiple versions of the test and it always comes out the same. The difference is with my third column T(hinking)  vs F(eeling). Don’t worry, I’m going to break this down into layman’s terms. Pretty much what is means is: How someone copes with decision making and emotions. I’m going to try to break down the differences between the two and not make it ultra boring J hahaha

-------------- Old Seth History------------------

Old Seth was very similar to New Seth except that he was extremely logical and non-emotional. I don’t think it’s bad, it was just who I was. I tend to feel that a lot of men are wired that like this. It wasn’t a choice of how I wanted to act, it was literally who I was. Here’s a few good examples:

-I didn’t mind debating. I knew what I knew and wasn’t afraid to engage someone to lay my facts out. If they got upset, well it’s wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t trying to hurt their feelings. I was just having a lively discussion and we were exchanging view points.

-Not empathic at all. Now at the time, I didn’t really even understand how significant this was for me. I just didn’t feel much empathy. I loved and helped people constantly. I just couldn’t wrap my head around people’s situations. I had a hard time putting their heart in my chest and feeling how they felt. To be fair, I tried so hard for this. It just didn’t come naturally.

-Didn’t understand the full range of emotions. My emotions were limited to “funny, hungry, mad, and happy.” I was just a simple man who loved to make people laugh and loving my family. I never experienced grief or heartbreak. I just couldn’t fathom it. Really my goal was to make people laugh. That was the be-all-end-all goal. Just to make someone crack up. J

Now this doesn’t mean I was a bad person or I think I lost pure negative qualities when my personality changed. First, I was extremely good at taking emotions out of decisions and looking for a realistic, practical point of view. If I saw a situation, I could just take the facts and make the best logical and fair decision. I didn’t get ultra-worried about everyone’s feelings involved. It just was what it was. I wanted to be fair to everyone and making rational decisions not based on emotion was best back then.

Old Seth was more of a structural leader. Basically, he knew the rules and wanted everyone to follow them as well. If you broke the rules, well you got punished. If you obeyed the rules, you got rewarded. There wasn’t a bunch of preferential treatment. I think that’s a great trait about ENTJ. They make a level playing field and hold people accountable for their mistakes, but also notice good traits about individuals.

The ENTJ personality is typically 75% men. I think that’s why I felt so comfortable with it. Mostly, all of my buddies were the same way. I wasn’t 100% satisfied with who I was, but it was safe to say I happy with the person I was and the life I had.

-------------- Similarities Between the Two------------------

Now just to be clear, a big part of my personality remained the same. The “EN_J” was still the same. The traits are referring to the fact that I’m:

 Extroverted – I get my energy from being around people. I just love human interaction. I wouldn’t say this is a 100% thing. There’s a few times a week, I prefer to sit alone with my thoughts (and my computer so I can blog, Hahahaha)

iNtuitive – This means that I’m very imaginative and creative. An easy to understand this one is to think of left brain vs right brain. I’m like total right brain (N). It’s always 100%, Hahahaha. Here’s a chart for a good visualization.  Another way to describe myself in this area is I’m pretty artsy fartsy :D hahaha

Judging – This is actually one way that I’ve changed a bit as well. Judging individuals have a clear plan and work towards that goal. The other extreme is Prospecting. This is more improvising a plan and finding opportunities. I think that the reason I pull more towards the J side is that I am a big picture thinker. I have this grand scheme of how things should look in my head; however, on the opposite side, I kind of just float around life like a leaf in the breeze. Both Old Seth and New Seth normally has this column split pretty close down the middle.

-------------- New Seth Begins------------------
Ok. So I’ve explained “Old Seth” and also, the similarities between both my past self and my current. Now let’s dive into the “New Seth”. I’m proudly an ENFJ. I love this personality. It just fits me. For the first time, I’m not just “happy” with myself, I actually feel “satisfied” with who I am. I feel that this was who I was designed to be; I’m not sure why I was the way I before or how I ended up being that way originally.

Here’s some of the major differences that I can see in myself:

-So much emotion. Geez. I actually feel emotions. Like the full spectrum. It took me awhile to adjust to this. For so long, I just didn’t feel this stuff. Hahahaha. At first, I was kind of a wreck. I would cry in the pharmacy when I saw an old man with his little dog. Or I would get insane excited about Stevie telling me that she made a new friend.  It took me awhile to learn to deal with all of this stuff.

-I despise debating (or arguing as I call it now) I’m sorry I just don’t see a point is debating or proving that I am right. Or “educating” people on all of the things I am knowledgeable about. It’s not that I don’t feel I would lose. I honestly, just don’t care anymore. I’ve learned that people will listen to what they want to hear and block out the rest. The only heart change comes from love and mostly leading by example. You want to debate how to end hate or how the media controls our views with calculated stories designed to inflict fear and panic about people that are “different”. Be my freaking guest. Talk until you are blue in the face J I’m just going to turn off the TV and go give someone a hug & have a heart talk about their feelings. Maybe we’ll split a cookie and talk about Star Wars. I don’t see anything wrong per se with debating. (Can I tell I’m sick of the election? Hahahaha). New Seth just feels different about it than I used to. Every side has a million flaming arrows for the other. It makes me sad the lack of kindness in our society. It’s why I always ask my kids “How did you make someone smile today?”

-Empathy I saved this one for last because it’s the biggest one. In my mind, it kind of encompasses everything that I have grown into. It’s not that I became more empathetic. The fact is that I had like ZERO empathy no matter how much I tried. Now, it’s so bad I sometimes try to tone it down. Hahaha. Gone are the days of logical, factual decisions.

Here’s an excellent example of old me vs new me. Yesterday evening after dinner, we were having “clean time”. Basically, I set the timer for 20 minutes and we all just clean the house as much as we can. Well about five minutes into clean time, I found Neela hiding in my closet and not cleaning. Old Seth would have handled that in a specific way. In addition to speaking sternly to her about ducking out of responsibilities and sending her back out to finish the remaining time on the clock, I probably would have added an additional 10-15 minutes that Neela had to clean by herself after everyone else finished. However, New Seth took a different approach. For some reason, I could just sense that she was upset about something. So instead of yelling about her not cleaning, I just shut the door and put her in my lap and asked her what was wrong. Immediately she just burst into tears and started going into some heart troubles she was having with life.

Now let's analyze this situation. Was one solution better than the other? It depends on who you ask. On one hand, it was clear Neela needed to have a heart talk with her Daddy at that moment. However, on the other hand, was this fair? I mean Neela didn’t have to clean like everyone else The other kids had to work and Neela didn’t. Some people might not feel this was the right decision, I am ok with that. I think this is how I’ve changed the most, I think instead of seeking fairness in every situation, I try to gauge each situation/decision as it comes. My decisions aren’t always logical or completely “fair” anymore, but in my heart I just feel I make the right choices.

I think this was an awkward transition at first. About 70% of ENFJ people are women. It was just weird feeling not ultra masculine in terms of personality and emotion. I mean I’m still all guy, but I just have this new emotional range that a lot of men don’t have. So now, I love it. It makes me unique and just part of what makes me “Seth”. So again, I encourage you to find out your Myers-Briggs personality. For me at least, it provided insight to how I have actually changed in black and white.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,



  1. Seth, we're best friends and you don't even know it. This post was so relatable to my experiences but I couldn't put my thoughts/feelings into words as eloquently as you just did. Thank you! This was great.

    Also want you to know we've been praying for you. For God to strengthen you daily as you parent with such a big heart!

  2. I have seen the same changes in me through and after my divorce. I didn't take Briggs-myers before but have been interested in personality tests lately and felt confused as to how to answer them. I felt like my original personality is the "true" one and now that I feel and react so differently to things these tests don't show the "original me." :) But, you're right- I believe the person I am now is reacting and feeling like the person He created me to be. Last weekend I was just talking with a friend who never knew me before and she couldn't fathom me the way I described who I used to be. I was also a very logical personality. I put people and God into boxes that I could understand. I was cautious, suspicious, and judgemental. Now I worry about being too open! :) I love who I am now and that it came through the dark nights of learning to let God have control, even of my fragile little heart; He shaved off my protective edges. He's a pretty awesome sculptor!
    I was just thinking the other day, if I ever write a memior, it should be titled: Learning to dance like a spastic child. :) Because the greatest lesson of my life has been of this judgmental, skeptical, Vulcan learning to be humble, un-inhibited, open, full of life and passion! :)