I am a Turbulent Logician, the lone Analyst in my family. In a recent 16Personalities study, Logicians were the personality type with the third-lowest agreement that they love giving gifts. Not an inspiring start.
Guess which personality type group is most likely to say they love giving gifts? Diplomats. Guess which group all of my immediate family belongs to? Diplomats. My parents and brothers are all either Mediators or Campaigners. My family celebrates Christmas, and gift-giving is definitely a part of that.
The Logician Grinch
I’ve never been comfortable giving or receiving gifts in front of a crowd (or at all). I’m admittedly a fearful person – getting someone the wrong gift is a rejection my heart can scarcely handle, and I’m every bit as uncomfortable putting someone else in that position. There’s only so much pitying, “It’s the thought that counts,” that this Turbulent Logician can handle.
So, Christmas is associated with that sinking feeling that happens when something goes wrong, no matter how kind the people involved.
I’m also an opportunistic person. I would rather get something for someone when the inspiration strikes. “Six months ago, you mentioned you needed this,” doesn’t cut it for me. I’d rather get something for myself for the same reason – I need it when it’s needed. Organizing a specific gift-giving time just feels…forced. Fake. Why artificially delay what does everyone good?
Well, this is the story of when inspiration struck at the right time of the year.
Christmas in Diplomat-ville
It was a dull winter in Diplomat-ville. Where the family usually chitters, there was little chatter. My parents were late getting their Christmas tree together, and it hardly seemed to matter. It generally felt around the family the same way I feel around the holidays every year: meh. To see this group of Campaigners and Mediators match me, a proudly dispassionate Logician, in a lack of excitement was more than a little strange.
But, as usual, I was absorbed in my own doings. This mostly revolved around reading about emerging technologies. That year, 3-D printers were just coming into the consumer space after making their debut in industrial manufacturing. I was excited but had no real use case.
My Campaigner younger brother, however, was most of the way through his engineering technology degree and on his way to his dream of aerospace. Perhaps, I imagined, having his own 3-D printer would be not only fun but also useful for his degree and future work.
There’s a lesson in there somewhere about not letting your personality type limit your job opportunities. Being a Diplomat did nothing to stop my brother from becoming an aerospace engineer – if anything, his idealism drove him forward through some hard years of schooling and job searching. Just saying.
I Stole Christmas (In a Good Way)
Oftentimes, my ideas live and die in my head. I get caught up in the excitement of something new, come up with a grand plan in a matter of minutes, and then abandon the whole thing as I become overwhelmed by the logistics. Doing things takes so much effort. But that year, I decided to try something special and actually follow through on my inspiration. I *gasp* reached out to my family.
Statistical aside: Logicians are the least likely personality type to report that they feel “very close” to most members of their family, and the second-least likely to say they enjoy family gatherings. This outreach was an aberration for me.
Yes, I embraced my inner Entrepreneur and started cold-calling relatives (fine, texting – I’m still an Introvert) to see if they’d be willing to pitch in to get a new 3-D printer for my brother. There was some worry that I was going to dig myself in too deep and not be able to back out like I knew I’d probably want to. Others’ expectations would mount. Ironically, I helped myself out by tapping into one of my go-to motivational techniques: “Shut off the part that cares.”* Classic Logician, amiright?
*Translation: Don’t overthink it.
Indeed, I did end up doing a lot of legwork. I did all the research, set up the money transfer account, kept track of who pledged what, talked people through how to actually send the money, kept everyone updated on how things were going, ordered the parts, the whole shebang. Any GoFundMe campaign would envy my tenacity, focus, and communication. Not-so-classic Logician.
But it felt good because it showed how much we all really love my brother and are happy to express that love by contributing to a special gift (even if gift-giving isn’t really my thing). There grew to be a palpable excitement around the idea, and winter seemed to brighten. I, a lowly Logician, stole the show that Christmas.
My Heart Grew Three Sizes
All this effort, to my surprise, fed my own excitement too. With every contribution, I was able to upgrade the model I planned to buy, get higher-quality accessories, more spools of plastic. We were able to get a printer worth getting. When Christmas Day finally came, the excitement was as high as ever, and for once, I shared in it – even buoyed it. When my brother finally opened his gift, he was left speechless.
A Campaigner, at a loss for words. Success.
As the lone Analyst in the family, I often feel like I’m the odd one out. This is especially apparent in events like Christmas, where warmth and emotional exposure are the norm (though an eggnog or two usually helps). But I don’t have to sit out every event. When I choose to stretch outside my comfort zone and participate, I can find genuine enjoyment. That year, it made all the difference.
Feeling inspired? How do you plan to spread some holiday cheer this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Take the 16Personalities “Generosity” Survey