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In my huge biological family, the vast majority were sensors, and at a time--the oldest generation born at the turn of the century and within a decade of that, as well as my aunts and uncles born typically in the 20s, then my parents who were born the same year, within weeks of each other--during The Great Depression, and finally my parents' biological children including one half-brother, all of us born in the 50s and 60s except for the last, my babiest sister, born in the mid-70s. (Our mother had nine children.)


I was born and raised in manufacturing areas of a large American metropolitan city (Cleveland, OH) long after the boom had gone bust, while the Union was still holding some sway, which they'd lose by the late 70s altogether. Sensors headed the list for the nuts-n-bolt work of building--and for a long time after, keeping America going strong.

I was considered and called 'Backward'; 'Sweet but No Personality'; 'The Pet'; 'The Patsy'; 'Goodie Two Shoes'; 'The Book Worm'; 'Baby Unaware'; 'The Intellectual'; 'Weak-titted'; 'A Walking Dictionary'; 'An Egghead.' And after I left home for good, "The Alien."

I was also called--by an ENFP sister, 'The smartest woman I've ever known,' and by my ISTJ father--relayed to my mother and passed on to me 'The Smartest Kid We've Got' (My ESFP husband says, regarding my place in this particular family, "That's like saying you were the smartest monkey in the Zoo." [He meant no disrespect; he's a laugh whore... and was making an observation].

I naturally make points by analogy and story-telling, so for those who think I am 'rambling,' ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


What I'm 'illustrating' is this:

Whether or not a person gets hit with insults for being an intuitive or a sensor depends on the environment one is in, and I came up in a heavy sensor-based time, city, family.


At first gloss, it would seem ironic that I was my ISTJ's favorite child, but not when it is broken down for 'why':

He worked, drank, fucked hard, and he needed someone to be at home putting out fires; keeping the peace; caring for all the children he never wanted; doing suicide watch over his wife, i.e. my biological mother, and otherwise leaving him free to focus on what kept his attention:

Music, sports, politics (He was a Democrat when The Union was strong, and when it went bust, he switched to Republican), and manual labor, because that's what real men do.

He told everyone but me--although once in a while I got to be within earshot, and listen as a compliment for me robbed my siblings of dignity, "Sissy is the only one I can depend on."

So, like most stereotypes, this one holds water for each of us based on cultural influences, even basis:

I, as an intuitive--and yes, an actual INFJ--was seen as some have posited on this very board, "Incompetent" in the ways that mattered to my sensor relatives, best summed up in a comment often made about me when I didn't perceive as they perceived, could not be used as they needed to use me:

"Karolyn, "You couldn't find your ass with both hands."

I had, however, what some would call 'the skill set' for keeping us all out of foster care--I could find the baby bottles, diapers, bath tub taps, medicine cabinet contents to care for my sibs, i.e. they never knew what it was like to be picked up--literally--and taken to live with strangers as state charges for however long our ESFP mother was away at The Cleveland Psychiatric Institute.

It's all relevant, not just relative.
 
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