Did Little Red Riding Hood have an S Preference?

Posted 21 May 2015 by Aidan Millar - Human Development Consultant for Psychometrics Canada
Red Riding Hood and wolf

Well, not necessarily. But it is true that her demise could have been attributed to an all-too-common Sensing blind spot: a failure to quickly and accurately recognise how facts and present realities connect to a bigger picture – and often, a very meaningful one.

In case you have forgotten some pieces of the story, a big grotesque wolf – with full intentions of devouring Little Red Riding Hood – tricks the unwitting youngster by dressing up as her elderly grandmother in an effort to lure her closer for said devouring purposes.

Now, I know what some of you might be thinking, and this may very well be a bit of an exaggerated example. As an S preference myself, I would be hard pressed to confuse a forest-dwelling wild animal with my sweet, 89 year old grandmother regardless of my preferences (I’m sure she’d be relieved to know this). However, let’s take an N approach, and look at the lessons that can be gleaned from the classic tale, using a Type perspective.

As important as realities and facts are, failing to recognise the connection, bigger picture, or the ‘why’ of those facts may be very detrimental to meaningful and effective functioning. Just ask Little Red Riding Hood. It can be tempting for S preferences – in our attempts to be accurate and thorough – to get stuck in the weeds, or we can fall victim to the adage “not seeing the wood for the trees”. As an S preference – as much as I hate to admit it – I’ve often been accused of not getting to the point or not relating my day-to-day activities with a more strategic plan.

To keep yourself from falling victim to the same fate, inject some more N and try the following:

The theory behind the MBTI® Instrument teaches us that we all have strengths as well as ‘big bad wolf’ blind spots that can trip us up (or eat us up!), regardless of our preferences. The first step in overcoming these monsters is to be mindful of some of these areas for development. The second step is to embrace ways to flex our opposite preferences to become more well-rounded and effective – to not only survive, but to thrive – at home, at work, and in life. Don’t be like Little Red Riding Hood – remember your blind spots!

Aidan Millar (ESFJ) is a certified MBTI practitioner and a Human Development consultant for Psychometrics Canada in Edmonton, Alberta.

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