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Monday, December 3, 2012

Temperament Test...

I took a temperament test today. Boy, was that a bad idea.

I think most people would describe me as even-keeled, down-to-earth, or even sweet. Fine. This temperament test put me in the “melancholy” category. Needless to say, if this test maker and I ever met we probably wouldn’t be friends. Melancholy? I associate melancholy with Charlie Brown and people who actually assemble survival kits (sorry, if you assembled one). But I don’t consider myself moody or gloomy. I’m a ray of sunshine.

Maybe, I didn’t follow the instructions right. First, I was forced to rank myself on certain personality traits ranging from optimistic to lazy and next to each trait I had to assign a numeric value from 1 (being least like me) to 5 (being most like me). Then, I was instructed to add up my numbers, throwing out 1s and 2s because those are low intensity.

There were four categories: choleric, phlegmatic, melancholy, and sanguine. After I tallied everything, I fell into the category of melancholy. Well, at least my category doesn’t sound like a disease.

The scoring grid describes the distinguishing characteristic of each group. Cholerics thirst for power, melancholies long for intimacy, phlegmatics just want some peace, and sanguines are looking for a fun time.

Melancholies want to be good (morally), to be understood, and to be appreciated. They crave acceptance and over time want to be vulnerable enough to reveal insecurities with other people. Melancholies want to please others but also seek autonomy. We need to feel secure. If you upset us, we might resent you or just be suspicious of you for a really long time. And we’re moody. There’s that word again!

Truth is, this category describes me to a t. A capital T. As adoptees, do we all get the same mixed bag of inner turmoil? Would the recipe be: 1 handful of insecurity mixed with a pinch of moodiness topped off with a hefty fork load of acceptance seeking?

Try it. Score your answers and tell me you don’t feel a little temperamental when you’re finished…

Test can found at:

Child development

I’m hoping to start graduate school in the fall and in preparation for my imminent return to the classroom (knock on wood!), I’ve been doing light research on child development. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an expert on the subject but I came across an interesting intersection that I am drawn to.

The premise of the article was that our formation as adults is largely shaped by our experiences as an infant with our parents/caretakers. We’re talking pre-language, back so far that we don’t have concrete memories of that time. As an adoptee, that begs the question: What exactly happened when I was born and the days and weeks following my birth?

I can tell you how I came to the United States when I was two. But what took place in those 730 days before I was adopted? It’s an interesting scenario to think about for several reasons. The first is that many argue that what takes place during infancy actually formulates our neural connections that in turn, shape our personalities. We are born little machines of receptors and whatever behaviors are positively validated, we continue. On the flip side, those behaviors that are met with negative reactions are discontinued.

Following this line of reasoning, the woman that I am today can be traced back to those 730 days of unknowing. The inner personal struggles and the parts of my personality I doggedly attempt to change exist because of my connection (or lack there of) to my initial parents and caretakers.

Does that make sense to you? Do you agree or disagree? How do you feel about this argument? 

My first post! :)

I remember growing up and being told, “Never discuss politics or religion on a first date or in a group setting.” Often times, those topics are triggers for contention and debate. How awkward would it be to suddenly discover that your date vehemently disagrees with you about the upcoming election. Not only that, but his religious views are diametrically opposed to your own. And that’s all before the salad gets there. I heeded this advice and I think it served me well.

But what about the subject of adoption? Nothing seems to stop people in their tracks  faster than when I politely explain that 1) No, I am not married and 2) Yes, my last name is really Hefley and I grew up in Texas. What?? How is that possible? At this point, sometimes I really just want to play around. Well, I was abducted my aliens. Or better yet, you didn’t know Hefley is a common Chinese family name? Geez. Where have you been? Better yet, who are YOU voting for?

All joking aside, I’m tired of explaining it. Maybe someone could send a memo to the world that read something like:

Dear human beings,
When you were younger, did you ever hear the advice about not discussing politics or religion or other sensitive matters with complete strangers? If not, please be advised that we all have unique stories, backgrounds, and family histories. Adoption is real. And private. And none of your business until the adoptee decides to share that information with you. Therefore, kindly keep your questions to yourself.
                                                                                                                        Sincerely, Priscilla

Is that out of line? I don’t think so. What do you think?