Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the urge to people-please? Do you have a hard time avoiding impulsiveness? When a judging process is in the auxiliary or Co-Pilot position in the Car Model, it takes conscious effort to engage it. Therefore, making a decision can take forever because it does not come as naturally as the primary function or Driver position. In this article, I want to address the decision-making process called “Accuracy.”
The 10 Year Old called “Harmony,” or Extraverted Feeling, loves building relationships and providing high morale. It values social expectations, having fluency in what actions are appropriate in various situations. While that seems like a nice virtue for any person to have, it shows up as a weakness for ENTPs and ESTPs (ExTPs for short when referring to both types at the same time). Harmony can sabotage any efforts for inner reflection and can entice ExTPs into thinking that seeking social acceptance is the best strategy at all times. However, people are inconsistent and messy. Trying to bend themselves to the whims and needs of others will leave them scattered and drained. Instead, they should pursue the road that makes the most sense by developing the Accuracy process.
Develop Your Co-Pilot
It’s important to use Accuracy as the primary decision maker because it asks the question, “What choice keeps me in integrity with my principles?” When you first start developing this process, it might feel like you sacrifice a portion of your freedom. I’ll be honest, in a sense you are. However, that’s exactly why developing your Co-Pilot is so essential! Unfettered freedom isn’t necessarily good or right. Running away from commitment or responsibility will bite you in the back faster than you think, and then you won’t know what hit you because you’ll have forgotten what started the spiral in the first place. This can spur from something as small as a fear of settling into a relationship, to something as big as trying to run a company with no clear structure. No matter the scale of the concern, Accuracy is necessary to stabilize your life.
Before I get into this, I want to point out that slowing down and getting focused is a necessary preliminary step. This means giving yourself the space to explore your inner world where you don’t have to attend to anyone’s needs or socialize. This is where you can dissect whatever information interests you at the time, enabling the refinement of a skill you enjoy.
I will list some quiet activities that you can attempt in this space, and then I’ll list a few that you can do socially. All of these exercises focus on developing your Accuracy.
- Find a new way to categorize information. It could be a framework of the world like Spiral Dynamics or a new way of understanding time signatures in music. Try to find a new model each month, deep diving into it and trying to apply it to your life as much as possible. If something doesn’t fit into the model, think about how you could change the structure for those outlying pieces.
- Meditate. You can use an app like Headspace, listen to meditation tracks on Youtube, or go to wellness centers where you can get guidance in real time. This practice gives you focus and a clear mind; the best ingredients for a healthy Accuracy process.
- If you aren’t able to make a decision about the right course of action to take in this stage of your life, list all of the options that appeal to you on index cards. (That means one card for each idea. Ten ideas? Make ten separate cards.) Then determine which categories each card falls under. Maybe some of them are under “relationship” while others are under “career.” Next, think about what result you want most from this decision. And with the sections clear in front of you, determine which action or set of actions have the best possibility of achieving the intended result.
- Listen to a problem a friend of yours has. Gauge what classifications might be needed to make a decision. Encourage them to get precise with their wording as much as possible and determine what parts of their story are relevant to the issue at hand. When you have a verdict, share it with your friend.
- When someone defends their position or a decision they’ve made, listen for what categories they’ve used. Sometimes people equate things from conflicting models, so ask them how those differing points relate.
As you can see, Accuracy requires a lot of structure. It’s a quiet process that analyzes internal data, so the more focused you are, the more accurate your conclusions will be.
Getting Into Growth
If you allow the Harmony process to give you a false sense of ease, you enable all of your ideas to spiral into unmanageable chaos or impulsiveness. So instead, let this process act as a support system. Harmony builds relationships and morale, so you can use that as a starting point to launch into Accuracy.
Laughter is the best way to do this for ExTPs. Have an engaging conversation with close friends about the absurd realities of the world, or discuss hypothetical scenarios no matter how abstract. Board games are also a great way to connect with others in a way that gets you into Accuracy. Whether it’s a classical game of chess, Settlers of Catan, or a video game, it should fulfill that desire of relationship that the 10 Year Old Harmony process craves.
Let me give you an example of how each type looks when using their Accuracy and Harmony processes to stay in integrity.
An ESTP I know has a hard time sticking to the truth. He’ll say whatever gets approval no matter how absurd the wording sounds. To him, this social status feels like it makes him a successful businessman, parent, and leader, however chaos is the norm in his life. He spends large amounts of time putting out fires only to strike up new ones right after. He gets into conflict on a daily basis, and all of his time is wasted in extended meetings and legal battles. This ESTPs time and energy could be restored if he faced the facts, preventing conflict in the first place.
A healthy ESTP uses their Accuracy process to figure out the exact reality of what’s going on around them. They make sure to keep their words at face value, and will never stray from their principles in order to manipulate others. They present themselves as honest, straightforward people who seek the comfort of “what is” rather than forcing something that “isn’t.”
As for ENTPs, a friend of mine is addicted to social acceptance. She tries to joke around in a way that’s connective but it ends up coming out forced and awkward. She constantly worries about how others view her and if she’s saying the “right” thing (which in this case means the thing that makes her ‘likeable’ to others). Now, I love this girl to death and back, but I love her most when she throws down some Accuracy in an engaging debate about Millennials or politics.
The most healthy thing for her to do is to get focused on one specific interest and deep dive into that subject. Maybe it’s generational theory or biomedicine. Whatever it is, it will give her a direction for her energy and will decrease her anxiety in social situations. She will have an area of competence and expertise, allowing her a place where she can connect with others that have similar interests as her. This way, she won’t have to worry about pleasing people or faking some kind of camaraderie. The people around her will already know her for who she is.
If you’re an ENTP or an ESTP reading this article, don’t be afraid to get in touch with your inner truth. Make a list of the principles you live by and use that as a base of categories for your life. If you’re worried about losing your sense of freedom, use your Accuracy process to analyze the data behind that concern and determine what’s right for you. Will you keep those options open, or settle? Once you’ve identified a clear path, you’ll be unstoppable in whatever quest you undertake. Look inward. The first few times you try to do so may not be successful and that’s ok. Keep leveling up. Keep aiming for the purest part of your identity. Then, your natural curiosity will handle the rest.
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