Happy Thanksgiving and a few tips on how to use practical travel psychology, to reduce stress, increase understanding, and maybe make Aunt Mary’s pumpkin pie taste all the better.😉 The Thanksgiving season is upon us. A season of gratitude, giving thanks, and spending quality time with family and friends. What typically unfolds:
- Stressful road trips,
- Completing all of your work before leaving the office is impossible,
- Packing up the kiddies, homemade goodies, and the family pet, and off you go,
- Flying is an entirely different animal and maybe even more stress-filled as you have to practice restraint on what to pack to avoid accessive luggage fees – and I will not go down the pandemic rabbit hole!
Do these statistics resonate? According to American Psychological Association, women were nearly twice as likely to report cooking on Thanksgiving (66% of women versus 35% of men) and are also more likely to shop for food (52% versus 32%) and wash dishes (70 % versus 41%). Add in another interesting fact; women make 80% of the travel decisions. That’s on top of taking care of the kids and the house and working while trying to find some #metime.
What’s Really Important?
What’s really important? Is it a juicy turkey (ok, that helps 😏)? An Instagram-worthy photo to share? The perfect place setting? Or do you spend time being a helicopter Mom to make sure the kids use their manners, your guests are happy, and the stuffing is not dry? Do any of these things really matter? We get so involved in idealizing the perfect day that we often miss important family moments.
I know, I know, dealing with your entire family can add a whole layer of stress. Add in travel, packing, and congested highways – and the holidays become overwhelming. But what if you could first understand yourself better? What if you could also learn to understand your partner and kids, too? Once you start recognizing your own patterns of behavior, you typically start seeing patterns of behavior in other people. This may help you to relax, knowing that we humans take a lot too personally. We do this because a comment is usually mirroring something we need to work on about ourselves, OR your partner lashes out because it’s something they need to work on.
It Starts With Practical Travel Psychology
What is practical travel psychology? I’ve come up with a new way to look at how we connect and engage while on vacation. My idea is about weaving travel experiences using the psychology of Myers-Briggs®, a logical look at psychology. Let’s look closer at how the stress of Thanksgiving travel can be minimized if you pay attention to personality characteristics.
First and foremost, are you familiar with Myers Briggs®, and do you know your type? If you don’t know your type, there are a ton of free quizzes online; Google it or use a certified Myers Briggs instructor. Or connect with me, as I can help you figure this out. Sometimes it gets a bit complicated due to family structures and societal influences.
Myer-Briggs® uses typology to uncover aspects of yourself that you may or may not be aware of. Today, I’ve woven typology into vacationing, with a dose of spirituality to help you reveal your unconscious travel behaviors. You know those pesky triggers that:
- Set you off,
- Upset you,
- Cause stress,
- Make you recoil around some people… you get the idea.
Please know I’ve been studying typology for over a decade, and what I’m presenting here is simplified for the sake of time. I want to gently introduce the topic and not overwhelm you. If you’re ready to learn more, enter a topic of interest into the blog, and viola – something is likely to come up – this blog is becoming a learning library.
A Closer Look at How Practical Travel Psychology Can Help
Many of you are familiar with the terms introversion and extroversion, yet many of us don’t realize what a huge impact these traits can have on our personality. Extroversion and Introversion are just two of the eight traits that influence our behaviors and how we use these traits to connect and engage during a vacation. Also, note these traits are tagged to each trait in your functional stack – you are both an extrovert, or introvert one is just more dominant for you!
Honoring Our Differences: A Brief MBTI Lesson
The First Personality Pair asks, What is Your Energy Orientation to the Outer World
Extraverts naturally turn to the outer world of people, places, and activities and are invigorated energetically by these interactions.
Introverts are the opposite part of the pair and naturally turn toward the inner world of reflection, ideas, and concepts and will be invigorated by these activities.
The Second Personality Pair asks, “How Does a Person Typically Gather Information.”
Sensors will gather information through the five senses. Extroverted sensing types are grounded in physical reality, and they are concerned with what is actual, present, current, and real. Introverted sensing types trust the past and gather information from previous experiences – history gathers who make decisions from history.
Intuitives are the opposite side of the pairing. Both gather information through the five senses but the intuitive processes of information beyond the senses. Extroverted intuitive is possibility and opportunity seekers who like to rethink what is to what could be. Introverted intuitive are big-picture thinkers and future-oriented and focus on possibilities and patterns – they seek the truth of life. Both types are likely to rely on and trust their sixth sense.
The third Personality Pair asks, “How do we Make Decisions Using a Judging (reasoned) Function?
Thinkers often make decisions based on logic, and extroverted thinkers will leave behind personal attachments and may ignore tactfulness when making a choice. While introverted thinkers are more right-brain and still logical, but they tend not to be as organized as their extroverted counterparts.
Feelers are the opposite side of the pairing. Extroverted feelers rely on people-centered values and like to include these values in the decision-making process, which may or may not be relevant to the problem. Introverted thinkers are eclectic as their decisions are based on their personal or individualistic feelings as they are unconcerned with collective influences.
The Fourth Personality Pair asks, “What is Our Lifestyle Approach Toward the Outer World.”
Judging types are more rigid in their approach to the outer world – organized, scheduled, methodical…
Perceiving types are more flexible in their approach to the outer world – spontaneous, flexible, and open-minded to new ways of doing things.
How Does All of This Play Out During a Thanksgiving Travel Holiday?
Extrovert vs. Introvert Thanksgivings
One of the most well-known typology differences is between; an extrovert and an introvert.
Extroverts are all about the more the merry. They are typically at the center of it all, excited and invigorated with the activities and the people, and they will be talking their way through every decision.
Introverts, for the most part, typically observe, tend to be soft-spoken and wonderful listeners – there is a catch if a topic of interest comes up. They become lively conversationalists.
There is no such thing as a pure introvert or pure extrovert. Such a man would be in a lunatic asylum – Carl Jung, Founder of Analytical Psychology.
A friend’s husband was listening to his wife, who was telling him she was exhausted by all of the Thanksgiving preparations. So he surprised her with a reservation to a nice restaurant – Thanksgiving with all of the trimmings minus the cooking or clean-up. While she appreciated the thoughtfulness behind the gesture, the restaurant overwhelmed her.
The wait staff was busy running from one end of the restaurant to the other, it was noisy, and everyone at the table was talking non-stop. She had to excuse herself a few times over the course of the meal –stepping outside to collect her thoughts and enjoy a few moments of quiet before going back into the battlefield of busyness.
You guessed it.
She was an introvert.
Going to a restaurant on Thanksgiving was a nice idea for an extrovert. Yet a partner, who is an introvert, became overwhelmed by it all. If you know your partner is an introvert, understand their need for downtime. You may even suggest a walk or encourage them to finish the book they’ve been dying to read. Noise, constant activity, and a lot of talking can be a total energy drain for introverts.
Sensors vs. Intuitives Thanksgiving Gathering
Sensors are more anchored in the physical world. Introverted sensors seek traditions, reliving or reenacting old memories. They will romanticize how Thanksgiving should be, based on the past – remembering the good and somehow forgetting past holiday drama. They might get caught so caught up in the perfection of it all that they lose what’s important, family, friends, and giving. While extroverted sensors aren’t as prone to the family stuff, as they are too busy doing things, they like novelty and new experiences; Thanksgiving away?
Sensors make up 75% of the population vs Intuitives which make up 25%. According to Joel Mark Witt and Antonia Dodge, authors of Personality Hacker.
Intuitive are all about possibilities and opportunities. They’re not tied down to traditions and are not that good at keeping track of time. They might suggest a trip to the beach, skipping the holidays altogether. An introverted sensor would not have any of that! An extroverted intuitive will want to change everything – why Turkey, let’s do a vegan dish, while an introverted intuitive will still be contemplating the idea long after the dishes have been put away.
A bit of practical advice when sharing Thanksgiving with an intuitive type. If you want to leave on time to beat the traffic, give an intuitive an extra 30 minutes extra. Also, share why the holidays are special to you and the joy you receive from participating in life’s traditions; baking, setting the table, getting the family scrapbooks out, or making new memories. All of these are tangible aspects of the day that bring great happiness to an introverted sensor.
As an intuitive, if you find yourself getting restless, find a person with whom you can strike up a deep conversation or work with your sensing partner to change one aspect of the holiday, maybe it’s serving tiramisu for dessert right along with pumpkin pie!
Feeling vs. Thinking Pondering Thanksgiving
If you have a feeling trait, you make decisions based on another’s feelings. If you have an extroverted thinking trait, you are likely to think of everyone else but yourself – trying to make everyone else happy. A question to ponder, How are you making yourself happy? ASK FOR HELP! People aren’t mind-readers, and more often than not, your family is willing to pitch in. If you have an introverted feeling trait, it’s inwardly focused on your feelings and sentiments, values, and morals. You are not one to go with the crowd for the sake of a group condenses as you are highly individualistic.
Most women, 80% have a feeling trait probably one of the main reasons why nurturing statistics point to women. 😇 According to Myers-Briggs®
Most of the time, holidays aren’t very logical; mythical characters, traditions from who knows where… Thinkers are asking, “Do we really need 30 different types of dishes? Why not opt for seven,” believing less is better. Their feeling partner may say, “But what will everyone think if we don’t serve a turkey and a ham? What if someone doesn’t like turkey?” The logical partner will come back with, “There are six more items on the table. I’m sure they’ll find something to eat.
If you have a thinking trait, it’s all in how you approach a person with a feeling trait. Feelers want their feelings acknowledged, and they want to know that people care that he/she put in extra they effort. Scheduling a trip, packing suitcases, and making sure to take extra goodies is a lot of work. Thinkers need to recognize feelers, s “I see that you are taking great care to make everyone else happy but yourself. How can I help?”
Thinkers have a tough time when it comes to feeling and note that two-thirds of all men are thinkers, while two-thirds of all females are women. – Authors Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen, author of Type Talk.
Hopefully, this makes things easier to see why feelers are often hurt by a thinker’s logical stance. Additionally, a thinker can often be confused as to the rationality behind a feeler’s choice.
Judging vs. Perceiving Thanksgiving Styles
This person will likely have a list, probably more than one list, and will want to follow the list. They will make scheduled pit stops because they’re on the list and are likely not to detour even if traffic is backed up for miles. They make a plan and stick to it to bring the plan to completion.
Perceivers are open-ended and flexible and don’t like rigidity, and are often rule-breakers. This can agitate a person with a judging trait because their minds are made up, and they won’t want to deviate from the list – they have a goal to achieve. Yet a perceiver may want to make several stops along the way to explore, which can be frustrating for a judging type. ]
Can you see how these two personality traits would clash while on vacation? I think you need to ask yourself this question, what happens if everything on the list doesn’t get crossed off? Is it worth getting upset over?
Or do you really need to stop right now? Why not on the way back home? Why not add it to the list or schedule a couple of hours of free time on the drive for spontaneous stops?
A Review on How Practical Travel Psychology Can Help
If you want to go back and look at a few of my other posts on travel personalities, Practical Travel Tips for Extroverts and Introverts and/or What’s Kind of Traveler Are You? or just start here with Travel Happier, these few quick-read articles will give you a good overview of a new approach to travel, I’m excited to introduce to the world.
Please know I am writing to you. One of my dreams is to inspire a new travel paradigm, one that’s healthy, purposeful, and soul-driven. I’m also on a mission to help you understand your unique personality.
Tapping into your sacred personality type is an ongoing journey. Every time you travel, you can focus a little or a lot on discovering your undiscovered self. If you’re a seeker and on a spiritual path, travel can become a time of great awakening. I’ve posted a Thanksgiving article with examples of how your personality type can be triggered while you are away – interested, click here to read.
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P.S. Top Ten Tips for Happier Travel over Thanksgiving
Another fun read: How to Identify a Personality Type By Their Thanksgiving Dish!