I had a strange realization tonight involving rules. Basically, I like them (shocker, I know).
I’ve known my Myers-Briggs Personality type is an ‘ESTJ’ for a while now. “The Supervisor.” Short summary:
ESTJs thrive on order and continuity. Being extraverted, their focus involves organization of people, which translates into supervision. While ENTJs enjoy organizing and mobilizing people according to their own theories and tactically based agendas, ESTJs are content to enforce “the rules,” often dictated by tradition or handed down from a higher authority.
ESTJs are joiners. They seek out like-minded companions in clubs, civic groups, churches and other service organizations. The need for belonging is woven into the fiber of SJs. The family likewise is a central focus for ESTJs, and attendance at such events as weddings, funerals and family reunions is obligatory.
Tradition is important to the ESTJ. Holidays, birthdays and other annual celebrations are remembered and observed often religiously by this type. The ESTJ is inclined to seek out his roots, to trace the family heritage back to honored ancestors both for a sense of family respectability and for a sense of security and belonging.
Service, the tangible expression of responsibility, is another key focus for ESTJs. They love to provide and to receive good service. The ESTJ merchant who provides dependable service has done much to enhance her self image.
ESTJs have an acute sense for orthodoxy. Much of their evaluation of persons and activities reflects their strong sense of what is “normal” and what isn’t. ESTJ humor is frequently centered around something or someone being off center or behaving abnormally.
ESTJs promote the work ethic. Power, position and prestige should be worked for and earned. Laziness is rarely viewed with ambivalence nor benevolence by this type.
Anyone who knows me would peg me as this to a T. It’s sort of creepy. (Sidenote – not focusing on it in this post, but the service part also rings true given my submissive tendencies and the orthodoxy part explains why so many say I ‘do vanilla well.’) So basically, I’ve known that I like rules for a while. I never really noticed how much that “liking of rules” thing permeated my life, though.
For example, my job involves enforcing rules and sometimes improving rules. I got my Masters in a topic that would me allow to inform and create rules. Every internship I’ve had has involved enforcing or creating rules. Most people I meet professionally feel to removed from projects and policy…but me, I love enforcing rules (in my case right now, enforcing policies and federal law within certain federal agencies). Watchdog-type work suits me.
Then, in my private life, I seek out power exchange relationships. Part of this is kinky sex, open communication, increased trust, etc… but a large part is because in a D/s relationship, the rules are enumerated, whereas in ‘normal’ relationships there are either no rules or it’s guesswork. I like having boundaries to follow and enforce in my life, and I respect people who can set and enforce boundaries.
I really felt this click tonight though when, while playing board games, I realized I like games with a lot of rules. I don’t function well when there are no rules, or the rules involve going outside of the logic-structure. In Civilization, parts of the game force you to ignore the rules –> I hate this. I like being able to keep track of where I stand and I despise doing things wrong. Rules help me stay within what is normal and they outline a structure for me to get ahead in life (or specific situations).
Summary – I think the ESTJ personality is 1) predisposed to some type of BDSM or power dynamic and 2) is code for control freak.