Thursday, August 25, 2005

Type As and those of us who aren’t
I’ve noticed this divide, which recent online friends from Fr Anthony Chadwick, an English priest in France, to Mia in Sweden have described.

Fr Chadwick writes (see his entry dated the 26th July for all of it):
Over the years, I have seen two fundamental temperaments of people:

- Those given to beauty and art. People of this group don't always dislike sports, but prefer the non-competitive activities like cycling, swimming and fishing. They spurn the "pop culture" and prefer classical music and realistic art. Don't ask me to be successful in business, because I hate to profit at the expense of others! This sort of person likes the Faith to be his entire life. Often this kind of temperament is more sensitive to friendship. Also, this temperament is kind to animals and cannot bear cruelty or indifference in regard to animals, and sometimes it goes to the extent of refusing to eat meat! Most of us are more moderate, eating farm animals killed by other people, but loving our dogs and cats.

- What I would call the "fundamentalist rugby-player type". We often find liberals and conservatives in this group. They are often the kind of people who are great organisers, they like modern "pop" music, are often interested in sports and a competitive mentality, extending from the soccer field into their working and family lives. Such men are often successful in business, for business is played pretty much by the rules of football, that is when it is fair and honest. Religion, for this temperament, is all about the cut-and-thrust of apologetics, using the same techniques as for marketing. This temperament has no need for beautiful churches, but for assymetry and functionality. There is little or no aesthetic taste. A lot of church women are like this, when you see them destroy a priest who dares to counter their aggressivity!
It fairly describes the difference between many of us ‘differently brained’ people (like those of us with Asperger syndrome or what Mia describes as ‘social phobia’, likewise a real disorder) and what some of us call ‘neurotypical’ people, the type the larger world favours: the Type As as Mia calls them, the second type described by Fr C.

When you don’t understand your own condition, whatever it may be, it’s easy to react in anger by demonising the Type As by being self-righteous, thinking you’re better and more spiritual, etc. (Which understandably/justifiably only gets the Type As more pissed off at you!) Now that I understand AS I try not to do that anymore... but at the same time know ‘where I don’t belong’, and why (which makes a big difference), and that’s fine.

If anything I better understand why people like Fr C and Mia and I are friends and am thankful for that, and them.

P.S. Mia also notes regarding ‘terror attacks’ and her lifelong home of Stockholm:
...they say it's no certain threat against Swedish interests in Stockholm. But there are very real threats to American, British and Israeli interests in the city.

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