Mental Organization

sito incontri extra incontri personali vicenza What Made You Think That? – Optional vs. Sequential Thought Patterns

sito di incontro cristiano The brain categorizes material and retrieves information in many ways. Two ways that have a strong effect on relationships are the optional and sequential thought patterns. People can develop competence in both patterns but usually are more comfortable with one or the other. Ideally, a person can become balanced in both techniques, using each when it is the best one for the occasion. Until that point, it helps to be able to identify the way we and our family members process the world around us. This will help understand how our loved ones follow instructions, prepare lessons or presentations, shop, study, perform tasks and converse with others. rencontre avec tel perso A person who is optional and a person who is sequential can get along beautifully if the differences are made a point of relief and modeling rather than contention. Humor and tolerance goes a long way in smoothing over the differences in thinking. It also isn’t totally cut and dried left/right brain. It is a method of storing and retrieving information. Discussion of right brain/left brain is usually referring to the creative and logical portions of the mind. A person can be optionally creative…or sequentially creative. Likewise a person can be creatively logical even though most logical people are sequential.

nätdejting farligt lyrics here What are the strengths and weaknesses of each type?

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The Optional Thinker
The optional person does very well with a list containing only the unusual items to shop for and rarely forgets to bring home the unwritten things that are purchased weekly.

An optional person is good at discovering what works when what doesn’t work keeps failing. The “If you fail, try, try again,” doesn’t do so well with them. Instead the “If it doesn’t work, try something else,” is much more effective.

She tends to make decisions quickly and with experience often find that the fast decisions are the best one. If she is given too much time she will discover 100 variables on that possible decision and might get stuck not knowing which to choose.

When an optional person is faced with cleaning clutter, she can become overwhelmed and stand still, unable to begin any task. She can work around clutter because her mind can ignore it until the clutter is larger than her ability to find another place to work. Surprisingly, she does very well with a set sequential routine that isn’t overly structured because it inhibits her natural ability to out-think the task.

If she is faced with having to fix dinner she can nearly always come up with something even without a recipe. She dislikes weekly or monthly menus because she doesn’t know today what she will want to eat tomorrow. On the other hand, a menu list that allows her to decide day-by-day what to prepare works very well provided she has shopped for several meals at once.

You can give her broad categories and she can fill in the blanks with little effort. The optional person learns optional material easily but tends to ignore things that take strict sequential processing, such as mathematics.

She can listen to the radio, the TV, the phone call and type at the computer all at once. She can stand in a group of people and have three or four conversations going at the same time and follow everything being said.

The optional thinker can get distracted easily. She also tends to roll with any change of plans with only the mildest frustration over adapting.

An optional person may have trouble understanding why others aren’t optional. Seeing variety is such a way of thinking with her that understanding why others might not appreciate the seemingly chaotic thought process is beyond her.

Overly-structured thinking is stressful, causing her to automatically search for loopholes where optional-thinking rules supreme.

Sequential Thought Patterns
A Sequential person does better with an established dinner schedule. She thrives with workable routines.

She can walk into a mess and if she has an order of how to do things, or if she quickly develop one, she will do very well without overload. However, if something interferes with her order of doing things she can get quite frustrated and unable to move on to the next step because of her strong sense of first-things-first.

She is more exact and complete than an optional person. She likes completed lists and when shopping does not want to ad-lib more than one or two favorite items.

She does very well with a set curriculum because there is order to the plan. Surprisingly, optionals also do well with a set curriculum because it eliminates too many options, but they sometimes feel stressed over following them so would do best with a guide rather than a day-by-day plan.

A sequential person is more traditionally polite in conversation because she talks and then listens and then talks and likes one conversation happening at a time. She dislikes things left unsaid where an optional person will simply fill in what is unsaid. Optionals do well when things are unspoken because they don’t have to worry about what isn’t mentioned but a sequential feels unsatisfied with the conversation if things are not clearly spelled out.

She is good at keeping things orderly and putting them in order but less good at starting fresh with a blank slate.

She is better at remembering what things cost, what she bought, and when. She tends to do better in math but can be less skilled in creative writing.

A sequential person can be quite frustrated with an optional person, especially in conversation. She gets overwhelmed with the jumping around that optional people do and will quickly tune them. At the same time, optional people are oblivious to the fact that their method of conversing would be irritating to other people.

A sequential person can view an optional person as less intelligent, more flaky and far more rude than sequential people.


To learn more about Optional and Sequential Thought Patterns and how they effect marriage and family, visit The Family Life Coaching Group.