This is about missed connections, absurdly close.
Of my own interest, I read rather a lot of books on Psychology, in high school and for a time after. By the time Keirsey’s first edition of “Please Understand Me” came out, I had stopped those readings.
More recently, after what amounts to a prolonged social accident, I started readings around psychology, again. Read the latest of Keirsey’s books, and suddenly the prior confusing social episode seemed to make sense.
The year 1978 was when Keirsey’s first edition book on personality types appeared, and the year I started at the University of California, Irvine (as a third-year student).
My major was in Physics, but one of my “breadth” areas was Psychology. I took the introductory courses but, because my prior readings were essentially in advance of the entire first year, I did not have to study, and did not interact with the other students in the class. After that I took more specialized courses in Psychology, which the general run of students avoided.
The joker here is that Keirsey’s book, and the more recent social accident, suggest that my strongest match in personality might have been among those students of Psychology. Wish I had known…
Add to this Keirsey was at the California State University, Fullerton for quite a long time. That school is within walking distance of the house in Placentia, where I grew up. After 1978 - the time of Keirsey’s first book on the subject, I spent very little time there. But in the time between … I wonder how many times are paths wove near.
If I had happened to take courses there, might we have met?
At University, I met a girl. Later we married, had kids, and … were not remotely suited. I only knew that I had chose poorly, but had not the slightest clue how to choose well. Divorced. Dated for a time, with poor result, then stopped.
On the early social web, ran into a woman - thousands of miles away - to whom emotionally I was very strongly attracted. Made no sense. We seemed very different. Thought it was whack. We ended up talking quite a lot, but I did not understand her personality at all … as I had no prior experience with that sort. I thoroughly fucked up the conversation. Very much a glitch.
Bit later, occurred to me that I really did not understand different sorts of personalities, so started readings on Psychology, again. In Keirsey’s book found my personality sort (easy), found … and started to understand … the glitch-woman’s personality sort. In the part of the book speculating on compatibility, Keirsey thought those two sorts might be the strongest of all matches.
Read his book about a year or so before he died. Would rather we have overlapped a bit more.
Just to add another layer, chatted briefly with Keirsey’s son, who it turns out was a UCI at the same time as I, and likely much of the time in the same buildings. Our paths were just enough apart we may never have met, but only just. Odd echoes.