Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Things That Get Under My Skin: A Portrait of Personality

1.  People not using their turn signals.
2.  People pulling out in front of other people.
3.  Very liberal people.
4.  Very conservative people.
4.5.  Inconsiderate people.
5.  People who think they are always right.
6.  People who insist that their thinking and opinions are always better.
7.  Communication breakdowns and failures.
8.  The Sound of Music.
9.  Whining and complaining.
10.  Haters.
11.  Inconsiderate people.
12.  People bothering me when Lost is on.
13.  Needles.  (Well, this one’s obvious, given the title of this post.)
14.  Bad instructions.
15.  Talkers at the movies.
15.7  Inconsiderate people.
16.  Spilling water all over the place when I’m doing dishes.
17.  Stuff breaking that ain’t s’posed to break.
18.  Facebook.
19.  Mega-man, in all its glory and fun, being too dang hard at times.
20.  Anti-military sentiments.
20.3  Inconsiderate people.
20.3.b.  Rude people towards cashiers, waiters, etc.
20.3.c.  Rude cashiers, waiters, etc.
21.  Mammy’s voice in Gone with the Wind.
22.  Sending an email to a professor (or co-worker) that’s long and detailed and getting a one-word response.

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”—Theodore Roosevelt

Looking back at this list, it’s obvious to me what really sticks out.  When people don’t take the time to think before they speak, when they speak just to speak, to hear the sound of their own voice, or when they speak hurtful things, it rankles me.  There are people in this world that think before they speak, and there are people that say whatever’s on the tip of their tongue.  There are people who challenge everything and everyone, and there are people who are easy to please.  There are people who are never satisfied and there are people who always are.

I’ve said for many years that communication issues are why there are so many problems.  Some people can’t articulate their thoughts well and they say one thing but mean another.  For better or worse, what’s said is said, and that’s what’s acted on.  Some people speak well and clearly, precise and to the point, and this may irk somebody else.

We’re all human and we must learn to work with people.  That’s part of life.  I’m fine with working with people, or I’m okay to work alone, too.  I feel like I’m easy to work with.  I don’t care to do my part, and I don’t care to do other people’s parts every once in a while, either.  I always try to be tactful in my communication, and I’m always considerate and respectful.

A company I worked for a few years ago had all of their employees do a personality test called the Strength Development Inventory.  We answered many questions and What if situations, and a few weeks later we all had a seminar.  The results divided up people into one of seven categories: Red, Red-Green, Green, Green-Blue, Blue, Blue-Red, and Hub.  Our primary category was where we were most of the time in our life, when things are going normal.  Our secondary category was where we go when there is conflict.  The results pegged me dead on.

Blue people are “people pleasers.”  They’re eager to get things done by doing whatever it takes.  They’re often said to have big hearts that are easily bruised and offended.  Green people are “analyzers.”  They spend time thinking through their work, making sure that what is done is done efficiently and correct.  Red people are very “ambitious and motivated.”  Red people are typically supervisors or bosses and they often are guided by their own sense of self-motivation.  They are the risk takers.  (The mixed colors take elements of both, and the Hub is a combo of all three.)

In conflict, Blue people turn belly up and do whatever it takes to be out of conflict.  They dislike conflict with a passion.  Green people tend to stick to their analysis, believing that their work is correct and well thought out.  Red people tend to enjoy a little conflict, believing that it gets things done; however, Red people tend to blow up during conflict, too, and their tempers are notorious.

There’s no singular good or bad color group.  All have plusses and minuses.  The point of the SDI test is to get teams and people to learn how to work together.  A group of people that have an understanding of each other is going to be more productive than a group of people that don’t.

These same traits follow over into life outside of work, too.  Spouse.  Friends.  Family.  Neighbor.  Blogger.  Everybody has their own, unique personality, and if we’re going to succeed at humanity, then we’ve got to learn to work with people.  We don’t always have to get our way to be happy.  We don’t always have to ride shotgun.  We don’t always have to voice our opinions, even if we think they’re the better idea.  We don’t always have to be jerks, cause whether you realize it or not, you’re a jerk to someone.  You get on somebody’s nerves, and that makes you a jerk.  I’m a jerk.  You’re a jerk.  We’re all just a globe full of jerks, trying to get by as best we can.

That said, I am a Blue-Green person, and in conflict I go more Blue-Green.  I tend to analyze everything before I act, but my analysis is also rooted in my desire to work well and appease others.  My own self-desires often suffer or go unmentioned because I want everybody else to be happy.  Red people make me nervous at times, but usually only when they’re in conflict mode.  I do my best to get the job done, but I weigh the risks heavily, too.  An example seems applicable.

Me:  “I wanna play Mario Kart.”
Person A:  “Mario Kart’s lame and stupid.  I don’t like it.  I want to play WarioWare.”
Me:  “Uh…  okay.  I’m sorry.  We’ll play WarioWare.” 
Person B:  “Meh, I could go for either one.  Doesn’t matter to me.”
Person A:  “Yeah, well, if we play Mario Kart then I’m not playing.”
Me:  “We’ll play WarioWare.”

This conversation has never happened, but it easily identifies people for what color they are.  I end up feeling lame and stupid, like my opinion isn’t good enough for Person A.  Obviously if Mario Kart is lame and stupid, somebody that plays it is, too, right?  But the question is whether or not Person A meant that.  A Blue person would feel that way whether it was meant or not, sadly, and would never say anything about it.  Person A probably doesn’t mean that I am stupid and lame or he wouldn’t be hanging out with me in the first place, but he also doesn’t realize the way he’s speaking, either.

The principles of the SDI test have stuck with me for over two years now.  I think about it when I deal with people.  Above everything I want people to get along.  I want people to be considerate and respectful of other people.  Be humble instead of proud and opinionated.  Be nice instead of jumping down someone’s throat.  Think, people, before you act.  There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion and insisting you get your way, but when it’s that way all the time, then there’s a conflict.  Whether you realize it or not, you’re affecting somebody.

If you ever get a chance to take the SDI test, do so.  And please, remember the golden rule and think before you act.

Random Bits and Pieces

  • Lost premiers the final season tonight!
  • You can give blood every 56 days.  How long has it been for you?
  • Two posts tomorrow: Writing Wednesdays and a Lost rehash.
  • You can win an Apple iPad from the Stuff Christian’s Like blog, a satirical Christian blog on pop culture and the like.
  • Eat Belgian waffles, not Belgians.


Crystal said...

Interesting post today. I disagree with you on #18. Facebook is awesome.

I've never had the opportunity to take the SDI test. It would be fascinating to do so.

I've never given blood. I don't even know my blood type. Hmmm... I should probably do that.

Since I don't like waffles, I probably won't eat either, but it's good advise just the same :)

logankstewart said...

Haha. Imma gonna have to clarify that point with an entirely separate post.

And you should definitely consider giving blood, especially once. It's such a great and easy commitment to do for others, and there's always a need for it, especially during times of disaster. I have O-neg blood, which can go to anybody, so I try to give every 56 days. Do it. You'll feel glad that you did. And when you get a thing in the mail telling you that you've saved some lives you'll feel even better.

Stephanie Fey said...

I've got a whole pile of comments on my blog to respond to but I'm going to respond to your post before I do anything else.

Here's what I'd like: one day, you, me and your lovely wife sit down with a few beers and talk through everything that's in this post. The list itself would take up hours of discussion and laughter! I genuinely laughed out loud at so many things on it! Especially FACEBOOK - compare it to blogging and it's entirely empty and pointless. I've encountered so much more honesty and beauty in people through blogging than in a lifetime of Facebook.

What I'm really trying to say is this: that was a wonderful post and you are a quality human being, and a writer of great depth and honesty.

Huh! Why didn't I just say that then? Well, in my circumspect way, hopefully I did.

Keep well. My thoughts are with your brother too.

Steph Fey x

logankstewart said...

That sounds like a plan, Steph, but I'm more of a wino myself. We can get together and chat at Mordan House.

Thank you for the generous compliment and for thinking about my brother. I do what I can.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

I am so with you on #'s 21 and 12, but must disagree with #8. The Hills are Alive...

logankstewart said...

@Kim: Hey, thanks for swinging by my blog, even if you like The Sound of Music. ;)

Though, to be fair, it has been many years since I last saw it, so it might not be so bad now. I've grown quite fond of musicals over the years, so I'll have to try it again.