Research shows we are quick to attribute someone’s “different” actions/words to a persons controlled attitude or behavior. When the shoe is on the other foot, we believe our own actions/words are a result of our situation or environment. Surely we can’t be the same as the jerk? -Right?- Wrong!
We are all the same with some varying hard-wired circuitry in our brains that form our personality preferences. If you are right-handed and try to write with your left hand, it is very awkward. The comfort of writing with a familiar hand is the same comfort we feel when acting/talking through the day. Whether or not you are an extrovert or introvert or you are more of a judger or perceiver, you are who you are. Everyone else is actually like – no one else. Most importantly those others, are really not jerks, they are just who their personality preference shapes them to be.
The co-worker who is the downer or the one that questions everything you do is really not a bad person, they may be more comfortable within the frame of questioning or diligent oversight of tasks. When you understand it is usually not malicious, you can serve their individual personality comforts with what makes them tick (details, vision and clarity). Usually the friction between people is really just misunderstood personality traits.
Personality isn’t something you can just change; it is more efficient to understand who you are and play to your strengths. There are no “bad” personality preferences. I’ll say this again, “there are no bad personality preferences”… People will have varying degrees of personal strengths based on their brain circuitry. Personality will shine based on situation, degree of preference and the synergistic effect of another person’s personality. Understanding this is why people do and say what they do, should alleviate frustrations. Rather than trying to convince someone you’re right they’re not, look at it from their personality and then re-think your approach, or maybe be open to the other side.
Communications is much more than just speaking or listening. It is also reading the personality preferences of those around you and adjusting your message so that they understand you better. It also helps if you can explain the whole personality type phenomenon to those close to you so they might understand you rather than thinking you’re the jerk….
Parting shot: Would love to hear your thoughts about the guy/gal who has always been “that” way. I would wager that’s just their comfort zone shining through and the perception you may hold could be the other side. What do you think they would say about you?