Dealing Daily with Multiple Personalities
We go to work to be productive, contribute, earn our keep, and engage with others in the office in a pursuit of mutually agreed objectives. We are confronted with the reality that some people around us may have their own different or unstated objectives. Coworkers have diverse agendas, some kindred and some adverse. A few even derive pleasure from setting you up to experience failure and misfortune to feel Schadenfreude, that is German word meaning to experience pleasure, joy or self-satisfaction that comes from learning or witnessing the trouble, failures or humiliation of someone else’s misfortune.
We all develop different value systems through experience, culture, family, or even compulsion. Yes, I mean compulsion. Your learning includes how to respond to actions taken by the state to force you to do something or to constrain you from doing something. Examples are posted speed limits, paying taxes, and the unlawfulness of gambling for money in a private home.
We process our thoughts and make judgments that will experientially establish our frame of reference. Both internal and external forces affect this frame of reference. These may include learned elements from our families and friends, education, political affiliations, religious beliefs, military, labor unions, work associations and media. We develop an experiential frame of reference early in life, most likely before we are 10 years old. It will mature, but not change that much.
Here are a few personalities we are confronted with each day. Each will accept and/or adapt to life and its challenges either optimistically or pessimistically.
The Dynamo- Independent and hard-charging, self-sufficient and confident. He or she knows what they want out of life – do not get in their way! Their morning starts with a cup of coffee or tea and then they are ready and look forward to facing yet another a successful day. The Dynamo will always maintain a positive attitude and are confident that they will overcome all barriers. Dynamos are risk-takers and visionaries. They will only associate with like-minded individuals and reinvent themselves whenever they need to.
The Entitled Brat- Views themselves as the brightest, prettiest, strongest, and smartest. They believe that they are inherently deserving of privilege and special treatment as though they belong to an aristocracy. Thanks to their affluent lifestyle they consider their views to be far superior to everyone else’s. When they talk to others, they are confident that their knowledge level and understanding of the issues is best. They are always right in their arguments and view counterarguments by others as representing ignorance.
The Couch Potato- His or her main priority is to always read or watch their preferred news source. The media-driven delivery of pertinent information will reflect what is in their best interest. Couch Potatoes are addicted to watching, reading and learning about all the stuff the others tell them is important. They get upset if the news presented is contrary to their beliefs. Getting upset makes them feel as if they a participant! They will discuss these issues with only like-minded friends who also get all their information from the same news media.
The Worry Wart- He or she focuses on creating worry and consternation wherever they go. They always fill their days with feelings of fear, anxiety, dismay and panic. He or she could get more done if they did not have all these things to worry about. They spend all their time worrying about things they cannot control instead of trying to focus and fix the aspects of their lives that they can control.
The Chronic Complainer- He or she knows that the world is cruel and only the wicked and dishonest get ahead. They wallow and always complain about how everything is so unfair. Their relish in bonding with others over mutual hatred and petty grievances. They will turn every opportunity and conversation into something negative. Nothing is ever or ever will be good enough or even acceptable to them, something is always wrong. They refuse to consider a concrete, rational answer or dare to suggest an improvement since nothing will ever work.
The Envier- He or she feels discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages. They are resentful and develop a dislike for anyone who has something better than they do. Their thoughts and feelings of suspicion, fear, concern, anger and resentment of others feed into their insecurities. They hate every success that others have and derive pleasure from everyone else’s misfortune.
The Geek- He or she is eccentric, introverted, and a non-mainstream person. They are experts, enthusiasts or obsessed with a particular hobby or intellectual pursuit. Viewed usually as peculiar, overtly intellectual, unfashionable, or socially awkward. They are introverted and have little interest in taking part in anything other than their interests and agenda. When they wake up, they know that the day will be about them and what they want. They may have many on-line friends and always enjoy and join in on heated internet debates.
The Politically Polarized- He or she is convinced that their political ideology is the only correct one. Their party has the solutions to society’s ailments, and the other party has nothing except falsity, deception, and potentially fraudulent schemes. These people are rigid in their thought process, and they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that their political party has all the answers. Trying to have a calm and rational conversation with them is always a waste of time.
You and I know individuals that fit into each of the above personality types. We may well fit into one or more of them ourselves. Let me pose a few questions:
Who do you want to go to dinner, have a drink and socialize with for the evening?
Who do you want to engage in a back and forth heated debate about who is the best president, best leader, or the best direction for the country?
Who do you want to invite into your mentor group who will serve as your support person? Who will develop a complete understanding of you, what you care about, knowing that the purpose is to be your guide in accomplishing your goals?
Which one will you focus on you as you lay out your strategy and agenda in your pursuit of success?
Who will give the strongest and most direct, constructive feedback, to help you accomplish your goals?
If you had to become their mentor and their support person, which of the above do you prefer?
Which of the above personalities do you want your son or daughter to bring home and possibly wed?
Lastly, of all your close friends, which category does each of them fit into. Now, do the same exercise for yourself. Which personality do you possess? Even though each of us may have a dominant trait within the categories above, there will be spillover characteristics into other personality types.
Now, if you will excuse me, I think I will call a couple of my Dynamo friends and arrange for a motorcycle ride to Hell’s Kitchen, up Ortega Hwy in San Juan Capistrano, CA for a burger and some sunshine. We will collectively place things in perspective about what is really important in life.
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