“I want to introduce you to Rommel. The interesting thing about Rommel is that while he can seem pretty mellow and quiet and just does his thing.... when he is on a stage he is an amazing speaker!”
I’ve learned that my default relational style is what psychotherapist Karen Horney (whose work has greatly influenced my thinking on this) would call “Moving Away From People.” I like to refer to this style as “The Avoider.”
I Need My Space!
What are some characteristics of those with the Move Away style?
They desire independence and self-sufficiency
May seem to not need people
May appear to be aloof, disinterested, and disengaged
They may need to remain as inconspicuous as possible
They may have a need for perfection and have a desire to avoid revealing any flaws
Is this you?
If this is you, I bet that you’re intuitive, observant and that while you like people, they can also drain you! If someone wants to know the pulse of what’s going on in your community, team, company etc. you’d be the person to ask, because you know what’s going on around you, even if you don’t let everyone know you know what’s going on!
Dude, are you here?
The negative aspect of this relational style is that people often feel that you’re not present (physically or emotionally), that you don’t need other people, and can interpret your need for independence as being “stuck up.” By being inconspicuous and not always willing to engage, jump in, share your thoughts, you may also lose out on opportunities to be seen. I know this has happened to me many times in my career, as I waited for people to notice me, and experienced time and time again that people didn’t see me, or at least, not in the ways that I had hoped.
As an Avoider...
I have been working on “leaning in” and engaging more…especially when I don’t want to! And, I’ve learned how to identify and communicate my need for space and down time from people, so that I don’t feel overwhelmed all the time.
If you’re working with an Avoider, don’t take his/her distance as “proof” that s/he thinks s/he’s better than you, or is not a “team player” or doesn’t like you! And, try engaging the Avoider by inviting him/her to share his/her thoughts, ideas and opinions, especially in a meeting dominated by “Hammers.” Sometimes they just need to know that it’s safe to venture out!
Are you an “Avoider?” Why do you think that is your relational style? How does it help you? Hurt?