Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are?
Now that you’ve spent some time determining if you’re an “Avoider,” “Hammer” or “Pleaser” have you ever wondered why you are the way you are? Why do you love being in charge of everything? Why do you never speak up, even when you have something to say? Why are you always the one with all of the jokes? Or, why are you so serious all the time??
Another way to think of your “personality” is that it is the filter that you have which colors how you see the world and how other people see you. I believe that our personalities are a "mashup" of two distinct factors:
Genetics: I think it’s clear that our genetics determines a lot of our personality. There are certain things that we are simply “born with.” For example, I gave my first public singing performance in second grade…and I killed it! Now, while both of my parents were professional singers, I was never taught the secrets of performing or singing in public by them. In other words, I just naturally knew how to be a performer and when I had an opportunity to showcase that, I did.
Conversely-I could never ever, ever understand any math from algebra on! No matter how many times I studied, worked with my teachers, read books on algebra, took extra study time and sought help from tutors, I could never ever seem to get it, no matter how much I wanted to!
I think both of these were directly related to my genetics.
Experience: My study of the science of relationships has led me to believe that we are driven by the need for connection. Along the way we’ve learned what things help us feel connected-and what things make us feel disconnected from others. We then tend to gravitate towards doing things that help us feel loved, noticed, valued and cared for and we avoid the things that make us feel shame, made fun of, embarrassed, and ignored.
As a kid I learned that my home wasn’t always “safe” to be “me.” Can you relate? I was told (often) that I talked too much, that I sang too loud and that I was interested in things that my family didn’t understand why I was interested in them. So, I pulled back, decided to share less at home, became more private, and “introverted” and over time I believe I developed “The Avoider” relational style and an “Indirect" communication style, especially at home.
What does this mean for you?
Now that you have a better understanding of the three relational styles and the two communication styles, I hope you have a better understanding of YOU! If you’ve never taken time to think about why you are the way you are, why not spend some time over this next week to do so?
Then, as you interact with the people around you, use this information to determine what relational and communication languages they’re speaking to you, so that you can more effectively communicate, engage and connect with them!
I must warn you though...once you've indentified your "language" there is a dangerous trap we can (and do) fall into...and we'll talk about that next time!