To me, there’s no doubt that we bring certain personality shaping energy into the world, called our hard wiring, and apparently genetic coding from our biological parents and ancestors that “makes us” a certain way. As babies we soon show our colors, ranging from gentle mellow and easy-going to impatient and motorcycle gang edgy. And then there’s the nature vs nurture – a longstanding discussion of what is more or less responsible for how we turn out as time goes on.
Studies of personality types from way back and up to contemporary times have come up with a pretty consistent model of 4 major categories or dominant types by various names. Let’s call them leaders, charmers, relaters, polishers. Briefly, the leaders are those who like to take charge and charge ahead. Charmers are smooth talkers who could sell buffalo burgers to vegetarians. Relaters value friendship and family above all else. And polishers are the type who correct your grammar and insist on everything being done the right way (their way).
Of course, these are broad generalities and we all have some overlap and leaning depending on the circumstance, but typically we have one dominant types as our standard operational mode, and have certain proclivities common to our type. However, in the course of our socialization, we learn that we must adjust to social norms and behaviors within certain parameters, and therefore develop a persona (the word means mask) for the world to see. So when people act inappropriately and say that it is, “Just the way I am,” that is only a half truth, and often an excuse to be an uncivilized annoying jerk.
And, the truth is, we do have a world peppered with people whose behavior annoys us and worse – from those who are just inconsiderate of others to sociopaths and psychopaths. But let’s stay with the annoying types for this quick view. We may have encountered them at work, as a boss or colleague, in social settings, and, heaven forbid, even in our family.
Leaders can be blunt and abrupt. They got stuff to do and they are task oriented. People’s feeling aren’t all that important to them. Charmers can slip into con artist, insincere, over-grinning, overbearing glad handers who offend more than charm. Relaters can be so attentive as to annoy with their, “Could I get you a coffee? Water? A soda? Sandwich? How about a video game? Press your pants…” And Polishers who must finish our sentence and find the flaw in every bleeping thing can stress us out to the max.
Did someone say “Stress”? Oh, yes. Being around the downside energies of certain types at these times can cause gnashing of teeth and shoot our blood pressure into hyperspace – hypertension. However, there’s a two-step coping mechanism we can learn to keep us in gentle mellow and unaffected by their shenanigans when they show up in our life:
1. Learn about the different types and consider that they do have hard wiring as well as a persona, and they are just trying to navigate their way through life in a way that they feel will best serve them – just the way we all are. We have all, at least in part, decided to be a certain type. That is our life strategy. Recognize the type and we won’t be so reactionary.
2. Practice relaxation techniques. Simple breathwork, mindfulness meditation and other types of meditation practiced for even a few minutes a day have proven to be effective in reducing negative reaction. Studies have shown that meditation actually effects the part of our brain responsible for quick reaction – the old flight or fight response in a way that makes us less reactionary and more mindful of staying mellow. Check out the benefits of meditation. And take note of how meditation is showing up in mainstream healthcare.