Take a look at this chart below and pick one or two archetypes that best describes you. You may find a little bit of yourself in all four, try your best to pick one or two that stands out.
Excellent. Now, take a look at this second chart:
When we are at our best, our actions show up in the column on the left. When we are stressed or not our best, we may perceive ourselves to be in the column on the left, but chances are our friends, family and coworkers are seeing our behaviours in the middle and right columns. For example, I can be rather careful and cautious when presented with a new idea;, thinking things through can be a strength of mine – I can often catch things that others may have missed. However, when I am not at my best, I can spend too much time being careful and cautious and can come across to others as pessimistic, inflexible or obsessive. I end up presenting as hypercritical and looking like I am not interested in an idea when I am actually super interested and trying to make sure we have thought of every possible risk. Hence, too much of a good thing.
At Facilitated Solutions, we often help individuals use this tool for not only gaining insights about themselves but also insights into the actions of others that have different strengths. One way to do this is to look at the middle and right columns and pick out one or two word “clusters” to describe someone in your life with a different style, that you are experiencing tension with.
I am guessing you did that pretty quickly. Now take a look at the characteristics in the column on the left side. While this list left column may not all describe what you are experiencing, chances are that’s where their intentions sit.
When experiencing tension with someone else, it can be easy to think they fully intend to cause the hurt that you are experiencing. The reverse is also true. My guess is you don’t feel you have intended to hurt them. Is it possible you (maybe both of you) are experiencing too much of a good thing?
One of the best things to do before approaching someone you are in conflict with is to shift from judgement to curiosity. I find this can be helpful tool to get curious about where others are coming from.