July 13, 2005
We all have a certain way of “being in the world.” Everybody has a look, an attitude, a certain role and demeanor that they choose when dealing with others. This is your personality and it dictates what you get back from the world. Here are some examples of personalities to which the world reacts. You may find yourself here, or you may have to create your own category:
These people just seem to have a chip on their shoulder. They walk into every situation expecting to be offended. They’re determined to find fault with anything and everything going on around them. No matter what the situation, they’re quick to personalize any act or statement as offensive to their sensibilities. They’re prickly. Trying to get close to them is like trying to hug a porcupine. As a result, people engage them, if at all, at arm’s length. The world recognizes that interacting with the porcupine is a lose-lose situation. Porcupines typically complain about how cold people are around them; they’re baffled by other people’s standoffishness. Porcupines don’t seem to understand that they act in that way, and that people are simply responding in kind.
To find out if you’re a Porcupine, answer these questions:
1. Do people walk on eggshells around you, unsure when you will erupt in anger?
2. Do you often feel defensive no matter what anyone tries to bring up with you?
3. Do you “think” your mate can’t do anything right?
4. Do you greet your mate at the door with problems before even saying hello?
5. Is hugging you like trying to hug a porcupine?
Chicken Little Personality
The world is coming to an end and these people know it. Whether it’s at work, at home, in their relationships, the economy, or the weather, a collapse is imminent. These people are anxious and urgent. They play the game of life with sweaty palms. They go from one imagined crisis to another. Others find their histrionics irritating and tiresome.
To find out if you’re a Chicken Little, answer these questions:
1. Do you wake up several times in the night to check on your child?
2. Do you feel “doom” is lurking around every corner?
3. Do you always visualize the worst-case scenario?
4. Does your worrying irritate those around you?
5. Do you feel like there is always a crisis to deal with?
Posers might as well be mannequins in a department store display. They act in the most superficial manner imaginable. They behave as if stupidity were a virtue and superficiality divine. Their goal is to look better than you and make sure you know it. They spend most of their time striking poses and using phony self-criticisms to elicit compliments. Trying to make a Poser feel secure is like trying to fill a bottomless pit. Because they insist on engaging the world superficially, Posers create an experience devoid of genuineness and intimacy.
To find out if you’re a Poser, answer these questions:
1. Do you always wear makeup when you leave your house?
2. Is your closet full of only designer labels?
3. Do you make sure you hold your designer purse with the label facing OUT at all times?
4. When you walk into a room, do you check to see if you look better than everyone else?
5. Would you rather be caught dead than seen in clothes from discount department stores?
6. Do you make friends based on their money, connections and prestige to make you look good?
For these people, nothing is okay. It’s too hot or it’s too cold. It’s too far; they’re too tired; it’s too hard. As the saying goes, these people would “bitch if they were hung with a new rope.” Nobody pays attention to or cares about them enough; life is not fair. They didn’t get the same deal or the same treatment as everybody else. Whine, whine, whine. These people experience the world as an agonizing and very personal ordeal. In response, the people around them want to slap them and scream, “Shut up and deal with it! But mainly, just shut up!”