How To Be Likable, pt.1
If you've ever had the trippy experience of taking a personality test then you know what its like to discover more about yourself than you thought possible! I had to take 4 professional tests, and send them in for evaluation and approval before moving to Berlin to start working with Syrian Refugees.
But when the results come in, don't you just feel... free? known? by knowing that someone, even a website database, understands you or can describe you !? (no matter how vaguely)
Maybe you hate personality tests; they put people in boxes, people idolize them, it's weird to be so introspective -- that's cool too! JUST expect our first conversation to be a small informal personality test!
My life is not about me
Because I want to be useful to you!
Here's what I've learned,
One of THE most important skills you can have in life is the ability to read another person and manipulate your personality for their sake.
especially a stranger.
Check this out ->
Back in 2013, I had the pleasure of being a full-time counselor at Camp Berea in New Hampshire.
I'd missed the first week of the 3 weeks of training because Grandpa thought it would be a good idea to have me working minimum wage in his dark musty warehouse, soldering tiny pieces onto boards all summer surrounded by old gossipy women. #paradise
As much as I love talking to nice old ladies, THE SUN WAS OUT! and within 3 days I'd heard all the stories of days-gone-by and how this person said that and blah blah blah. No thanks. Sorry Janet.
So I skidaddled, learned to drive a stick-shift and a day later found myself in beautiful Hebron, NH at the camp that changed my life so many years before.
I'd missed week 1 of training but the latter 2 weeks were a BLAST. All those counselors, if you're reading this, you're all my best friend - much love!
Come visit me in Berlin,
you have a place to stay.
But the most impactful part of the whole training was a several day section we did on personalities.
Among other things, we ran through the Johari window (literally just a window named after these friends joe and harry), created a grid on the floor of the old A-Frame chapel, and publicly answered personality questions as a team. Based on your personal answers to these questions, you'd move your chair around the room, being more relationship oriented, more task oriented, more leader oriented, or more follower oriented.
1. You often get so lost in thoughts that you ignore or forget your surroundings.
And I'd move left one step
2. You do not usually initiate conversations.
And I'd move forward
3. Being organized is more important to you than being adaptable.
And I'd move to the right
and so forth
Craziest part was that after the 70 or so questions had been answered, and once people were situated in their places on the grid, you could visually compare people's personalities and understand why this person acts this way and why that person talks that way and why I jive so well with some people and not so well with others!
The takeaway was this:
People have different personalities so if you want to be useful to them, you need to act/ talk in a way that makes them comfortable.
What do I mean?
Well to demonstrate, Nate (our director) did a little exercise.
He said, "pretend that I've noticed that Carrie has been having a difficult week, now WATCH how I approach her"
SO as he moved over to Carrie, who was more analytical, more task oriented, more follower minded, he went over and with a soft voice said, "hey, how you doin? I've just noticed that you've been looking down, is there something you want to talk about?"
And how'd she feel?
Totally understood, her guard was down, and she was comfortable talking about her troubles.
Then he went to Kyle
Kyle is about as rough and gruff as it gets. Dude has gone through a very tough life, he's seen it all, and is desensitized to a lot. Still a huge feeler rather than a thinker in making decisions, but totally leadership prone, very 'out there' and willing to share his opinions because he's so people oriented.
Nate walks over, gives the same spiel and with a soft voice said, "hey, how you doin? I've just noticed that you've been looking down, is there something you want to talk about?"
And how does Kyle respond?,
".....(pause)....dude, are you gay?"
Trust me. Talking to a guy like Kyle in the same way you talk to a girl like Carrie just doesn't work.
Acting the same way also doesn't work.
If what you want is deeper relationships with people, you need to treat each person as an individual, or at least have a vague idea of how people will react differently.
Honestly, you probably already do this in your day to day! Just think about your best friends or family members.
Do you talk to one differently than another? Is one just better to chill with while another is great for getting at what is bugging you? Is one of your friends an over thinker and always needs things explained? Is another friend more black-and-white? do they every argue? haha. probably.
So what does this mean for you?
I'm going to give you an exercise.
This is just the first of several blogs that have to do with, "How to be likable" and I'll have a lot more to share in time, but suffice it to say this - God gave you a personality. And you have a worldview, rose-tinted glasses as it were, that causes you to see all things in a certain hue. Once you are aware of your glasses (your own personality) you can begin to step outside of yourself, look objectively at your interactions with others, and control yourself more effectively in social situations so that you're able to put your best foot forward in a way that's tailor-made for different groups or individuals, and be useful to more people.
Sorry about the run-on sentences.
Exercise 1: Take a personality test. go to https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
You'll likely have a wicked fun time.
1.5 Once you get your 4 letters, throw them into the comments section - I want to know how to understand you better! Also once you know MY personality type you can better understand where I'm coming from as I write these blogs. That way you don't freak out when I tell you to act a certain way or do a certain thing.
Exercise 2: In the next week, just observe how different people interact differently with you.
How much energy do they put into conversation?
how much eye contact?
are they looking for facts or opinions?
do they want to learn more about why you think a certain way or are they satisfied with just hearing your answers?
do certain things make them uncomfortable to talk about?
do you have a hard time getting someone to hold a conversation with you? etc.
My hope in all of this is that we can better understand how God made us differently, and take that practically into our lives. As people, we too often get stuck in our own heads and think with such a myopic perspective when people are varied. They're coming at things from so many different points of view, and have a million different motives. Hopefully it'll cause you to appreciate people more, to judge people less, and to love like Jesus did! Because ultimately, that's what life is about.
So much love, see you in part 2!