Posted by Tom Kershaw in on -
We’re constantly in contact with people. We’re playing the chameleon day in and day out. Some do it well, some live in a swirling vortex of conflict, always wondering why everyone else is so stupid or dysfunctional when, well, maybe it’s not everyone else at all.
It may seem somewhat trite to reduce all social life down to something like: “Accept others for who they are” or “You can’t change people.” But, really, what else can you do?
We’ve been talking about the mentalities for a few weeks now and I’ve been wrestling with a way to tell you readers, and myself, how you might go about dealing with them so that you can get the most benefit from your interactions. Well, I think I’ve struck on something that was so simple that it never occurred to me to consider it until now:
Do: understand them.
Don’t: try to change them.
Think about yourself. I probably don’t know you so I’m not going to try to tell you what your mentality is, but you know. Next, look around your life and try to determine what mentality those around you might be.
Here’s a hypothetical.
You get up, you go to work, you’re boss spends 8 hours a day making absolutely certain that you know he’s your boss and you’re the underling. You regularly wonder if he actually gets any work done amidst all the displays of dominance. This can be difficult, obviously. Your best option here is to realize that your boss is a power-centered person and there’s not a thing you can do to change that.
However, you can figure out, based on that information, what you can and can’t say to him, what you can and can’t do around him, and how he will react to certain things. If you want something from him, a day off or whatever, you’ve got to use his mentality to get it. I don’t know, offer to do him a great favor that happens to be quick and easy for you, but say that you need a day off to prepare. After all, truth is not an issue in his mentality and he doesn’t fully trust you anyway. Now who’s in the driver’s seat? While he’s off brow-beating employees, you’re the clever one.
Let’s say you’re sister is married to a man who owns a bakery. She’s dissatisfied because she never gets to spend time with him because he’s always at work. She comes to you for advice. What do you say: “You’ve got to talk to him, you know, sit down for a serious conversation and explain that his family is as important as his bakery and he needs to realize that and spend more time with you.”
Her husband is highly market-centered.That bakery is going to be a dominating force in his life whether or not you’re sister is around. If she wants to spend time with him, her best bet would be to start working at the bakery.
What about you? That’s always the big question, isn’t it? Whatever you are, that’s what you are. You can, and probably will, evolve in one or two ways throughout your life. But depending on your mentality, certain things will be better for you to spend your time doing than others.
Let’s say, for example, you’re really good at designing websites and you have a great idea for a website you know will make a lot of money—but you’re not at all market-centered. It probably won’t work out to try and turn yourself into a market-centered person, rather, it would be better to enroll a market-centered person to run the business side of things while you handle website design and IT stuff. Chances are, you would get bored and annoyed crunching numbers and making deals—and you might even be terrible at it. But you’re market-centered friend will get a thrill from negotiation and watching the numbers on their ledger get bigger and bigger.
The point it, you are what you are and everyone else is what they are. Together, we all create a unified whole of society that can, and we hope, will become one where everyone can benefit in their particular areas of interest and expertise, drawing from the strengths of different mentalities, and working together for their own personal benefit and the greater benefit of society.
Step one for you: a little self-evaluation.
- Tom Kershaw
- Hi! I'm Tom and I am a full-time writer, musician, and father to a firecracker of a four year-old. My wife and I lease our house and cars from her in hopes that her considerable talents of mess-making, princess-impersonation, and stuffed animal-whispering will pay off and fund our eventual retirement in the south of France.
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