Sunday, July 27, 2008
Tip#176: The Good in Getting Your Buttons Pushed - As Good As It Gets - Planes Trains and Automobiles
Traveling with friends or family can be an adventure and sometimes a pain. And if you can get past the interpersonal conflicts it can be a learning opportunity you can apply into your workplace as well. That's why it's important to remember that getting your buttons pushed is really a signal that you are about to discover something eye-opening about yourself.
The Boating Trip
I recently went on a 3 day boating trip with 3 friends. It was a reunion of sorts with great guys I used to go camping with regularly years ago. So there was a bit of testosterone shooting around on this trip!
The difference with this boating vacation and with camping was that we spent more time confined on a boat traveling for hours through the canals of the Trent-Severn Waterway. This meant more group time than alone time. And since I am primarily an introvert I needed more alone time to stay energized than the other extroverts in the group.
Extroverts & Introverts
As I wrote in tip#44: Extroverts, Introverts & Social Introverts, the basic explanation is that extroverts get energized by outside stimulus like activities with others and just being around people. Introverts, on the other hand, get energized by being in solitude and engaging in quieter activities. Therefore the boat trip slowly drained me of energy.
This led to being irritable, unfocused and argumentative with the most extroverted of my friends who was just feeding off the outdoor action. His extroverted personality was not only pushing my buttons it was draining me even further.
After the boating trip he would say he found the whole boating experience "relaxing" which was the opposite of my experience.
As Good As It Gets 1997
I am reminded about the road trip in one of my favourite movies, As Good As It Gets where differences in personality preferences clashed between the 3 characters played by Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear. All the interactions were a big mirror for anyone who has ever taken a road trip with friends or family. Even the choice of what music to play in the car was an issue among Nicholson and Hunt's characters.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles 1987
I am also reminded of the classic road trip movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring Steve Martin and John Candy. Hilarious and touching, this film shows how much the differences in personal preferences can push someone's buttons. And yet in the end both people become friends after Martin’s character develops compassion for his irritating traveling companion.
Clashes between extroverts and introverts is one important area we can all resolve if we just take time to learn about how each of us prefers to energize. There would be so many more productive interactions in the workplace and in our personal relationships if we understand each other more.
You can start by identifying your personal needs when being around others. Are you more introverted or extroverted? Build your self-awareness with your preferences in your comfort levels with others at work and at home. And when someone pushes your buttons remember they are secretly helping you to know yourself on a higher level.
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008