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.

Understand Preferences

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
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008


Anonymous said...

Hi Emmanuel,

Your blog was comforting, as I could so relate to your experience. It’s funny, but I’ve been seeing you as an extrovert, much like some see ME as one, but really, I’m so much the opposite. I sometimes find it stressful to be with my daughter and her dad for any length of time, as they both need people around them as much as possible.
I encourage her to create alone time in her life and she encourages me to engage with others more!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. We all have to much to learn from each other.


Anonymous said...

oh soooooo true! again you hit it right on the head! thanks Emmanuel!

Cheers, Doris

Anonymous said...

Excellent tips...and a good way to start the week!


Anonymous said...

I am sorry you felt drained after your boating trip rather than energized. It’s great that you can be honest about it and also find a positive way of looking at it – it gave you something to write about too... It takes a very special kind of a person to be able to get up and dust oneself off and smile and focus on the task at hand, which in your case is remaining faithful to your blog -- no matter what happens.

David G

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your latest tip! It was very timely since I just finished having my parents visit me. It's been a busy summer for me of being with relatives and I really could relate to your tip. I, too, am an introvert by nature and sometimes, it was a bit too much for me to be in the company of extroverts. However, I did learn a lot about myself, too, which your tip mentioned.

One of the things I learned was that I should not have given up my early morning solo walks after having being with extroverted family members since that really helped me to re-energize myself! :o)

Thanks for inspiring me, as always!

Wishing you a fantastic day!