Unintentional Jerks

Sometimes you run into people that rub you the wrong way, get under your skin, or you get upset when they’re around, or you just assume that they’re mean, when you could be quite mistaken. They could be unintentional jerks. Someone can come off as mean when the person in question has no intent of malice and idea that you (or others) are perceiving him or her as someone who is a jerk.

People only know what they know, and if you are able to take a look at what might be going on inside the jerk who is upsetting you, you might be able to reconsider your opinion of him or her, re-evaluate your judgment, cut him or her a little slack, and not take their words or actions so personally.

I know when I get intensely focused on a particular thought process or project, I can be less attentive to the real world going on around me. On more than one occasion, I have had an upset, potentially angry person interrupt my train of thought, expressing their dissatisfaction about trying to get my attention “X” number of times to no avail.

They were clearly on the verge of rage, but due to my attention being so focused on what I was working on, I wasn’t as aware as I might have been and missed the series of attention-getting activities escalating to break my trance, until it became an emotional outburst. And I look like an insensitive jerk.

I realize that I might feel the same way if the situation was reversed, and I was desperately trying to get someone’s attention, while they were distracted.

Like when unintentional jerks cut you off in traffic. You get all bent out of shape, but the driver who cut you off didn’t do so to make you mad or cause you to be the victim of any abusive road rage. The offending driver might have just had something else on his or her mind as they were changing lanes, and you might have been in the driver’s blind spot. (I know I have unintentionally frightened or made a few drivers angry in my lengthy driving career.)

Differences in personality or other character qualities might seem offensive because they are incompatible with your personality or style of communication. For instance, using cat personality types, if you were a Cool Cat and an enthusiastic Battle Cat was trying to explain something to you, you might be offended or angry at this jerk’s delivery method. You might feel slighted, insulted, disrespected, or condescended to, even though there is no malice intended, it’s just a difference in personality types.

Another issue might be that of jerks invading your “personal space.” You might feel safe with keeping a distance of arms-length-and-a-beer-bottle from a person you are communicating with, yet the person who’s trying to communicate with you is comfortable with about six inches. You feel like their being so close to you is offensive, and you would otherwise let no one encroach on your personal space, like that unless you were romantically intimate with them. So, you get upset, and you classify this person as obviously a jerk, even though it’s just a cultural difference.

Depending on your personality, someone else’s enthusiasm, or boisterousness might seem over-the-top or offensive (I’ve been accused of this periodically).

Even in conversation, someone might inadvertently become an unintentional jerk by striking a nerve by just making small talk. A simple question about your past might trigger a buried emotional wound and find you getting ready to post up for fight or flight when the person was just trying to be friendly. It is quite likely that he or she had no idea they were treading in sensitive territory, or else they would have never gone there.

Simple questions like,

What do you do for a living?
What kind of car do you drive?
What’s kind of food do you like to eat?
How old are you?

All these questions are normally innocuous, but you can see under the right (or wrong) conditions, these very same questions could seem offensive to some people with particular sensitivities. And you, if you asked them, would find yourself among the unintentional jerks.

You never meant to offend anyone or hurt their feelings, and all of this was nothing more than miscommunication or misinterpretation.

Consider, the next time you encounter an out-of-control jerk, ask yourself if he or she might be an unintentional jerk? And if you might be the one with a little less control than you could have if you were a little more compassionate and understanding?

 

How to be an Alpha Male

The corporate workplace can be a competitive dog-eat-dog business, and in this aggressive environment, if the culture is not progressive, will still be following an archaic business model which is more akin to the animal kingdom’s struggle for survival.

In these instances, the individuals who are most successful, quickly rise up the corporate ladder, and appear to live the best lives, are those who dominate and lay to waste the competition. We refer to them (and they refer to themselves) as alpha males.

If you’re stuck in this type of corporate culture, it can leave you wondering,

How to be an alpha male

The alpha male is the man in the business environment who exudes self-confidence, wielding personal power like a sword of righteousness, commands the attention and respect of others in the organization. He is a man’s man, so to speak, people admire his ruthless ability to make decisions, take action, puts forth (and almost excessive) effort and expects the support of the rest of the team; and he usually gets it, out of respect for his relentless ambition and enthusiasm.

Alpha males didn’t just appear in the workplace, their characteristics can be traced back to early man, when it was us against the elements, and the animal kingdom, in the struggle for survival. The alpha males were the individuals who fought their way to the top of the food chain and the social ladder of the group by taking charge, and exerting domination over the group.

In some ways our current stage of evolution still harkens back to these alpha male archetypes. Through the process of natural selection, men bubble to the top that possess the traits of the alpha male. In the same way that our ancestors depended on these traits for survival, the corporate world is attracted to these A-type personalities for the benefits enjoyed by their shareholders.

The success of the alpha male is not simply restricted to the business environment, as socially, in many ways, we haven’t evolved very far and this is never more apparent than in our courting rituals. Even in this modern day and age, women are still attracted to the type of man who will protect her and provide an excellent source of genetic material on which to base her future generations.

Back in the day, wherever the alpha male was, you would find the best shelter, food and women, so the other men would want to befriend them and support them in order to enjoy the leftovers, and you can still see the remnants of this in our society today.

Taking on the appearance of the alpha male or emulating their attributes can be an effective way to gain ground in both corporate and social arenas, and you might be surprised to find that the best way to appear to be alpha is to

Care less about what others think about you

If you’re not an alpha male, you’re constantly vying for attention, and trying to impress others in an attempt to prove your worthiness of garnering attention or approval of others. Instead of accomplishing your hopes of gaining admiration, what you actually end up with is others thinking you are deprived, lack confidence and competence, are needy and clingy; not exactly what you had hoped for.

If your are having to constantly explain to others, or tell your own stories in an effort to show examples of your worthiness or greatness, your words are often in vain because people are not going to fall for your self-promoting tale-telling. They’re more likely to look at this as a desperate ploy to get people to like you, in an ill-fated attempt to present yourself as more appealing.

Complimenting people, especially flattery in an attempt to flirt or attract a potential mate, also not only makes you look desperate, but it clearly communicates to the object of your attention that you see them as more valuable than yourself (which doesn’t make you look any more attractive to them).

So, stop the ploys to gain the approval of others. Instead try to find ways to think of yourself more like an alpha. An alpha male could care less what anyone thinks of him, he finds his own worthiness within himself. His self confidence is high enough; he doesn’t need the approval of anyone else to make him feel any better.

When you are able to find your sense of worth from within, accepting yourself for all that you are, empowering and engaging all your special gifts and abilities without a thought of what others think, now you are becoming the powerful leader forging on with a sense of meaning and purpose.

When you are approaching life in this way, you are no longer a following. You are marching to your own beat, and others take notice. You are becoming more alpha.

This new alpha-approach to life will permeate your integration with life all around you, affecting both your social and professional circles of influence.

Personality Disorders and Diagnosis

No two people are alike and for those of us in the people business, we try to quickly ascertain particular personality traits to give us a better understanding of how best to relate to a particular individual. I am not particularly fond of labels, but have always been fascinated by the four basic personality types and use my, “What kind of cat are you?” framework as a lighthearted tool.

Personality traits such as how a person sees and interacts with their life and others seem to fall into basic categories and most people are a combination of one or more of these temperaments.

Beyond particular personality traits, there are personality disorders which are considered undesirable and could cause problems in the life of someone struggling with a dysfunctional personality trait or negatively affect the life (or lives) of others.

Diagnosing personality disorders is really a very complex method which should be left to the licensed professionals specializing in this type of work. It is an ever-evolving science of psychotherapy which changes moment to moment and year to year as we accumulate data and as we as human beings amidst societal environments continue to evolve. It is a continual moving target.

Currently, the trend suggests there are ten basic prototypes used in the diagnosis of personality disorders. Even so, even with a correct diagnosis it is common for any two people with the same diagnosis to express their particular personality disorder completely differently. Again, this is because even though we all share some of the same basic temperament traits, we are all so uniquely separated by individual life experiences and influences which give us our astounding uniqueness.

That being said, the process of diagnosis is more likened to art than science due to the complexities and variances of each subject. At the moment there exists no scientific testing equipment that can be used to adequately diagnose a particular person (and I think that is a good thing) but the scientific community would like to embrace a scanning technology which could adequately report which people are likely to not have compassion or feelings, are likely to break the law, be manipulative and predatory, overly frightened or highly dependent on the system or others.

Not being an exacting science regulated to a series of yes or no criteria, we’re all just doing the best we can with what we have, and just as each subject is completely individual, so is each evaluator, which skews the process of diagnosis even further as data is scrutinized and perceived to arrive at an adequate conclusion.

As we continue to diagnose and categorize personality disorders, it causes concern about how these diagnoses will be handled in the future, because history depicts society as having a propensity to punish or banish people who express particular brands of individuality. I am not convinced this is a good thing.

In my work, I have found myself working with people and their issues among the Antisocial Personality Disorder spectrum, particularly those who have a propensity for being predatory or involved in criminal activity. In the past, these individuals were labeled as “psychopaths” which is the term that I use to categorize them, when working with their victims.

While these methods of categorization helps me communicate, deal with and integrate with this particular group of individuals, I struggle with the idea of reducing human beings to their simplest form(s) and see potential pitfalls in such activity.

Even you could be easily diagnosed with a particular personality disorder, which could be problematic.

For instance, you could be diagnosed as being a Paranoid, Schizoid or possess a Schizotypal Personality Disorder if you’re a loner, suspicious, assert that you have certain “rights,” ruminate over injustices; believe in magic, UFOs and government conspiracies.

You could receive a diagnosis of Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic or Narcissistic Personality Disorder if you lack empathy or compassion, are self-confident, aggressive, manipulative or feel as though you are above the law. This spectrum also includes those who might be attractive, sexual, suicidal, emotionally unstable and/or selfish in nature.

Then there are the Avoidant, Dependent, and Anankastic Personality Disorders which include individuals who are self-conscious, shy, subservient, are apt to display anxiety, fear of abandonment and may (or may not) have been a victim of sexual abuse. This group also harbors obsessive statisticians and workaholics who may lack a sense of humor and are likely to see things as black-or-white or good-or-bad.

What do you think?

Stars and Stripes Motivation Fuel

In my work with people and their businesses to increase their prospects in life, I find the underlying motivations for increasing their market share has a long reaching impact on their potential success and sustained longevity in a particular marketplace.

stars-or-stripes-motivation-fuel-egocentric-stars-or-soul-centered-stripes

Stars and Stripes

They can be basically represented by two categories, Stars: those who are driven by a desire to achieve fame and/or fortune and alternatively, Stripes: those who are driven by a deep sense of purpose and/or desire to disseminate information, skills, techniques or insights that may significantly impact our planet or its inhabitants.

Stars are those who will do anything to raise their status whether in terms of celebrity or increased cash flow or financial status.

Stripes are compelled or inspired to help others and/or make the world a better place. They would serve the greater good or community regardless of recompense.

All personality types and economic conditions are represented in both categories of Stars and Stripes.

The only significant difference is found within the heart of the individual which fuels the fire of desire.

There are basically two types of fuel that powers the engine enabling a person to take quantitative action toward establishing a particular goal. One is ego-centric, while the other is soul-centered in nature.

The ego-centric fuel burns brightly for the shining Stars but does not sustain power for long requiring more fuel to be added to the motivational furnace. Ego-centric fuel originates from outside the body. It must be measured and obtained from exterior sources, such as the response from, or comparison to, others.

The soul-centered fuel which powers the Stripes comes from within, it may not burn as brightly but sustains a consistent flow of energy that is both efficient and sustainable over long periods of time. Although approval and support from others may increase the ultimate effectiveness of the impact of Stripes, it is unnecessary for sustainable results.

While Stars may leave behind a decent degree of recognition or in the best case scenarios a significant inheritance, Stripes leave behind a legacy and an aura of having made the world a better place, even if only in some small way and may also have acquired substantial wealth doing so.

We may often think that money is the result of hard work or the ability to take from others to achieve a desired result, but money also seems to come to those who are congruent with their sense of purpose and service with a pure heart, if they are open to the idea of receiving. In terms of abundance or the Law of Attraction, the process is effective if worked properly regardless of whether you are a Star or Stripe.

The main difference between Stars and Stripes comes down to the way they feel about what they do.

Stars tend to experience more anxiety and are driven by measuring themselves in comparison to the competition. Always measuring their level of fame or success which may (or may not) sustain the power required for pushing through boundaries with little more than brute strength, leaving one feeling exhausted in trying times.

Stripes experience more peace, a sense of losing track of time because they love what they do, as they focus their efforts to achieve the results they are so compelled to pursue. While they, too, may face obstacles and challenges they keep moving forward with a sense of doing the right thing, though they may tire and reward themselves with a bit of relaxation to regain their composure.

Are you among the Stars or Stripes?

What Kind of Cat Are You?

The Success Catechism

Enjoy 9 lives of fun-filled happiness, health, financial freedom and loving feline-ness by embracing your inner-cat.

Which kind of cat are you cat personalities purr sonality

Connect with your purr-fect message, mission and purpose to maximize your cat-tribution to the world.

Find out what kind of cat you Are

Are you a

happy catHappy Cat

The happy cat is also known as the life of the party cat. Happy cats are gregarious fun-loving, interactive cats likely lifting the spirits of and encouraging other cats to lighten up and not take cat-life so seriously. They are extroverts, talkers,and optimists. These charismatic cats are highly creative out-of-the-box thinkers that can adapt to any environmental setting finding it easy to blend in. They are less likely to finish what they started, as they don’t like to be burdened with details that are mundane or not enjoyable.

Happy cats are naturally expressive emotionally and non-assertive talkers, storytellers, have good sense of humors, have a memory for color, they’re emotional and enthusiastic.

On the happy cat’s darks side, they talk compulsively, are likely to interrupt, are prone to exaageration and elaboration. They are obsessed wtih trivia, can’t remember names, can be intimidating (thier enthusiasm and boldness can frighten some people).

Happy cats make good performers, promoters, composers, salespeople, actors, speakers, masters of ceremonies, politicians and clergy. Happy cats can make good health care workers with their excellent bedside manner.

Some well-known happy cats include Robin Williams, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, “Magic” Johnson, Madonna, Ernest Hemingway, Mel Brooks, Barbra Streisand, Clint Eastwood and Michael Jordan

scaredy catScaredy Cat

While the scaredy cat might appear to be more introverted or timid (don’t let their timid exterior fool you, underneath is a fierce and courageous defender and protector) than other cats, this cat is likely to put the needs of other cats above their own, willing to sacrifice their own needs, wants or desires, for a sense of doing the right thing for the right reason to the benefit of someone else or the community at large. The scaredy cat is pessimistic, thinks a lot, is prone to suspicion, very analytical, often attempts to reduce shades of gray into black and white and can be somewhat of a perfectionist.

They are deep and thoughtful, probably a genius, talented and creative, atristic, musically inclined, philosophical, and poetic. They appreciate beauty and acknowledge the positive attributes of others.

Scaredy cats make great artists, musicians, philosophers, educators, scientists, engineers, inspectors and theologians. Due to their attention to detail, scaredy cats are proficient (trade and artistic) craftspeople.

Their dark side include remembering the negatives, moody and depressed. They enjoy being hurt, possess false humility, and low self-image.

Not very adept at communicating emotionally with other cats and non-assertive

You will find scardy cats in profesisons such as artists, musicians, inventors, philosophers, doctors, and nurses.

Some well-known scaredy cats include Marilyn Monroe, Michael J. Fox, John Travolta, Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh, Beethoven, Warren Buffet, J. P. Morgan, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

cool catCool Cat

Cool cats are mild-mannered introspective felines that are the helpers that take up the care giving and nurturing of the larger population of cats. They are the respected leaders of the gentler persuasion who enjoy their private time at home and are prolific researchers and readers. Cool cats, while they maintain a variety of interests are experts in relaxation techniques and form long-lasting relationships with other cats. Excellent at “duck and cover.”

Cool cats are introverts, observers, and pessimists. Low-key personalities, easy-going and relaxed, calm, cool and collected. They are normally well-balanced, have a consistent life, quiet but witty,

Cool cats are well suited for careers in counseling, healing arts, institutional administration, accountant, statistician, teachers, technicians, civil service, diplomats, military and local government. Cool cats are good educators for primary education as well as high school and college educators.

Cool cats are naturally expressive emotionally when they are pushed or under pressure and more apt to be assertive. On thier dark side, they are unenthusiastic, fearful and worried, indecisive, avoid responsibility, selfish, too shy and too compromising.

Some well-known cool cats include Keanu Reeves, Audrey Hepburn, J.K. Rowling, Johnny Depp, Issac Asimov, Ayn Rand, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and Nikola Tesla.

battle catBattle Cat

The alpha cat, most comfortable running the show. The battle cat is more egocentric and adept at leading with authority, though maintaining a, “My way or the highway,” form of management. These are ambitious cats and foster productive work environments. Battle cats are capable of maintaining high levels of energy and passion over long periods of time, being quite relentless. Following a battle (figuratively) the battle cat will likely be the last cat standing.

They are extroverts, doers, and optimists, the leaders, producers, and builders of the world. They’re born leaders, dynamic and active, compulsive need for change, feel compelled to correct wrongs, strong-willed and decisive. May also be considered unemotional.

The battle cat’s dark side consists of traits such as egotistical, bossy, impatient, quick tempered, can’t relax. They enjoy controversy and won’t give up even if they’re losing.

Battle cats will find themselves most comfortable in professions such as inventor, architect, supervisor, contractor, entrepreneur and military (or paramilitary) leadership. Since battle cats are often less concerned with being restricted by morals may make good dictators or gangsters.

Not very adept at communicating emotionally with other cats and very assertive

Some well-known battle cats include Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Jane Fonda, Shirley MacLaine, Alec Baldwin, Dr. Phil, Nancy Grace, Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump and Judge Judy.

Your Catalyst

The most successful teams and organizations are made up of a wide-reaching cat-a-list or catalog representing of all kinds of cats. Knowing what kind of cat you are will help you to find other cats to support you on the way to massive effectiveness and having the life you always dreamed of.

Many cats are a cross-breed of two or more cat-types, and that’s okay, though you probably will find that you have one cat-type that is dominant.

Don’t try to be all the cats at once (battle cats often do this out of frustration, saying something like, “Aw, just forget it; I’ll do it myself!”). You will find your journey more enjoyable being the kind of cat that you are, and making partnerships with other cats who have the tendencies that do not come naturally to you.

Don’t let your nine lives end in cat-tastrophy.

Embrace your inner cat and start putting yourself in situations where your true cat purr-sonality shine through in all its cataclysmic glory.

Don’t wait another minute, take action meow!

Inspirational Credit: Hippocrates’ cat (415 BC)