Okay, so I only suck on some things.
Lately, however, I've discovered I suck at some things I thought I was good at.
Nothing, NOTHING, makes me more miserable than realizing I am incompetent at something.
All sorts of things can make me more sad, more scared, etc. - kids will do that. But when it comes down to me, feeling competent is important.
Hence practically everything I do as a parent.
But I still suck at some stuff. I hate the face-plant moments, enough that I will not avoid getting up, getting back in there, and trying to muck through and figure out what I did wrong and how to do it more right.
I'm okay with progress, too - I don't have to be perfect right now. I can be a continuing process. I actually am pretty process oriented, so if I'm working on getting better at something, I can count that.
In this case, though, I thought I was good at something, but ... um, maybe not.
For much of my life, I have thought I was an extrovert. I mentioned this a couple posts back. And I also thought I was an F - people first, values first, problem second.
But as I went through the exercises with my team (especially the followup stuff), I ended up much more comfortable in the introvert and thinking side. I realized that I feel I am supposed to be people first. To manage that, I put people-as-the-problem, so I can kinda keep people first (but really, the problem is still first).
I problem-solve people issues. Which is loads of fun, really. It is what I do for work (my new mini project is perfect perfect perfect for this - I totally love it!). But it also highlights that when it comes to the actual process and expression of feelings, I may not actually be that good at it. After all, I assumed I was good at it, so I didn't bother to try to build skills.
Which means that, hmm - when I feel angry, I am prone to losing my temper. No skill. And when I'm feeling overwhelmed or agitated or even thrilled and excited, I dump it at people I care about (instead of being able to manage the flow, attend to the intersection between me and thee, and listen). Again, no skill. And I'm not as good as I think I am about hearing other people's feelings and responding to them. Um, oops?
Analyze them? Sure. No problem! I can dissect someone's emotional process from 50 ft. I can spot how people work (and be relatively close to right), even if I know that I can't tell why something was felt (no mind reading).
I think I'm okay with conflict, too - or did. But maybe, maybe not on that one.
One of the big yank-up-short moments on this was my work friend A sitting down to go over the two types that were coming up as likely - he agreed that the type I was typed before (very enthusiastic, gossipy random and social) was wrong. He thought I was the rules-based orderly thinker. Okay, so I play one at work... I've worked on those skills for 20 years. But when it came down to looking at the type I think I actually am (geek problem-solver), there was one thing that I didn't think fit, and I wanted his level-set on.
What thing? The booklet said that this type of person is uncomfortable with expressions of feeling (self or others), and with conflict. Nah, not ME! I put a big X over the box on that.
And he disagreed. Heartfelt disagreement, actually. That much I could tell (sigh).
As it turns out, he's a feeler type, so you know what? I am going to have to trust his judgment on that. I did, of course, cross check (because I have to). I read through some of my blog posts on handling feelings. And man, do I go straight to the problem-solving first! It's not sympathy and compassion I offer, it is resolution. Which isn't bad as an end-point, but um, might help if I interwove more compassion in the process. I do, really, just not as much as is called for - I cut it short, get them to try to calm down too much too soon.
This is probably why Miss M avoids me entirely when she's feeling hurt. I do not help. I run out of energy for dealing with the hurt-ness fairly fast, and want it to be done. I know she needs to take her time, but she wants to take her time on it with me, and I start to tense up as it continues. Stop stop stop stop, please stop! Uh. Sheesh.
You'd think I'd be better at this parenting thing by now!
But, see, Mr G is a thinker like me, so his pacing is very like mine. No problem, I have this parenting thing managed (at least there, right?).
And then Mr B is a feeler, but he's an extrovert and will have his fit wherever, loudly (and his joy, too), so that it kind of goes everywhere and not just at me. I can let it flow in all directions and not have to address it too closely.
Miss R I know needs a lot of time, but she just wants a witness - so she'll be all feelings flying everywhere, but as long as I acknowledge that it is there, and stay out of her way, that's okay too.
And then MIss M. Whose feelings need to be expressed close up and personal... uh.
Yeah, I suck.
But at least now I know what I need to work on. It is useful, that - and maybe while I'm figuring out how to actually manage those feelings (instead of either dumping or cringing), I can figure out how to work them with ep, who takes the brunt of the dumps (and he's not up for that, either). And likewise, I can figure out how to talk with my friend A, who so gently guides the conversation back to what's important (the people), because I always start with the problem - and sometimes don't go anywhere from there.
I'm somewhat glad that I have the third set of filters clarified at this point - because I could use a little Acceptant Loving and Faithful from me to me. Ep starts there, and so does my friend A, and pretty much all my friends. Just as I do with them. (Though I have to work on Acceptant on the feelings expressions, apparently!) But having it said and written helps me remember to be that way with me, too.
One more skill set to add... goodie! er. Dang. But okay. Get up and try again.