I Don’t Care If You Like Me

Whistler 50

I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they liked me……now I look around and wonder if I like them.

Last weekend I spent three days with fifteen women.  It was a girls weekend in a local resort.  A few of us spent most of Friday relaxing in Whistler.  Shopping  and drinking beer at the pub. Or both.  A few more arrived in the early evening after work, more than ready to decompress after a long week.  A few more didn’t make it up until the next morning.

Mexican Corner

By Saturday evening sixteen of us were sitting around two tables at a great Mexican restaurant swapping stories about everything from work to kids to travel.  Collectively we had run 160 km (99.5 miles)that day.  Some of us were tired.  Some of us were exhilarated.  Some of us were just happy to be sitting up and awake.  The margaritas were flowing freely.

This was not the first time we had done something like this.  Over the past five years a core group of us, plus a few willing ( and not so willing) additions, have ventured out of our comfort zones to run (notice how I didn’t say compete) in a relay race each year.  Really it’s just an excuse to go away for the weekend without our spouses and kids.  It’s not really about the running any more.  Last year we spent 33 Hours in a Van.

Chick Peas

But here’s the thing.  It wasn’t that long ago that I would have fretted for days about doing this.  Not the running or being away from my family, but spending that much time in close quarters with women that, sometimes, I don’t really know very well.  I would have worried about whether or not I was interesting enough or whether I was accomplishing enough in my life.  I would worry that, perhaps , there would be somebody that would disagreed with my opinion and (heaven forbid) wouldn’t like me. I would worry that I wouldn’t “fit in”.

Now, to quote a wise running companion, I don’t give a rats ass.

Don’t get me wrong.   These women are incredible and I enjoy spending time with each of them for various different reasons.  But do I spend time worrying about whether they like me or not?  Nope.  And I hope that they feel the same way.  The more time you spend worrying about whether or not people like you, the less time you have to get to know them.

For example, I now accept that it’s okay to be away from the pack sometimes.  In fact I’ve found that it can be a saving grace.  It is not unacceptable for me to say “Hey! I’m just going to go for a walk and I’ll meet everybody back at the room”. Maybe you just need some space or maybe you want to hit up the bakery without letting anybody know that you are secretly craving a slice of coconut cake.

Not that I’ve ever done that.

I guess what I am trying to say (not very eloquently) is that it is one of The Best Thing in Life to be able to experience all that this type of weekend can bring by simply being yourself.

PS – that’s not me in the opening picture.

Do You Have a Personality?

personalities

It’s been about eighteen months since I started the search for my “thing”.  Some days I think I’ve found it in this blog and other days I am even more lost than before.  One thing is for sure, I am in awe of my passionate and talented friends and their ability to balance their lives with kids, exercise and whatever career/hobby/love they have taken on in their daily routine.

So as I continue to ponder what I am going to do when I grow up, I have been wondering if some of these online personality tests might be helpful.  Corporations sometimes use them to test potential employees to see if they are a good fit.  My son took one in grade twelve to help him figure out what courses he should take in university.  I did my very first personality test during the church counseling my ex-husband and I did before we got married.  Ya, that worked out great didn’t it.

But yet, I am still intrigued.  Am I the person I think I am?  Will this help me realize my potential?  If I do it, will the computer spit out the perfect job for me?  Please don’t tell me I should have been a nurse. I hate hospitals.

So I get comfy in front of the laptop and start my search for enlightenment.

I quickly realize that the mack daddy of all personality tests is the Myers-Briggs test.  The test is based on four preferences, that when combined show a personality type.  The four traits are introvert/extrovert, sensitive/intuitive, feeling/thinking, and judging/perceiving.  Through answering a number of seemingly random questions you arrive at a type.  Not even really a type.  You get a four letter designation that is supposed to tell the world (and you) what makes you tick.

Four letters.

Can you imagine introducing yourself at a party?

“Hi, I’m an ESFJ.”

MyersBriggsTypes

I took the test on a number of different web sites as they all seemed a bit different from one another.  Some of the questions were just worded differently but you could tell they were asking the same thing.  For example, on the first test the question was a yes or nor question.

You don’t usually initiate conversations. Yes or no?

On the second test you had to choose between

Likes to perform in front of people or avoids public speaking.

Clearly they are asking if are you an extrovert or an introvert.

Anyway, I tried to answer as honestly as I could without over thinking the questions and thus pre-determining the outcome.  That alone says something about me.  I’m not sure what, but I’m sure I will find out in 12-15 minutes.

The results of the first test said I was an extrovert but the second and third ones said I was an introvert.  I totally get that.  I do love to be social and am outgoing and comfortable speaking in front of groups of people.  On the other hand, I love, no crave, my alone time.  I guess it comes downs to how you ask me the question. So really this tells me nothing.  Next.

I am definitely a sensing person rather than an intuitive person.  That was clear in all the tests. I learn faster when I can be hands on.  I tend to not believe things until I have experienced them myself.  Again.  Nothing surprising about that.

I figured I would be a J. J is for judgement right?  No?  No. Judging suggests a preference for a structured lifestyle.  Given that I am an organizational junkie, this also comes as no surprise.  Although I think I can be pretty intuitive as well.  I like to think that I see the big picture when it comes to complex issues.

So that brings us to feeling versus thinking.  And really this is why I am here in the first place. There is too much overlap between my brain and my heart.  I can’t separate what I want to do and what I think I should do.  I tried not to answer too many of these questions with a neutral answer but I guess the tests picked up on that.  This is when my creative side battles with my pragmatic side and the results reflected that.

Right, so I have spent the better part of the morning reaffirming what I already knew.  Great. The Best Thing in Life is knowing your own personality .  The Worst Thing in Life is not knowing what to do with it.  My search continues.

PS.  Apparently I should have been a nurse….or an army general.