Friday, March 17, 2006

Dominance/Influence

I am SUCH an impatient person.

Firstly. Have any of you taken the DISC profile test? We are required to take it at work as part of our training. It is an interesting test and probably the truest of all personality tests I have ever taken. And it is great to apply to everyday life and relationships. (If you have taken the test, I would be curious to know your results! Please post them in the comments.)

Anyway, when I took the test, probably about two years ago, I was listed as a Di, which is primary D with secondaryI. Read the characteristics of a D and an I below, for those of you who are not familiar.

Dominance: People who score high in the intensity of the 'D' styles factor are very active in dealing with problems and challenges, while low D scores are people who want to do more research before committing to a decision. High "D" people are described as demanding, forceful, egocentric, strong willed, driving, determined, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. Low D scores describe those who are conservative, low keyed, cooperative, calculating, undemanding, cautious, mild, agreeable, modest and peaceful.

Influence: People with High I scores influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional. They are described as convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. Those with Low I scores influence more by data and facts, and not with feelings. They are described as reflective, factual, calculating, skeptical, logical, suspicious, matter of fact, pessimistic, and critical.
Um, so basically I am a persuasive bitch. LOL. Not really. I just know what I want, and when I want it, and no one had better get in my way. So usually when I decide I want something, it's like "come on, let's go, this is what I want, let's just do it, come on!" and those "procrastinators" out there or those people who want to "think this through" tend to rub me the wrong way. I can be laid back. but I am only laid back when I want to be. When I want to be going going going and I want something DONE, you'd better get on board or get the hell out of my way. But then I have this persuasive side, this way to convince you that what I want is really what YOU want also... and this is why I was always excellent at debating and argument, and why I can verbalize my thoughts and feelings, and convince someone that my way is the highway. So yeah, I am magnetic. I am convincing. I can be considered political. And I am also highly opinionated.

If I wanted husband to hang something, and I say "I'd like you to hang this"
I mean "get up right now and come hang this."

And when I say "I've decided I want to buy a car"
I mean "get your shoes on if you want to go with because I am leaving in 5 minutes and I WILL buy a car before this day is over."

And if he resists, like if he doesn't hang the picture, I will first try to convince him that hanging the picture was what he WANTS to do, then I will nag (wifes do that) and then I will have the hammer and drill in hand and do it myself.
This can be a good thing (for husband) because he gets out of everything if he doesn't do it right away, because I am so impatient that I just do it for him. But I think that he figured that out, because he just stopped doing MOST things and I just took over doing them for him. And being angry. And spiteful. And pretty much resentful.

However, this can be a very bad thing because then I end up as the wife that is also the husband because I am doing everything because nothing was done soon enough and nothing was done RIGHT NOW. Poor husband. Poor wife. What a BAD situation!

He spends most of his days trying to get me to slow down. I could easily run and run and run until I am overwhelmed by stress and kill myself over it. If it weren't for his laid back easygoing ways, I would probably never relax. Really. I don't mean relax as in I am uptight an no fun, but I mean relax as in physically not run everywhere and not worry about stuff. In that fashion we are total opposites. But that is how he and I can also clash, because if I want it done now and he is totally laid back and unconcerned, it causes a conflict. Picture a laid back guitar playing nice guy like Jack Johnson married to someone with tons of energy who is very dominant and outspoken, like Gwen Stefani. Husband is totally my Jack Johnson. And I get to be Mrs. Johnson (he he.)

So basically I am always having this brilliant "idea." Usually I mull it over in my mind for oh, say 4 seconds (kidding, I do think things through sometimes) and then I announce what I want. And then I basically wait (for about 4 more seconds) and if he isn't on board, I start persuasively telling him WHY he wants to be on board (see that's where the "I" comes in) and then if he doesn't agree with me and hop on board I flip back to "D" and become demanding and say "Fine. I will just do it myself."

And he just looks at me. Or demands that I don't do it myself with a roll of his eyes, so that I get even more angry because "no one, tells me what I can and can't do." So I end up doing lots of crap myself. And this probably would not happen if I hadn't been raised to be completely self-sufficient and able to do anything for myself. But that leads me back to this post about growing up as a tomboy and learning from my dad. I have been working, literally, since I was 10. Seriously. First I saved money and had loans for cattle for my FFA Projects. Then I bought my first car, and put gas in it, and a new transmission in it. Then I paid for my own cell phone from the time I turned 16. And I bought my own makeup and shampoo and clothes. And then I went to college. I got a loan, and a job, and paid for classes and books (and cigarettes and a few dollars for the strip club with friends). I lived at home. I worked my way through college. I bought a second car, a nicer car. I just learned how to take care of myself and how to look out for number 1.

It is hard for me to remember, even after 10 years, that my husband is not my enemy. It is hard for me to remember that he is my partner and that he is there to help, and that instead of demanding that he be "on board" all the time, all I have to do is ask... nicely... because I DO have certain persuasive qualities that could make a husband do anything (I believe that Kristen knows what those are) and I also have to remember that not EVERYTHING has to be done the second that the words fly from my mouth, although "today" or "this week" are more reasonable expectations. And husband has learned how to talk me down from that ledge I scream from when I have decided that I want something now and he has decided that he isn't going to do it NOW and I get anxious and cranky and I like to pout and glare and stomp my feet like an independent child. Dear husband. How difficult it must be to be the opposite of me and still stand up for yourself. What a phenomenal guy he really is.

So lately I have learned that showing more of my soft and persuasive side goes a long way to happiness and working together to get things done. And the results are far more spectacular when you are both on board together, because you want to be.

Maybe this married thing won't be so bad after all...
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