We are trapped by an unrealistic image of what it means to be ourselves. In this reality, where we have rules not to have bad breath, disheveled hair, drive a car with dents and faded paint…or worse, show raw emotion. Within these rules, we find it increasingly difficult to find ourselves, know ourselves and be ourselves.
Who are we beyond these advertisement versions of ourselves? We are deep feeling, deeply creative, life experiencing, imperfectly amazing beings capable of achieving great things and showing boundless compassion. However, no matter how much deodorant we wear, politically correct our words are, or how nice our wardrobe is, we all will have to suffer the fate at some time or another of having to be our human selves.
Yes, we will have bad breath. We will forget to apply our deodorant a morning or two. We will likely cry at least a time or two or three... We will experience painful loss, and we will also experience moments when we feel unglued and lost no matter how hard we try to be that perfect person with the fabulous smile, and sporting our matching shoes, bags, jackets, and sweater sets. We can never nor should we ever try to model ourselves after an unattainable image. Unrealistic images are the root causes of a multitude of problems we face including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, which we are experiencing in alarming numbers.
Deconstructing the Image
I don’t have a problem with buying products we want and enjoy. However, we run into problems when we are expecting the image associated with the product we are purchasing. It can leave us feeling empty and dissatisfied. This is where we run into trouble because we begin to pull further away from who we really are while trying to fill that void with who we are not. These images are false constructs of being human. They keep us off balance, feeling insecure and separate us from our amazing selves.
What IS true is that we all have special gifts. Not all of us are brilliant businessmen and women capable of taking enormous risks to make our fortune. We are all not strikingly attractive actors living in luxurious mansions. We may not be constructed to be adept at numbers or words. We are, however, a diverse collection of qualities that come together in different proportions that make us uniquely, well.... us!
Who are we without trendy clothes and the latest phone? Below, I have put together five categories that people generally fall into. We are comprised of different proportions of each quality with certain descriptors standing out more strongly as dominant. See which ones ring true for you and share your results.
Imperfectly Perfect Type Descriptors
The packager has the gift of putting order to chaos. They take disorganized situations and put them into nice, neatly organized, tidy packages that make sense. The world needs packagers. Without them, we would lack structure and useful rules that guide us through our daily tasks.
The downfall is that packagers are so intent on putting their environment into packages, they include people in those packages as well. Not every person fits neatly into the packager’s image of the tidy person they want them to be. They additionally tend to not appreciate the value of anyone who operates under a different paradigm especially someone who is comfortable operating within grey areas as their character doesn’t require tidy little boxes in order to function. Also, not all situations need to be pre-packaged. Packagers can over-organize to the point of interfering with natural flow and spontaneity.
Relators focus on creating and maintaining relationships. They are excellent at developing meaningful rapport. They positively influence and maintain group dynamics and utilize their interpersonal strengths to accomplish life’s tasks. You will often see relators as counselors, educators, HR professionals, interviewers and trainers – but you can find them anywhere you can find people.
Relators are good at seeing others as individuals and noticing their strengths. They build rapport easily and earn people’s trust due to their insight into human nature. They are good at creating group dynamics and can spot what needs to be adjusted to make any group flow more smoothly by utilizing individual strengths and talents to enhance the whole. Quality of relationships is what matters most to the relator.
Relators often believe because they value relationships above all else, so does the rest of the world. They get hurt and disappointed more easily than other types because they have increased sensitivity to subtle interactions, and awareness when they are out of sync. They can additionally feel frustrated when people aren’t getting along or cooperating despite their best efforts to create a positive environment. Last, since the relator is more focused on the individual, they have to stretch to conceptualize the concept of team over the individual if required.
Originators are the creators. They think and make amazing things. They are outstanding idea people. They conceptualize well and create works of art, engineering masterpieces, page-turning stories and musical novelties.
Originators are often spatially oriented and have a good eye or ear for connecting one piece to the next. They will shock us, amaze us and keep us advancing structurally, and creatively. Originators are innovative and are the impetus for change. Originators create overtly in ways that enliven and engage others. They also motivate and inspire our feelings and our senses.
Because originators are excellent idea people, they often have difficulty following their ideas through to fruition. They may also prefer to remain in the world of ideas and have difficulty manifesting them into reality. Unless an originator has a bit of packager in them, they are challenged by rules, structures and details that put limits on their ability to create.
An orchestrator ranges from a parent, a teacher to a corporate CEO. Strong orchestrators are able see how all the parts of the whole fit and work best together.
Orchestrators have insight into conducting a symphony of characteristics that manifest into a working whole. We need these insightful and gifted leaders to pull together disparate pieces and characteristics into a manageable team.
Orchestrators can lose sight of the individual needs in order to create a unified whole. Individual needs may fall by the wayside while the orchestrator is assembling a working team. The have a difficult time comprehending a team as comprised of individuals and individual parts. Orchestrators may also get frustrated when individual parts aren’t functioning the way they envisioned.
Processors are the people working in the wings to manage the details. Their role is to make everything operate smoothly from start to finish. Because they work to maintain the nitty gritty details in every domestic or work situation, they aren’t generally interested in the limelight.
Processors are the people we turn to get the daily tasks done so life moves forward with the minimal number of monkey wrenches as possible. Processors express their love and dedication by managing the mundane tasks. They are responsible, reliable and conscientious.
Processors are challenged by grander expressions of their love and dedication. People may mistakenly think they are cold and unfeeling. Since they operate from the sidelines, they can get overlooked. Processors can feel they are taken for granted as a result. Processors tend to be very patient. However, they may one day get angry feeling their efforts aren’t appreciated.
As you read through each descriptor, you may have found one or two that resonated most strongly with who see yourself as. You probably found an ex in there, and better understood why they are now your ex. Did you find family members, bosses, colleagues? Share this with them not to antagonize them or say. “See. This is why we don’t get along”… Use it to enlighten them. Who knows. You may be able to strategize ways of maximizing one another’s strengths.
Ideally, we as family, work and societal structures should have a balance of each of these qualities to operate optimally. Of course, we naturally believe our type is the best. However, I would like you to keep the perspective that awareness not only of your type but that of others will deepen your understanding into other points of view as well as how to best remedy the pitfalls and maximize the pluses of interacting with types unlike your own.
I hope this has helped you take steps closer knowing and celebrating your uniqueness and that of others. You are Imperfectly Perfectly You.