Skip to main content

Embracing Type A - More to Learn

The more I read, the more I learn. (What is it they say about a little knowledge is a dangerous thing?)

The more I learn the more I start to resentfully acknowledge,  through gritted teeth, that my therapists MAY be right---awareness is the first step. So this is what I am learning about Type A behavior/personality.
Who You Are vs. Situational Reaction:
Researchers believe that Type A personality characteristics may be more of a reaction to environmental factors, or reactions toward certain behaviors, and are influenced by culture and job structure.
This rings true to me for what I am going through right now.  
Type A behavior includes 100% investment in the work you do--home or work. 

Everything you take on is important AND valuable with a goal of making other people's lives better -- which in turn, makes your life better through feeling a sense of value and self-worth.  This is why it feels so devastating when others, through indifference or incompetence, are not likewise invested.   

I recently led a project where I created a Google Site and project plan.  Kick off meetings were held with all vested internal and external parties, timelines ans tasks assigned and weekly phone call updates planned and the board and City informed that the project was underway.  

Over the next few months people continued to miss meetings/deadlines with no communication; make decisions that did not reflect the agreed upon plan and flat out work toward exploring alternatives when the organization had already committed and communicated to major stakeholders, the approved plan.    

I was incredibly confused and frustrated.  

Why would you agree to do something and then just .....not???

This seems like a profound waste of time - mine and theirs, a GUT WRENCHING feeling of Type A failure in itself.  

The ability to plan and communicate and document and engage along with your desire  the desire to help make life better for others increases the odds that not only will you be asked to take on a lot of projects, you will be tempted to do so.

You are good at it, so people want you involved, and once you are, you often take on parts that don't belong to you in an attempt to "do it properly" and before you know it, your phone is ringing, your email pinging with everyone wanting your thoughts and suggestions and you are now in the middle of ten projects, only two of which are actually yours. 

And it would all be ok, if everyone was working along that organized, well communicated plan.  But they are aren't you...

This creates a massive amount of stress.  Which you try to stuff down and keep in check so you can keep juggling all the balls and keeping them moving.  

Random questions that lead nowhere, another ball.

Balls you have been juggling for ages, suddenly pulled out, or split into two.  To each person who wants your help, these balls are invisible. They only see the one in their hand and can't understand why they can't just toss ONE thing at you.  
"It's just a two hour meeting that we need you at for the beginning but would like you to stat for the whole thing because we need your input on the scope."
"I know you have been working on that but really, no one knew the budget so we are going to put it on hold right now.  Keep it on the back burner as we will start reworking it next week."
People don't see the "space" your projects take up in your brain.  

Each ball in the air or on the backburner has a compartment and you check in on them daily, even if they are not moving.  

You can only subdivide one mind so far.....until it shatters.  


And for me, that causes the dark spiral.  And  then I can't do anything.  The balls all fall and I the doors on the compartments are locked.

I go from scared to then tired; terrified of failure and yet can't be productive;
want to reach out to friends but absolutely CAN'T socialize.

I care about everything, I feel everything---and it is all too much--so then don't care or feel anything, at all.
Most people I work with seem perfectly content to operate in the ...
"I'd like you tell you we weren't making it up as we go along but..."
...philosophy the CEO bubbled when I questioned the contrast between espoused values and contradictory actions.

So they don't see the spiral and most days I can picture them at work thinking:
"I am glad we didn't support her on this.  Seems she wouldn't have been able to handle it anyway."

Which makes me want to SCREAM in frustration at their fuckshittery!
(which causes imaginary them to shake their heads in pity at me and turn away)

Such fuckshittery!  

My doctor has added a new medication to my regiment to see if it helps.  She wants to get a "a handle on this" dark spiral before it gets too fast I can only ride it all the way to the bottom.

Instead, I write.  To stay in the moment. I don't want to go back to work.  That place will not change and I don't think I will either.  

So far, that is as far as I have gotten.  It's a little ledge on the spiral where I can rest and catch my breath while I figure out--what next.  






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shame is A Full-Contact Emotion (Brené Brown)

It is a cool outside this morning and I have on my fluffy red robe as I sit outside and watch the birds flit back and forth from the fence to the feeder----arrogantly tossing aside imperfect sunflower seeds to get to the good ones.

The discarded seeds, some empty, some full, punctuate my deck, waiting for the squirrels, who will later claim this easy buffet.
I am still reading Brené and The Gifts of Imperfection.

Feels a bit like learning a new language ---I see the words---I hear the words---but the meaning is so diffuse...I need to read and reread and sometimes, even read out loud to make the words stick

It is hard work.

And while the smooth cover of her book lies balanced on my palm, seemingly weightless, many of the concepts have a density that knocks me flat on my ass ---like a large medicine ball.
CATCH THIS ONE!Oooooooof!I am down.

Eyes wide, trying to catch my breath, wrestling with the weight of hefty concepts like shame, authenticity, wholeheartedness, courage, compassion, connect…

Taking a Lesson from Work

Maybe it's because I am on this spiritual journey, or maybe it is because I have time to read blogs and cruise the web, but 2014 seems a bit obnoxious so far.  
Really IN YOUR FACE. Ok so it is not quite like this, but...... ....picture in your mind a saloon type town in the old west. 

Got it? 

Ok so now add a slick looking guy standing up on a wooden crate, surrounded by a crowd of people.  Beside the crate is a table, and on it are dozens bottles.
He clears his throat, throws out his arms, and announces:

It's a new year folks! New year.....new YOU! How would you like to tackle your SPENDING/DRINKING/SELFSABOTAGING/PROCRASTINATING/UNDEREDUCATED/OVERACHIEVING/UNORGANIZED/OVERWEIGHT/GREYINGHAIR/DULL SMILE/SMOKING/BOUNDRYSETTING/DEPRESSED/ANXIOUS/EATINGDISORDER/OBSESSING/INTERNET-DEVICE ADDICTION problems....
RIGHT NOW!!!
AND IF NOT, WHY NOT? OMG you think!!! (well OMG probably wasn't around then but...)  

OMG I think I heard a few things in there that I need to fix!!!!  Actually, I KNO…

Lesson's From Frozen and Taylor Swift

"Let it go....let it go...." and "Shake it off...shake it off."
I alternate between these two borrowed mantra for this time--- when the world seems too loud and bright. Even my clothes touching my skin is too much.  I yank off my sweater, and hop step out of my pants while walking upstairs to my room after work, finally able to breath once the edges of sleeves, cowls of turtlenecks and waistbands of tights no longer feel like burning, scratching sun burn.   
My skin feels too tight as I try to keep myself together in this package that is required to carry out my daily tasks.  
"This is not my circus. These are not my monkeys."
"Your lack of planning is not my emergency."
It is far too easy to get caught up in the drama of things that are so divisive---as you try to separate yourself by thinking it is not your problem or it is not my fault or I am better than this or I don't need anyone - when we should be connecting to each other in a supportive …