Let’s Get Personal: Dealing with Grief

My father-in-law passed away this week. My husband and I cried together when we first heard the news about it his dad. But over the next 24 hours I found myself realizing how differently he and I grieve. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to process, and will probably blog about this topic again in a month or so, but initial observations confirm what I see in every other of life – personalities affect every aspect of our lives.

I am a Yellow/Red. I think my first reaction was probably typical for a Yellow – I cried. Of course I do; I’m always express my feelings. I wanted hugs and physical proximity and affection. I’m always that way too….but even more so in the midst of emotional situations. I wanted to talk about it with others. I wanted to post pictures on Facebook and share memories and tell people in my life what had happened. Again, this is often how I process events so of course that was going to be my reaction to something big too.

My husband is primarily Green. Of course the loss hit him hard and he was emotional. It was a shock to all of us.But he needed some alone time. He wanted privacy. He needed some space. I thank God that I understand personality differences and could sense our different reactions. I did make a few calls to family members who needed to know, but I refrained from posting anything publicly until he was ready for me to do so. As much as I wanted to just sit in his arms and cry with him, I had to discern when that was okay, and when I needed to give him space.

This morning my husband asked me to help with some of the logistics of finding a hall for the memorial and planning the time for family and friends to celebrate his dad’s life. I jumped at the invitation and went to work. I realized that this was my Red side responding. I wanted to DO something….because that’s what Reds do  best. I am so grateful to be able to contribute something practical. That is at the core of a Red personality. (Note: Let other people help they offer. Like the Reds from my husband’s office who arranged meals, and delivered some personal things that he had left in the office.)

Losing a parent hard. We’re sad. But understanding that each of us needs to grieve and process in our way helps, especially for a couple whose personalities are opposite. It’s okay if we don’t cry at the same time. We just need to be aware of what we are feeling and why we are responding the way we do.

Have you ever experienced this in your own life? Do you grieve “differently” than others around you? How has recognizing this helped you through it? Please post a comment if you are willing to share.

What is Your Passion?

To some people, I am sure I appeared scattered. Many probably wonder how – and why – I juggle owning and operating three seemingly unrelated businesses. But there is a common thread in all that I do – it’s connections. I love people and personalities. So I am naturally drawn to things that connect people. Weddings. Trivia nights. Seminars, workshops and conferences. I love events that bring people together.

passion is callingIt isn’t random. These are the things that “call” to me. And this week has been incredible.

Sunday, we taught a workshop for engaged couples who needed help planning the timeline of all the events of their wedding weekend. It was a great way to really connect with some couples in a more intimate setting than the bridal show where we first met many of them.

Tuesday we had a staff meeting with our DJ Trivia employees. It was so fun some of the guys stayed more than an hour after the meeting was over to hang out and play ping pong. Not only do I get to run a business that gives friends a family an opportunity to do something fun together – playing team based trivia – but we get to build connections with local businesses, and a great team of employees.

Wednesday morning, I had my monthly meeting for the wedding association we belong to. And they asked me to be the speaker. Double fun – connecting with colleagues AND having a chance to share some things that I’ve been learning recently. Yesterday I also attended a chamber seminar at lunch and another networking group’s eventing event. Good thing I’m a Yellow/Red and get energized by people!

Today may have been the highlight of the week (at least so far). I was the featured speaker at the Carson City chapter of PSN – Professional Saleswomen of Nevada. What a fabulous group of people! Their president was already a fan and had read my book so that probably helped raise the excitement level, but people were so excited to learn about personalities that they were buying books and merchandise BEFORE I even started speaking. And they were super engaged during the presentation, many stayed around after to chat. So much fun.

Tomorrow, we are DJing a Valentine dance. More connections. More celebration of relationships and love. That could end  up being the highlight of the week.

Or it could be Saturday…our “day of rest” this week. Saturday I will be spending Valentine’s Day with the ones I love most – my husband and our four children.

I am so grateful that I have found ways to respond to the passion in my heart and follow my calling….or callings, as the case may be.

What are you passionate about? How is that evident in  your calling? Please share in the comment section!


“Getting it” Changes Everything

Understanding Personalities has impacted every area of my life. Even though when I am asked to give a seminar on a certain focus, once people grasp the concepts I describe they cannot help applying it to other areas of life. I could be giving a business example, and an attendee will comment how that reminds him of his relationship with his wife. I could be teaching a parenting class and someone will share how that explains something about his boss. I even find myself assigning colors to characters in movies I watch and books I read.

Active listening in any form takes practice and effort. But once you start listening for personality clues it will increase your understanding much more quickly. Suddenly differences of opinions or approach make more sense. You will be able to discern sooner which battles to fight, and which issues to let slide. You will develop insights into other people and understand what motivates them and what frustrates them.

I think my favorite part of teaching people personalities is when I see the audience members experience a “light bulb” moment. Something I share will strike a chord with them and in a moment, a long-time conflict shifts into perspective. There is peace and hope in the message. You cannot change anyone but yourself. But it takes an understanding of all parties involved for you to know what changes you need to make.

Where do you most often find yourself thinking in terms of personality type? Home? Work? Other?

Did you have a “light bulb” moment where this concept really clicked for you?

Would you share an example of a real life story where understanding personalities has helped you?