Work and Personality

I recently listened to the audio book Working with You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work.  This book gives advice on how to deal with difficult situations at work that can affect your emotions and cause you lots of stress.  One of the issues brought up in the book was how certain “roles” that you play at work can define how people perceive you.  Two of the roles that I identified with were the Rebel Role and the Invisible Role

The Rebel Role is a person who is independent and a free thinker.  The problem with this role is that sometimes a person can give unsolicited advice, feedback, or contrary opinions in the work place.  The Invisible Role is a person who is quiet and reserved.  The problem with this role is that the person does not speak and does not like to be recognized in the work place. People aren’t aware of their accomplishments.

Even though these may seem like conflicting roles, they describe the person that I am not only at work but also in life.  I am a very independent person and I think for myself.  In work and in life I don’t conform to the views/ideas that everyone blindly adopts.  Unfortunately, I have made the mistake of voicing my opinion about ideas that I don’t agree with at work but I have learned how to handle things better.  I now keep my opinions to myself but I ask intuitive questions about how certain decisions will affect my role and responsibilities.  This makes people think that I support their position but I’m just trying to understand how my role fits into things.   I am also a quiet and reserved person who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight.  I’ve learned to send my boss updates on my accomplishments throughout the year and to have them added to my end of year performance review.

The issue with work roles came up during a training event for work.  We were given a watered down version of the personality test called DISC and I found out that my work style is “C”.  We were not given a full description of our work styles but we were given a general handout on how to work with each style.  In order to work effectively with the “C” style you should:

-Talk to them about the objective, fact-based aspects of ideas and projects

-Avoid pressuring them for an immediate decision

-Expect skepticism

-Allow them time for careful analysis

-Avoid using forceful and emotional tactics

To me, the “C” style seems to be a combination of the Rebel Role/Invisible Role.  To me this a person that likes to think deeply, analyze each issue, and wants to be given the time and space to do so.

What is your work personality?  Do you think it affects how others perceive you?

The Importance of Self-Care

Last year I did not take care of myself.  I didn’t eat well nor did I get enough sleep.  I struggled with mild depression and I was sadder than normal.  My energy level was low and there were moments when I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I was irritated and annoyed with most aspects of my life.  I had problems with some of my friendships and I felt like I was spending time with people who used me as their emotional dumping ground.  I had a lot of stress as well because I was working full-time while trying to finish my grad program.

Recently I’ve started to have health problems and this has made me realize that I need to focus on self-care. I’ve been having lower back pain which is most likely caused by the fact that I sit at my job all day.  I’ve also been having recurring skin issues with eczema which can also be related to stress.  These health issues are causing me to make sure that I take better care of myself.

Eating healthier – I’ve always been good at eating healthy but last year I began eating more junk food and that isn’t good.  This year I’ve been cooking more and making sure that all of meals are healthy.

Getting enough sleep – This year I’m making sure that I go to bed between 9:30 and 10 pm (I wake up 5am) so that I can get plenty of sleep.  I take naps if I feel tired and that helps me to feel energized as well.

Exercising – I make sure that I exercise at least 2 times a week.  I’ve started focusing on yoga which had really helped my lower back.

Ended energy zapping relationships – I am a very supportive and empathetic friend but I have a hard time when someone dumps all of their emotional problems on me.  I’ve come to realize that some people have nothing but problems and I can’t be their therapist.  I’m working on maintaining the friendships I have with my small circle of friends that are just as supportive of me as I am of them.

How do you make sure that you take care of yourself?

Daily Solitude

Since March 2011, I have been working full-time and studying as well.  When I leave work I rush home to start homework and I no longer have time for myself.  I’ve been feeling stressed and anxious because I don’t have a lot time for reflection and true solitude.  Daily moments of solitude are critical for me as an individual.  Solitude helps to rejuvenate my spirit especially when I’m feeling drained.  It’s my time for reflection and deep thought.  I’m able to focus and solve problems.  It’s also the time when I’m most creative.

In June, I made the decision to take a break from classes for the summer so I could rest and relax.  Everyday I come home , I turn off my phone and my computer, and I spend hours writing and creating art. This is the happiest I’ve felt in a long time.

A Shorter Work Week vs. Working From Home

I would rather work from home than have a four-day work week. Working from home would be an ideal work situation for me since it’s quiet where I live and I prefer to work alone. I’d also be able to concentrate more since I wouldn’t be interrupted repeatedly through out the day.

One of the cons to working from home is that people can begin to feel lonely since they aren’t able to interact with others through out the day. This would not be a problem for me. First, work has never been a place for me to socialize. I go to work to do work and that’s all. Second, I have had enough of working with people to last me for the rest of my life. I would not miss the forced interactions and office politics that are a part of working in an office.

Working from home would also help me to save money on gas/public transportation. I feel like I would have less expenses and maybe I’d be able to travel more and pursue other interests. As I continue to pursue my professional goals, it is my hope that I will eventually be able to work from home.

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Blogging Anonymously

I write my blog anonymously and it is not tied to my real name.  “Nina” is a nickname used by my family and only they call me by this name so it is perfect to use for this blog since no one else knows me as “Nina”.  I didn’t want this blog be attached to my real name because I was concerned about maintaining my privacy.  I was also concerned about my employer, certain friends, and even a few family members being able to “google me” and have this blog come up.  I wanted to be able to discuss experiences in my life without fear that someone would misunderstand or judge me.  This doesn’t mean that no one knows who I really am.  Many of my friends and family are aware of and do read my blog.

Writing anonymously does not (at least for me) take away from the authenticity of this blog because everything I discuss is honest and from my heart.  Being anonymous has allowed me to openly discuss and admit things that I wouldn’t normally admit and I’m able to discuss the truth of my life without worry.

My Feelings About Facebook

When I first joined Facebook, I only had two friends for the longest time and I never even bothered to check it.  Little by little more and more of my friends and family began to join and I started to check it more.  As more people I knew joined, it became exciting to read their status updates and view their photos.  I found it to be a really good way to keep in contact with my friends and family that I don’t see regularly.  I began to notice that I was spending more and more time on Facebook until it got to the point where I was checking it far too often.  These days, I’m not sure how I really feel about Facebook.  I’m more annoyed with it than anything.  Yet, I still can’t get up the courage to delete my page even though there are days when I feel like I should.

One of the things that kind of bothers me is how people are able to look at your page and see who your friends are.  I’m not sure why that bothers me but it does.  I’ve had several people make comments about looking at my page and how they went through my friends list and were surprised that I was friends with a certain person.  It just made me uncomfortable so I’ve now made my friends list private.

Another aspect that has bothered me is how frequent people update their status.  It’s as if they have to share every single thing they do during the day and night.  I’m not interested in reading every single boring thing that someone has done all day.  This has also lead to the aggravating issue of how there is the expectation that you will announce every important life event on Facebook.  Now when I tell one of friends something important in my life, they immediately ask me if I’ve announced it on Facebook.  That question upsets me because I don’t feel like I have to share every single major life decision over Facebook.

More and more I’m beginning to feel like Facebook is a time-waster and I need to learn how to use it more to my advantage if I’m going to keep my profile up.  Otherwise, I should just delete it and save myself the irritation.

Topics I Won’t Discuss With My Pen Pals

Letter set My Little Bear

Image by ♥ Xanda ♥ via Flickr

I was reading on a pen pal forum and someone asked if there were topics that people did not discuss with their pen pals.  I think that having pen pals is the same is having a true friendship with a person.  Just as there are friends in my circle that I’m closer to than others, there are pen pals that I’m closer to and I’m more open with.  Regardless of our closeness, there are still some topics that I usually don’t discuss with pen pals.

I don’t discuss politics whether it is American politics or the political situation of the countries my pen pals live in.  First, I’m not into politics at all so I’m not naturally inclined to speak about it.  Second, I don’t always understand the politics of the countries that my pen pals live in so I’m not able to speak on things in an intelligent manner.  Finally, politics can be a controversial subject and especially when you don’t agree with the way someone else views things.  Instead of initiating a conversation about a topic that might cause an argument, there are a ton of others topics that I can think of to discuss with my pen pals.

I’m also cautious about discussing religion.  I don’t mind reading about my pen pals’ religious beliefs and I think it is fascinating that there are so many spiritual beliefs around the world.  I do draw the line when people start trying to “convert” me to their spiritual beliefs and I rarely discuss my own religious beliefs with my pen pals (unless they ask).

Something that will likely happen after you’ve has been pen palling for awhile is that you will find that you and a particular pen pal will have other pen pals in common. One thing I don’t do is discuss my relationship with one pen pal to another pen pal that we have in common.  I also don’t get into conflicts if one of my pen pals starts to have problems with another pen pal that we have in common.  I don’t like to be drawn into another person’s conflicts and I think the best way to resolve a problem you’re having with a person is to deal with that person one on one without having others get involved.

Since I’m a private person, I don’t always talk about whom I’m dating and I never discuss my sex life.  This is something that is personal and I’m actually like this with my circle of friends that aren’t pen pals.  I’ve never been the type of woman who feels that I need to talk about every single aspect of my love life and who I may or may not be dating

My Feelings Toward Online Dating

Online romance
I have used a few online dating services and have been unsuccessful with meeting anyone online for many reasons. I’ve tried some paid online dating sites such as Eharmony and Match.com as well as few free sites.

When I tried Eharmony, I had to take a personality test in order to sign up and I “failed” the test. Basically, they must not have liked my answer because I got some kind of e-mail telling me they weren’t able to match me with anyone at that time. I waited a year and then I took the personality test again and this time I “passed” and they were able to match me with people. The personality test actually turned me off because I can be really bad at taking them. There were plenty of times when the answer that I would give to a question wasn’t even one of the options, so I just picked the best one which didn’t always reflect my true personality. I believe this is what happened with the Eharmony personality test. Neither of the results, from the two times that I took the test, were an accurate analysis of my personality. Subsequently, I didn’t like any of the people I was matched with and I quit using the site after a few months.

With the other websites that I used, I also had a hard time connecting with people and this mimics my situation in real life. I don’t easily connect with every single person I meet and I never expected that I would magically find a bunch of guys that I would connect with. I’m also an extreme introvert and I was upfront and honest about that aspect of my personality. There are negative connotations associated with being introverted and I feel like many guys may have been turned off with this aspect of my personality.

Another problem I encountered with online dating was that I communicated with a lot of creepy guys. You can meet a creepy person on the street but there seemed to be a lot of desperate guys on these sites. Many wanted me to immediately give them my cell number so we could text offline. They also wanted my personal e-mail to communicate with me without using the dating sites’ e-mail. I never gave any guy any of my personal information that acted like this and I was disturbed by their behavior. They were way too pushy and overbearing which are not qualities that I’m looking for in a potential partner.

I’m also not in a big hurry to be in a relationship. I think because I’m not actively looking to find someone serious, then I’m not really committed to the whole process. There were plenty of times when I never responded to people who may have been potential mates simply because I didn’t have time or I was busy with other things so I may have missed out on opportunities. At this point in my life, I’m happy being single and living life the way I want.

Even though I wasn’t successful with online dating, I feel that people should try it at least once just to see if it’s for them. I do believe that people can make genuine connections with others using these services but it’s just not for me.

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Are you too lazy or too busy?

The Daily Post:  Are you too lazy or too busy?

It’s both for me.  This has been one of the busiest years and I’m too busy for a lot of things.  Between my heavy workload at my job and then graduate school, I do not have a lot of time for myself and for my hobbies.  There are times when I would love to indulge in something that would make me happy but I don’t have time and I end up feeling overwhelmed and disappointed.

I feel that being too busy had also lead me to be too lazy.  It is summer and I created a list of plans for this summer and I haven’t accomplished any of them.  I’m just too tired and lazy to do anything when I come home. Since it is so hot, I don’t have the energy to do much and I find myself lying around under my central air.  This also leaves me feeling disappointed in myself because I’m not a lazy person and when I set goals for myself, I work to accomplish them.

This was not the plan I had for my life when I was younger.  I did not want to become some robot that never had time for anything.  I didn’t want to become the type of person that was too busy or too tired to do anything because of their job but that is what has become of my life.  One of my friends suggested that I make an effort do something that I really love each night and soon it will become a habit.  I think that is an excellent suggestion and one that I will put into practice.

The Absent Co-worker

I think everyone has had to deal with a co-worker that was chronically absent and always seemed to be “sick” during crucial times at work.  I was fortunate and did not have that problem until a year ago and now the problem seems to be getting worse.  I currently have two co-workers that are absent a lot and it’s a huge problem.

The first co-worker and I have the same title and we split the responsibilities.  I enjoy working with her but she has been absent during critical times when we are extremely busy.  The reason why she is absent is because her child gets sick.  Obviously, I’m not blaming her or her child and I understand the need to stay at home with a sick child.  It still frustrates me how I am left with all the responsibilities with little to no help.  Not only is it frustrating, but it’s also stressful and overwhelming because of our heavy workloads.  I don’t know what the solution is to this problem and I fear that if she has another child, she’ll be absent even more.

My second co-worker is our senior accountant and he comes to work about 2 to 3 times a week.  When he does come in, he works until 9 or 10 am and then he disappears.  No one can find this guy and I’m positive he’s not getting much done since I get e-mails asking about reports he hasn’t done.  Since his boss works in another location, there is no one to keep tabs on him.  I’m sure his lack of productivity has not gone entirely unnoticed, but his behavior continues.

More and more, I feel irritated at work and I probably need a vacation.  There are times when I feel like I have a better work ethic than others, I’m more responsible, and I’m more willing to help others and for these reasons I’m beginning to feel taken advantage of.  None of this has paid off and I’m stuck in the a position with no growth.  I would like to change jobs but so far I’m not finding anything that would be worth me leaving my current position for.