Years ago, we did a sales exercise that was designed to help you understand how the client approached the world, so you could better communicate with them
The tool was a two vector grid, resulting in four quadrants. One axis was Feeling/Thinking while the other was Fast/Slow. A slow thinker was called an Analyst, a fast thinker a Driver. A slow feeler was called a Friend, a fast feeler a Performer.
The fellow who offered this tool said that people moved along axes, never crossing the streams. A Driver, making fast thoughtful choices didn’t worry about friends, and a Performer, fast and emotional, was never also a slow, thoughtful analyst.
My boss, though, came up to me after the session. “How did you score?” she asked me.
I told her.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought about you too,” she agreed. “You are an analyst/performer, which isn’t supposed to exist.”
I understand now that my essence is fast and emotional, but my training is to be slow and thoughtful. That was the only training my father knew how to give me to manage the swirling emotion and drama I had, and it’s still the training he believes could help me find my health. After all, there is no outcome that, in retrospect, you couldn’t have avoided if you had thought it through more, no result that can’t be seen as failure. And there is no action that can’t be stifled with analysis paralysis, either.
Of course, it’s the cross tensions of one more contradiction that’s not supposed to exist in humans, that adds another measure to my overflowing vat of stress.
Oprah had people who came out as gay while married on her show. The narratives were about freedom, release, doctors warning of stress & death from denial, love & passion and claiming life.
My mother watched drowsily, never connecting these people who were now “living their best life” as The Oprah said, with me, yoked under expectations of service & denial while her rationalization is that I am “living my life as I like to live it.” I just kept making her dinner and boiling.
Coming to understand how much my analytical view of the world is imposed onto me makes me even sadder. My tragic waste of naivety and exuberance seems criminal now that it is lost.
My mother tells me that my father has some pangs because neither of his “sons” became engineers like him, neither carried on the kind of thought he values.
Yet I twisted myself into unnatural contradictions after a long half century trying to be like him, and those demands continue, even as they cripple my own natural and somewhat mercurial performer, who makes magic by breaking eggs and creating new & fanciful omlettes.
My analysis is imposed as discipline, and while I have made it serve me and others who come to get insights into making liminal choices, that imposition has constrained my spark so much it is no wonder I am now neither warm nor hot, rather am just out in the cold.