Last year, I took a pretty extensive personality test from Emergenetics International. The test places you within four categories: analytical (blue), conceptual (yellow), structural (green) and social (red). It turns out I’m a “red” girl, meaning I am intuitive about people, socially aware, empathetic, and collaborative.
A few months earlier, I took a different personality test known as DiSC, administered by Mary Gormandy White of MTI Business Solutions. The results weren’t too surprising: I’m an enthusiastic extravert who likes to win people over.
Here’s the bad news. I really care about what other people think of me. I mean, I really care, and have some strange need to be liked by everyone. I’m also a people-pleaser who does anything and everything to avoid confrontation. When I have no choice but to grab confrontation by the throat, I’m just no good at it.
Hey, none of this is new to me. But I know it’s something I have to get over if I want to be a leader in my field.
These tests forced me to think about my interaction with peers, including co-workers, friends, and colleagues within public relations. No matter which social situation, you will always have that one person with whom you just don’t mesh. There could be multiple reasons for this.
- They are extremely private and don’t easily let people within their inner circle.
- They view you as competition.
- They are not comfortable in social situations (it’s not you, it’s them).
- They’re just not that into you (It stings. Rejection is tough).
It took me 40 years to learn that not everyone wants to be your friend, and that’s okay!
What does this have to do with public relations? As practitioners, we have to channel our inner Dr. Phil and learn to read people. Doing this is key to honing your message so it’s received in the most effective way possible. This includes interpersonal communications.
If you feel as though you’ve been rejected in some way, remember:
- This doesn’t define you. One person’s opinion doesn’t measure your worth….at all.
- It’s not your problem. No, really. It isn’t your problem. It’s theirs.
- Rejection can’t stop your success. Just ask Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney and Elvis Presley.
- Nothing is “wrong” with you. See number 2.
- Focus on your friends. It’s easy to let those who reject you rent space in your brain. Time to evict them! Focus on those who matter. You have way more people on #TeamYou.
Whether you are the rejector or the rejectee…..be kind. You don’t have to be ANYONE’S BFF. Just be kind. Even if you are the rejected one….be kind.
Don’t be the Regina George of public relations.