Yellow is the social and creative category, and I confess this one is a challenge for me right now. I really need to build my blue energy back up, and the only way to do that is through analytical work (for the most part). Yellow is the opposite energy, the draining energy, and it certainly is for social activities.
I’m going to throw myself a small pity party for a moment; although I am not actually seeking the pity, the wording is hard to nuance away from it. I am a strong introvert, that is and always will be true. And yet everyone needs friends. Or at least that is the popular psychology model, and I have little room to doubt it. However, I suspect that introverted analytical-types need it a lot less than extroverted intuitive-types. But here’s the thing, and I could put it here or put it in green for “emotions, etc.”.
I’ve kind of become isolated over the last year or so. It isn’t that I don’t have friends, but they’re not the “doing things together” type .One of the few things I do with “friends” as a group is arrange wing nights for the guys. I’m not super athletic, so I’m not going to ball tournaments, hockey outings, etc. And I hate parties generally – I don’t want to have nor see 1000 friends, just a handful. Honestly, for most of my friends, unless we create an occasion to see each other, we won’t. Our paths just don’t intersect that much outside of work. While I organized four or five wing nights last year, each one had a maximum of two other people show up, most only one, and one of them I cancelled as no one was interested. Some were spontaneous, others were planned weeks in advance, same result – nada for response. Or almost nada. It just doesn’t interest the other people, and I’m the only one organizing it. So I’m killing the wing nights.
Equally, I spent a lot of time on Facebook last year. Most of that was deliberate as part of my creative side, but some of it was compensating for the lack of in person contact, or at least I think some of it was that, probably. And same result. I feel more like I’m annoying people than connecting with them. I’ve known people in my life like that, used to be quite close with someone like that. Who tried but couldn’t seem to crack the social code to friendship. I think, in part, I was living under a small delusion of grandeur since my wife, Andrea, is a lot more social than I, and I think I was basking in the spillover glow. But it’s been clear for some time that I’m not resonating with people, pretty much on any level. And while that sounds like the pity party, it’s not.
The pity party is that it bothered me. It never used to. It goes with my personality. And at one time at least, I was perfectly happy going to movies by myself, restaurants by myself, etc. Maybe it’s the lack of alternatives, but I realized recently it had been bothering me, and I hated even more that it WAS bothering me. I used to be stronger than that. I need that spine back. Which isn’t to say I’m going to be a hermit or anything, or anti-social, but I am going to lower my expectations considerably. To relish what I get, to accept the value of what I do have, rather than wondering why not more. Or as the kids in Jacob’s old kindergarten class were told, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”.
|Yellow (Expression, social, creativity)||Friendship|
Which then takes me back to the model. Friendship is going on the back burner, I’ve spent far too much energy on doing the wrong things in the last year with little return, and no great insights. One step up from that is openness, and that is part of what this blog is about. Not sure what to do with the spontaneity side, not sure it’s relevant if the upstream activities are not already met.
On the creativity side, I’m hoping my writing will allow me to build some yellow energy to fight against the drains on my blue energy. I think I’m somewhere between basic and functional, not sure if I have enough of a base to reach “applied” in the same manner.
In terms of activities, I had thought of a large social awareness campaign last year. I wanted it focused on prostate cancer, but the intellectual model was a bust early on. I was thinking of trying again this year, maybe something around “preemie awareness”, and I might do something small, but here is another giant kicker which I think puts me closer to Tier One than Three. I spent a LOT of time last year on FB and Twitter, building my blog, etc. I created memes, almost 200 of them. I tweeted over 1500 reviews of TV episodes. I brought the blog word count up to 400K worth of words. And what response did I get? None. Maybe 40-50 likes on Twitter, a handful of followers, maybe 20 likes in total for the year on Facebook. A smattering of comments. I tried questions, I tried provocation, I tried cute, I tried serious. Nothing. Which isn’t surprising…we’re basically talking social marketing, and a blue analyst with limited social skills is not the best person to be doing that. I thought maybe I was smart enough to get over the natural limitations of my personality and social preferences, but apparently not even close. So I’ve closed the book on all that hoopla.
Which means the only three things I’m doing this year are:
- writing, including posting some of my attempts at fiction;
- cooking, including perfecting a few targeted recipes; and,
- making photobooks.
Again though, I need a slogan. Something that both keeps my expectations and activities in check, while leaving room for growth. Something like:
Focus your energy, be prolific.