On the first day of 5th grade I walked to my bus stop and for the very first time, I made that walk by myself. For many years I had walked there with my older sisters. They decided to abandon me and had moved on to middle school.
I was so nervous walking to that bus stop all alone, with no one to hold my hand or comfort me. I looked up, climbing the hill towards me was the most beautiful sight; a new girl who looked to be just my age.
In my small rural school, a new kid was quite an occurrence. She was my age, she lived just down the street from me and wanted to sit with me on the bus. I was in heaven.
We shared a bus seat that first day and for many years after. Although we were different in many ways, that first meeting was the beginning of a life-long friendship that has spanned more than 35 years. My 5th-grade friendship with Cissy began because we needed each other. Over the years we learned to connect in many different ways.
Often friendship starts with shared interests or activities. We might be the same age, go to the same club, have kids the same age or other such connection. Sometimes it happens because we see in someone else the joy that is in our own heart. There are other times where we don’t connect with someone else just simply because we don’t recognize a kindred spirit or are not sure how to respond to someone who is very dissimilar to us.
Carl Jung and many other psychologists have created ways to understand why we (and they) do what we do. This is called personality assessment or behavioral assessment. It’s a wonderful gift to begin and grow in understanding and communication with all types of people. Each person I encounter brings me joy, a lesson or both.
The joy of understanding others personalities is not in putting labels on people or in choosing not to connect with people who have a different style than us. The joy comes from being able to meet the emotional needs of the other around us and creating lasting communication and relationship.
How to communicate with others – based on the DISC personality assessment:
If you are an “I” personality style – remember to keep your stories short and listen to others.
If you are a “D” personality style – allow others to finish their own stories and sentences.
If you are a “C” personality style – be willing to share a little bit more of yourself than usual.
If you are an “S” personality style – offer your opinion, it has value.
Although I did not understand personality styles when I was 10 I am glad that I was able in my “S” personality to communicate and become friends with a “C” personality. Get ready to meet your new best friend!
Create more friendships – HERE
Take your personalized DISC personality assessment HERE.