Theory best comes alive with examples of people demonstrating behaviours and today I have a sample of the Holiday Survival Style of the Intellectual that typifies the behaviour of these people. The social expectations of the holidays cause the Intellectual no end of challenge. Generally introverted and focused more on ideas, information and other mental constructs, having a full month of socializing thrust on them can press their self-protective buttons right from the get go. Their primary striving is to be knowledgeable and the holidays call on us to be experiential, being involved with others in our family, business and social network. There is no real place for them to get their primary needs met.

In general, Intellectuals do not spend a lot of time developing social skills and, as a result, they can be socially awkward. Their relationships are often limited to family and a few close friends. In addition, their detached approach to relationships causes them to relate to people as objects, making people feel like specimens rather than human beings. With their orientation to gathering information and deep interest in figuring out the way things work, their direct questioning and critiquing of others can be destructive, and can have an undermining effect on their relationships. They don’t tend to factor in the feelings of others, demonstrating a lack of both empathy and tact.

It is not that Intellectuals don’t enjoy the season, but do not like to go to social situations where they cannot be relatively invisible or where they can play an active role so they don’t have to interact with strangers. They can be very anxious when they have to go to the homes of family and disguise it by becoming critical of the environment, the food, the conversation. For example, a colleague, Wendy, who’s Striving Style is Performer, had her sister Barb (Socializer) and husband Jerry (Intellectual) over for their annual Christmas get together on the weekend. She was very excited about the visit, as she loves spending time with her sister. She also takes pleasure from having opportunities to entertain and show off her beautiful home and children. Ralph was so anxious about being in her home and out of his comfort zone that he spent the majority of the afternoon dismissing Wendy’s ideas for redecorating her home; rejecting and devaluing her choice of wine; and criticizing her views on whatever subject matter was introduced. Wendy was hurt and disappointed by the experience and withdrew her energy to protect herself from the criticisms. Her need for recognition for her accomplishments left unmet. She is reluctant to have him back to her home anytime soon, which would likely suit Jerry’s self protective agenda very well.

Tomorrow I will continue with how the Intellectual might approach the season so that he doesn’t turn into the “Grinch” who takes the pleasure out of the celebrations.

Author's Bio: 

The Visionary Striving Style

Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D, brings a lifetime of study, “psychological savvy” and hands-on clinical experience to helping people become who they are meant to be. Her interest in creating mental health, coupled with her interest in personality systems and the dynamics of human behavior, has influenced the development of the Striving Styles Personality System.

Holistic Approach to Learning

Driven by a vision for a holistic approach to emotional and physical health, Anne chose educational pursuits that aligned with her passion. At the same time, she studied at mainstream universities such as Ryerson (Business Management), University of Toronto (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Religious Studies) and ADR Institute of Ontario (Alternate Dispute Resolution). Anne looked for training institutes that would help her integrate the cognitive, emotional and physical approaches to healing the mind and body. This education included: receiving her degree as a Registered Massage Therapist; graduating from the International School for Spiritual Sciences (Montreal); psychotherapy certification from the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy (D.C.T.P); studies at the Masterson Institute for Disorders of the Self (New York); and a Ph.D. in Therapeutic Counseling from the Open International University for Complementary Medicine (WHO).

Committed to lifelong learning, Anne has completed postgraduate programs in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Spiritual Self-Schema Development, Brain and Behavior and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i), and she has been a long-time follower of the work of Carl Jung. Anne continues to stay educated and informed about recent advances in neuroplasticity, brain development, mindfulness and social intelligence.

Executive Coaching & Corporate Therapy

Anne became one of Toronto’s first Executive Coaches in the late 1980’s. She could see the direct application of the therapeutic tools to the corporate world, which drove her to expand her work into that realm. Anne began using the title of corporate therapist to indicate the depth with which she worked with leaders and teams developing emotional intelligence, behavioral competence and relationship skills in organizations. She has also used her unique approach to work through dysfunctional relationships, partnerships, teams and boards.

Prior to starting SKE, Anne built several successful companies including Sage Developmental Resources, an organizational consulting firm focused on behavioral alignment, and the Centre for Mindful Therapies, which offered customized Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Programs to organizations and individuals. In addition, she worked extensively with Heather on Several global leadership development initiatives for Caliber's clients, providing both individuals coaching and facilitating high performance team development at the executive and senior management levels.

Sought After Writer

A prolific and frequently cited writer on the impact of behavior, emotional intelligence and personality styles in the workplace, Anne has written a series of books on personality type based on Jung’s theory of Psychological Type. The Personality Profile Series© books are used to help individuals in coaching and counseling to understand themselves, their environment, their partners, and their children. Anne's latest series of books, The Jung Typology Series©, focuses on understanding the impact of personality type on employees, teams and leaders.

Anne has been featured in the media — on radio and on television — as well as in a wide range of national and international publications including USA Today, The New York Post, Huffington Post, The Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, The Globe and Mail and Additionally, her work has appeared in three issues of “O” Magazine within the past year, with her article on Striving Styles being included in the “O” Annual as one of the year’s top articles. She has recently been contracted to write for an upcoming issue of “O”.