Confessions of a Hugaphobic

July 4th, 2017

Yes, that was the headline in the New York Times from reporter Kristi Gustafson. In her words: “A hug is not just a hug. It’s a full-body physical and emotional event. It elevates the hugger and hugged from stranger status to acquaintance. Some people are huggers. Others, like me, are not!”

Gustafson believes that being a non-hugger in a world of huggers is comparable to being a vegetarian at a pig roast – things get complicated. But a world of huggers? Nice try – it’s more likely we’re now in a world where physical touch, a hand on the shoulder, or a hug have become more and more rare. And that’s sad, since a genuine two-second hug connects us with others in powerful ways, something even Gustafson admits. But she also believes that others use it as a form of torture when they’re totally out of tune with her body language or allergy to a hug.

To her, it crosses a certain, but well-defined comfort line (in a bad way), but confesses that this self-described hugging issue also affects her relationships. Not in a way where it makes Gustafson any less caring or compassionate, just in a way that makes her quite uncomfortable.

Gustafson puts hugs into three categories:

  • Looking like you need comforting – even though it may just be the bad pizza someone had for lunch.
  • I did something wrong – in which case a hug won’t be enough anyway.
  • The other person wants something – even though there are more effective approaches


How to Really Hurt a Blue

July 4th, 2017

Last year I sat in on the tail end of a workshop when the facilitator had a Green husband and Blue wife come up front. From what I could gather, they had issues in their relationship for some time. The facilitator asked them a couple of questions. Then, in frustration, she asked the Green guy: Do you even still love her?

It was three seconds of silence while he tilted his head, still had that very Green face, then answered “yes,” but more in the form of a question. His Blue wife just started crying and couldn’t stop for some time.

What happened? I wasn’t in the heat of the battle, and am pretty good at understanding Greens. If there had been a video, I would have loved to jump in and re-play that small ten second clip for both of them: His Green brain was still processing the last few questions, then this one was sprung on him: the implications, why the facilitator was asking such an obvious question, and where she was going with this line of questions with such an aggressive tone of voice… The three seconds that took was really quick – but only for this Green husband! If his Blue wife watched the replay without audio, she would have seen the love, hurt, and confusion in his eyes. Yet, in this pretty pressure packed situation, he still couldn’t get himself to just talk from the heart.

His Blue wife was horrified at the delay. Her perception was that he had to think about it “that long,” and then probably just lied. Blues are really good (or bad) at reading tone into something. That “yes?” did her in, and the tears started. An “of course” and a hug would have solved half their relationship issues. But that’s easier said than done in the heat of battle when this high Green stayed in ‘thinking mode’ to rationally want to solve his relationship issues versus talking from the heart.

What Restaurant Chain Fits Your Color? Part III

July 4th, 2017

Oranges: Chili’s: This chain spends a ton of time and money on your television, spotify playlist, all over Facebook, Twitter, and other sites advertising their latest dishes and creative menu ideas. Similarly, you love promoting yourself and your successes. You go to networking events so that people can know about you, your ideas, and the energy you put into everything you do. You’re a perfect food destination match for each other.

Gold: The Keg: A well-known and established restaurant chain that’s efficiently run, and in business for 46 years.

No salad bar with overwhelming choices, that’s normally pretty messy from the last visitors, and forces you to get up and get your own food. A quiet atmosphere, quality food, well prepared, and you can even see the line cooks working.

Their menu tends to stay pretty consistent over the year – just like you: Why re-invent the wheel? It’ll give you the chance to mull over what you’ll order days before you actually go! That’s fun, consistent, efficient, and gives you two days of happy daydreams of what the night will be like. Get away from your hectic world of the never-ending to-do list for a couple of hours of tranquility and peace.

True, you don’t go there very often because of the prices, but it’s a great “investment” in a bi-annual get-away for a good quality steak and a couple of drinks. You’re worth it – it’s worth it. Sometimes you just have to step up and spend the money. If not, you’d just end up at Olive Garden and the never ending salad bar…    Adapted from Sophia Borghese, Ohio University MBTI story

The Orange-Gold Relationship

May 9th, 2017

Due to their large percentages of the population, Orange-Gold relationships are quite common. After all, opposites attract. In general, Golds have a lot of Orange envy, but can go from wanting to be more like them to judging them quite harshly. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship with themselves in their need to stay more responsible, organized, on-time, and reliable. On one hand, it can make them feel a little ‘square’ at times, while it can also make them feel a little better than everyone else.

The most common time for an Orange to start dating a Gold is likely when the Orange has come crashing out of a wild and crazy relationship with another Orange. That’s the time when they’re sick and tired of the game, and the games, and find the honorable, reliable, and straight-forward Gold person very attractive. When first dating, to Oranges it’s about flirtation. It’s about who’s winning or losing. It’s using their charm to get the other person to fall hard, with no guarantees of reciprocation. Who says, “I love you first,” matters a lot since the most commitment phobic of all Colors often feel a loss of power when they love.

With an Orange in their relationship, Golds wish they could just let loose without always feeling the burden of having to be the ‘good one,’ the planner, or the rule-enforcer without those feelings of guilt or Orange envy. Their partner loves to instigate and push Golds by taking them to the wild side. They love tempting Golds to let loose and give up some of their control. It’s a great feeling (and a win) when an Orange can take someone off the straight and narrow and set them free from all those rules and inhibitions.

When the Gold partner goes along, and wakes up the next day without feeling guilty, or retreating back into their comfort zone, they can awaken to a new reality. Wow, they had fun, let loose, and it didn’t wreck their lives. None of the fun or crazy impromptu adventures did them in. Letting go was relaxing and enjoyable and didn’t do them in. AND it was fun! Who knew? And every couple should really do the work section of “what each Color needs from each other” in the Colors of Relationship book!


What Restaurant Chain Fits Your Color? Part II

May 9th, 2017

Blues: Olive Garden: You’re focused on creating things that please other people’s hearts since you’re so in touch with your senses. You love the arts, or other creative fields. At Olive Garden, even the names of the menu items are very aesthetically pleasing, the plates are a work of art, and the meals taste like an artist created them. Who else would think of an idea quite as beautiful as the Piadina?

Greens: Starbucks

Life is not about being social or conformity. It’s about exploring ideas of the mind, and in order to do that, you must spend some time on your own. Starbucks (if you forget the crowd of fashionistas waiting in line for their double caramel whatever) is all about having a place to be on your own so you can write, solve the Sudoku puzzle, and get some work done. While the other people coming in can be draining, it’s offset by the coffee energy and the constant people watching while having time to think.    Adapted from Sophia Borghese, Ohio University MBTI story

Selling From the Heart?

May 9th, 2017

Last month I received a call from someone who wants to work with me to add Colors to his company’s sales training. He’s Orange/Blue, and knows how huge the tools of Colors are in dealing with clients, getting the business, retaining the account, etc.

He markets his sales training as: Selling from the heart. I didn’t know if I had the heart to tell him that isn’t a good phrase.

With a soft voice on the phone, a couple of gentle “if you have time, could I call you” type phrases in his emails, that was pretty obvious in the first email, and then the first minute on the phone. But my Gold finally had to say something. If nothing else, Golds and Greens know that caring about someone is telling them the truth, and not what they want to hear in order to protect their feelings…

I asked him if he was purposely starting each day missing out on getting business from 70% of potential clients? When you use the word “heart” as an opening line in explaining your business, you have to remember that half the world is Gold or Green. That starter is a non-starter with them, more times than not. Oranges are also not going to be that enthused about emotional-type selling. Sure, there are vast numbers of Orange/Blue, but, unlike this gentleman, they aren’t likely to show it or act it in their sales business.

He does have a great “in” with 30% of the Blue population in Canada (13% in the U.S.) and he’s on the right track in how and what he teaches. But the opening line shouldn’t limit his business – at least in my Colors opinion. My instant feedback was to change it to: Relationship selling. It wouldn’t be false advertising, the focus would still be on the people-part, but it would seem to be less “scary” to every other Color. Greens look for credibility. That will easily turn into a relationship if someone brings it. Gold value relationships with all kinds of businesses and people: Just tuck your shirt in, be on time, have your crap together, and stay organized. And Oranges are the relationship kings and queens in a permanent networking world with 300+ friends on Facebook!