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Are You A Self Hugger?

Are you a self hugger? Maybe you are wondering exactly what’s the definition of a self-hugger? It is someone who has the tendency to think their “values are best, not just for themselves but potentially for everyone.” These individuals have the belief and expectation that people should behave and think exactly the way they do. Often they focus their attention on how to get others to change in order to conform to their values and beliefs.

Dr. Steven Reiss, a psychologist who wrote the book The Normal Personality and created the Reiss Motivation Profile (RMP), which identifies 16 basic desires that motivate and explain a wide range of human behavior, is the person who coined the expression “self-hugger.

In personal relationships the motivation to adapt and accommodate to meet the needs of others might be high. In the business world if you are a self-hugger you can imagine how this could create problems for you. If you are a manager or executive who expects people to always see things the way you do, you might be greatly disappointed. Others work style, values and ethics are going to be different.

Even more concerning might be others pretending to have the same beliefs as you, as they might verbally agree with everything you say, (the so called “yes men or women”) but not necessarily follow through.

Your goal would be to develop a tolerance for individuality and acceptance and understanding of differences. Creativity evolves from people being able to think differently. Allowing others the opportunity to come up with alternative perspectives might bring greater success to your company.

Now let’s turn it around perhaps you work for a self-hugger. How do you get your ideas across without creating difficulties for yourself? How do you accept their values and beliefs which are dissimilar to your own? The key is to be RESPECTFUL. Trying to get your views across to someone who has a static perspective can be very frustrating. You will need to understand and acknowledge their viewpoint even if you don’t agree with it. You will need to work towards compromise or perhaps the notion of experimenting with a new idea. Often when new directions are presented in the form of an “experiment” people are more willing to participate. Experiments are for discovery. It provides the opportunity to tweak and change, all the time moving towards a positive outcome.

In today’s workplace various generations could be labeled as self-huggers, the belief that their values and behaviors are the “correct” ones. The fact is that there is merit in considering different approaches to a situation. No one always has the right answer. In order for companies to grow and develop there needs to be a tolerance and respect for all generations, different beliefs and values, and the unique skills that everyone brings.

Copyright 2010 by Gail Solish. All rights reserved.

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About the Author
Gail Solish, MSW is a Communication and Relationship Coach helping people expand their communication skills, develop positive business and personal relationships and create a balanced life. Visit or email Get your Free Report on the 7 Keys to Effective Communication today.

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