Do I Really Want to Know My Personality Strengths?
Ask The Pink Tank
You may think, “I am not really sure that I want to know what my personality strengths – What if I don’t like them?”
You may not like all of your personality strengths. But at least you will know what they are. You create advantages for yourself every day when you use your personality strengths wisely. You create disadvantages for yourself every day when you do not use your personality strengths wisely.
The case studies show you how people use their personality strengths wisely.
How do we know when we are not using our personality strengths wisely? If we don’t know, how do we find out?
We are all at risk for using our strongest personality strengths unwisely. For instance: If you are at 90% in Achievement and Dominance you may need to receive a Pink Tank. Read on and you will learn more about a Pink Tank. When you use your personality strengths to excess, you can create disadvantages for yourself.
Read below how Marisa’s personality strengths hurt her relationship with Clark. Notice the clever and tactful way that Clark told Marisa that.
Let’s Meet Marisa and Clark.
Marisa and Clark are best friends. They have each gotten a divorce and have a lot in common. One thing that they have in common is that each one decided that s/he would never marry again. Been there. Done that. Don’t like the teeshirt.They are best friends.
Marisa tells Clark, “I know that you don’t want to date now. But you may want to date later. If you do, I will have a Bring Your Own Friend (BYOF) Party. You invite single people that you like and trust, and I will do that, too. The deal is that each one of these people is to bring a friend that they like and trust but do not date. Then we all show up, have dinner together, and see what happens.”
Marisa and Clark do everything together. Cook lunch and dinner. Go on long walks. Play tennis in the hot sun until they are completely exhausted. Meet each other’s friends. Hang out with both sets of friends. Watch tv. Go out to dinner and dancing. Laugh together over even silly things. Life begins to look better now.
One day Clark tells Marisa, “Ok, I am feeling better now. You are right, even though I really didn’t think I would ever want to date again I now feel like I can take a chance and see how it goes. Let’s have our BYOF party.”
Marisa is excited about the BYOF Party. “That works for me, too!” Each one makes a list of their friends. Marisa invites them.
As the evening for the dinner party gets closer Clark begins to think of how comfortable he and Marisa have become. How satisfying it is to tell her what happened during his day. Get her thoughts about each situation. Her insights. Discuss with her what he thinks he will do about each one, too. He likes helping her think about what to do about the people in her day, too.
If he met someone at the dinner party that he found interesting then he couldn’t spend as much time with Marisa. He thinks about how he really feels about her. He realizes that he would so miss the many things they had learned to laugh about together. Does he really want to give all of that up? What are the feelings that he is having?
Hmm. Clark realizes that he wants to date Marisa. Before he had always become attracted to how exciting and sexy someone was. Asked them out and fallen madly in love. Then find out other things.
He trusts Marisa. She is safe, Engaging and funny. Creative. Smart. They have learned to really care about each other. He realizes, “I don’t want to give her up. So I won’t.”
He tells Marisa, “I am looking forward to meeting all of your friends at our dinner party. But I won’t want to date any of them. I want to date you.”
Marisa does not see this coming. She knows that she and Clark have made taking a chance on having feelings safe because they care for each other. She and Clark have learned that each one can have a good relationship with someone by somehow, day by day, creating that with each other.
Marisa is scared. If they add romance to their friendship, what if that doesn’t work? If that doesn’t work she will lose her best friend. She has an immediate and really strong reaction. She absolutely cannot risk that. “ No!”
She tells Clark – right away. “I can’t even consider having a romantic relationship with you. If that doesn’t work out, I would lose my best friend. Your friendship means way too much to me to risk that. You have made it safe for me to have feelings again. I simply cannot even consider doing anything that could possibly hurt our friendship. Thank you very much – but No!”
That hurts. But Clark can see the logic. And respects that Marisa needs to do this. So he says, “OK. Goodnight, Marisa.” Immediately he turns to considering who he can find to share his time with.
Of course, he will go to their dinner party, but he might find someone that he likes first. He knows that women like him. This won’t be difficult. It will be fun. As he says “Goodnight, Marisa” and walks out the door he immediately begins thinking what to do.
Marisa sleeps well that night. But in the morning she wakes up with a stark, terrifying reality. “Clark is very attractive to women. He will be completely out of my life immediately . He will start looking for someone to date as soon as he goes to work today. I simply cannot let that happen.
It’s 5:30 am. If I call him right now I can catch him before he leaves for work….”Clark? I have made a terrible mistake. Of course I want us to date. I accept!”
She hears a smile I his voice. “See you tonight.” “And she said, “Fantastic. I’ll cook you your favorite dinner!”
What does Clark see now?
Now that he and Marisa are dating he is looking at her and asking, “What would life with her long term be like?’ He thinks it would be really interesting. Stimulating. Fun.
But he needs for her to understand that there are some things that she does that he needs her to change.
She just doesn’t understand some things that she does that really hurt him. She has got to understand what they are and how they hurt them before she can change them.
He thinks for a minute. Then he figures out how he will tell her what they are – and what he needs for her to do.
What does Clark do?
That night Clark fixes dinner for Marisa. Goes all out. Flowers. Candles. Really good wine. Her favorite meal. He pours after dinner coffee – and hands her a present.
It is a plastic Army tank that fits in the palm of her hand. He has painted it a light pink. Pasted flowers all over it. Wrapped it in a soft, beautiful paper with a gorgeous pink ribbon. And handed it to her.
Marisa is delighted – opens it immediately….Then she pauses…She has never even seen a present – anywhere – quite like this one. So just she just holds it for a minute and stares at it. Examines it. Compliments him on how artistic it is. And beautiful, too.
Then she says, “Clark this is charming. Thank you very much. I love it! Is there something that you would like to tell me about it?”
“Actually, yes, there is. Marisa, I have seen how you are when you want something. You plan very carefully how to get it. Map out every detail. Think who will help you accomplish it.
Then you just go after it. If someone is in your way they had just better get out of the way. You won’t even see them. You will just move forward. Full speed ahead.
When I see you do this, I do just get out of the way. I care about you – I want you to have what you want. I understand that this is just your style.
But sometimes I feel left out. And ignored. And run over.
What bothers me is I don’t think that you are even aware of how someone who loves you (Did I just say “Love”?) begins to feel at risk because he might just accidentally get in your way as you are speeding down the runway on take off…And get run over! I looked for a way to tell you this. So I made The Pink Tank.”
“Why did I choose a tank? I chose a tank to describe your positive self-concept, strength, determination, training, and discipline. Your positive self-concept comes directly from your parents. They believe that we all have unique God-given talents that we are meant to actualize to their fullest potential. They taught you that and raised you in a Christian home. You were raised by parents who do treat other people the way they want to be treated. Taught you right from wrong. Then they made obvious to you by their words and actions that they love you. Provided for your education. Gave you support and guidance. I see them say to you, “You can do it!” and know why you believe that you can succeed. And you do. I admire all of these things about you.
Why did I paint the tank pink? Because I want you to be kinder and gentler in how you treat me. I see your mother’s softness when we relax and play together. I want more of that. Will you please treat me the way that you want to be treated more of the time?
Why did I put flowers all over the tank? I know that you can learn whatever you decide to learn. I am hoping that now you will decide to learn a variety of ways to honor and cherish me – just like I want to increase the number and ways that I honor and cherish you. Let’s learn them together. Won’t we have fun?”
How do things turn out for Marisa and Clark?
Actually, Marisa simply did not see that her personality strengths are as strong as they are. She is shocked when she sees her PSA©. Her high percentages knocked her sox off.
How many other people has she run over before Clark told her what she does? How many people has she hurt or offend – Family? Friends? Coworkers? Management? For how many years? The Good News is that she knows it now – so she CAN change it.
She gets that you can’t change someone else. Now she realizes that she can, however, change herself.
Now that Mariss KNOWS that her personality strengths were hurting her relationship with Clark (and others) she is more pink (kinder and gentler), has more flowers (has learned tools to be kinder and gentler and practices them), and asks “What will work for you?” She selects actions that work for other people. too.
How are Marisa and Clark doing now?
Marisa has slip ups from time to time, but she is doing better. She does honor and cherish Clark more. Is softer, kinder, and gentler to him, her family, her friends, and her co-workers.
So Marisa and Clark are still together – lovin’ each other and livin’ it up!
Ok. Is there anything else that can help me see how personality strengths carried to extremes – can create disadvantages for me?
Sure. Go to the “Personality Strengths (PSA)© Checklist.” As you read it, ask yourself, “Has anyone said anything to me or responded to me in any way that I see here? Do I see myself in any of these?”
If you don’t have a “Clark” to tell you – your PSA© will.