If you’ve been in business any length of time, you’ve most likely encountered one of these personality types.
The confrontational personality type
The Back Stabber
I’d like to address these personality types in greater detail, each Thursday.
Today I want to take some time to talk about what I consider to be one of the most difficult personality types to deal with and I call it, Turtle Rock.
Someone who is turtle rock may also be a whiner or a backstabber, to some degree, but primarily, they are just a really quiet, unassuming soul.
They almost never take the initiative in conversation unless they know you really well, are very amused, or are dealing with an emergency.
I find exceedingly quiet people to be very unnerving. Which is not to say that there aren’t some people with whom I am so comfortable that no dialogue is necessary…at times.
But when you are interacting on a professional, working level with someone, or especially if you encounter that person every single day on the job, then it is just common courtesy for some basic, every day conversation to transpire.
Now, some quiet people are just really sweet people or are gentle giants. They have a peaceful, loving, accepting aura about them, where you know they care and they don’t need to say anything.
That is NOT what I’m talking about. I’m talking about turtle rock, not turtle dove…and there IS a difference.
Turtle Rock has a distinct vibe about them…. a churning, volatile, hold it in, think it but don’t dare say it energy to them that makes you want to slap them and say, “OK, already….what are you thinking? I know there’s a lot going on in there, care to share?”
Whereas, turtle dove just has a coo coo nuzzle all is well silence.
Even the six foot teddy bears.
There IS a difference. If you have ever worked with someone who seemed like a massive ball of nerves, tucked inside a quiet exterior, than you know what I mean. Some of these types seem like they are about to jump right out of their skin.
And the more you try to loosen them up, the more uncomfortable they become.
While I don’t claim to possess psychiatric skills, I do have a few insights I’ve gleaned over the years.
Here are some of the common denominators I have found
- Turtle dove in a glove–this is the person who wants to feel cocooned and sheltered, from all human interaction. They don’t want to dialgue anymore than is necessary because they take great comfort in their own company. Turtle dove types normally are open to dialogue, and to listening. But this type of turtle rock is like a turtle dove in a glove. They are too wrapped up in themselves to come out of hiding. Whereas the turtle dove type will at least smile, nod and give you a polite loving grunt.
- Turtle Rock don’t want no mock (hey, it’s early in the morning as I right this, forgive the corny slogans). Turtle rock don’t want no mock has been hurt real bad, a whole lot of times. They’ve been chicken pecked on the social ladder, or experienced racism, group taunting, or discrimination/persecution of some kind. Some of these types even have a persecution complex, and seem suspicious of any kindness shown them. Show it anyone. Unless they act super paranoid.
- Turtle rock hanging on the dock. Okay, this type of person is just going through a crisis and they are in shell shock. Often times, if a normally talkative person becomes withdrawn and silent, they are just going through a really hard time.Or, they could be in number 2 mode, after being the subject of office gossip. In either case, give them some space but when the time is rights, say something like ” I notice you’ve beeen kind of quiet lately. If you ever need a friend to talk to, I’m here for you.”
- Turtle rock don’t need no glock. Okay, the name says it all. This type is just….creepy…and dangerous. They seem to be sinisterly silent, like someone from the set of “The Godfather”. Which may explain why they are the way they are. Steer clear.