Blog 3 Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee.August 18th, 2015 by William Sloan
Before you do anything, get a pencil and paper. Seriously. Or a pen. Or a mouse. But not your memory, because memories are flexible and rewrite themselves. Even short term ones. So play fair, you’ll get a kick out of it. It’s short and easy and conjures up a decided “hmmm” after observation… like a few people I know, but that’s another story all together.
Some of you have already done it, I’m sure, because you’re like that, so play along, if you would. And then you can ask other people to do it, which I know you will… because you’re like that.
Here’s what I’m going to ask you to do. Ready?
- Clear your brain. Completely.
- Now, write down the first three animals that come into your head. In order. Be as simple or as specific as what comes into your brain.
- Now, describe each one in a word or phrase. The first thing you think of when you think of that animal.
- Now, put it aside. You’re done.
I guarantee, you’ll ask other people to do this and no, it’s not the first step in an elaborate ponzi scheme or a wish pyramid or some such nonsense. It’s the cocktail version of Psychology 101– an entirely different kind of nonsense. And it’s an easy way to find out something about someone quickly, if not through their answers, then through their descriptions… or their reactions to their descriptions. I’m only continuing to write right now for a little bit to side track you so you won’t jump to the pay off. See how the anticipation is building here?……..ok, that’s enough.
The first animal you wrote down represents how you THINK other people see you.
The second animal represents how other people DO see you.
And the third animal represents how you REALLY ARE.
For example, I first did this when I was 21 and was an entirely different person, ok, maybe not entirely, but I had an entirely different hair color and an entirely different sense of self.
My first animal was a swan – tall, solitary, aloof. I was tall with very good posture, and as non-stop social as I was on the outside, I was very private on the inside, so I figured people thought I was aloof.
My second animal was an ocelot – sexy. I know, what can I say? Would that it were true. But at least, apparently, people didn’t think I was aloof. See how this works?
My third animal was a bunny rabbit – cuddly. Awwwwwwww! Still true, by the way. I’m very big on hugs, whether you want them or not.
So it’s funny, right? Something to fill a few minutes on a Friday afternoon. Or during a meeting… of any kind.
People’s answers are always entertaining and kind of endearing… except for that one guy who, well never mind. And the conversation after the big reveal is eye opening. Some of the people you least expected are stunningly insecure, or have a very soft side, or are incredibly consistent with all three answers – what’s that about? Which just goes to show, you never really know someone, until you get to know their animal side. So remember – pet gently, approach from the left and always have a treat in your pocket.