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This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Flyn' By The Seat of Your Pants

The charms & the difficulties of the impromptu vs. the planned.
There are the planners and there are the, get it done when it presents, types.  Some people organize their time, rely on their calendar, keep their appointments, are punctual, and live by a schedule.  They like to be prepared and they value reliability.  They see themselves as responsible.  Coffee set up to brew the night before.

The fly by the seat of your pants type roll out of bed and into their day.  They almost always make it to work on time, but never early!  They make it to most of their appointments but if they forget one, it's not the end of the world.  They're okay with saying (or hearing someone else say), "I forgot".   They see themselves as adaptable.  Coffee from the drive-through.

Both types can be highly effective workers, professional people, family people.  Jobs get done and relationships happen.  But, wow, these can be  very different approaches to life.
If these two types become involved in a close relationship, it can be workable.  The planner can learn to be a little more spontaneous and the doer can make a point of informing the partner, if not ahead of time, at least of when they'll be late, or if they have a (usually last minute) change in plans.

The more serious consequences for these pairings are if the planner feels de-valued because they see themselves as being fit in when the other has spare time.  They don't get to feel like a priority that is planned for in the other's life.  Or, on the other end, the impromptu type may be offended when the planner gets out the calendar to set a date.  They can't see why the other has to check to see if they have time for them.  Each one just wants to feel important to the other but they each have a different way of determining that.

This particular individual difference takes some tolerance.  It takes some trust.  There are many ways to feel loved.  If you find yourself paired with your opposite in this regard, you'll have to rely on some other indicators to measure and enjoy your value to the other.

If you have experiences with this kind of a pairing and have suggestions for others struggling with the misunderstandings that can come out of it, please comment!


  1. Nice post Paula... (it spoke to me - this is Frank) I definitely fit into the spontaneous, non- planner-type personality, yet I've definitely found myself being attracted to (and in relationships with) people that just so happened to also be planner types... There were certainly many misunderstandings due to the differing views of life... yet, I feel that most seemingly insurmountable incompatibilities were due to youthful misunderstandings and inabilities to articulate (and actually put into action) the things (considerations) of differing life philosophies. You touched on in this post.

  2. Great comment, Frank! You're right---talking and listening. SO important. What a challenge to try to get to know or understand another person, even a little.
    Sometimes just the process of a sincere effort with the other is mutually supportive (even IF not that enlightening). Then if we learn something about each other, it's the bonus!