This is the terminology for being out of character, not quite ourselves and it comes from Myers Briggs, the personality self assessment tool. The expression seems so apt at the moment as we are all drifting into being “In the Grip”.
What does it actually mean and what does it look like to us all individually?
In a nutshell it is the version of ourselves that puzzles us, we can feel irrational, out of control, unstable or even just a little crazy. These temporary episodes at the time literally grip us, however we have to recognise that they are actually healthy and demonstrating our adaptability.
This side of character is most likely to occur during times of stress, fatigue and illness.
The first step to moving out of the grip of these out of character behaviours is to perhaps identify times when we our feeling naturally ourselves and when not.
- What are you like when you are most yourself? – what qualities best describe you or define you? examples might be – optimistic, careful with details, concerned about others or future orientated
- What are you like when you are not yourself? – how are you different to your usual way of being?
- What aspects of your work are most satisfying?
- What aspects of your work are most disatisfying?
- How do you typically deal with chronic stress?
- What new things have you learned about yourself as a result of out of character experiences?
My own personal example is as recent as Friday. My normal disposition is to be very positive and optimistic and to be more future orientated. I recognised signs of feeling a bit despondent so decided to cheer myself up by buying a new outfit which normally would be quite a good idea. In the past this would be a trip to shops and visualising where I would wear the outfit in the future. However during lockdown this meant shopping on line, I got locked “in the Grip” there was too much choice and I found it really hard to visualise. Came out with an outfit, missed the detail aspect now have an outfit on the way to my niece as did not change the delivery address from Christmas.
One of the main reasons we get locked in the Grip is down to energy levels. We are awaiting news about lockdown being lifted however my advice is to still maintain good energy levels so whatever the news you don’t behave out of character. Set your own agenda and don’t be influenced by “stuff” you can’t influence.
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