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Extroverted Sanguines

January 24, 2008

Being a certified introvert, I often admire the quickness of the extroverted sanguines I encounter. Where I will often take several minutes to several days to formulate a response to a situation, my sanguine friends will whip out a reply faster than the Lone Ranger could draw his gun.

A couple of days ago I was in a coffee cafe doing the mobile computing thing. There is a girl who I’ve seen there several times. She is one of the more socially unique people one encounters in life. She tries so hard to be cool and to be noticed, but due to her uniqueness, I’ve seen her get blown off several times. So the other day, just as she is packing up her laptop to leave, a man comes into the cafe talking on his phone. Right here is when the drama happens.

I hear the man, who I later found out was a financial planner named Travis, talking to his grandfather. Just as he finishes his phone call and heads toward the counter, the unique girl trips over a chair and the girls behind the counter laugh out loud. It was a catty laughter, the type the cool girls use when the uncool girls do something stupid. The problem is that the girls behind the counter wouldn’t fit in with the cool, preppy girls.

The unique girl looks up at the cafe girls who are laughing at her and asks them if they are laughing at her. “Did you trip?” One of them asks, still with laughter on her tongue. The unique girl says yes and hurriedly leaves the cafe. Before she gets out the door, and before I have time to even register my disdain for the way she was treated, Travis, the financial planner, responds with a very pleasant rebuke of the counter girls.

What impressed me about his rebuke is that it was said pleasantly, gently, and it didn’t draw any unnecessary attention to the poor, embarrassed unique girl. He merely suggested that “that wasn’t very nice.”

What I appreciated about his comment is that it was done with tact, niceness, and yet it got the point across. The cafe girls stopped laughing immediately and the unique girl was defended. Somehow those with a more extroverted and sanguine temperament can do that with greater grace and aplomb than those of us with more introverted and melancholic personality traits.

If I had tried to respond, which I wanted to do, it would have come out harsh and condescending. As it was, I really didn’t know what had happened until about four hours later and I didn’t come up with a good response until the next day. In fact, I don’t think I could have done better than Travis did.

viva la difference

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