I recently took the 5 Voices Assessment to determine my communication and leadership style.
According to the assessment, I’m a “Connector.” This means that with my boundless energy, I can envision a bright future and have a natural capability to excite other people and bring them on board.
The assessment also tells me that I have commitment issues, demand affirmations under stress, and constantly demand change to keep the excitement alive.
Someone once told me I could lead a cult. At the time, this person said they were captivated by my energy; whether they liked it or not, they couldn’t bring themselves to disembark from their lives’ wildest ride. Looking back, this pretty much describes every toxic friendship and relationship I’ve ever had.
But as it turns out, several have disembarked. Not many are suited for a lifetime of boundless energy, which inevitably turns from fun to exhausting when the tendency to “keep things interesting” kicks in. And for what it’s worth, I think the excitement of cult leadership would wane quickly.
When the Connector connects, things move quickly. They’re the friend you feel like you’ve known your entire life. They’re the person you take a weekend trip with, even though you met two weeks ago.
They’re the ones who will hear your entire life story over the first round of drinks. They’re the candidate you hire within 10 minutes of the interview. They’re the one who gets matching tattoos with you before they know your middle name.
Connectors have a way of creating an immediate comfortable space for magic to happen. Within healthy boundaries, this looks like a lucrative and exciting career in event sales. It looks like a spur-of-the-moment trip with your partner where you meet really cool people and create lifelong memories (and maybe new social media friendships).
It looks like meeting a new friend you think is great, but immediate boundaries must be established to allow the friendship to grow and evolve into something lasting.
So many of my relationships have burned bright and burned out; some lasted weeks, months, and even years. I’ve cycled through “best friends,” thinking that there’s no possible way that label could lead to a loss. I’ve loved people so hard that the only way out was suffocating to death.
Once I connect, I struggle with knowing how to pump the brakes to allow natural space for things to grow. I have treated love and friendship like beautiful, codependent fireflies in a jar.
Some of the connections have grown into meaningful, long-lasting, supportive, and loving relationships with healthy boundaries (despite my tendencies). Despite the inherent need to be loved by everyone, Connectors can end up with a handful of good friends who stand the test of time. Connectors can end up with a partner who has seen their best and brightest cult leadership style and has also helped them sweep away wreckage from a fallout that only the most intense Connector could cause.
It took 40 years to realize that not every connection is meant to last, and brighter doesn’t necessarily mean better. Feelings are fleeting, and real love needs time and space to grow. Loss is also inevitable, as everything in this life is temporary.
I occasionally feel sad when I think about a few special people I’ve shared my boundless excitement with, but I also realize that it’s not tied to any specific person. Connector energy is my superpower to harness. I hope that as I continue to grow, I will keep learning to use it wisely.
Discover your communication style here: