Instigator Attitudes

Instigator communicators polish up a positive attitude on their burnt orange communicator cars, especially when emotional thunderstorms clap loudly overhead. Instigators (I-types) realize that exuding a confident attitude calms anxieties and allows more opportunities to take shape. It’s the old positive life outlook of “Y’all follow me because I know where we all need to go.” Empathizers (E-types) secretly admire the confidence of their Instigator pals.


In fact, attitude equals plentitude in the mind of the progress-centric Instigator communicator who won’t rest easy until their “to do” list is done. If you’re an Empathizer male or female, can you walk in the moccasins of an I-type talker for a mile or more, wearing their attitudes? Instigator-type ATTITUDES ON a variety of subjects…


I’m criticized for being a control freak. If you don’t take control of your life, somebody else sure will. I don’t try to control other people. I try to control situations. For example, the grass isn’t always greenest on the other side of the fence. I believe the grass is greenest on the side of the fence that it is taken care of, watered, and fertilized.


I know what my faults are. I recognize them. I don’t think you have to change everything that’s wrong with you. You’re never going to get yourself straight anyway. You have to learn to tolerate. Once you’re comfortable with yourself, what others say about you doesn’t matter, because everyone is imperfect.


When you have wishes, wants and desires, you set yourself up for frustration and disappointment. I enjoy the ride. Sometimes the road is bumpy. I don’t allow my expectations to cause me frustration. When things aren’t going my way, I try to understand, make a correction in direction, and not get frustrated.


I don’t have patience for whiny, complainer types. I’ll come back with a challenge: “You forgot one thing. You can’t do anything to change the weather. You woke up this morning. You think about this. Would you rather wake up to rain or not wake up at all? Everyone was complaining about the miseries of the rain, and I was happy.


The life I lead makes it hard on the Empathizer people around me whose moods are up and down. Live your life to achieve goals instead of riding the mood roller coaster. My mood is pretty even although I can lose my temper and spout off. When I feel down, I act even more upbeat to lift my spirits. Don’t spend the time of your life worrying about those things you can’t change.


My marriage is important, but it’s not the central thing. When you have a career calling, the family can suffer. “You do for other people and make time for them but you don’t do for me!” is something I often hear from my wife. But my success is what creates the lifestyle we both love. You can’t have it both ways.


My Empathizer co-workers think I’m controlling, but they don’t have good logic. Logic is horrible when mood and emotions try to rule. I won’t waste my breath if you generally reject what I’m telling you. E-types don’t try to influence or control the situations they’re in. If your logic is horrible, you won’t think through anything before you do it.


It’s scary how Empathizers hear things and then act like what they heard is the gospel truth. Empathizers can’t see things as they just are. E-types put a twist on things. They’re feelings get hurt too easily. How can you get anything done if you’re constantly handholding?


What makes you think this life was supposed to be perfect or perfectly comfortable? Why don’t you enjoy whatever life brings and work with that? If you’re bucking up against a situation that won’t change, why not accept it and take the power away from it. I don’t want situations to control me and become the dominant point of my life. Everything is mental. I’m amazed at what you can do mentally to allow or block out something that could easily control you, if you let it. It’s amazing the mental power we don’t use. We let things control us. We shouldn’t let them control us. That’s how I deal with stuff. It makes things less difficult.


You’re your own biggest enemy – your emotions – your mental state – letting your feelings get the best of you. Your emotions should have nothing to do with handling this issue. If anything, emotions make the problem worse. That’s what you’ve got to get rid of…how you feel. That doesn’t make you an insensitive sociopath. It’s simply a complete acceptance of reality.


Instigators will laugh off their weaknesses, while E-types take their weaknesses too seriously. I-types view authority as a pecking order totem pole, with those people having the most power at the top. Empathizers view authority as a sparkling spider web, with everyone sharing power to affect the vibrations of the web. I-types are progress-driven while E-types are relationship-driven. Once you know the key differences between the two, you will stop blaming the other person for the disaster you’re part of and start laying claims to the strengths of your impressive character.


Dennis O’Grady, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in communication. He has worked for more than 30 years with top executives and their teams to overcome barriers to ongoing success in their companies or organizations. He is the founder of New Insights Communication, a management consulting firm dedicated to the advancement of organizational development, and professional and personal growth. He was 2008 president of the Dayton Area Psychological Association. Dr. O’Grady may be contacted at 7501 Paragon Road, Suite 200, Dayton, OH 45459. Office Phone: 937-428-0724. E-mail:

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