The etiquette of dealing with a ‘Tornado’ personality type

The Etiquette of Dealing with a ‘Tornado’ Personality Type

The job title of Etiquette Coach is often slightly uncomfortable for me. Many people imagine that I simply tell people what fork to use and how to layer a scone, and I do teach that of course but, more importantly, my coaching focuses on helping my clients establish who they want to be in this world, and how to enhance their natural attributes to achieve this.

The most common areas of development for my clients are that of making conversation and dealing with the day-to-day challenges of relationships, both in the work place and personally.

One of the most useful tools that I have discovered in the self-development world that can assist with this is the Nine Enneagram Personality Types, by the Enneagram Institute. 

Understanding our personality tendencies, and recognising them in others, can be a light bulb moment, helping us to feel more empathy towards our fellow human beings and more forgiveness towards ourselves, thus creating more opportunities for harmonious relationships.

There are various labels given to the nine different personality types, ranging from ‘The Achiever’ to ‘The Loyalist’, but today I would like to address one type of personality that causes the most upset in people’s lives. I call them ‘Tornados’.

‘Tornados’ are those who often create a whirlwind of drama when challenges or difficulties arise.

The reason I have named them ‘Tornados’ is that when one is approaching the only sensible thing to do is to run for cover! Many of us attempt to remain neutral and objective, but during our endeavours to ‘sit on the fence’ we often get caught in their path, tossed around, and then thrown out at high-velocity. We can be left feeling dazed and confused, wondering what happened and how we landed up here.

You see, ‘Tornados’ operate from a place of drama, not facts. I am not a psychologist, and therefore I am not qualified to explore the underlying reasons as to why this happens, however, if you are a follower of Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual leader and the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth, you will understand the concept of an active ‘pain body’, where past hurts are triggered by certain events in the present.

If you are a follower of Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret, you may equate it to the law of attraction. This is the concept that we attract into our lives what we focus on, so those who believe that ‘the world is out to hurt them’ will frequently find the evidence that they are looking for to support this notion, whilst those that believe that anything is possible, will too attract the opportunities and people that will support their goals. Basically, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Understanding this, and being clear about our own purpose and values, makes it much easier to not lose ourselves in others’ self-made dramas, even if we are caught up in a little turbulence along the way.

There are of course situations when we are at fault, and when this happens we would hope to have the opportunity to address these errors through a fact based discussion, and subsequent plans made to rectify the situation to everyone’s satisfaction, where all parties can learn and move on. And preferably with no drama!