“When I meet someone new, what’s my first impulse?” According to Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and best-selling author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, says that’s the only question you need to answer to find out what type of conversationalist you are: a giver, a taker, or a matcher.
On a newly-released episode of Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert, Grant told Shepard and actor Kristen Bell that the easiest way to figure out what kind of human you are is to analyze your reaction to a new acquaintance. “When you meet someone new, what’s your first impulse? Are you looking for ways you might be able to help them? Are you looking for a trade that you could do? Or are you evaluating the person in terms of what could this person do for me?” he says.
“When you meet someone new, what’s your first impulse?” —Adam Grant, organizational psychologist
For example, let’s say you meet a professional astrologer named Vicki. If you’re immediately thinking of ways you could help Vicki further her career interpreting the universe, you might just be a giver. If you’re thinking of ways you could use Vicki’s career to your advantage (“Do the cosmos say I’ll have career success in 2020?”), then you’re probably more of a taker. And, if you find yourself thinking, Maybe we can swap earthly and heavenly gifts… you’re matcher.
Of course, your own perception of who you are may not tell the whole story. Grant points out that the people in your life may see you in a kinder—or harsher—light than you, yourself. For example, ICYWW, Grant says that Ashton Kutcher perceives Shepard as a giver, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he thinks of himself that way. Grant says this is especially the case with couples. So if you’re curious (or, okay, a little bit narcissistic), you could ask your significant other which one they perceive you to be. Just don’t blame me if it doesn’t go your way.
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