Imagine yourself surrounded by soft jazz, cushy chairs and hot mocha espressos. You've just entered your favorite cafe - and you're there to curl up, relax, and eavesdrop on the latest! This is no ordinary cafe with ordinary conversation. Each one of our Body Type Dialogue stories illustrates how the different body types think, react and deal with each other. You may read a story about a Heart man gushing over a cute latte-drinking Adrenal girl. Or, a Thyroid man may be discussing his marketing budget with his Lymph supervisor. Wherever the conversation leads you, you'll come away with a better understanding of the 25 Body Types, and learn how they may react in real-life conversations.
We hope you enjoy these whimsical stories and they help you gain a deeper understanding of the 25 Body Types.
"Janeen. Hey, Janeen!"
"Ian, I'm so glad you could make it. Hold on a minute. I've got to put these roses back in my dressing room."
"Your performance was fantastic. You were so believable," he said, smiling as he followed her backstage.
"Thanks, Ian. I guess the three straight weeks of rehearsals paid off. But I'm looking forward to finally getting a chance to go out with you. I'm really sorry I've been so busy with things."
"You don't need to apologize. It's actually nice to meet someone who's doing what they love."
"That's sweet of you to say. I appreciate that. In fact, I have a great idea. Let's get out of here and spend some time together," she said as she faced the mirror in front of her, pulling pins out of her hair.
"What do you have in mind?" he asked, answering to her reflection as he watched her hair gently fall onto her shoulders.
"I have this insatiable craving for some dessert and a steaming cup of café Americano."
"Sounds great. Let's go."
"I never thought Bundt cake could taste so good," Janeen said, as she carved out another piece with her fork." And the coffee, mmmmm."
"How'd you get into acting in the first place?"
"Good question. I was in college when I finally made my decision to take the path toward stardom. I realized that not only am I gifted with talent for this field, but since I'm extremely in touch with my emotions, it seems only natural to me. Besides, I love it." Janeen looked up from her steaming coffee mug for a minute, smiling as she reflected on her past.
"What's this thing about body types you were going to tell me?"
"I thought you might be interested in getting to know me better."
"Sounds good to me. So which one of these body types did you say you were?"
"Gonadal?" he said with a wink.
"That's right. There's a lot more to me than you could imagine."
"I already know a little about you. You're light, playful, and spontaneous, both in our relationship and with your work. I really enjoy that. You seem to be able to integrate balance and enjoyment in your life."
"I can just as easily become stubborn and self-centered, particularly when I'm exhausted. That's when life gets the better of me," she said with a cat-like grin. "By nature, I'm highly emotional. I might yell, cry, or explode in anger, sometimes at the drop of a hat. It's definitely helped me in my career. Sometimes it's hard for other people to handle, particularly if they don't understand it."
"I see," he said with a smile. "I can't say I'm very emotional. I tend to somehow be able to put a lid on my feelings. Are Gonadal types able to control their feelings like that?"
"Yes, but what happens when I stuff my emotions or, as you say, control them, is I find that all the unresolved negativity, if it goes on too long, manifests itself as covert hostility or underlying resentment. At times, I can even catch myself playing the victim role."
"But I bet you do it well. After all, you are an actress," he chided.
"Ha, ha, and you're a comedian," she said with a grin as she stopped for a moment to stare into his eyes. "I'm so glad that the play is over. I was beginning to feel a bit stressed."
"What's that like for a Gonadal type?"
"What's that like for anybody, Ian? It's not a pleasant feeling. It usually starts by my feeling overwhelmed. But I do have a secret remedy for that. At least a temporary one."
"Oh? Like what?"
"Shopping or talking to friends on the phone. Even gardening or doing some other "no-brainer" job is essential for me to be happy and content. Somehow it helps me relax. I feel more connected that way."
"As an actress, don't you have desires to be the center of attention?"
"I'm actually more responsive to those around me, and I often find myself being a "support person" rather than the center of attention. I often take on roles that assist others in accomplishing their goals. I have a special ability to recognize and appreciate the feelings of others."
"What about family and relationships. How do you find yourself fitting in there?"
"I love my family; I'm very close with them. I've always had strong family ties. A lot of times, I'd even venture to say I'm the glue that binds all of us together. In other relationships, I'm emotionally sensitive and find myself deriving a great deal of gratification simply through harmonious interactions. I'd say a lot of my identity is wrapped up in my relationships."
"With all that involvement in your relationships, doesn't that sometimes become stressful?"
"It really can be when I let it. I react to situations more with my heart than my head, so, more than any other body type, I'm susceptible to stress reactions. Not that I can't handle stressful situations well, but simply that external circumstances can easily lead me to feel overwhelmed. I remember when I first moved to San Francisco. I had packed all my favorite clothes, my file cabinet with my portfolio, and all my headshots. I didn't have a place to live yet so I was staying in a hotel for a few days. The second day I was there, my car was stolen."
"It gets worse."
"Yeah, you know what those jerks did? Besides taking my entire file cabinet, all my clothes and my car, they left me with one shoe. My favorite pair of heels, they took one and split up the pair! It took me a few months before I could finally let go and throw that one shoe out. I also had to learn to take the bus. I never took the bus before, and suddenly I had to catch three different ones. Now that's stress. I really felt completely overwhelmed. I had lost just about everything. I needed to get a job in my field. I had no clothes for interviews and auditions, no photos. Nada."
"You still had your best asset."
"What's that, Ian?”
"Yeah, I know, I know. That's all nice and positive unless you're right in the middle of it all. At those times, it's a little more difficult to keep that positive edge. External circumstances, frustration, conflict, having too much on our minds, hormonal imbalances or other physical upsets can all be overwhelming for us Gonadal types. Even our ability to think clearly can become significantly impaired."
"What do you do about that?"
"Wash the dishes, talk on the phone."
"Water your plants?"
"I don't have any plants, Ian. It's just me doing the veging out. I sometimes want to take some time out to recover my equilibrium. I really need to go easy on myself if my energy and emotional poise are to be renewed. Working out, playing tennis or doing something physical also helps a lot."
"I don't get the sense, Janeen, that you’re one to hold your feelings inside."
"My emotions are rarely far from the surface."
"I know, you mentioned that it helps with your acting."
"It does, and I'm more inclined to express my feelings directly than are many other types. I also do so with a certain zest."
"A certain zest?"
"I was trying to think of a tactful way of describing the degree to which I raise my voice when I'm angry, or cry when my feelings are hurt. Emotionally, I'm tuned in. This is good, since I'm likely to make decisions based more on my feelings or "gut reactions" than on some sort of methodical thought process. It's just the way I handle emotions."
"What's one key feature I should know about you?"
"Just one? I've got a few to share with you, Ian. First off, I have the ability to apply myself to a project with great determination once I've decided it's important for me to do so. My focus is often not so much on the job or position as on the status, prestige, or respect I could receive. When I think about it, I have the perfect job. I'm really not very task oriented anyway. Never have been. Never will be. I'm more people oriented. I typically gravitate toward careers and pursuits that allow for a lot of human contact."
"No wonder you love the arts."
"I've had a lot of different jobs. Acting is just one of many. There was a time when I was seriously considering nursing or teaching as a career, and before that I was a beautician and a child care worker.”
"You have done a lot. Anything else a Gonadal type would enjoy as a career?”
“A good friend of mine is a fantastic waitress. People just love her. I swear she's tripled the business of the restaurant where she works since she's been there."
"And is she also a Gonadal type?"
"Have you always enjoyed your work?"
"Yes. But I have a unique approach to it. I like to do a job well. Ordinarily, I'm not one to get caught up in details. Rather than do a lot of advanced preparation and planning, I tend to throw myself into a task and learn whatever is necessary through trial and error. I can't say that I'm very industrious, but I do apply myself to a project once I've started."
"What's the driving force that motivates you to throw yourself into your work like that, Janeen?"
"Three words — status, prestige and respect."
"Really? It's not the work itself?"
"Sometimes. But for Gonadal types, the tendency is to equate our worth with our external accomplishments. I'm usually not driven to succeed just for the sake of succeeding. Sometimes I might be more interested in finding the easiest way of doing something than in taking the time or effort to discover the best way of doing it.”
"You know what I like about you most, Janeen?"
"You're extremely friendly and sociable. I bet you've always been that way."
"Actually, most Gonadals struggle or have struggled in the past with issues of personal insecurity. I remember not too long ago feeling uncomfortable around people I didn't already know. In situations with strangers, I can become quiet, reserved, and withdrawn. Conversing with strangers, particularly in unfamiliar environments, can make me very uneasy. Sometimes, I simply feel like it would just take too much energy for me to strike up a conversation. I'll avoid answering a question directly or even altogether if I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing and look ignorant or foolish. I need to feel okay with letting a conversation take place. There are simply times when I just don't feel that social."
"When is that? Every time I've seen you, you're always so light, happy, and friendly. That's how we met. Remember? You were the life of the party that night."
"That's only because I got to know the people there first, and most of them I already knew, so I felt comfortable. That was fun, wasn't it?"
"It was a great party, and you…. You looked so beautiful."
"I got myself all dolled up for that event, and you looked very handsome as well, if I might add."
"Thanks, Janeen. How do you do it? Without standing out or being showy, you were the best looking woman in the room."
"You're not just blowing smoke at me, are you?"
"No, I mean it."
"Well, to be honest, I have a strong need to create favorable impressions of myself. My appearance is very important to me. So besides being careful about how I communicate to others, I also take great pains to make sure I look good, not just to please others, but myself as well. I'm not interested in drawing undue attention to myself, so I'm careful with my choice of clothes and spend a great deal of time picking them out. In some ways, you could say I actually seek to distinguish myself and express my individuality through my dress and physical appearance."
"You definitely succeed, Janeen. So now that you've got me, what are you going to do with me?"
"Hmmmm, let me think about that. I'm getting some good ideas."
"Are you?” he asked curiously as they both broke out in laughter.
"I've decided that since I haven't been in a relationship for a while, I want to start off on the right foot. So I think we should take it slow. What do you think, Ian?"
"I think that's a good idea. When was the last time you were in a relationship?"
"About eight months ago. It didn't work out."
"I see that," he said with a smile.
"Relationships are extremely important to me. I don't want to scare you away by sharing all these deep introspective psychological insights with you, but my very sense of identity may be inextricably linked to my relationships. Bonding with family and friends is one of my highest priorities."
"I enjoy bonding. Bonding is good."
"I'm trying to be serious, okay?"
"Sorry, Janeen. Go on, I'm listening."
"That's better. Now as relationships go, I have a considerable ability to nurture others, but I also tend to get caught up in evaluating myself, mainly in terms of my acceptability to those around me. In relationships, I may use the love and acceptance of my significant other as a point of stability. I'm strongly motivated to take charge of things domestically, and my life is frequently oriented around my home. There, how's that? Anything else you want to know?"
"What about kids?"
"I love kids, and if they were my own, they'd have a hard time escaping all my hugs and kisses. They'd have more attention than they'd know what to do with."
"So, would it be safe to say that Gonadal types are affectionate?"
"Unless we’re feeling physically or emotionally out of sorts. We can be quite sexually expressive as well," she said with a wink.
"Is that so? What about loyalty? That's important to me."
"I have a well-developed sense of loyalty, Ian. That's something that’s important to me, too. I can be quite faithful to the people and institutions I believe in. In fact, my life is frequently governed by ideals of love and service."
"Speaking of family, I didn't always get along with my parents. How about you, Janeen? Who were you closer to, your mom or your dad?"
"When I was a child, I had a strong need for approval from my dad. I even remember consciously doing things to win approval from him. Maybe that's where I developed my dependence on others for personal validation."
"What do you mean?"
"It's one of the biggest dangers for Gonadal types—external dependency on others. It can lead us to a path of co-dependency if we let it. I used to struggle with that when I was younger, always trying to please others. I've learned. Believe me, once you find yourself walked all over and used, you learn quickly. I simply needed to become less emotionally reliant upon and reactive to those around me. It sounds a lot easier than it is."
"Since you're an actress, Janeen, does that help you handle emotions better?"
"Yes and no. When it comes to my craft, yes. But in my personal life, being emotionally more easily aroused than most other types, my feelings at some point are apt to get the better of me and make me lose my cool. In the past, I used to snap impulsively at people if I was irritable and stressed out. If I let stress go unchecked long enough, I generally end up experiencing a certain sense of being lost in a sea of emotion."
"I've felt that way at times, too. I've also felt in conflict with myself, wanting to be one way, but feeling the need to behave another. Do you ever feel that way, Janeen?"
"I know exactly what you mean. I can give you a couple of examples. I've always loved sports. Even as a kid I was always playing right alongside the neighborhood boys. I could give them a run for their money. When it came time to pick teams, I wasn't worried about being picked first or last. I was the team captain."
"That's great. We'll just have to play some tennis soon."
"But, Ian, even today I like playing sports just as much. The problem is that I find myself pulled in two directions. In one direction, I find myself wanting to be a tomboy, but at the same time, I have a strong desire to be feminine. What's a girl to do?"
"At least you can do both. I know some women who could only wish they were as athletic or as feminine and charming as you. You've got the best of both going for you."
"Yeah, you're right. I should be grateful for just being who I am."
"That's right. And since we're on the topic of sports, what are you doing Sunday? How about a game of tennis? Do you think you could handle it?"
"Handle it? Bring it on, Ian! I'm ready right now. Are your courts lighted? Let's go."
"Whoa, hold on there. I don't think I can beat all that enthusiasm. I don't have a chance. How about we play Sunday morning instead."
"Wait until Sunday?"
"Yeah, it looks like I'm going to need a lot of practice before I play you."
"You know what, Ian? I like that in a man. The ability to acknowledge when he's in trouble."
"Janeen, I like you too."