How Do You Define a “People Person”?

How do YOU define a "People Person"?
Are you a “people person”, and if so, how does that define you?

 

I’ve always been told I was a “people person”. In fact, I’ve built my whole career on it and I’ve never had to break a sweat at work (physically only, I stress-sweat a lot) because of it. I’m a people person. People like me. The end. Or is it? The other night has me questioning my “status” on this subject matter, and questioning my husbands as well. The definition is fuzzy at best, when I was reminded by one of my husband’s friends.

B is NOT a people person. Quite the contrary in fact. He really doesn’t like people (or mankind) in general and he reminds me of this often. He chose a profession in the construction field for this very reason. They don’t have to be “nice”. They don’t have to like each other. They just have to build shit, call each other incompetent, and tell off-colored jokes that don’t amuse those of us in the “people person” category. Like, for real y’all, they don’t even eat off plates and stuff and they cuss like nobody’s business. Not “people person” worthy. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great husband and provider, just not a people person. But my husband loves to be out with people while I actually really only love to be with my people (my family and a VERY small clan) during our off hours, so that’s where this story begins.

One of B’s friends stopped by the other night after B had been on a people-hating rant (long story involving some homeless people, check my Facebook post for that drama). The babies were sleeping and it was just us 3 adults. Apparently, his friend had a fight with his girlfriend and he’d come to stay with his mom (our neighbor) for the night. Couples fight, I can’t judge and he wasn’t in a bar somewhere, so…good for him. But a conversation unfolded that seemed…odd at best to me.

Why had they fought?

Could we help?

WHAT was the problem?

She’s not a “people person” and I am, was the answer. It causes problems sometimes.

OH. Yes, I get that. We both get that. But then it took an odd turn. B went to the bathroom and Fuddy (yes, that’s what they call him) spelled it out in a way that baffled, confused, and sort of amused me. I’m about to verbatim so excuse my grammar here…

“My girl’s like you. She’s not a people person. She’s not like me and B. We’re people persons. You and my girl? You’re not.”

How so?

“B and me, we like to be around people. We want to go out. We want to have lots of people over, all the time. We want people around us all the time. You don’t. That’s what people persons do.”

Oh. Right. I like my privacy. I like to spend time with my family. I don’t mind the occasional guest. I really like going to events from time to time, but I don’t like hoards of people in my house constantly. I don’t like the chaos and the mess constantly. I guess your girlfriend might just want to spend some time with just you and the babies. Perhaps?

“Yes, she’s not a people person….like you.”

And so, I did what any self-respecting person that lives chained to her computer would do. I Googled the definition of people person and now I see where this huge gap in understanding of this made-up term came from. It’s all in the interpretation. In one way, I’m totes right, in one way, so is Fuddy.

peo·ple per·son

noun

informal
  1. a person who enjoys or is particularly good at interacting with others.
Let’s break down this definition, shall we?
  1. A person who enjoys interacting with others = that person doesn’t have to be good at interacting with other people at all really. Just likes being around other people.
  2. A person who is particularly good at interacting with others = doesn’t have to particularly enjoy interacting with big groups, just has to be good at it.

So, lesson learned. We’re both right and I have no argument. My husband (and possibly Fuddy, I don’t know) aren’t good with people, but they’re “people persons”. I’m not a fan of crowds, but I’m good with people so I’m a “people person”. So much for made-up words, definitions, and trying to use them to categorize people. And so much for using that term that others have imposed upon me over the years. I’m not sure I like the connotation anymore no matter how you spin it.

What’s your definition of a people person? Is your perception good or bad? Mine has changed a bunch over the past couple of days and I’m curious what you think!

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About Christy

Christy Gossett, managing editor of SoFabFood and creator of the healthy living blog, Insanity Is Not An Option, is a WAHM of 6 kids ranging in age from 27 to 8. She enjoys sharing her heart-healthy, low sodium recipes to help others with dietary restrictions enjoy a flavorful life while maintaining a healthy diet.

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  1. You are damned good at interacting with people. So am I. Do I want to be around other people? Not really. But I can fake it!
    Melissa Lawler recently posted…Frozen Yogurt Cookiewiches #MullerMomentMy Profile

  2. I think the issue with the tern “people person” is that in some fashion, everyone is a “people person.” Some enjoy being around others but aren’t good with them, and some people don’t enjoy being around others but are good with them. It’s a term we try to use to simply describe someone’s personality but it’s really not simple at all. I think it’s really just supposed to mean we can learn good social skills from that person.