Recently, a gynecologist reportedly located the G-spot on an 83-year-old female cadaver. There are so many things wrong with that statement, I don’t know where to begin. So instead, I’ll surmise what my practical Ukrainian grandmother would have said upon hearing the news: “Who needs a G-spot when a spot of Jack Daniels will do?”
Now let’s leave the topic of G-spots—I am uncomfortable enough as it is—and ponder the following quote:
“Your sweet spot is the place where you’re optimally stimulated.”
No, I’m not back where I started; this sweet spot is not buried in an octogenarian corpse. Rather, it symbolizes the discovery of the environment most suitable to your personality. The quote is from Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and by golly, if you think you’ve seen the end of my posts referencing this book, you are as delusional as those people who still use the term “by golly.”
To understand the sweet spot, let me offer an example.
Once upon a time I attended a healthcare conference. There I was, nestled in the back of a carpeted and gray-paneled room, content in my solitude though preferring invisibility, when the speaker, dressed as a cheery extrovert, produced the most dreadful of words. “Good morning, friends and colleagues! Let’s start by going around the room and getting to know each other. Tell me about yourselves! That way we can foster more meaningful dialogue.”
Given my posterior location, there was ample time before my trip to the guillotine. Although I learned nothing of the other attendees, so lost in my thoughts was I, by the time Mr. Cheery reached me, I had a lovely monologue prepared, and—if I may toot my own horn—how witty and confident I appeared!
Obviously, my sweet spot is a place of low-stimulation. Give me time to prepare, time to process my thoughts in a low-pressure environment, and I will do just fine. Maybe even better than fine. But toss me into a hyped-up, on-the-spot, chaotic and pulsating rave? Well, good morning Miss Idiot! May I get you a brain?
Which brings me to my second example. For every yin there’s a yang, right?
At yet another conference in yet another small room at yet another back table, I started out safe in my low-stimulation environment. That is, until Mr. Aggressive, I Am Alpha Male Hear Me Roar, decided to mix things up a bit. You know, just so he could thrive in his own sweet spot. Which, sadly for me, was a high-stimulation environment.
Before I knew what hit me, Mr. Alpha Male pounced in front of my table, thrust a lion’s paw in my face, and demanded, “Quick! Name five things you hope to improve in your professional life by attending this meeting today!”
A bla bla bla bla th-th-th-that’s all folks!
It’s a shame you weren’t there to witness my Katherine Hepburn vocal tremor, verbal vomit, and tomato face. If you were, you could have nodded in understanding like the other attendees, all the while thinking, “Poor little imbecile. She must be in the wrong room.”
I admit it. I’m a thinker. Give me preparation time, and I’ll succeed. I might even impress you. But put me on the spot in a high-stimulation environment, and you’ll have front-row seats to spontaneous combustion. Which is why Mr. Alpha Male would be a great soldier or fighter pilot or trauma surgeon. I, on the other hand, would shoot off my foot, crash into a looming mountain, or pluck out a bladder instead of a hemorrhaging spleen. Oopsy daisy.
But isn’t the world a better place with both types of personalities?
So what’s your sweet spot? Do you perform best in a high-stimulation, on-the-spot environment or a low, good-god-give-me-time-to-prepare one? Do you pee your pants when called upon or strut your fancy feathers? Are you further convinced I’m a nincompoop? Or do you no longer use the word nincompoop?
All images from Microsoft Clip Art
- Introverts Anonymous (truthletsandthoughtbits.wordpress.com)
- Wall Streeter argues that ‘society has a cultural bias towards extroverts’ (rawstory.com)
- Collaboration vs. Solitude on NPR (keithsawyer.wordpress.com)