Shelby was indignant. Her trusted friend and business colleague had crossed the line and she felt betrayed. What happened? 

Her administrative assistant reported receiving an email that was rude and abrasive. Without seeking clarification or inquiring about the sender’s intent, she experienced it as a personal attack.  Suddenly, the issue took on mammoth proportions. Shelby wouldn’t accept a phone call, read an email, or respond to a text message. She wanted nothing to do with the other person. Now what?  

This dynamic was familiar as she had reacted to other situations in a similar fashion. One communication that strayed from the expected path brought Shelby to the point of armageddon. It didn’t matter how long or valuable the relationship had been. Severing it was her immediate thought and she acted in an instant.

Taking things personally is a characteristic of the friendly, trusting, Networking Style. These individuals wear their hearts on their sleeves and often get bruised by life’s incidents. 

Their reactions can be extreme resulting in a sense of betrayal. They replay the injury in their heads, fertilizing and keeping it alive. At this point, the story hardens into a judgment and it becomes difficult to move past this belief and their feelings. 

If you are Shelby, what can you do? Begin by asking yourself how this stance is serving you. By cutting off friends and colleagues, you narrow your circle and may inadvertently limit opportunities. In other words, you hurt yourself.

Instead, draw upon your other styles and step away from the wound. Tell a different story. There’s a good chance that the other individual was not acting to hurt you. He or she was simply striving to live life in the manner that worked best.

If you have been the offender, what can you do? Realizing that the other person’s feelings got hurt, apologize. Be aware. It takes concerted time and effort to restore relationships with the Networking Style. Is it worthwhile to make that investment? Of course! If you truly value the other person, practice patience, persistence, and understanding to reconnect.