Being a Connector

I began the morning by trekking over to McDonald's for my "senior" coffee and breakfast burrito, and a nice chat with the wonderful woman who serves me, and whose presence touches my soul very deeply...The experience reminds me that I am a "connector..." This will make more sense shortly...

Then I went to the river for a quick visit. I was alone there, and I made my way carefully to the little cliff where I descend to the rocks, but could not make it down. The sleet we had on top of the snow this week made everything very slippery, and I was not very bright in going out in my crocks.

I noticed someone had walked on the ice because there were tracks everywhere. I wanted to go down to the rocks because a couple of beer bottles had been abandoned there, but I knew it would be precarious to do so. As I contemplated what to do, a squirrel approached me, stood on its hind legs, and held out it paws like it wanted me to give it something. An acorn perhaps? Then he left. I decided to walk down to the rocks by way of the boat launch, though it was still blocked off with orange cones. I didn't get far because I slid and fell on the ice trying to get around to the launch area. That was my sign to go no further...

Yesterday, on my way to my noon yoga class, I heard Ben Sherwood interviewed on the Diane Rehm show on NPR. He has just published The Survivor's Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life. I found the discussion fascinating. So much so - that I went out to buy the book later in the afternoon.

The author tried to figure out why some people survive challenging situations better than others. What he found is - we all have different approaches in how we deal with loss, tragedy, life-threatening situations, and so forth. As a result, we fall into certain categories or types:

The Fighter
The Believer
The Connector
The Thinker
The Realist

If you follow the right hand column of this blog and scroll down, you can take a simple test to ascertain your type. However, if you buy the book, you are given a ten digit code that allows you take a comprehensive test online, generating a detailed report with some additional information, such as which survivor characteristics will affect or complement your type.

As I listened to the interview on the radio, and then read portions of the book last night, I received a lot of insight into my type, and into the experiences I have had in the last couple of years. I have not taken the online test yet - but I know that I am a Connector from the short test and I also know that I am a Believer.

Here is an excerpt from the book about Connectors:

"When you're a Connector, you overcome incredible adversity with the power of your relationships and bonds with other people. You are deeply devoted to your family and friends. Your love...motivates you to tack enormous obstacles...

You hold your relationships sacred, and you will go to any length to protect and preserve them. You draw strength from these primary relationships and often rely on support groups or social networks to help you through difficult times...

You often feel empathy for those who are struggling...You're good at reading strangers and situations...You survive because of your powerful bonds. You would endure anything - and do everything - for the people you love..."

Sherwood pointed out that the experience of isolation can be just as detrimental to our health as heart disease or high cholesterol. For a connector, isolation would be devastating.

One of the incredible stories he told, was of a woman who fell on her knitting needle and pierced her heart. Though her friends wanted to pull it out, she said no. And she waited for the paramedics rather than being driven to the hospital. Those two instincts, saved her life. As a result of the surgery to remove the broken needle, her breast cancer was discovered. She considered herself the luckiest woman because the cancer might not have been discovered until much later. In addition, she noted that every time she had to go to the hospital for a test or to the doctor's for an appointment, someone always accompanied her...

I will share more on this topic tomorrow...


Anonymous said…
I'm a Thinker ... what an interesting set of questions ;) Sheila
Olga Rasmussen said…
The book is good - but listen to an audio file of the show available at:

Olga Rasmussen said…
The book is good - but listen to an audio file of the show available at:


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