Why My Blood Pressure Goes Up When I Receive Texts

Okay…Maybe It Doesn’t Really…But It Sure Feels Like It

My sense of dread when my phone vibrates with a text makes me apprehensive. This is at a lower level when getting phone calls, but still happens. Why? What about someone contacting me makes me feel anxious?

Some examples –

            Got a text just last night from my wife – Pictures of the chicken pen missing a side and of a chicken on the loose. (Yes, this is the same chicken pen I wrote about last week) This was not good. After some follow up, I found out that the dog had tore it up. One chicken was missing, one was out. I needed to go home and fix this so that the remaining ones had a place to roost. Had to stop what I was doing and deal with it.

            Got a text from a tenant late one evening – Water heater was spraying everywhere; carpet and clothes were soaked. Needed to get the water shut off and stop the leak. It was a 30-minute drive to the property. It was too late to get it fixed then. It was late and I had just got home from a long day. Had to figure out a plan.

            Got a text from a customer wanting to make changes – This was to work that had already been done as per agreement. This is going to upset the subcontractor because they were going to have to redo their work. This was going to cost them, me or both of us, time and money.

What’s causing this apprehension? …communication is a good thing…right.

I’ve been aware of this feeling for a while and thinking about it a lot recently, trying to figure out why. I’ve come to some conclusions that connect with who I am and my personality.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about going through the Enneagram in Business Made Simple. I haven’t finished it yet, but have determined my Enneagram type and my wings (the personality type on either side of my dominant type).

This has helped better understand why my blood pressure goes up when texts come in.

In the previous post I referred to the personality type that I thought I was…it’s conclusive…in the Enneagram, I’m a Perfectionist. For those of you that know me, this is a big surprise, right. 😊 Wings of the Perfectionist are the Peacemaker and Helper.

Traits of a Perfectionist –

  • Fair
  • Reliable
  • Feels obligated to fix errors
  • High integrity
  • Feels counted on
  • Feels responsible
  • High self-expectations
  • Wants everything to be orderly
  • Has a plan and needs to stick to it

Traits of a Peacemaker –

  • Want to avoid conflict
  • Put other’s priorities above their own
  • Like routines
  • Say yes too much

Traits of a Helper –

  • Caring
  • Supportive
  • Need to be needed
  • Focused on meeting other’s needs
  • Want to do it myself

Looking through the characteristics of these three personality types I’m beginning to see why I don’t like getting texts.

It’s going to mess up my plans.

More often than not, texts and calls are cries for help. Most people sending them know that I will do everything I can to help. This is my job after all. What they don’t usually know, is that I will provide this help even if it destroys my schedule.

So, now that I’m aware of this, it’s up to me to deal with it.

This means…

Changing my perspective from a negative, being bothered, messing up my plans attitude to a this is who I am and what I do. I find solutions! These texts and calls are opportunities.

Learn to say no. This is a combination of no’s before getting overwhelmed balanced with giving myself more value compared to others wanting their way.

This newfound awareness will allow me to intentionally change my perspective to see these texts in a positive light.

And who knows…it might lower my blood pressure.

(Stay tuned for the chicken pen update)

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