I'm struggling with someone who is High Conscientiousness and High Neuroticism. At least she fits the bill for those traits...
• knows her schedule, plans her life months in advance
• extremely time-sensitive to the point of verbal hostility (if you're five minutes early, you're on time, if you're five minutes late, you're getting an ALL CAPS text of don't bother coming)
• great care into appearances
• super prepared, backups for everything
• very emotional
• very moody; your best friend one day, your worst enemy the next
So you would think that sending bulleted lists, outlining things with all the potential worries would keep things from setting her off, but instead, if I send her too long an email, she says "I'm ADHD I can't read all that".
If I do a pros and cons list, she will snap back with something like "You don't have to tell me this, I know what the benefits and drawbacks are".
If I try to match her level of worry, it only seems to work her up more and add fuel to the fire, not ease her mind that someone else is doing the worrying for her. But if I remain calm and optimistic (my natural tendency), she tells me I'm being too passive and not taking action.
How do you contend with someone who fits the bill for a particular trait, but the hacks don't seem to fit or only backfire? Or they like the hacks if THEY do them, but not if you do them for them. Like list making. If she writes the schedule for the day, it's fine, but if someone else comes up with it, she sees all the flaws and changes it, or says she doesn't need a list. ?!
She likes to give advice, which I'll implement, then later she will ask me why I did that, and it's like I'm in a twilight zone. I guess part of it is a control issue maybe. I don't know. She is one of the most challenging personalities I've ever encountered in my life, and cracking her code has become somewhat of a personal mission for me.
(To clarify, this person founded a business I now have owned for about a year and a half , and she has served in a consultative role, and occasionally still does contracted work for the business, so we work together a lot. In some things she will wash her hands of a problem and go "not my business anymore, you figure it out", and other times she will pounce and tell me all the ways I'm doing it wrong....ie, it's a complex and complicated relationship, part mentor/advisor, part subcontractor/subordinate, part advocate because she wants to continue to see what she built succeed, part detractor because I think she sometimes might feel like the changes I implement that work, she's sad she didn't do them maybe...I don't know, it's hard to say because she's very much "all over the place").
I'm very interested in maintaining a positive and productive relationship with her, but we are absolute opposites on every area of the matrix, so I definitely struggle. And as a low-Open, she is very (self-admittedly) not keen on compromise or putting herself in others shoes, so I often am the one doing the compromising and optimizing. It's quite exhausting but the risk of alienating her is too damaging, given her connections in the industry, and the benefits of having her on the team are too great, given her depth of knowledge and influence.
In other words, "run for the hills" advice which friends often try to give me, is not an option for this relationship.
Thanks for any help!