When I was a pre-teen I used to love the spider diagram quizzes you would find in the magazines. The ones where you would follow the line answering a series of yes and no questions till you got to the end and found out what kind of friend you were or what animal you most resembled. If I had taken one of these quizzes a year ago the type of friend I would have been was The Chaser.
What is the Chaser? Well my definition of the Chaser, simply put, is the friend who does the chasing. The one who seems to get in touch first, the one that arranges the meet ups, the friend who remembers your birthday despite their own going unnoticed. That was (and still can be) me. Being an ESFJ personality (taken from 16 Personalities) it is part of who I am, I love to organise and be around people. I’m an extrovert, craving company. So obviously I would naturally fit into the Chaser role.
There were times however when being the Chaser could be a burden. When you would instantly text someone back, not because you are insecure but because you don’t want them to have to wait on you but then they leave you waiting on them… sometimes even days! When time would go by and you would feel guilty for not seeing a certain friend all because you haven’t arranged a meet up, even though they too were perfectly capable of arranging to meet up. But the biggest negative of being the Chaser is that people quickly depend on you to be the Chaser.
This was something I struggled with after the twins were born. I could no longer manage the up keep of my Chaser role while also juggling two newborn babies and a toddler. My family needed me more than my friends. This meant messages weren’t replied to as quickly or weren’t as lengthy as they once had been, I could no longer arrange to meet up for a quick coffee as nothing happens quickly with three young children, people had to come to my house to visit instead of me going to theirs as I needed all my baby paraphernalia around me.
The guilt I felt was real and strong. The feeling of letting others down is not a nice one. Friends came and went as they struggled with the new dynamics. This too hurt me as it was not what I wanted. It took me to move house and start afresh, something we did at the beginning of August, to realise that it’s ok. It’s ok to relax my Chaser roles, it’s ok that people didn’t (or don’t) understand how demanding it is to have twins, it’s ok to not be in touch with people all the time, those who matter understand and most importantly it’s ok to put me and my family first.
As I begin my new role as a stay -at- home mum in my new surroundings I have decided to tone down my Chaser tendancies. Yes there are aspects I can’t help, it’s who I am! But ultimately my children and marriage are what’s most important to me and I need to spend more time “chasing” them.If you haven’t already try doing the Personality Test. It’s fun and hopefully will help you understand yourself a bit better. Then you can get your partner, relatives and friends to do it too and compare notes!