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12 Typical Types Of Family Members (How Many Are Familiar To You?)

12 Typical Types Of Family Members (How Many Are Familiar To You?)

Every family is unique. At the same time, the same types tend to come up again and again in each clan! When you think of your closest relatives, how many of the following character types do you recognize?

The Caretaker

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    Every family needs at least one caretaker. This is the person who puts everyone else’s needs before their own and always wants to know how you are, how work is going, and whether you need any help during rough times. The caretaker brings you soup when you are sick, and is happy to listen to the story of your latest relationship drama.

    The Controller

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      Controllers always have an opinion and they like everything their way, from the dinner menu to the family’s vacation destination. They might be annoying on occasion, but they tend to be excellent planners too! A controller is in their element when given free rein to organize large family events.

      The Peacemaker

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        All families have arguments from time to time, and this is where the peacemaker’s role comes in. They are the one who tactfully separates the two warring relatives, or makes just the right remark to lighten the mood. They dislike seeing family harmony broken, and believe it is better to be happy than to be right.

        The Mess Maker

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          Some people just can’t help being really messy. Mess makers somehow manage to get into your living room, make themselves at home, and leave it a few hours later looking like a pile of rubbish. If you live with a mess maker, you have to accept early on that your home will never be spotless again. Unfortunately, they barely seem to realize what they are doing!

          The Quiet One

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            Do you have a relative who never quite lets you know what they are thinking? Perhaps they like to keep their thoughts to themselves, or just feel shy in social settings. Occasionally, quiet relatives can let loose if you set them talking on a favorite subject or hot-button issue, but for the most part they remain reserved or even aloof.

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            The Clown

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              It’s usually obvious who plays the role of family clown. This person is always joking around, and doesn’t mind making other people laugh, even if it’s at their own expense. They always have a funny story to tell and really excel at seeing even serious situations from a new, less intense angle. Clowns are often good at entertaining younger members of the family too.

              The Sarcastic One

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                Some people never quite get over their teenage sarcasm phase, and drop snarky remarks into conversation every chance they get. This doesn’t always go down too well with the more polite or quieter members of the family. However, a wittily sarcastic relative can liven up any gathering. As long as there is a peacemaker or clown nearby, your most sarcastic relatives shouldn’t cause too much damage.

                The Connector

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                  A connector knows everything about everyone. If you need any family news, they are the person to call. A classic connector is the aunt or grandmother who can spend hours on the phone talking about family gossip. They are also good at encouraging relatives to meet up, even if it’s been some time since the last gathering.

                  The Loudspeaker

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                    A loudspeaker never shuts up – or at least, it can feel that way! They tend to be opinionated, noisy, and want to make sure that everyone knows exactly what they think. Loudspeakers can become irritating, but they are often fun, extraverted people who know how to have a good time. In between voicing their own thoughts (regularly and with much noise), they tend to have a real interest in other people.

                    The Chef

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                      Who is your family chef? This type is always trying out new recipes, and pushing food on other people. If you are lucky, they are a great cook. If you aren’t, you’re in for years of trying to avoid their more “interesting” and “experimental” food combinations.

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                      The Human Dustbin

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                        Every family seems to have at least one person who is renowned for their eating abilities. It could be your sister who can put away six servings at dinner, or your uncle who is always clearing up leftovers from everyone else’s plates. They make sure they always do their part to reduce food waste.

                        The Lazy One

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                          You know that cousin who will happily lie around all day on the sofa, occasionally getting up in search of food? It’s quite incredible just how happy certain relatives are to remain inert for hours at a time. No family would be complete without at least one member who is amazingly good at doing precisely nothing.

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                          Jay Hill

                          Freelance Writer

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                          Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                          How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                          How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                          Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                          The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                          The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                          Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                          Review Your Past Flow

                          Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                          Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                          Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                          Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                          Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                          Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                          Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                          We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                          Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                            Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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