Saturday, April 08, 2006

There's a name for people like me?

My husband has always teased me about my need to help everyone, everywhere. We'll be at a party with other couples and someone will mention how exhausted they are from getting up at night with their 9-month-old baby and I'll jump in with a monologue on sleep training. After a couple minutes I will notice his amused smile and realize I'm doing it again! Even though I know most people aren't looking for a solution to their problem - they are just venting - if I've got one, I feel compelled to share it.

I've also been known to drive my friends nuts with questions. I remember being in England with a dear friend who I love to learn from. After spending several days together touring the country, my litany of questions almost sent her into a nervous breakdown. I didn't realize I was driving her nuts - I just wanted to know everything about everything. She remains a patient and faithful friend of mine, who I continue to learn from.

It wasn't until I read Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point" that I realized I was a Maven. He described one Maven he knew as "pathologically helpful." He said that we Mavens have an emotional need to solve other people's problems and that "To be a Maven is to be a teacher. But it is also, even more emphatically, to be a student. Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know." How happy I was to discover I'm not the only one. This blog is my attempt to share and trade information without being quite so annoying. I'm sure you'll let me know if I've succeeded.

And by the way, I highly recommend The Tipping Point:How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. By Malcolm Gladwell.

1 comment:

Callie said...

I ,for one, am glad that you are pathologically helpful! I know that you have helped me on several occasions and I look forward to a long friendship of help. This blog sounds great to me. Thanks Jen