I once read an analogy about people fitting into one of two categories – pint or gallon. It has to do with their depth. Not depth of character, but depth of thought.
No judgement, simply an observation.
Pint people remain closer to the surface. You might consider them more happy-go-lucky because they seem to just go about their day, not really worrying there might be trouble around every corner. They’ll take things at face value without wondering if there’s a hidden meaning. Or a hidden agenda.
Gallon people go much deeper. Have more awareness. More interest in getting to the heart of a situation. They want to know what makes people tick. They ask more questions. They want to know the back story.
I know people in both camps. It may not be obvious at first, but once you become aware, it will make ALL your relationships more meaningful. Take the time to listen – the more you do, the easier it will be to meet people where they are. Being a good listener is its own gift. Using what you observe will deepen your connection with the people in your life.
If you’re a gallon person, you love the depth. Before understanding the difference, you may treat everyone as if they have the same capacity, the same level of interest in stuff as you do. But if you’re talking to pint people, your conversation may overwhelm them. Picture a gallon of water. Now picture a pint container. If you try to pour that gallon of water into that pint container, it will overflow. Someone may drown. At the very least, it could get messy.
The same is true from the other side. If you have a pint of water and pour it into a gallon sized container, the gallon still seems almost empty. The pint person may feel inadequate. The gallon person may feel underwhelmed. Both end up frustrated: the pint is giving all she’s got and yet the gallon person still wants (needs) more.
In each scenario, feelings may get hurt. Both sides end up feeling unappreciated. Misunderstood. Unfulfilled.
This has nothing to do with intelligence.
It is such a simple, yet life-changing concept. If you find yourself constantly expecting too much of people – and ending up disappointed or constantly feeling like you’re the disappointment, take a step back and examine your capacity. You could be that pint person in a sphere of gallon people and therefore you feel like you’re always coming up short.
Or you could be that gallon person trying to build relationships with pint people and never really feeling satisfied.
When you know which you are, it’s easier to make accommodations. If you’re giving every last ounce of your pint, you run the risk of drying up, and without proper replenishment, you’ll be no good to anyone, especially yourself. Know when to say when and save a little in reserve. If you’re drowning those around you with your gallon, ease up, pour a little at a time. Test the waters, so to speak, and perhaps find another outlet where the rest of you can be safely received. Where you can feel fulfilled.
P.S. Bishop T.D. Jakes has a powerful way of explaining this using the concept of LOVE. Take three minutes now to watch. Did you have your own AHA? Are you a pint or a gallon? I’d love to know below!