11 Things I Wish More People Knew About Me

If you didn’t already know, I’m a huge Amber Naslund fan. Her latest post, over at the Brass Tack Thinking blog, focuses on the things she wishes more people knew about her, and it got me thinking.

As Amber notes, and as I’ve found, social media enables immensely valuable connections and relationships, but it’s all too easy to mistake loose, weak connections for strong ones when you really don’t know the person that well. A few posts don’t make a close friend; they make a passing acquaintance. Those acquaintances can and do grow into real relationships and real friendships over time, but in many cases they remain loose connections.

I loved Amber’s post, and it made me think about the things I wish more people knew about me. So, here goes – here are 11 things you may not know about me.

I’m an extrovert… but only just. Our team recently did a Myers Briggs workshop, and I’m an ESTJ. However, while the last three aspects of the assessment are strong, I scored just “one” on the extrovert scale.

In real life, I’m comfortable in and enjoy meeting new people and interacting with others, which is the side of me that people generally see. However, when the day is done I’m very protective of my “Dave time” – I’ll often turn down social engagements to get time alone with my thoughts, play a video game or just to switch off and enjoy the opportunity to relax alone.

I give 110%, or nothing. I’m an all or nothing guy. I’ve burned out on all sorts of sports and hobbies because I throw everything at them, then get tired of them. I’m the same at work — I throw everything into it, and adopt it into my own sense of who I am.

Measurement turns my crank. I have a business degree, but I was very, very close to doing math at university. Numbers have always come easily to me; I took my GCSE in math a  year early, and got an A* grade (above an A). I took A-levels in Math and Further Math. Measurement and analytics let me return to my comfort zone.

Moving to Canada was like a rebirth for me. Moving to Canada let me completely redefine who I was. When you grow up in a small town with the same bunch of kids following each other all of the way through the education system, you can find yourself boxed-in in terms of peoples’ expectations. By the time I was done with university, I was tired of being what people wanted me to be.

Moving to Canada nearly 10 years ago let me hit the reset button. No-one knew me; no-one knew what I was “meant” to be and that meant I could really be who I wanted to be. I found that incredibly liberating, and it let me become the person I wanted to be.

Running is my therapy. Because I throw >110% into my work, and because I need my personal space, running is very therapeutic — I retreat into my own world, where I can think the day’s events through and clear my head by the end of it. I haven’t found the time to run for the last few years; getting back into it remains a huge priority for me moving forward.

It’s easy to mistake satisfaction for ego. On a daily basis, I marvel that anyone cares what I think, or wants to read what I write. To this day, I find that astonishing and exciting.

Some people mistake that astonishment for bragging; it’s not — I’m genuinely excited when people care what I think as, at my core, I have a lot of insecurity around my abilities.

I adore dogs. Not those annoying drop-kick dogs; I’m talking about big dogs — golden retrievers, german shepherds and the like. For years, my parent’s dog (Guinness) was like a close friend to me. I’ve been pining for a dog ever since I moved to Canada, and I long for the day that my lifestyle will allow it. Right now, though, that all-or-nothing approach to work and life means it’s just not feasible.

Laughter and music are my drugs. I prefer comedies to other movies; I love going to stand-up comedy nights, and unfortunately for my colleagues I exercise my own sense of humour (I’m fluent in sarcasm, have a bit of a potty mouth and continuously self-censor — or try to (sorry, gang)) constantly.

I come from a musical family (my mum is a piano teacher); I played the violin and piano, and sang, as a kid. Nowadays I just listen to a lot of (rock) music. I go to a bunch of shows, and I get cranky if I haven’t managed to zone out and listen to music for a while.

I love the outdoors. I’m pining now because it hasn’t happened yet, but normally we try to go camping half a dozen times or more each summer. I love the outdoors; I love the peace that being out of the city provides and I love unplugging and just relaxing. Oh, and I love monstrous breakfast fry-ups cooked over a fire.

I’m a small-town guy at heart and will eventually become one again. I spent my first 18 years in a village with 30 or so houses and zero shops in Cornwall, England. I spent the next four in a small city (Bath). My last 9 have been in a big city, but I don’t expect that that will be the case for the next 30. I need my space  too badly to be able to stay in the city scene for good.

I’m a big mushball. My sense of humour sometimes makes it seem like I have a hard edge, but when I come home after even the longest days in the office, there’s nothing I want to do more than just cuddle up with Caralin and spend time with her. As far as I’m concerned, the fact that in just over two weeks she will become my wife makes me the luckiest guy in the world.

What about you?

Dave Fleet
Managing Director and Head of Global Digital Crisis at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.