As a protector you are dependable, altruistic, compassionate, and honorable. You are driven by a strong desire to minimize the suffering of those around you and you work selflessly to solve problems that arise. You have a strong sense of responsibility and take care to do your work thoroughly and safely—small details do not escape you. You take pride in being dependable for those around you, and this shows in your work ethic.
You are extremely careful not to make mistakes in your work, and possess a fine attention to detail and knack for precision that serves you well in roles that oversee the logistics of a project. You bring a strong sense of stability to your team, and your dedication to avoiding uncertainty for those who work alongside you shows in your ability to follow the rules and regulations and to ensure that others are doing the same. Because you are unwavering in your convictions, others may rely on the stability that you bring to your team—especially in moments of high stress.
As a protector, you look out for the underdog and are always willing to help the downtrodden. Your friends and peers know that you will always have their back, and they certainly benefit from having such a stable presence in their lives. You are very efficient when working alone, but as a very social person you enjoy working with others as well. You influence those around you by providing an excellent example of dedication, humility, and good morals.
You are steadfast in your convictions and you live by a strong code of ethics that shows itself in everything you do. You know that rules and regulations are in place for a reason, and because you feel responsible for minimizing risk to those around you, you follow these rules faithfully—you would never want to make a bad call and make things difficult for those around you.
You fear letting others down, harm coming to your loved ones, and being seen as dishonorable. Fear is a healthy emotion that alerts us when it is time to get prepared. Fear alerts us to the fact that something needs assessing. When you live in the space of fear it can become paralyzing and confusing. The feelings of anxiety and overwhelm can present themselves as guarded and tense. The opportunity is to embrace the fear as your friend. Shift the shallow breath to a deep breath and ask yourself, “Is this fear justified?” If so, “What do you need to prepare for?” It is also an opportunity to shift your story. Are you telling the story of stable vs stubborn, protecting vs coddling, or valuing tradition vs impeding progress?
So, before you read the shadow side, I invite you to see this as an opportunity for growth. Feedback is often not your friend as your inner critic can twist it into something that is wrong or flawed, and you worry that you have caused harm. That is not the case. Your intentions are pure, yet they can create discord in your collaboration.
Your firm dedication to doing things the way they are supposed to be done is admirable, but when the protector is not serving you to be your best, you may find yourself resisting change that could be beneficial. Workplaces are ever-evolving, and there might be new ways to do things that are more efficient without creating more risk. Of course it is always good to consider the impact of new processes and possible negative consequences, but resistance to innovation could leave those around you frustrated.
You feel deeply responsible for solving problems that face your team– this comes from a compassionate and loyal place, but if the protector is not serving you, you might become frustrated when you find that a problem is not easily solved. You want to make things better for those around you quickly, but the truth of the matter is that some problems cannot be solved immediately, and it is okay to set it aside and move on to another task or ask for help in solving the problem.
Some problems may not be yours to solve. Trying to solve problems for others can deprive them from learning opportunities. If you are not the person closest to the problem with the most direct contact to the players, you also risk making a subpar decision since you might not have all the insights and information at your disposal.
Because you feel such a strong sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of those around you, it can be hard to take time for yourself. When the protector is in overdrive, you might find that you sacrifice your own needs to fill everyone else’s. While this is admirable and very kind, it is not always sustainable. It is important to take care of yourself so that you don’t deplete your own battery in your attempt to charge everyone else’s.
Life is not always easy for the protector. It can sometimes feel like the weight of everyone’s wellbeing rests on your shoulders, and constantly taking care of others can leave little time to care for yourself. This can be exhausting. There may be people who are more than happy to unload their responsibilities onto you, and it can be difficult to see the difference between someone who needs help and someone who is taking advantage.
Protectors make good occupational therapists, teachers, trainers, and rehabillitation caregivers.