OMNI Mind-Brain Lab


The Berkeley Personality Profile

by Keith Harary, Ph.D.

Test Your Emotional Style with
Scenario #5: The Elvis Parade

You have been hired to play Elvis Presley in the annual Rose Bowl Parade. With all the special makeup and padding the event organizers have planned for you, there is no doubt in your mind that you'll look the part. In a personal tribute to the sacred memory of Elvis, you have made a solemn pledge to yourself to put forth the kind of performance that would make The King proud. In the offing as a reward for a particularly stunning performance is a possible contract to reprise the Elvis classic "Jailhouse Rock" in a national television commercial — a major career move that can make all your years of struggling for recognition as the premier Elvis impersonator worth it.

Unfortunately, you unwisely accept an invitation to celebrate your impending success in advance with a cadre of dedicated Elvis afficionados who fly in specially for the occasion. On the night before the big parade, you agree to join your fans for a blow-out dinner of Elvis' favorite foods, including fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, burnt bacon, lemon meringue pie and corn bread in buttermilk — an explosive combination that awakens you the following morning with the worst stomach pains you have ever experienced.

Even worse, to your horror, you discover that the strange combination of foods has triggered a dramatic allergic reaction. You have blown-up to twice your normal size and your beloved Elvis costume no longer fits. The parade begins in less than an hour. The way you respond to this crisis will have a lasting impact not only on your career, but also on the impression of Elvis you present to a worldwide audience.

How would you honestly feel in this situation and how would you respond? Would you remain calm, relaxed, and even-tempered — perhaps even deciding to represent the obese, older Elvis in the latter years of his career, instead of the younger Elvis as he appeared in his many films? Or would you be overcome with anxiety and fear of facing your audience in this condition, perhaps even feeling an intense wave of anger toward the Elvis fans who inadvertently got you into this stressful predicament?

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Emotional Style

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This article copyright © 2016 by Keith Harary. Used by permission. All rights reserved.