Getting feedback from other people is not always an easy experience for the ego. But a serious attempt to figure out what I’ve got must include at least some external perspective, right? So here’s a few things that turned up from talking to others about what my more fundamental traits might include.
The interesting one, in the light of how highly I score on “openness to experience” on the Big Five is that in some ways I can be unadventurous. This ties into my tendency to want to visualise success, and struggle when I can’t picture how something will work out well. What happens is, someone will suggest an activity and I will say (and feel) something like, “I can’t picture myself enjoying that.” – you could say that I pre-judge whether or not it will be a good fit for me. Sometimes a person will then explain base don what they know about me, why they think I might like it and I can be convinced. Sometimes they’ll offer a way that I can leave early or otherwise escape to something I do enjoy (although if it’s something I don’t have to go to do, then I feel like staying at home and doing it). The bottom line is that I don’t like to feel pushed into doing something, but give me enough time and I might come around to it or at least get curious enough to think about trying it (that’s how I got interested in trying speed dating as an activity). The more I have access to the If-Then option (or I can Visualise Success), then the more chance there is that I will be adventurous.
Although I was confused by the “conscientiousness” category of the Big Five, another thing that came out probably ties into the concept in some ways, or at least, into the ways that I associate positively with it. An ex-partner wrote about me, “I remember the depth of your dedication to Mastery, how much you thought about it and how you could make me feel.” From a rather different perspective, I was also described as being sometimes “pernickety”, having “exacting standards” or being “disturbed by things that seem wrong” – which meant things that didn’t seem to fit (a case in point is my red-pen syndrome twitch, apparently shared by many people online: the urge to correct poor grammar or spelling). If that sounds a bit non-neurotypical (OCD, Asperger’s Syndrome, or some other variation), then maybe it is – I have no way of knowing since no one has assessed me to diagnose such conditions (and anyway, having a label for a condition doesn’t seem very helpful to me any more, now that I have all these cobbled together work-arounds, patches and fixes for my mind already). I think that those exacting standards and need to make things fit, also manifested as the dedication and thought that I put into my relationship with the person who wrote that testimonial, so I view them as positive things. I mean, sometimes they drive me up the wall (and maybe other people as well), but still, it’s just another thing that makes me awesome for the right person.
- Again, visualising success is important to me (see “stress/pressure” in Part 1)
- It’s easier to let me talk myself into something, once you’ve given me all the info, than to keep trying to persuade me
- Pernickety-ness, exacting standards, bothered by things that seem “wrong” or not fitting, attention to detail, dedication and thoughtfulness are 6 different sides to the same die (cos a coin has only two sides, that analogy wouldn’t work. Therefore, my pernickety-ness demanded that I come up with six descriptions to fit a new analogy…)