Saturday, November 5, 2011

Intrinsically Unique

Have you ever thought about how intrinsically unique we are made? But what happens when you don’t fit the box? What if, from the outside your complex character looks simple?

Over the past year or so I’ve been called an ‘A’ type personality, a melancholy and several other boxed up personality traits that I don’t consider fit me well.
The most recent went something like this, ‘Because you enjoy writing, and you enjoy being home with your children (home schooling), you are an introverted type person.’

You see, I grew up in a house of introverts who were mostly melancholic. Being the youngest, I guess it was inevitable to outwardly pick up many of those traits.
When I look at the meaning of introvert and extrovert, I don’t fit either. I’m happy to be off in my mind creating stories, yet I get charged with energy while with people.
My sister and I discovered a term years ago that I think is a better fit – an Introverted Extrovert. Impossible? No. Unique? Yes.

Seeing myself through the eyes of others and knowing who I was created to be, has given me greater perspective as I embark on writing about two girls who seem outwardly quite simple yet inwardly they are uniquely complex. My hope is to let their uniqueness shine but in a simple way as to not confuse the reader.

Do you fit a personality box?

If you write, have you created a character that is uniquely complex yet simple to read about? Or do you try and keep your characters in standard boxed up personalities?


  1. I was told I failed a personality test - twice! Good ol' Sanguine/Melancholy - which apparently you can't be. (I am.) I suspect I have a son who'll show the same, if he ever takes the 'test'.

    I'm always the last to leave any function, but you have to dig me out of home to get me there in the first place! I like people - but love quiet ... my own space.

    I suspect the online community was established by a Sanguine/Melancholy. ;)

  2. I always come up with some type 'A' traits but not all of them. I agree we're all unique though I swear my one son is way too much like me.

  3. I used to come up as a melancholy in those personality test things. (At the time I had undiagnosed depression). Yet I am an extrovert! These days I come up with a lot more sanguine in the mix, which is a weird combo. Hubby is also a weird combo - I'm sure he's phlegmatic / choleric. He's laid back, relaxed, friends with everybody but when he gets a bee in his bonnet he becomes Mr Choleric LOL.

    So I guess none of us really fit in those prescribed "boxes" ...

  4. Mmm, personality tests drive me nuts a lot of the time -- nobody fits in a box like that! They can be useful for thinking about who you are and how you operate -- and helping us understand how our loved ones think differently to us -- but you can't be defined as neatly as that!

  5. Yep...that's you. No boxes required! You are just perfectly YOU.
    I still can't decide if I'm an introverted extrovert, or an extroverted introvert?
    What I have learnt though is every time I think I've found the perfect box to fit in...the box changes...

    Great post! xx

  6. I never use boxed up personalities. I find them boring. Everyone has some good and bad qualities, even villains. I think in order for a character to be real, you have to show different sides to their personalities.

  7. I hope I don't fit into a personality box! I think people are complex, and I want my characters to be as well. I just finished reading a book with wonderfully three-dimensional characters, and I found it inspiring.

    Have a great week! :)

  8. Yes, I think I am an introverted extrovert too, in that I need long hours alone to be really happy, but also get energy from being with others, in small doses.

  9. Labels are something people use to pigeon-hole others. They want to categorize you and see where you fit in the world compared to them. This helps them determine their worth next to yours. At least, that's what I've learned.
    I don't pay too much attention to labels. I know who I am. I know who I'm not. That's enough for me.

  10. I think I'm mostly an introvert, but I have times where I can be perfectly extroverted. So maybe I'm one of those Introverted Extrovert. No wait--I'm probably more of an Often-Extroverted Introvert. LOL Not sure what I've done with my writing, out of the box or in. Haven't thought of it! Thanks for the food for thought. :)

  11. I really try NOT to put my characters in a personality box. I really-- and hope I've succeeded in-- making them uniquely complex yet simple to read about. At least in my head, they are. :)

  12. Thought provoking post. I don't think anyone fits in a box, but we do love to try to pigeon hole people.

    And I love reading complex characters. Not easy to write, though, because consistency is also important.

  13. I'm kind of a mish-mash of personality traits. I definitely end up on the introverted end of the scale most of the time though :)

  14. Interesting questions. I'm not sure what category I'd fit into. I do love being alone, but I also enjoy being with people...

  15. You sound like my husband, who seems to be both and introvert and an extrovert. I am extremely introverted, yet have learned over time to operate as an extrovert. Still, I NEED my alone time in order to recharge.

    My characters tend to be most like me, probably because it's easiest to write about people who are like me.

  16. I'm not sure anyone fits neatly into a box. Sure, each of us might almost fit, but each person is unique based on many different influences. Since this is how I see people, I view my characters in the same way.


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