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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who Are You?

I failed a personality test.

It was simple. If you like reading books, you're an introvert. If you like outdoor recreation or sports of any form, you're an extrovert.

Which leaves people who play basketball, hang out with friends, read books, and enjoy quiet time hanging in a strange form of limbo. I'm a what again?

Really, it probably isn't important. Ninety percent of personality tests will tell you something you already know about yourself. It's not going to be life changing. So I came up with a new plan while I was driving in the car (because where else would you think of ideas?). Instead of sorting people by what they know let's figure out where they put them in society.


Because a fully functional adult is a person who can function in society without needing to be locked up or looked after, and in books you need to have all of these roles filled to have a well-rounded plot. All around, it's just good to know where a person's niche is.

So let's start putting labels on people. Keep in mind, a person may change over the course of their life. Their role can even vary based on who is assigning the label.

FOUNDATION - This person doesn't change. They are often described as strong, steady, or reliable. Even after death people will refer to a Foundation person, quote their advice, and learn from their often quiet example. They are what communities, lives, and families are built around. They've probably lived in the same area for much of their life, if they haven't they want to. A Foundation isn't always a nice person, they have strong opinions and aren't afraid of sharing them. Like any extreme they can use their personality as a force for good, or as a greenhouse for hate.

BUILDING BLOCK - A majority of people are Building Blocks. They are multi-purpose, adaptable, and reusable. These people are the quiet majority, the little cogs in the big wheels that get things done. You'll never notice them until they go missing, and occassionally one of them will snap. They will be remembered by their nearest and dearest, but will never stand out from the crowd enough to be noticed as an individual.

CAPSTONE - These people are the missing key to every endeavor, quest, company, or relationship. In an intimate situation you might call them a soul mate. In the business world the Capstone is the person with the skills your team was missing. Once they show up everything just fits. They make everything work. A Capstone is usually a Building Block who found a way to shine. They are adaptable, outgoing, and will be fondly remembered by those they helped.

CATALYST - Also known as the Natural Disaster the Catalyst brings change. You may not remember their name, but you always remember that one thing the Catalyst did. Views of the Catalyst are always polarized, some people love them and other people hate them. Expect them to blow into town without warning and leave just as suddenly. Find the person who moves their furniture on a daily basis, they have Catalyst tendencies. They thrive on change. Even if they live in the same city their entire life they'll live in three apartments this year. You may not describe them as reliable or nice, but they will always be there, for better or worse. Try to channel the Catalyst's natural tendencies for change into something positive, they love a challenge.

Me? I'm a Catalyst and there's no two ways about it. I move frequently. My furniture moves so often we have to hunt down chairs for dinner. Moving means I bring new ideas, and I've actually had someone tell me she was so glad I was leaving because I was just too much. I didn't quite understand what she meant, but now I do.

She was a Foundation. She needed stability and order, and I roared in with changes and different ideas and a very boisterous personality.

She wasn't an introvert by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm really not an extrovert. But our social niches were polar opposites. We were able to connect and work together, but both of us had to work for the relationship.

Where are you on this spectrum? Where are your characters?