Following on from my last post, it turns out I have many flaws (I knew I did, I just couldn’t quite put my finger on them – a flaw in itself perhaps?). Anyway, the reason they weren’t immediately obvious to me is because I saw them as qualities….yes, qualities no less. I realized this when my husband, most wonderful man that he is, pointed out a flaw (well, I did ask!). He is well aware that I would rather put my headphones on (even if they’re not attached to my iPod) than talk for more than two minutes to a fellow airline passenger. I am always civil, obviously, but just not that chatty. Of course, I would say that is because I love to read or get lost in my own thoughts. Is it not a quality to be content in one’s own head? Actually no, it is anti-social and if you listen you might actually learn something. People are interesting (some more than others – that is my fear – I might get the ‘others‘ rather than the ‘some‘).
This little enlightenment led me to further explore my qualities. As I suspected, they pretty much all turn out to be flaws (depending on your perspective):
- I take my time to warm to people before I make confident contributions to discussions versus I am quiet and reserved;
- I am hygienic, insist on regular hand washing and am un-nerved when people lick their fingers versus I am on the verge of OCD and should really lighten up;
- I take time to ensure I have everything I need before I leave the house versus I procrastinate too much and so end up being late…often;
- I am energetic and like to get out, run, take part in social events, see friends etc versus I have no idea how to relax and be still;
Some of you will (I hope) see one or more of the above as qualities but others will instantly see the flaw (another occasion where I will side with the ‘some’).
It seems then, that our personality traits are subject to the same ‘eye of the beholder’ judgement as our physical beauty. I wonder how many people can see the polarity in their qualities/flaws.
Really, I should be writing my assignment but I keep digging deeper into the dark side of my personality. A useful exercise I think – if I don’t fully, and I mean really fully, know my own personality then how can I assign rounded personalities to my characters?
This week is the start of my Gotham Creative Writing course. I enjoyed the lecture, took part in the seminar, submitted my bio but the assignment has ‘flawed’ me! I have to select one of my personality flaws, apply it to a character in a story and write about the events in less than 500 words. Oh, and make it entertaining. First I had to resist the temptation to inform my lecturer that this assignment is too exclusive – those of us who are flawless simply have no starting point! Later, I reached deep inside my personality, very deep, and managed to find one (yes, just one)….I’m not going to tell you what it is – if you haven’t spotted it already, I’m not going to be the one to point out my imperfection(s)! Now I just have to overcome the ‘make it entertaining’ part.
I discussed the assignment with others who didn’t say as much, but could find enough flaws in me to make a list as long as their arm, but couldn’t think of their own! So, I challenge you – can you think of your flaws? You don’t have to share them – it is, of course, important to maintain the illusion of perfection – I’m just interested to know how many people really know themselves….really, really know!
And so to work….
Update: Barry has come up with a better personality flaw for me to write about. Isn’t he just wonderful?! All credit to him, he managed to point out a flaw without offending me – now that’s love!