Personality quirks make us interesting. Ingrained habits, borne of inner drives, are part of who we are. Maybe you’re into a private bank account, balances and pass-codes strictly confidential. Is checking his calendar your thing? How about keeping a bug-out bag just in case? (My father-in-law gave me the marital advice to always keep enough hidden cash to leave. Raised in a horridly abusive home, he gave his wife, my MIL, the same advice which she followed despite their 50 year marriage.) But a smiling face can often change, and quickly, too.
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Whatever your thing, nobody wants to be a Xerox copy, not even that hungry-eyed pre-teen who says they’d kill to be just like the most popular guy or gal in school. They wouldn’t. Not really. But they’d likely appreciate being accepted for who they are.
Acceptance is what we crave–from ourselves, too.
We humans, writers especially, need to accept that we’re not as unique as we believe. Our thumbprints may be one-of-a-kind, but a preponderance of traits runs on similar paths in this human race.
That’s a good thing despite the sour pill of considering you’re just like everyone else. You’re not. There are no carbon copies, not even when it comes to identical twins. Experience is a heady additive that morphs us all.
But accepting the reality of common characteristics can mean an end to headaches–even the migraines we feel are personally crafted to our special needs. (Anyone who’s reached the age of reasons grasps the reality of those days where it seems a cloud has your name on it and your name only.) Humans don’t have to reinvent the wheel, though. Embracing the trope, in this case, getting tuned into your personality type can be a good thing.
Discovering what you like and some background as to why can help you find your tribe. And the solutions to personality quirks that may not please you as much as they endear others to you!
A little trip to Electic Energies has revealed that I’m a Loyalist (The Buddy since I’m a 6w7wing). My variant type—Social, Self-Preservation, Sexual?—I’ll leave to your imagination. You’ll probably guess right. As a Loyalist who struggles with suspicion and trust—Why do I write Romantic Suspense? Prefer deep-rooted conflict? Create catastrophic crime scenarios?—I’m passionate about whatever I do.
True enough. But while underlying fear–another lovely aspect of my personalty–of what could happen may make one great at planning for the Apocalypse, it’s hell to live with.
“Sixes with a Seven-wing,” or so says Personality café, “are usually extremely playful and funny since a sense of humor is one of their most salient means of coping with life and its tensions.” Great. So, my funny side is just a coping mechanism? A natural counter to deal with what isn’t funny at all?
I can work with that. I guess. Eliminating tension and cracking jokes just because would be great, though. I’m not sure I like being pegged, in fact, I don’t. That’s likely on my spectrum somewhere, but I’m not checking. That dash of unknown lends interest, right?
But hey, this dive into self-discovery or no-thanks isn’t wasted. Take what you want and leave the rest is a great life motto. And I can absolutely craft a character around enneagram personality types. They’re ready-made to manifest that badmouthed child advocate or overprotective Navy Seal who will battle their way through the Nine Circles of Hell before I let them have their happily ever after.
You can, too.
Take it from a 6w7winger, tasked now with eliminating stress. It’s better to force your fictional characters through a sieve of death fears and phobias run amok. That’s how writing works. And that’s no joke.