Today, as part of our team meeting, a colleague and I took the team through an exercise. It involved splitting them into smaller groups, and getting them to rate each member of the full team on a number of personality trait 'spectrums' (eg: most extraverted to most introverted).
That colleague and I get along great, but are polar opposites in most things (he drives me fucking bonkers half the time, as I do him). On any decent measure of personality (ie objectively judged), whilst we have some traits in common, we are extremely different - this is relevant, trust me.
Each team had 16 personality spectrums, and there were 13 people to rate across each spectrum.
With the exception of one group's rating of one parameter, I was at the extreme end of all the parameters. Sometimes DIFFERENT extreme ends (I was most open, and most closed, for instance) but always an extreme.
So was my colleague.
At the same end.
Every time. We jockeyed between 1 and 2 but it was always way out the sides for us, never middle ground (apart from that one time).
We just had a quick natter about it (I can do that whilst MuMMing, true story) and what we figured is, basically, apart from people being stupid, we have very 'overt' characteristics, that people translate into one extreme or another depending on a) whether they like us and b) how they perceive themselves and that trait.
We both cause extreme reactions in people - love us or hate us, you bloody well will remember us. Beyond that, every interpretation of 'who' we are...is on the perceiver.
I was most argumentative, compassionate, aloof, disagreeable, conscientious, open, closed, emotional, relaxed...etc...etc...(side note, about an hour later, as I was making a point vs my boss, he said "where the fuck is that rating chart, I need to change something" - I told him he couldn't mark me any more argumentative than he had - his response "I can make more fucking boxes, I'm the boss!" We were laughing...because that's...what...we...do - radical I know, to be able to take personal observations without rushing into a fucking hissyfit, right?).
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because y'all throw a lot of adjectives at/about me...y'all still don't get a few things...