Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

Miss Conception: What is my ‘type’?

You know, the tanned skin, blue-eyed beaux? Albeit one definition, this is not the “type” I am referring to.

A personality charting system that has been particularly attractive to me lately is the Enneagram of personality. The Enneagram is a circle marked with nine equidistant points, each point representing a personality type.

Enneagram desintegration

By Evert7h (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

People tend to gravitate towards one type, but naturally, you may identify with qualities of others as well. The one you gravitate towards is called your basic personality type, and it represents your core personality; it cannot be changed.

One must also note that the Enneagram is gender-neutral. No one personality is predominantly masculine or feminine, unlike those of the Myers Briggs test. This is a major point of appeal, as the Enneagram does not have a bias regarding the traits of males and females, nor does it follow a psychological stereotype.

Getting curious about your type? Examine the descriptions below. The following titles come from the Enneagram Institute:

1 – The Reformer: Are you purposeful, self-controlled, and a perfectionist?

2 – The Helper: Are you munificent, overprotective, and a people-pleaser?

3 – The Achiever: Are you advanced, motivated, and adaptable?

4 – The Individualist: Are you theatrical, volatile, and animated?

5 – The Investigator: Are you insightful, innovative, and reticent?

6 – The Loyalist: Are you appealing, accountable, and anxious?

7 – The Enthusiast: Are you impulsive, scattered, and open?

8 – The Challenger: Are you forceful, forward, and competitive?

9 – The Peacemaker: Are you sympathetic, contented, and acquiescent?

As for me, I fall somewhere between type 3 (The Achiever) and type 5 (The Investigator), but I lean more towards type 5 on the Enneagram spectrum.

Read more about the Enneagram here. 

Where are you on the Enneagram? Tweet Miss Musings with your type, or leave a comment below!

Aloof people + grain of salt = peace of mind

Sometimes when I befriend others their shoulders turn icy toward me a few months into our engagement. While I stay chipper and friendly, they become somewhat… well… aloof and detached.

When people who turn cold toward you for seemingly no reason, it is time to break out your microscope and find that grain of salt; people have their bad days and worse moods, and sometimes these funks can last for a long time. Or, people could simply learn that you are not their type of person. This brings me to my first point: not everyone is going to like you. And yet this is precisely why you should never change to “please other people:” some people just are not going to be pleased with your true self, let alone your adjusted self.

 

Source: http://www.wordsonimages.com/categories/Inspirational-Quotes-Images-Sayings?page=803

 

In this case, the grain of salt refers to self acceptance; you may not be the person that will cheer this human up. However, you will find that in other scenarios, as I have found, people who are kind to you at first and then change their behaviors are often intimidated. I am someone who does not hide my feelings well, so when I have good news, I share it. I never brag. I take compliments humbly. It does not matter; people still get scared, even in the middle of their congratulations. This often spurs passive-aggressive behavior that most people fall back on to establish their faux hierarchy of superiority. It is all highly predictable behavior, albeit inopportune.

Unfortunately, aloof behavior that is triggered by the fear of power, overwhelming intellect, or unattainable talent can be suppressive. You may feel that you can’t share your great news with anyone, as you could “lose friends” over being happy about personal accomplishments. In truth, those who are intimidated by your achievements for more than a minute, and burn bridges due to their fear, possibly are not spending enough time creating their own successes. So, show what you know; just do not brag. If someone can’t hang with you when you are awarded for being yourself and working hard, maybe that is his or her own concern.

Go ahead – be yourself. Accept those awards. Be humble. Don’t fret if people can’t handle it.

#nofilter: Are we selfie obsessed?

The selfie craze hit the scene as soon as Instagram® exploded with sunsets, breakfasts and faces. I explored the selfie world before it was hip with not an iPhone, but a digital camera.

Yes, I said a digital camera. Remember those?

 

Look at this dinosaur!

Look at this dinosaur! Source: http://www.wikibest.com/Digital_Camera

 

Evidently, at the ripe age of 13 I had nothing better to do than take photos of myself, so I frequently took “selfies” with my gray, clunky Canon. Since I had nowhere to post these archaic photos, I eventually deleted them. It was not satisfying to possess one hundred pictures of my face back then, yet it is so common to host many pictures of our faces now.

Why? We are selfie obsessed.

Now don’t get me wrong: taking pictures of ourselves is not a selfish activity; sometimes we look great and want to remember our sparkling skin and perfect hair days. I only consider selfie taking somewhat inappropriate when it is gratuitous. For example, taking an Oscars-inspired selfie at the end of a day out with friends is a wonderful way to commemorate your time together. When you take ten different selfies while ignoring your friends, you are not all that “like”-able. As someone who does not own a smart phone, I do not feel a burning desire to capture my new bangs at a certain angle when I am out-and-about; documenting my face distracts from the moment.

In the same way, selfie taking is a status symbol: it gives us an excuse to whip out our expensive phones and, quite literally, show the world who our true friends are. Only so many people can fit in one shot (Ellen DeGeneres knows this all too well).

 

Photo courtesy of gamedayr.com

Photo courtesy of gamedayr.com

 

On a positive note, selfies are very convenient. This is why we take so many. Not everyone wants to ask a stranger to take a picture of her and her friend. Not only is it awkward, but it puts an expensive phone in the hands of an unfamiliar person. For this reason I enjoy taking selfies every once in a while; after all, it is a casual, no-fuss way to get a picture of me and a friend.

According to Seventeen magazine, selfies are also viewed as statements of self-esteem. While it may be quite a feat to snap a picture of your no makeup, or goodness forbid, #nofilter self, I would not say the action represents the recognition of your inner strength. Within seconds of “selfie” taking, the photo is up on various social networking sites, free to be liked and commented on with hoards of clicks and keystrokes. Just snap a picture, post it, and let the warming reassurance flood into your feed.

To me, if you need someone to “like” your face before you like your face, your selfie taking is the antithesis of showcasing your self confidence. But taking a selfie to commemorate an occasion – without taking fifteen of your outfit beforehand – is perfectly “selfie healthy.”

Do you take selfies for the likes or for the memories? 

Introverted – it’s just how we are

Photo Credit: biobreak.files.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy of biobreak.files.wordpress.com

Introversion is a characteristic that 50 percent of the population possesses. Introverts are the kids in kindergarten who enjoy playing with puzzles instead of gabbing in flocks. Later in life they are promptly pegged as “the shy ones” and are often told to “Get a hobby or something! Make some friends!” If you have heard any of these concerns lately, and, naturally, seen the unawareness behind them, you are probably an introvert. Congratulations. Feel free to join the other 50% of the supposed “silenced” who, ironically, enjoy being quiet.

When I was five I was a soft-spoken kid. I quickly found my niche at my elementary school and was always deemed the responsible and sweet kid with just one major flaw: I was too quiet. My conversations were limited. My mind was constantly processing the people around me. However, I must note that I was never oppressed into introversion, even though my teachers sent me to counseling and told me to kick the “shy” habit. Introverted was just how I was, and I never grew up to be the super loquacious kid they thought was ideal for any classroom, workplace or community.

This is how I operate. But now all of those thoughts are in the blog! So it all worked out nicely.

This is how I operate. But now all of those thoughts are in the blog! So it all worked out nicely. Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-frJeL65oeMU/UiCiRNdN6YI/AAAAAAAAAnU/ZKSaHSiaE3E/s1600/178.PNG

On the contrary, we introverts can be social. This is the greatest distinction between extroversion and introversion: extroverts, unlike introverts, actually need to be social and experience a clamorous setting to feel fulfilled. Similarly, I can play the “chumming around all day” game, but I need to come home and write for a few hours until I fall asleep. Moderate solitude fills up my happy cup and keeps me balanced, but it absolutely does not handicap my social interaction ability. Introverts just need to do stuff by themselves sometimes. Truly, there is no simpler concept.

There are few qualms among adults regarding introversion v. extroversion; the real pressure is on young children and teenagers. They are the ones who are told to “speak up” and “participate” and “play with the other kids.” They are the ones who listen to the socially-constructed groupthink. This is a sad reality to introverts who make it just fine in the real world, and who may even improve it with the skills they have cultivated through much-needed downtime.

To my fellow introverts: a lot of you may assume being introverted is something you have to “accept” about yourself, so let me throw a new perspective at your quiet aura: you do not have to come to terms with introversion. It really is not anything unique. Being introverted is not what makes you special. It is the things you do, in quiet settings or vociferous ones or even both, that define you. Soaking in my downtime as a means of recharging is something introverts do innately; it is not something we seek to achieve. We recharge our batteries one way, and the other half of the population does so using other methods.

Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org

Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org

Likewise, “introvert” is not a label meant to identify you as shy or socially handicapped, and it certainly is not something to be ashamed of or to feel like you have to grow out of. By the same token, just as an introvert should not be ashamed of what fills his or her happy cup, he or she does not have to be particularly proud of it either. It is just the way we operate, nothing more.

Want more juicy facts on introversion? Check out Bill Gates’ favorite TED talk of all time (and mine as well) on The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain below. You can also pick up her book “Quiet” from Amazon for a brilliant behavioral psychology read.

 

Wait… that’s what feminism means?!

Some have coined “feminism” as the new f-bomb. Others just shiver in fear when it is uttered.

It is quite evident that there is a stigma against the word “feminism.” Whenever I mention in conversation that I am a feminist, or even when I casually drop the word in a sentence I am greeted with the hesitant smile of a person who is wondering what monstrosity turned me into such an angry, bitter soul.

To this I kindly respond that my definition of feminism consists of two identical numbers: 50, 50. Feminism means that women are equally capable as men to perform in various areas including employment, intellect, academia, etc. and they deserve the rights and responsibilities associated with participating in these fields. Once I explain this definition, thankfully, it is understood by plenty of people, yet they still have a great distaste for the word I am defining.

My problem is that if I close my mouth after saying the word’s first syllable, I erase the other “50” in my definition.

feminism

Promotional photo from the Who Needs Feminism project.

Hesitancy to accept the word “feminism” into our evolving social vocabulary disturbs me. If we continue to view “feminism” as a word to be censored, an f-bomb of sorts, we will never be able to appreciate or accept its meaning; daily, we reduce a connotation of equality, empowerment, and simple logic to one of shame – we turn a potent adjective into a socially unacceptable word.

However, people are fighting the stigma associated with such a politically-loaded word. Some people believe that feminists are fighting for women to be considered superior to men. This is simply untrue. As I mentioned before, feminism is about equality. My friend said it perfectly the other day when she addressed the “are you a feminist?” question after discussing how women should be paid equally to men: “Yes, definitely. I am for equal rights, so I am a feminist. If men were getting paid 77% of what women were, I would advocate for them instead.”

Do you consider yourself to be a feminist?