What Makes Us Who We Are?

I've been thinking a lot lately about just what it is that makes us uniquely who we are. I'm not talking about genetics here but rather those non concrete personality traits, that in precise combinations, create our demeanor. I have four living examples of just how different people can be, even coming from the same genetic pool. The physical differences are obvious and seemingly endless. Curly hair vs. straight, blue round eyes vs brown almond eyes, freckled or not, tall or short and on and on. But what I want to delve into are those non physical differences that make us behave the way we do and alter peoples' perceptions of us. What makes one person popular and another an outcast? One person respected and another despised? Of course we form an impression upon first glance of a new aquaintance. She's pretty, he's cool, i'd like to get to know her better, who the heck does he think he is, she's weird, he's cocky, and so on. But what exactly is it that makes us this way? I think it's a combination of looks, personality traits and body chemistry. So let's take a look at some personality traits.What words would you use to describe your best friend or your mom or that new neighbor? There's compassionate / ruthless, empathetic / insensitive, self indulgent / disciplined, confident / insecure, witty / dull, intelligent / stupid, arrogant / humble, thoughtful / indifferrent, charming / repulsive, adventurous / cautious, adorable / detestable, patient / impatient, hard-working / lazy, creative / destructive, defensive / approachable, snobbish / unpretentious, friendly / reserved, serious / silly, kind / cruel, savvy / clueless, responsible / irresponsible, demanding / giving, honest / dishonest, cheerful / morose, intersting / boring, shy / outgoing, narcissistic / self loathing, generous / selfish, timid / brave, and then there are some additional traits, that don't necessarily have a counter part, like being artistic or athletic. I am sure that there are many that I have missed, but you get the point. I believe that we are born with some of our traits. We are just wired to be outgoing or shy, timid or brave, witty or dull. Other traits might be influenced by the environments in which we grow up, for example being hard-working vs. lazy. Still others I think we choose to develop such as compassion and creativeness or being athletic. But then again, there are those who have an inborn aptitude and those, who no matter how long they practice throwing darts, will never hit the bullseye. So if you take any given aquaintance, and chose to describe them, how many traits usually come to mind? (I think we usually stick to the positive traits when describing friends...) but let's just say your writing about them in your diary. I better pick someone who doesn't read this column.... Okay, take my neighbor for instance. I would describe him as generous, clueless, friendly, repulsive and cheerful, not necessarily in that order. Anybody who knows my neighbors would be able to tell just who I was describing by this description. I used five words to describe him, yet it could set him apart from hundreds of other individuals that I know. It's which five words I used that sets him apart. Would he recognize himself by this description? I don't know. Which five words would he use to describe me, I wonder? Better not go there! So humor me here, and pick anyone you know, and QUICKLY choose five words to describe them. Show the description to someone who knows that person, and ask them if they know who the description pertains to. I'm thinking of someone who is confident, witty, athletic,competitive and charming. Do any of you that know me, know who it is? What about the person I know who is compassionate, empathetic, competitive, creative and hard-working? Any guesses? I might need to bump it up to seven descriptors. I'll do the same two people again, but using seven words to describe them. Person number one is: confident, witty, athletic, competitive, charming, friendly and argumentative. Person number two is: compassionate, empathetic, competitive, creative, hard-working, adorable and generous. I don't know if the last two words made a difference or not. It's kind of like a game of Yahtzee. You roll the dice (there are 5 of them by the way) and you get anything from a Yahtzee to a Chance. Maybe I should design a board game with all of the personality traits on little cards like Trivial Pursuit, where you have to guess the celebrity. You could make your own to guess the family member or friend. That could be fun.You would get a point for each correct guess. I could call it "Guess Who" but that's already been taken. Darn! How about "Pieces of Mind"?

Daily Affirmations for the Unstable

I no longer need to punish, deceive or compromise myself. Unless, of
course, I want to stay employed.

A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem.

As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I can get in touch with my Inner

I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of
suspicion and paranoia.

Today, I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no
sweeter words than "I told you so."

I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain.

As I learn the innermost secrets of the people around me, they reward me in
many ways to keep me quiet.

I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are
someone else's fault.

I honor my personality flaws, for without them I would have no personality
at all.

Joan of Arc heard voices too.

When someone hurts me, forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit, but not nearly
as gratifying.

The first step is to say nice things about myself. The second, to do nice
things for myself. The third, to find someone to buy me nice things.

As I learn to trust the universe, I no longer need to carry a gun.

Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day watching TV.
Instead I will move my TV into the bedroom.

Who can I blame for my own problems? Give me just a minute... I'll find

Why should I waste my time reliving the past when I can spend it worrying
about the future?

I will find humor in my everyday life by looking for people I can laugh at.

I am willing to make the mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from


What's the difference between a neurotic and a psychotic? (Note: This has become a history of psychology item. DSM 3.0.2 [beta] has abolished these terms.)

A psychotic says, "Two plus two is five."

A neurotic says, "Two plus two is four, and I can't stand it."

The psychology instructor had just finished a lecture on mental
health and was giving an oral test.

Speaking about a specific condition, she asked, "How would you
diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top
of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair weeping
uncontrollably the next?"

A young man in the rear raised his hand and answered, "A
basketball coach?"

Draw A Pig Test
Author: Unknown
Submitted by Diana on 08-01-1998
Suitability: PG
Genre: Test, Rating: 0


On a blank piece of paper draw a pig. The scroll downs and read
the interpretation of your pig!

Draw your pig first! And don't look at the next part until you
are done!


The pig serves as a useful test of the personality traits of the

If the pig is drawn: Toward the top of the paper, you are
positive and optimistic. Toward the middle, you are a realist.
Toward the bottom, you are pessimistic, and have a tendency to
behave negatively.

Facing left, you believe in tradition, are friendly, and remember
dates (birthdays, etc.).

Facing right, you are innovative an active, but don't have a
strong sense of family, nor do you remember dates.

Facing front (looking at you), you are direct, enjoy playing
devil's advocate and neither fears nor avoid discussions.

With many details, you are analytical, cautious, and distrustful.

With few details, you are emotional and naive, you care little
for details and are a risk-taker.


With 4 legs showing, you are secure, stubborn, and stick to your

The size of the ears indicates how good a listener you are. The
bigger the better.

The length of the tail indicates the quality of your sex life!

April 4, 2005
Next Post date May 2, 2005
Muslim Toilet (Remind me never to visit!)


1. Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.
2. When you are done, click on "Check Your Answers" (below).

You are in a desert. You have with you the following five animals:
- A lion
- A cow
- A horse
- A sheep
- A monkey

To escape the desert you are going to have to get rid of one of your animals. Which one do you drop? (You can use whatever logic you like BUT keep track of which animal is discarded when!)

You have 4 animals left. The desert is burning up! It goes on for miles. Sand is everywhere. You realize, to get out, you are going to have drop another animal. Which do you drop?

You have 3 animals left. Walk, walk, walk. Hot, hot, hot. Disaster! The Oasis that you were looking for is dried up! You have no choice but to drop another animal.

You have 2 animals left. Ok, it's a long hot walk. You can see the edge of the desert way on the horizon. Unfortunately, you can only leave the desert with ONE animal. Which one do you drop and which one do you keep?

Before checking your answers, make sure you know which animal you dropped in what order

Click for Answers

Hello, Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.
If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.
If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6.
If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace the call.
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transferred to the mother ship.
If you have a nervous disorder, please fidget with the # key until a representative comes on the line.
If you are dyslexic, press 696969696969.
If you have amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, phone, date of birth, social security number and your mother's maiden name.
If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, slowly and carefully press 000.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you are menopausal, hang up, turn on the fan, lie down & cry. You won't be crazy forever.
If you have a masochistic complex, please press "0" for the operator. There are 200 calls ahead of you.
If you are depressed, it doesn't matter which number you press. No one will answer.


Oreo Personality Test
Author: Unknown
Submitted by Unknown on 02-25-1999
Suitability: PG
Genre: Test, Rating: 0.00

Psychologists have discovered that the manner in which people eat Oreo
cookies provides great insight into their personalities. Choose which
method best describes your favorite method of eating Oreos:

1. The whole thing all at once.
2. One bite at a time
3. Slow and methodical nibbles examining the results of each bite
4. In little feverous nibbles.
5. Dunked in some liquid (milk, coffee...).
6. Twisted apart, the inside, then the cookie.
7. Twisted apart, the inside, and toss the cookie.
8. Just the cookie, not the inside.
9. I just like to lick them, not eat them.
10. I don't have a favorite way because I don't like Oreo.

Your Personality:

1. The whole thing
This means you consume life with abandon, you are fun to be with,
exciting, carefree with some hint of recklessness. You are totally
irresponsible. No one should trust you with their children.

2. One bite at a time.
You are lucky to be one of the 5.4 billion other people who eat
their Oreos this very same way. Just like them, you lack
imagination, but that's okay, not to worry, you're normal.

3. Slow and Methodical.
You follow the rules. You're very tidy and orderly. You're very
meticulous in every detail with every thing you do to the point of
being anal retentive and irritating to others. Stay out of the
fast lane if you're only going to go the speed limit.

4. Feverous Nibbles.
Your boss likes you because you get your work done quickly. You
always have a million things to do and never enough time to do
them. Mental breakdowns and suicides run in your family. Valium
and Ritalin would do you good.

5. Dunked.
Every one likes you because you are always up beat. You like to
sugar coat unpleasant experiences and rationalize bad situations
into good ones. You are in total denial about the shambles you
call a life. You have a propensity towards narcotic addiction.

6. Twisted apart, the inside, and then the cookie.
You have a highly curious nature. You take pleasure in breaking
things apart to find out how they work, though not always able to
put them back together, so you destroy all the evidence of your
activities. You deny your involvement when things go wrong. You
are a compulsive liar and exhibit deviant, if not criminal,

7. Twisted apart, the inside, and then toss the cookie.
You are good at business and take risk that pay off. You take what
you want and throw the rest away. You are greedy, selfish, mean,
and lack feelings for others. You should be ashamed of yourself.
But that's ok, you don't care, you got yours.

8. Just the cookie, not the inside.
You enjoy pain.

9. I just like to lick them, not eat them
Stay away from small furry animals and seek professional medical
help - immediately.

10. I don't have a favorite way, I don't like Oreo cookies.
You probably come from a rich family, and like to wear nice things,
and go to up-scale restaurants. You are particular and fussy about
the things you buy, own, and wear. Things have to be just right.
You like to be pampered. You are a prima donna. There's just no
pleasing you.

Click on the picture to view this month's mystery feature.

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