For as long as I can remember, I've been very fascinated by the concept of personalities. Typically human, but more recently, animals! I was one of those people who had always been drawn to cats, more so than dogs, even though dogs seemed to be a more popular choice (and a bit more likable). My very first cat was a cute little kitten named Alexis. I was in second or third grade and one of my classmates (who I actually still know to this day), called me up to casually say that she had some kittens and asked if I wanted one. I said sure! I then gave her my address (which I very responsibly had memorized ever since I could talk, just in case I ever got lost). I then forgot about the conversation completely and went on about my day. Sometime later, there was a knock on the door as I remembered who it was. I suddenly remembered that I hadn't asked my mom if I could have a cat, and figured she might be a bit mad. She was! But at that point what could she do? How could anyone be mad at something so cute (was my logic)?
Sure, I understand that this may be a weird post at first glance, but let's see how it goes. As I try to understand my personality and the personality of others more and more each day, I came across a few theories. One of them is the relationship between cats and dogs to the people who prefer one over the other . Most dogs are super friendly, easily excitable, very personable, and eager to please. I get the appeal! Most cats are standoffish, not easily amused, bitchy, and expect to be catered to. I get the disdain! It's a bit easier to grasp the concept of loving a dog than a cat that you actually have to work to win over. I realize that this is exactly how I am! Why hadn't I made this connection sooner? Not only am I a cat person, but I'm a cat PERSON.
The way we each respond so differently to the same stimuli can be pretty inexplicable most of the time. There are entire fields of study dedicated to it, but still, nothing is as black and white as it seems . Our individual personalities can be a combination of biological, environmental, cultural, or a number of other factors. Some are even really into astrological factors. Let me tell you when I first discovered that I was a Gemini, my mind was blown by the accuracies. Yet some people do still look at astrology as vague generalizations that give us excuses to do or not do certain things. I've also been labeled "shy" basically my entire life. This is something I'm not sure I've agreed with during the last couple of years. When children are growing and developing, adults love to slap a label on them. Yeap, that's right, the labeling starts young and goes on forever. Little do we all probably realize, labels can tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you tell somebody they are something enough, they will start to believe it and act accordingly. This can be true for almost anything. Back in Detroit, I would see parents call their kids "bad" all the time. Guess what those kids turned out to be? Bad! I suppose they figure, "Welp, this is what they call me, so this is what I am, so being bad is pretty much expected". Why try and be anything else?
Being labeled as such was also quite limiting and seemed like more of a hindrance than a help. All of the more outgoing kids were the more popular ones. They had more friends, more confidence, more recognition... If you think about it, that's still sort of the case in adulthood as well. The more outgoing people usually get better opportunities when it comes to jobs, they are more famous and glamorized and even do better as far as dating. There use to be times in my life when I did try to be more outgoing. I envied those who could walk into a room and just talk to whoever about whatever. I thought it was what everyone was supposed to strive to be. I realize now that everyone SHOULD be... exactly whoever they are.
Personality is a very complex phenomenon. Who even knows why human personality has so many variations? It is great that now through the magic of the internet, we can have more of a chance to find other people who share our similarities so we can know we aren't alone...or wrong for being the way we are (such as other Geminis, whom I think are amazing and misunderstood geniuses, and other cat lovers!). Interestingly enough though, even with all the supposed differences, at the root of it, the connections we all share aren't really as different as we think. It's really fun learning about the type of person I am each year that I get older, as opposed to just sulking in the fact that my personality isn't like some famous person. Also, fun to see how my personality changes and develops. One of my next major goals is to find a therapist to talk to. Not because I'm disturbed, troubled, stressed or depressed, but just to get another point of view. I think talking to a therapist can be good for everyone! We should never stop learning about ourselves, and subsequently learning how to improve and become a better person. It's all a process. Also try not to be so quick to slap a label on someone, as I'm sure you don't want labels slapped on yourself. The things we speak into existence can have a long-lasting impact on others and ourselves. Not everyone will always understand, but whoever you are, own it! We are each an individually unique snowflake in this winter wonderland we call earth. So what sort of things have you discovered about your own personality?
P.s. Sometimes I do actually think I may have some sort of social disorder though. I often act very obscurely in social situations (unless I'm drinking). But then again, what IS normal social conduct? Who made up these rules? Just because the majority of the population is a certain way, does that make that way normal and every other way ABnormal?
P.s. This topic reminds me of a particular episode of "Parks and Recreation" in where April tries to find everyone's spirit dog . Spoiler Alert** Turned out that one of the characters, Donna, didn't fit any of the spirit dogs people were trying to find for her... plot twist, she actually had a spirit CAT.
P.p.s. The title of this blog is based on one of my favorite 80s songs, very appropriately named, Cat People! Originally by David Bowie, but this Tina Turner cover is amazing.