Who We Really Are, How We Connect and Why It Helps to Know

When was the last time you stopped and pondered your Being? I do this all the time, trying to figure out why I do the things I do. I’m not satisfied to coast along and dip my fingers in waves. I need to create them, ride them, fall in them, drown in them, and paddle close to the cute guy with tanned muscles.

The beauty of having a brain like mine is that I wonder what everybody else is like too. So, when you use web sites or build web sites, I’m terribly curious about your experience. Why did you give up after clicking to that page? What is it about you that makes you like web design? If you promote sites in search engines, what is it about your personality that makes the work fun?

Connected Beyond This Place

Recently, someone had a dream about me. In her dream, we were discussing (debating, really) my inability to charge enough for my usability testing and site audit services. The environment in the dream was filled with Native American colors and decorations. When she woke up from this dream, she was amazed and surprised.

She’s never met me before. She had no idea I have a strong affinity with my ancient Native American bloodlines and my office walls are lined with drums, feathers, mandellas, rattles, rain makers, skins, and a beautiful handmade walking stick with carved eagle’s head made for me by an old boyfriend. She has no knowledge of this, and yet she dreamed it as if being right here.

How she tapped into my long-time joking around with some good friends about my fees is another mystery.

Is the Internet connecting us in new ways?

Who Are We?

Three blog posts appeared today that inquire about who we are, how we behave and why it matters to web developers.

The first is a fun piece written by Miriam Ellis for Cre8tiveFlow called Take the Color Quiz – Diagnose Yourself! She talks about the use of color in web design and what our choices may be communicating. She also just put the challenge out there to find out more about our true selves by analyzing our favorite colors. So of course, I took the quiz.

The results were strikingly accurate, with the possible exception of this first one.

Your Existing Situation

Persistent. Demands what she feels to be her due and endeavors to maintain her position intact.

Did you get the part about “demands what she feels to be her due”? I thought that was interesting, in light of the dream mentioned earlier.

Here are snips from the rest: (My favorite parts.)

Your Stress Sources

Anxious to experience life in all its aspects, to explore all its possibilities, and to live it to the fullest. She therefore resents any restriction or limitation being imposed on her and insists on being free and unhampered.

Oh yeah! This is so on the money it’s scary.

Your Restrained Characteristics

Distressed by the fear that she may be prevented from doing what she wants; needs both peaceful conditions and quiet reassurance to restore her confidence.

Yep.

Your Desired Objective

Has an imperative need for tenderness and affection. Susceptible to anything esthetic.

How do they know this by the colors you choose?

Your Actual Problem #2

Has a fear that she might be prevented from achieving the things she wants.

Heh.

They even give you a nifty thingy so you can explain yourself to everyone who doesn’t believe you about those things you say about yourself. (Lisa!)

ColorQuiz.com cre8pc took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!“Longs for a tender and sympathetic bond and for a …”Click here to read the rest of the results.

What’s interesting is the colors I chose as my lead off colors for the test are choices I made for headings, links, subheadings and anything I wanted to stand out in several of my past and present websites, including this blog and client work.

How much of ourselves do we put into our site designs that we’re not even aware of? How accurately do we understand those who visit our web sites?

Robert Gorell wrote about personalities in Annoyed by the Sopranos Ending? You Might Be “Type-J. He says,

Here at Future Now, we’re obsessed with Meyers-Briggs (define) typology, occasionally to the chagrin of our loved ones. Be careful, though. Once you’re good at it, qualifying people by personality type can be pretty exclusionary. (One colleague’s girlfriend mocks us as “letter-talkers” for, say, describing an “ESTP” she’s never met.) But it’s important stuff. In addition to helping us to better understand ourselves, it helps us relate to our clients and, more importantly, their customers. It helps us build personas that seem real.

I create user personas in my work and base them on real people with actual personalities. Their habits and behavior are usually easy to nail down, but the exercise falls short because these personas aren’t based on actual data. I create them as a teaching tool to illustrate the importance of knowing target users, their behavior, needs, desires and emotional state. And that’s just for starters.

FutureNow uses Meyers-Briggs data. I decided to take the HUMANMETRICS Jung Typology Test he linked to because my color test proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m relentlessly curious.

Rather than a Type A personality, I’m an ” INFJ”. [Note: See comments. Apparently INFJ is the "rarest of all types, at less than 1.5% of the population."] It would take a while to read about that here and here. I scanned for the good parts that stroke my ego, like “Their amazing ability to deduce the inner workings of the mind, will and emotions of others gives INFJs their reputation as prophets and seers.” Cough.

Just looking at the volume of information and translating it into something like search engine user behavior would be fascinating. This is what Human Factors experts do for breakfast. SEO’s work so hard to get websites indexed and ranked, but there’s no passion for understanding the different kinds of people who find those sites because many web site owners aren’t thinking like this yet.

How We Find Each Other

When I was single, I tried online dating and was a complete disaster at it. Nobody ever presented their true self. They embellished it. Trying to find someone who fit what I wanted was torture because I didn’t trust them, and I didn’t know enough about myself either. At no time did I have the nerve to say to someone, “Hey. Take a chance on me if you love variety and someone who is not a perfect body Barbie doll!” They usually wanted Barbie and to heck with the variety part.

How we make connections online is done in all kinds of ways. One way is via blog comments and the art of dropping into a web site without an invitation to the party (otherwise known as spam.) One wonders at the colors spammers like. I wonder what their personality test results are. What is the label for invasive, rude, self centered jerk?

Link drops have their place, I know. They can be done with class and integrity. I tend to be mean and unforgiving with blog spam. This is because I’m an Administrator for a busy forums and if you saw the volume of spam I see everyday, you might doubt the sanity of most people who call themselves “marketers”. What they do is not even close.

Matt Bailey wrote a terrific piece about his take on a kind of connecting we do in The Rules of the Conversation. He points out,

Much like those networking situations above, the internet tends to devolve people into conversation interrupters. I am not really sure when it became cool to drop a link into someone else’s blog. Link exchange requests have always been suspect, in my opinion, as I have no knowledge of this person, their site, or even their business. Why would I offer a link to a site where I have no knowledge of the content or the purpose?

Matt’s more tolerant with spam than I am. This made me wonder about taking chances. I’m not the kind of person who drops in and link drops and I’ve rarely, if ever, asked for a reciprocal link, especially from someone I don’t know. If I’m not bold, who would get to know me?

Apparently it’s a mute question, since I’m showing up in your dreams.

Cre8asiteforums Discussion

4 thoughts on “Who We Really Are, How We Connect and Why It Helps to Know”

  1. Wow, Kim,
    Your post has about 23 different ideas in it, and yet they all go together. What an intriguing read!

    It’s really neat that you can recognize your traits so clearly in the color quiz. I admire people like you who demand that others give them their due. To me, this is a quality of good self esteem.

    I struggle with shyness, myself, and tend to be an observer so much more than a leader. It means I think a lot, like you, but am not always apt to speak my mind.

    Interesting.

    I really enjoyed your post!
    Miriam

  2. Kim,

    Not to drop a link in your blog or anything, but this is a great definition of your personality type. Not sure if you knew it, but INFJ is the rarest of all types, at less than 1.5% of the population (or some such).

    INFJ’s have a great view of reality. They’re especially talented at holding others accountable to their true selves, but the downside is that they’re sometimes way–WAY–too hard on themselves. Some of my favorite people are INFJ’s, and I only know a couple of them. It’s weird… every time I meet an INFJ, I know it instantly, and I have to point it out to them. Often, they already knew their personality type, since they’re chronic list-makers and survey-takers.

    INFJ’s can be intimidating, though; they’re usually so intuitive that, when paired with introversion, it can present a barrier few can pass. The good news for INFJ’s, though, is that this barrier can also be a real time-saver, as they have no patience for lackluster humans–even though they’re kind enough to humor them for short periods of time.

    Anyway, I’m a fan of INFJ’s. ENFJ’s are my favorite, I think, because they’re more approachable. Still, if you ask me, the INFJ is the snow leopard among us.

    -Robert

  3. Miriam, funny thing is, I always think I have bad self esteem and I explained the demands, to myself, as just being stubborn! LOL

    I’m glad the post is intriguing. When I get moved to write something like this, the ideas come tumbling out and it can be hard to organize them into something logical.

    Sometimes I can tell from the comments that some people actually “get” the ideas on a deeper level…the one I’d hope touched some people. It’s like writing in layers and each layer will be understood by its intended reader.

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