Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Got Junk?


Newsweek magazine has an article about what our junk reveals about us. Our clutter, the crap we have piled on our desks and the type of crap that we save or have just not thrown out. Sam Gosling, a psychology professor, has written a book; "Snoop: What Your Stuff says about You".

He says that the things that people have, and keep, can tell you more about them than face-to-face meetings. This stuff serves as the "non-verbal" cues to who and what we are that is not so apparent to the rest of the world.

He uses his study of the Greek way of defining the personality types and even the Myers-Briggs testing styles to come up with the style that he uses to help you equate people based on their junk. He has five areas that he uses; openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neurotic ism. OCEAN for short. How we organize our spaces decides where we fall into each of these areas. Messy people tend to score high for extroversion, but low in conscientiousness, while people with generic or un-decorated bedrooms and office spaces will tend to fall high in conscientiousness, but low in openness.

If this book is inexpensive I think I might pick it up for fun. I would like to take a walk through my spaces and see where it puts me and how closely it is. Years ago I took the Myers-Briggs assessment, for one of those group building/dynamics courses. Trying to get us all to see how to work more effectively with the other "types" in the mix. I came out as an extrovert-sensor-feeling-preceptor. I don't know if any of you have ever taken that assessment, but it is a somewhat lengthy test and then you do find out some intuitive things about yourself and it was quite accurate to my style, especially in the work and group areas. I did see that they also have an easier/user friendly version on the Internet if any of you want to check it out and see where you fall. I am "classified" as the Joker and it does truly fit my work style and life.

As I have gotten older I find that the people that I am most drawn to also seem to have the same home style and types of junk that I do. It must be that we are drawn to those that are most like ourselves. One of my favorite quotes that I keep posted on my fridge is, "Clutter is a sign of life being lived".

And so I live on.