way.” (McClanahan, 1999: p 13)
Don’t you just hate it when some loser you know shows up as you are about to talk to the girl of your dreams? “Somebody
please do something”, you think. But before you know it, the pretty lady makes her excuses and you’re left with the
dorkiest dude in the room. What’s worse, you start thinking you’ve something in common with a legend on the soccer field who wears t-shirts asking “Why always me?”
So what can we do to root out the douchebags in life? Naming and shaming them is one option, but we could end up in court. The only solution is for all states to give citizens a personality test (liberty, equality and all that superficial crap). One of the best personality tests is called ‘The Big Five’.
Years of research "has uncovered five broad dimensions of personality" (www.psychcentral.com). These are: extraversion (how sociable you are); agreeableness (how kind you are to others); conscientiousness (how worried you are about doing a good job), neuroticism (how susceptible you are to mood swings and stress); and openness (how open you are to new experiences). (You can take the test here: http://www.personalitytest.org.uk/)
Employers use The Big Five to match people to jobs. However, there’s no ideal score – it depends on what kind of employee is needed. For example, companies don’t need accountants who are kind or sociable. Hence, there are scores of social misfits totting up figures for a living. Similarly, the Irish public rarely look for conscientious public officials. Thus, a recent government brought the country to its knees. But can we change any of these five traits if needs be?
It’s hard to change any of ‘The Big Five’ in adults; yet, earlier this year, psychologists discovered that brain exercises can affect one of the dimensions - openness www.myhealthnewsdaily.com). And the more open we are, the more creative we are. Trying something new can also improve our openness (taxi drivers should jump into the shower). So why not do a crossword at a different restaurant or vote for someone who gives a toss for a change?
I decided to use my eyes again this week by going to places I’d never been before. These new worlds also happened to be Ireland’s top tourist attractions last year (www.failteIreland.ie).
I had no problems conversing with the orangutans (see the picture above) at Dublin Zoo, but my eyes were pretty flustered after sampling some of the local cuisine (see the photos below).
McClanahan, R., (1999) Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively, (Kindle for PC Edition) Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books.