Friday, June 6

Multiple Identities

"Dissociative Identity Disorder, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a condition in which a single person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment." - Wikipedia

Note - This post is not meant to downplay the seriousness of actual DID, its more an observation on how a person's environment affects the way they act and present themselves.

I often wonder what my coworkers think of me.

A while ago, at dinner, we were discussing bloodtypes. I've mentioned it before, but the Japanese traditionally believe that your bloodtype determines your personality. They asked me my bloodtype, and Morita-San said that he thought my bloodtype would mean that I was very serious. (No one actually knew offhand what any of the bloodtypes do mean.) It got me to thinking.

Upon thinking (terribly strenuous activity) - I came up with my own impression of my Japanese self. I think I probably come across as very serious, quiet, and somewhat shy. I don't generally talk a lot, and I don't think I smile a lot. Either because I'm feeling a bit lonely or homesick, or because I am focussing on the conversations or goings-on in an attempt to understand and participate.

Previously - I would like to think (although I don't know how accurate this is - you tell me!) that generally, I am a fun person - albeit somewhat serious when it comes down to it, I'd like to think I'm up for a good round of fun. I think I usually smile a lot, and I know I get very enthusiastic and excited about things. I talk a lot. I pretty much don't shut up, sometimes.

Further pondering had me marvelling at the effects a different environment creates - how much it can change our characteristics and personalities. Language, too, plays a big role in this. I am different here, due to the environment and language barrier. But I also think it would be difficult to really get to know my coworkers for who they are, when it is difficult to communicate. Intonations, jokes, mood, opinions - it's all distorted when communication is limited.

"...a single person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment."

Canada Stephanie and Japan Stephanie both feel that they are somewhat representative of how a person's personality changes as they interact with vastly different environments.

Just for fun...

Japanese Blood Type Personality Chart...

Type A
Best Traits: Earnest, creative, sensible, calm.
Worst Traits: Fastidious, overearnest.
Type B
Best Traits: Wild, a doer, cheerful.
Worst Traits: Selfish, irresponsible, arrogant.
Type AB
Best Traits: Cool, controlled, rational.
Worst Traits: Critical, indecisive.
Type O
Best Traits: Agreeable, sociable, an optimist.
Worst Traits: Vain, careless, ruthless.


kristine said...

Hummmm. I am type A and I think its pretty accurate. I was thinking though... if you had a bone marrow transplant from someone with a different blood type (which does happen) would your personality change? That would be weird.

Stephanie said...

Perhaps you'd be a Dr.Jekyll/Hyde version of yourself and the other person! Let's try it...volunteers?

P.O.M. said...

Of course, I forgot my blood type. Isn't it amazing and fun how difficult cultures believe different things? I love it!