The human being is a social creature. Our ability to form meaningful ,or sometimes not so meaningful, relationships with many different people sets us apart from other land mammals, well that and opposable thumbs. Our social skills propel us forward through our lives allowing us to enjoy not only personal relationships but professional ones too. Your personality can make and break the most important things in your life, be the reason for both your downfall and success. But what can we say about the way we socialise ourselves? The consistency in which we behave?
Never are we more social then when we are enjoying a bit of down time, when we’re with our nearest and dearest, when it’s time for a party. It’s these situations, when we are with our friends, that our personalities come out and shine. Here are some characters that are bound to show up at your birthday, whether you’re having a quiet drink at the pub, house party or ball in the finest country house.
The Prankster: They are the kid who brought fart gas to school, who would steal your towel when you were in the shower. They are the kid who is now a full grown adult but still hasn’t grown up. Laughing the loudest and normally over a joke they’ve just told. Most likely to arrive with a keg and comedy hat/ t-shirt /dungarees on, ready to entertain whatever crowd materialises at the gathering. They will be centre of attention all night and waivering on the edge of inappropriateness as the evening continues.
The Wall Flower: Skirting around the outside of the party. They will be mainly standing by the drinks table making polite conversation, interested in talking about anything but themselves. This makes the wall flower and irresistible company for anyone feeling as though they’d like a bit of attention, willing to talk about books, music, movies anything that doesn’t directly involve them. Most likely to pluck up the courage to talk to the person they fancy right at the end of the party then kicking themselves when they’ve realised that person has already gone off with someone else.
The Socialite: The crowd pleaser, becoming automatically friends with any new people in the room. Often best friends with the prankster, reinforcing their charm and ability to be more popular. The voice of the crowd, agreeable and fun loving. Most likely to arrive with a gaggle of friends and have tagged you in 100 facebook photos before you arrive home.
The Dude: slightly varying in different crowds, the dude can be a hipster, jock, IT girl, rock chic or even a brianiac. But one thing is sure the dude is the ‘alpha’ character in the group. If there is more than one at any gathering there is sure to be conflict. This person is powerful without evening trying. Most likely to arrive late, maybe on their own but looking effortlessly cool with a ‘I just threw this one’ look on their face.
The big sister/brother: They have been there done that, even though they are the same age as you. They are patient and loyal. The mistake you’re just about to make is something they’ve already done and can share their worldly wisdom with you at any moment. Take their advice otherwise there will be a big fat I told you so coming your way. Most likely to be seen at the end of the night holding someone’s hair back as they are sick or calling you a cab to get you safely home.
When we are in a party situation we are extroverted versions of ourselves, amongst our friends we slot nicely into our roles, understanding where we all fit within the frame work of our friendship groups. However, out in the big bad world there isn’t always space to be the joker or stand back as the wall flower. Most of us are forced into much more serious versions of ourselves and the average work place doesn’t so much indulge diversity quite like our friends do, but there are certain professions that champion specific personality types.
Within these places it’s obvious the type of personality it attracts, for example it’s unlikely that a Wall Flower will ever become a Prime Minister or that the Prankster would become an accountant. Your natural ability to be outgoing, outspoken and centre of attention can make the Prankster perfect candidate to be on stage. Or being of the Big or Sister personality enables you to excel in a career as a charity worker or nurse. These few people who work within their most suited sector are lucky; they are people who are able do what they are naturally good at. A lot of people dream that there were in this position.
However, whilst these stereotypes might work in small scale or environments where people are encouraged to thrive alongside others who are different, it can actually be quite damaging to work in an environment where everyone has very similar personality traits. For example people working in governments and in power all being the Alpha male/female mean there is intense rivalries or having too many Dude’s in one rock band will ensure that the difficult second album will never be made. If you spend your life surrounded by people that are exactly the same as you fierce rivalries are made and after a while you will stop learning anything at all. The singularity of personality types in any field will put a halt to progress of any kind.
Excepting and celebrating diversity is arguably one of the most important challenges facing the modern world, with globalisation bring nations closer and closer together our communities are broadening by the day. Looking at our own tight nit friendship groups we could pigeon hole most of our friends into the one of the personality slots above, we all to a certain extent fit into a stereotypical personality. However when meeting people for the first time, whether it being a job interview or in a social situation we must be careful to not judge too quickly. Hidden underneath our outward ‘party persona’ could be something unexpected, un-stereotypical or extraordinary.