In the book snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You (BF323.S63.G67 2009), psychologist Sam Gosling argues “that the things we own and the way we arrange them can say more about us than ever our most intimate conversations.” (Click here for a video of Sam Gosling telling us what our personal spaces can’t hide!) Scary thought, huh?
So this week, we delved into the deepest part of our psyches and revealed what our stuff says about us:
Colette: I had no idea being a self-improver was going to make my faults so visible, so widely accessible, to people who have never met me. Usually I get to share a meal or a laugh with a person before he/she gets a laundry list of my idiosyncrasies. I don’t have a lot of control over what my work space looks like, so a psychologist wouldn’t learn much about me by looking at the circulation desk. If a psychologist came into my home, I think he’d say (with feeling) “You have impeccable taste, Colette!” And then he’d likely sit down and say, “So tell me about this OCD of yours.”
Emily: Until about a year ago my cubicle decor consisted of a pencil cup and a calendar. I suppose this would say that I’m a boring minimalist. Or maybe that I’m afraid of commitment? Overly private? It’s a stark contrast to my home, which is full of old furniture, books, pictures, dust bunnies. Nearly all my furniture is inherited from grandparents and great aunts. What’s not inherited is likely something I found at a flea market for 20 bucks or less, so be forewarned that many of my chairs are less than stable. Now that I’ve been here four years, a bit of my personality may be peeking over my cubicle wall. I’ve haphazardly collaged my outer wall with book postcards and scraps of old calendars. I’m slowly doing the same to the inner walls. I’ve considered moving a lamp in, but I just don’t know if I’m ready. Perhaps my hesitation comes from a fear that my cubicle might befall the fate of its neighbors. Or maybe I’m just a slow mover.
Pam: Upon stepping into my work environment, one would likely observe that I have varied interests. I would hope that, along with their initial response of horror at the unending clutter, they would think I have a good sense of humor 🙂 As far as my home environment, that would depend on what week they happened by 🙂 If one stopped in right now, they would find a very neat, orderly, crammed-full home that would reflect to them my extreme interest in music, reading and pets. Although cats are the great love of my life right now, I have been collecting old dog figures (iron, bisque, pictures, etc.) since my early twenties and have quite a unique assortment that accent my house. Musical instruments hang, sit and lean everywhere along with many pictures of wonderful friends that adorn the walls and shelves. Perhaps the biggest thing one would learn from observing me is that have left a dusty trail of Everything old and odd!
Sally: Probably that I am a multi-tasker, but hopefully somewhat organized and I am a catalog librarian.
Jolly Librarian: The first thing that you would notice coming into my office or house would be books: Books in bookcases, books on the desk, books on the sofa. You would get the correct idea that I love to read. But I realize that Gosling is right: The literary books are all downstairs while the “less impressive” ones are up in the guest bedroom, and I never have guests. In fact, after looking through his book, I packed up three bags of self-help books and put them on the give-away cart. The other thing you would gather from my stuff is that I have many interests, but I don’t follow up on them all. There is the dust-covered keyboard in the living room, the guitar and tennis racket in the back of the hall closet, and even the series after series of French tapes in a bookcase. Still, I don’t get rid of them because you never know when I’ll come back to them. After all, I just took up French again!