My core strengths.

A while back, I wrote about

my core values

using Hannah Braime’s book The Year of You as an inspiration. Today, I thought I’d publicly tackle the very next prompt from the same book, which is very similar and asks about “What are your core strengths? (…)”.

The author suggests using the

Via Strengths Survey

for those who are not familiar with the concept.

I did this prompt in my diary before, and was not familiar with the strengths thing, so I did the test, and if you haven’t so far and would like to know about your strengths and share them in the comments – give it a go. πŸ™‚ – Unlike many other personality tests, it seems to be quite reasonable or at least my results make a lot of sense to me. So here’s what Via Character thinks to be my core/signature strengths and what I think about it, join in and let me know about yours and how you feel about them. πŸ™‚

Β Β Β Β Β  Perspective.

Perspective is definitely something important for me. I like to look at things from different perspectives and angles, think out of the box, put myself in others’ shoes. Via Characters says that if your core strength is perspective, it means that people come to you for counsel and advice. Well yeah, a lot of people do and I sometimes wonder why because I’m not that very experienced in life at all. It especially makes me laugh how a lot of people, including my own mother, come to me to rant or ask for advice when they have problems in their relationships with their significant others. It’s funny because I’ve always been single and people ask me sometimes as if I was some couple therapist or something. It’s funny and sometimes I find it challenging because if a person has come to me with this they expect some sort of help and I’m always worried that I won’t be able to do that so I try my best to empathise with them and imagine myself in the same situation even if it’s very abstractive because I never experienced anything like it. But if people ask me so often, I figure I must be good at it, after all. No idea if that’s true though. πŸ˜€ I like to imagine how it must be to be other people, which helps me to be more empathetic. I think I am more empathetic because of my imagination than because of actual ability to feel the same things as others do. I like my often broad way of thinking. But I must say it was a surprise for me that perspective is my #1 strength.

Β Β  Kindness.

This was another sort of surprise for me, because, yeah, I do try to be kind and helpful to people, but I somehow wouldn’t think of it to be as strong a trait in me to be considered a core strength. On the other hand a lot of people tell me that I’m kind, and my Mum is always extremely kind to people and goes out of her way to help them so I may have it after her to an extend. I often find it difficult though to be as kind to people as I’d like to be and express my kindness fully, because of my struggles with human interactions and expressing emotions, so to some people I come across as icy and not particularly kind.

Β Β  Humour.

This is a trait I feel really grateful to have. It is one of my most helpful and most used coping skills. I think if I didn’t have a sense of humour and a distance to things my life would be much more difficult. As it is, things can still be difficult, but I can find funny/absurd things to it anyway and I don’t have to put an effort into finding them which would be difficult when you’re depressed, I just notice them anyway. I believe it must be so much worse to have depression in particular when you have no sense of humour to help you out, not even the most cynical and dark one. Actually after some thinking I realised that what I just wrote sounded like cynical or dark humour is worse than any other but in fact I think it’s far more superior and practical in life. πŸ˜€

Β Β  Creativity.

I’m no artsy type, or as Sofi hilariously calls it “plast plast” (as in plasticine, there was a TV programme years ago called “Plastelinek I Przyjaciele” (Plastelinek And Friends), where Plastelinek was a sort of creature made of plasticine and he encouraged kids to do art and visited schools and when he was excited about something he exclaimed “Plast plast!) Sofi is very plast plast, but I never was and never even particularly wanted to be. I used to do some music but was very mediocre at it, perhaps except for singing judging from people’s reactions but I didn’t particularly enjoy in the long-term any of the ways of making music that I tried, and decided that I feel much better as a listener and observer of it rather than a performer. I’ve done some creative writing but have always felt very self-conscious about it and don’t think it’s particularly good, and now I do much less of it. Yet I still consider myself very creative because of how I think. I have lots of ideas, I am a synaesthete and I love to play around with words. I have weird associations with things, even beyond the synaesthesia, which enable me to see things differently than most people may. I have (or at least used to have, as I’m still in a very painful limbo) fazas, which have always been a huge boost for my creativity. And I’m very imaginative. I think it’s enough to have the right to call oneself creative.

Β Β  Judgment.

I consider myself a good judge of character indeed. Other people seem to agree with that a lot too. I think it’s a very useful trait to have. I like to observe people and think what they might be like. I also have the whole name and personality theory that you know about if you’re a regular reader, and if you don’t, better don’t get me started as I can’t go on about this for ages. πŸ˜€ I used to trust in this ability of mine a bit too much though, usually without even realising it, and instead of thinking that the person might be as I think they should be given my observations/any other evidence for that that I may have, I readily assumed that they must be how I imagined them to be. A lot of the time, I was right, but I had to have a few strong reality checks before I realised what I was actually doing and that I didn’t have to always be right because people can seriously be so complicated. I still love to figure out people’s characters and play around with the name characterisations but it’s not like I start out with the assumption that it has to be how I think, it’s more like a help for me with what I can possibly expect from a person but I don’t form my opinion about people based on what I imagine they must be like. It’s also a good coping skill for me which is why I used it to such an extend. I like to know what someone may be like, their reactions to things etc. in advance, it feels safer. This judgment thing also prevent me from disliking people. A lot of people who are socially anxious or struggling with similar things say they don’t like people and I can very well understand it. But while mingling with people is an awful chore for me, I love to analyse their behaviours, observe people, they can be so very fascinating! So I just can’t say I don’t like or hate people! I am also very careful when making any more important decisions, and careful with everything really, and have to consider everything when making a decision. Like yesterday, I was facing a potentially at least somewhat life-changing decision and I’m still digging deep into it, learning about all pros and cons and still haven’t made the final, actual decision.

In conclusion, overall I think this was pretty accurate, and I feel very grateful for these strengths I have and that I can make use of them.

Now you tell me about yours. πŸ™‚

 

 

Bloggerz.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

I feel a little crappy with energy levels today and haven’t come up with or found a question of the day for you for today, just don’t feel like it, but I decided to answer some questions of Rory’s, aka

A Guy Called Bloke,

and if you would also like to do it, either on Rory’s blog or on your own, go ahead! πŸ™‚

Here are Rory’s questions:

How spontaneous are you?
If you mean emotional spontaneity, generally not at all. It also depends on a setting, like, my surroundings and who I am with, sometimes I may be a little bit more spontaneous than not at all but that’s really rare. I am more spontaneous in writing though, sometimes much more. If you mean spontaneity as in going with the flow and not planning your life, I think I must be somewhere in the middle. I do like my routines and sticking to what I know, I hate change, but I am not the type of person to rigidly plan my whole life or even a whole day ahead, I’m too disorganised for that kind of thing and it seems boring to me.

How flirtatious would you say you are and if that is not the word you would use then try the alternatives of β€˜teasing or playful’ either way – how much are you of this?
Flirtatious – not at all. Teasing – if I know someone well enough and/or it’s some relatively mild teasing than sometimes I can be if I know that they know that I’m just teasing them or being sarcastic and don’t mean to offend them or anything. Playful – yes, I do have that very playful part of me, the inner child or however you want to call it, I call her Bibiel, aka Bibielle or Bibielka but Bibiel is what she’s used to the most, and she is very playful, humourous and childish and she especially loves playing with Zofijka.

How serious are you as a person?
Apparently lots of people think I’m serious and I guess I do make such an impression, I’m not playful and humourous with just everyone, and also my mental health/social difficulties prevent me from truly expressing myself around people in person. Plus I have some qualities that, while don’t necessarily mean the same as being serious, are often sort of associated by an average person with seriousness, like I’m very analytical and overthinking, quite naturally depressive and usually not too talkative unless I know someone very well and feel at ease with them. I can be outwardly serious or very serious when need be, but because I have Bibiel, I can be never fully serious in my mind and I have frequent situations when I can barely hold back laughter in generally inappropriate situations because some minor, funny detail caught my attention or something grotesque about the whole situation or because I just remembered something similar that I think is funny. Sometimes I myself am worried about it that I can find things to laugh about even in the most serious/sad situations that shouldn’t really be laughed at, and while I never do it openly/ fully intentionally, I often feel a bit guilty when my inner Bibiel makes fun of absolutely everything. But usually it is a very helpful trait. Has helped me to get through life on numerous occasions. Also a lot of people don’t get my sense of humour which can sometimes be very immature and childish, while other times rather sarcastic and dry and when it’s the latter people often don’t know that I’m joking or saying something ironically and their impression is that I’m being very serious.

Do you think the older we become certain emotions are easier to handle – say as an example β€˜grief?’
I think it’s hugely personal. Of course there is that developmental psychology thing and it makes a lot of sense and is kind of obvious that we go through different stages of emotional development and growth as we age, but I think emotions are a very individual, as well as fairly intangible matter, and depend on so many factors for everyone, so you really can’t generalise in this case and measure it. Perhaps for someone who is as emotionally mature as their age would indicate, it’s true, but then emotionally mature people can at the same time still be very sensitive and I believe their grief would still be rather intense then.So it probably also depends on some other individual traits like resilience or such. I don’t know.

What is the most adventurous thing you have done to date?
I’m not really overly adventurous, but one thing that comes to my mind at the moment was when we wanted to run away from home with Olek, I think I was about 11 so he would be 9 at the time. Not for any particular reason, I think we had some minor tension with Mum but mostly just for the sake of it. It didn’t work out at all, I don’t really remember how it all ended up but we didn’t go very far at all. We weren’t prepared for that, plus it would be quite difficult to achieve for me as I was only getting around with Olek as my guide so that just wouldn’t do more long-term I guess when running away in any circumstances.:D

What’s the craziest or riskiest thing you have ever done and simply got away with it or gotten caught doing it?
It would have to be when I used Doses, I think, Doses are those binaural sounds I’ve told you guys about that are meant to have a similar effect on your brain as drugs or other psychoactive substances do or evoke some other strange sensations in your mind. I had gotten caught, so there were some external consequences for me and the other kids I persuaded into it, but I believe that I got away with it in a different way, because apparently, while those things are apparently not addictive as drugs are, they can still cause brain damage, and I don’t feel it had such an effect on me because this was a relatively short period when I was doing this. Also as a Christian I believe that it could have had far worse spiritual consequences for me than it did.

What do you think the future is of dating and other β€˜other’ now that social distancing has become part of your life? Will your life β€˜up close and personal’ with people now be different?
Dating apps and websites have been already popular for quite a while, so I think this time now might be good for them and more people might start to use them. Which I think is generally good, though it does have its associated downsides and risks, but so does dating face to face. Still, I think after some time passes, and the threat of contracting COVID will lessen, there will still be people who will prefer meeting up for dates because it feels more genuine to them. For some people meeting people in person is too important to just give up on it plus some believe that it’s a much more reliable/genuine way of finding a potential partner and that you can get to know each other better over a coffee when you look each other in the eye rather than online.And as for my life, hm, I’m not sure. I’ve never been one for meeting up with people. My contacts with my immediate family with whom I live are as normal. When I go out, my Mum is my guide so we can’t keep the distance. With other relatives whom we see more or less regularly we try not to get too close, no kissing, hand shaking or such but we’ve had people in our house and such. I don’t think we’re seriously going to keep it for a very long time and only keep our relationships with people from a distance, but it also depends on how things evolve. It’s a completely new situation for all of us so it’s hard to say.

How different do you really think you are to the next person – are you prim and proper, or straight laced and serious, wild and abandoned or rebellious and controversial?
I don’t think any of these particular adjectives fit me well really, haha. I am certainly not prim and proper, although I do have a strong sense of morality or so I think and a lot of so called traditional values are important to me, I’m not straight laced and serious either. Some people do say I’m wild, but rather in the sense of a hermit who is not used to people than someone who is very adventurous, impulsive and uninhibited, I have nothing against being wild. Some of my views or opinions are controversial but I’m not the type of person who has the kind of opinions she has just to provoke controversy, and I don’t think I’m controversial at all as a whole, neither am I rebellious the way most people see rebellion, though I am very quirky. I do think I’m very different, which is both great and difficult, I love it and hate it, but if I got a chance I don’t think I would change it. I like my unusual brain and that I like things that not everyone else likes, I like that my experiences are different than many people’s.I’m just Bibiel lol.

During this time of global concern how has your thinking changed with regards the planet, conservation, climate issues …..or has it not changed one little bit?
It hasn’t really changed at all. SInce the Earth is where I currently live, I’ve always tried to live in harmony with it, that was what my family had taught me, I believe it’s our responsibility both as simply its inhabitants and as human beings. The nature has been created to serve us but that does not mean we can act disrespectfully towards it and destroy it or flood the world with our rubbish just because we feel like it, quite the opposite. We are obliged to care for the Earth and protect every single life on it as much as we can. However I am not an ecology freak nor an alarmist and I believe that moderation is key. I don’t think I believe in climate change the way most media portray it and some things that people apparently do to take action against it seem downright illogical, if not counterproductive to me, or at least pointless. Climate IS changing, but it always has been.

What β€˜topical issues’ considered β€˜taboo’ by society are you deeply passionate with and about to the point of doing something about it?
Mental health and disability. Since I myself am both disabled as well as mentally ill, I try to raise awareness of those issues by blogging about what they mean to me, in my life. There’s no taboo around these things on my blog.I also like to support other mentally ill people if and how much I can, though I’m not sure how good I’m at it actually.

What’s more important and or is there a difference between β€˜Friendship and Companionship and if so what is that difference?
I don’t know about what’s more important, I believe companionship may be more fulfilling but since I’ve never experienced it I don’t really have an idea. I think the difference is that companionship is more intimate. I’d think that it’s something between friendship and romance, and at the same time something on the next level. The people are in love with each other, could be romantic but not necessarily, spend a lot of time with each other, are used to each other’s company, know each other very well for a long time, both the good qualities and flaws of one another. The image that comes to my mind when I think of companionship is a couple who has been together for many years, they’ve already gone through the phase of friendship, romance, and now are at a stage where they have been with each other for too long and have gone through too many different situations to be madly in love, perhaps they don’t even need sex anymore, but they feel very comfortable with each other. Whereas friendship can be when two people like each other very much, have a lot in common, either in terms of interests, or life in general, or how they think or what they like, and they like to talk to each other, can count on each other and support one another. But it’s not quite as intimate as companionship and people don’t know each other quite as well.

What is your passion with regards writing genres – 1] what is your chosen genre and 2] what is the genre you might like to write about but lack confidence to start?

I mostly just do journaling type posts on my blog. Misha’s posts are also usually diary-like, though some are fiction (The Human Life of Misha Hhrrru?). I used to write a lot of short stories just for myself and enjoy it, though I hardly ever enjoyed the final effects and usually deleted them straight away, but these days I write much less fiction. I wrote a few stories in English on my blog, separate from Misha’s series, and that was fun, I’d like to do it more often but I think I lack confidence in terms of writing fiction in English and writing fiction in general, and also I don’t really have that many ideas.

 

Question of the day (29th April).

What personality trait has been the most useful to you?

My answer:

I think I could say that my distance to myself and situations in my life, other people and the world in general. What I mean by it, is that I am able to usually laugh at things that are happening, at myself, at things people do, approach them with some sense of humour, usually either a bit dark or cynnical but not necessarily, even if things aren’t easy, and even though, because of my overactive inner self-critic called Maggie and the AVPD thing, when it comes to myself, I can also be quite sensitive to criticism at the same time. It may be a bit paradoxical and I guess it is, but I think it’s completely possible to have both some distance to yourself and be able to laugh at yourself and things you do and things people say to you, and at the same time be very critical of yourself, sensitive to criticism or even things like self-loathing, I know other people who are like that and don’t have the best self-esteem yet are able to have a distance, at least outwardly. I think for such people it’s actually even more important to keep some distance from themselves. It has helped me to keep possibly sane in lots of situations throughout my life, and it is also a very good coping skill and a protective mechanism in my opinion, and makes engaging with people slightly easier for both sides.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My answer:

It’s really hard to say, I don’t think there’s one thing in me that if I had fixed, life would be much different. I could say my personality because there are a lot of things in my personality that are difficult for me to deal with daily but then on the other hand I would not like my whole personality to change because first, that would be such an awfully huge, scary and awkward change and second, there are things that I do like about my personality and ones that I simply have gotten used to perceive as parts of me and would feel weird if it would suddenly be otherwise, and also the difficult things have their upsides as they usually do in life. I think it would be useful and way easier though if I were less of a ruminator.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (27th November).

Hi people. πŸ™‚

Let’s stay with the astrology related questions for a while.

Have you ever done your natal chart? If so, what is your sun sign, moon sign and ascendant?

My answer:

Yes, I did years ago although I don’t remember much from that. I’ve always thought I’m not a very typical Aquarius in many respects, but there were things I could relate to in it. If I remember correctly my moon sign is Scorpio, and my ascendant is Libra. What do I relate to in that? Let’s see, I’ll do it quickly again for the purpose of this post.

Aquarian people are said to think outside the box and don’t like to follow the crowd which I think can be definitely said about me. I also think it’s true that I’m curious and observant, as well as intellectual and can be aloof. And I am also quirky and different which is most certainly true. But all the other things they tend to often say about Aquarians, like that they for example like change and like to reform their surroundings, is not really true of me either at all or barely.

Aquarians with Libra as the rising sign are bright and like to live in their mind, are unusual and can be impractical or easily distracted. That’s all mostly true I think, apart from being easily bored that they also say. I hate boredom but am not easily bored if I am able to do what I want.

And as for my moon sign, now that’s eerily in line with me in some respects. Lunar Scorpio eople are said to be emotionally intense and driven by their emotions but often are quite obsessed with controlling and mastering their emotions which, hmmmmm… is really true. I guess it’s even more true what they say that a person with Scorpio in the moon can dig deep into someone’s personality, I definitely love to observe and analyse people and often do it very automatically, and thus my grandad likes to call me X-ray. πŸ˜€ I guess it sounds creepy but I do love figuring out people. It’s strange what they say that lunar Scorpios test people whom they love or feel attached to and can be suspicious, and that that testing is not always conscious, I’ve written a couple times that I do that. They also say when a lunar Scorpio commits to a relationship, they’re very loyal and protective I do suppose I’m very protective of people I love and especially of the felines I love. People with Scorpio in the moon have lots of dramatic emotional ups and downs throughout their lives, I’m not sure what’s dramatic and what’s not but I guess I could say that about myself at least to some degree, but then I also suppose so could everyone. Lunar Scorpios are also very intuitive. I’m not sure if my intuition really works that well but I do have gut feelings a lot of the time and I tend to follow them which usually turns out good for me, but it’s not without consulting it with my brain. Lunar Scorpios are also apparently very strong so that people often feel like leaning on them which I do not agree with. Some people are scared away by people like me, huh that’s good to know and sounds rather contradictory with the previous statement but actually different people react to you differently. πŸ˜€ Lunar Scorpios are said not to be fearful but rather brave and courageous which I absolutely don’t feel like it describes me since, having loads of anxieties, I’m quite naturally fearful and have always been.

So, yeah, a lot of it is true, but a fair bit is not, especially about my sun sign.

So, how about you? Have you ever done that and did it make any sense to you? Have you made any use of it in your life? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

How do you feel about astrology in general?

My answer:

I used to be very skeptical about it and didn’t believe in it at all, I thought it was evil. Then, as a teenager, I started to take a great interest in all things esoteric and related, and astrology was especially interesting to me. I was really immersed in it and thought about it as really fascinating but the way I see it now was that it was more one of the ways in which I was rebelling, mostly against my boarding school which was Catholic, and I wanted to have nothing to do with it, I didn’t want it to have any influence on me. My family is also Christian and practicing, but at that time I desperately wanted to think I was an atheist, just to be different, it was all very complex I think. Interestingly, around the same time my Mum started to be slightly interested in astrology as well. She never was before and thought it was bullshit. But she got some books, I believe they were called Astrologus, it was a series of twelve small books about each sign in-depth. And she started to think it makes some sense, some parts of it at least. – After some years of my fascination with esoteric stuff, lucid dreaming, Doses aka sound drugs, and after I left that school I re-converted to Christianity in a way, and started my life all over again. I’m no longer as very passionate about astrology but I do find it interesting. I think it’s really silly to make stuff like a horoscope for all people of one star sign and expect it to work for them. I suppose there can be astrologists who do horoscopes in a more intelligent way, for an individual, taking into consideration their whole birth chart and other things, but I’m not sure that can really work as well. But I suppose it can make sense that people – their behaviours, impulses, health – as well as nature overall, can be influenced by moon phases. My Dad has a gardening lunar calendar and has made some experiments with his plants to see if the Moon could really have any influence and from them it appears it could. People have trouble sleeping when the moon is full and women used to get period according to moon phases when the world was less industrialised, or that’s at least what I’ve read. There is also an online lunar calendar that I sometimes look at and I’ve started to see some pattern between the way my anxiety changes and the changes in moon phases, but I’m not sure it really has much influence, it’s more like a theory, not something I strongly believe in.

I’ve also read in a couple books about that, even if your star sign doesn’t affect your personality, the quarter of year in which you were born could, to a minor extent, and that it could affect your health, like, children born in summer are susceptible to other things than those born in winter. As for star signs having an impact on people’s personalities, I think it could also be true to an extent but not as huge as many astrologists or astrology afficionados claim. If you do your natal chart, you can see surprisingly often a whole lot of similarities between your personality and the signs in your chart. I’m not sure it’s really as infallible as people claim because I know loads of people who really badly stick out from what they should be like according to their star sign, and I don’t feel like a real Aquarius either, and sometimes not even a natal chart can explain it. But I think a lot of the time, with describing people’s personalities, perhaps some predispositions, it’s right. It won’t predict your fate in my opinion, well perhaps if you believe in it strongly and will just make it happen, or if you go to a really good astrologist who also knows a fair bit about psychology and human nature, and I wouldn’t put too much significance to it, defiinitely not as much as I used to, you need to keep thinking critically when playing astrology. I suppose it could be a good complementary tool for people who are on some sort of a self-discovery journey, wanting to figure out themselves, their relationships or families, but I wouldn’t base solely on astrology. While fortune telling or putting all your trust in such things as stars feels wrong to me as a Christian, I no longer consider astrology evil as I used to, not if you approach it with the right mindset. After all, some monks used to also be astrologists in the past, and back then there was nothing wrong with it I guess, and if so, why should it now? If you use astrology for example as I said to study lunar influences, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I don’t play around much with astrology these days just because I don’t find it as very interesting as I used to, and I don’t need it nor don’t feel like it, but I have no problem with using it in the right place. It’s certainly more logical than numerology which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me now and which I used to sit very deeply in as a teen as well. I guess it was rather that I wanted to believe in it and that it could tell me something, rather than I seriously did believe it works.

So, what’s your view on astrology? πŸ™‚

,My thoughts]

My Jackophilia.

Recently, one of my penfriends asked me whether I have ever written a post about my Jackophilia – that is, why I like the name Jacek, and Jack, and many other Jac- names, and why I have such a soft spot for people with those names – and if there’s any backstory to it. And it’s only then that I realised I’ve never written a post about that. The reason is quite simple, because there is no backstory, nothing that I could clearly point out or no particular event that has started it out. But I thought I’d write a bit more about my Jackophilia anyway.

My Dad’s name is Jacek, and since as long as I can remember, I’ve just loved this name, and, moreover, I thought that if I’d ever want to have a husband, he’ll just have to be a Jacek. I didn’t have any other criteria. I still remember very vividly when I told my grandma about that, I was maybe 5 or so, and she was shocked: “Oh, but if he’d be an alcoholic?! Would you still want him because his name is Jacek?!”. It wasn’t that I was in such awe of my Dad, I mean of course, he’s my Dad, I love him, but I don’t remember ever being quite as enamoured with himself as with his name, so to put it. πŸ˜€ All my toys that I felt were more masculine – teddy-bears, figurines, characters in my games – were named Jacek. Even if it meant that there was a whole family with a Dad named Jacek and his two or more sons, also all named Jacek. It’s probably good that there is no actual feminine form of Jacek in Polish (OK there is Hiacynta, but that sounds and looks different doesn’t it, and we’ll talk about that in a minute) or otherwise there wouldn’t be any diversity at all, and so at least females had their own unique names. I also felt immediately drawn to people named Jacek. Of course, I’ve met some Jaceks that I didn’t really get along with, and I am aware that there are some pretty nasty ones out there, all sorts of liars, thiefs, greedy, weak-willed, snobbish and two-faced people who don’t like to think more than necessary, but most of them are really cool, honest and reliable people. Also, I love book characters called Jacek. If ever in a book a character named Jacek was treated badly by someone, even just spoken negatively about, whatever, my heart broke into pieces. It still does, to an extent, even when that Jacek or Jack is a real villain. I remember when I was perhaps Zofijka’s age and read some young adult Polish novel, and there was a girl who was dating a Jacek, and at some point she just realised he’s not for her and she doesn’t really feel anything for him other than friendship. I knew her decision was right, it was clear in the book they don’t fit, yet I was almost crying reading how – in my view- she rejected him and he was so so sad. It was the name Jacek that also opened my eyes for the first time for this weird phenomenon which is the influence of names on personality, which I’m still passionate about and still figuring out. And as a kid I ust loved loads of words with jac in them. I still love the English ones: hijacking for example, it sounds like “Hi, Jack!”. Saint Jacek (or Hyacinth) has been my most favourite patron saint ever since. One of my first speech synthesisers was Jacek, and I still have him, it’s been over 10 years!!! And now it’s possible I’ll have to lose him. Oh well we’ll see… I love hyacinths – the flowers – but my favourite flower has always been muscari – and I’ve just recently learnt that they’re called blue grape hyacinths in English as well! – I’ve also heard that there is a gem stone called hyacinth, and if so, I really hope that some day I’ll be able to have one in my collection. My best friend was also Jacek.
Just as I started to take an interest in the etymology of the name Jacek, I was also curious if it exists in any other languages, and I asked people if they know how Jacek is in English. Most of them would confusedly say “Dunno, guess Jack…”. Jack didn’t sound even a bit quite as good as Jacek to me. But Polish people so often do such a weird thing that I can’t fully understand. When there is an a in an English word, they’ll make things more difficult for themselves and say it as e. So lots of people actually say Jeck, or bleck instead of black, or ket instead of cat. And Jeck sounded awful. But at some point there was a Jack in my ENglish textbook and then I learned that it’s JACK, and is written almost like Jacek, and I was over the moon! A lot of Polish Jaceks go sometimes by Jack, even just for fun, but those two names are not related at all. I’ve always wanted one of my musical crushes to be a Jack. Maybe someday it’ll come true. Lemme know if there are any musicians named Jack or something similar that you like, especially not too popular ones that I could like. πŸ˜€
Jacek (YAH-tsek) originated as a nickname of Jacenty (yah-TSEN-ti), but is now a short form, and a more common one actually, Jacenty is hardly ever used, it’s more common in the east of Poland in people born in 40’s or so, but it is NOT popular at all. I like the retro feel of Jacenty and I think it could come back, I mean I would like it to, not that I think it will anytime soon, with Jacek as a diminutive. Jacenty comes from the Greek Hyakinthos – Hyacinth – as in the Greek myth and as in the flower. – THere is also a more fancy, latinate form Hiacynt (HYAH-tsint), and the feminine Hiacynta (hyah-TSIN-tah). I’m not as fond of Hiacynta as I am of the male forms, and Hiacynt sounds a tiny bit too androgynous for my taste and lack masculinity a bit, but for a girl I really like Jacinda, and I love Hyacinth both for a boy and for a girl, even though normally I’m not a big fan of unisex names. There is also a theory that Jacek could be a Slavic name coming from an Old Slavic word that would be something like jaΔ‡ – which means to ride, and thus could mean good rider or something, how cool! – But that doesn’t really sound convincing and believable. There is also something like Jack (YAHTSK) in Kashubian language, it is apparently a Kashubian variant of Jacek, and another one is Jacy (YAH-tsi).
Jack, meanwhile, as I hope you Anglophones know without me telling you that πŸ˜‰ is a nickname of John, which evolved via an earlier diminutive Jankin, which then became Jackin. So not quite an equivalent of Jacek etymologically but who cares. For me it is like Jacek very much, the feel of the name is very similar despite it sounds differently and has vastly different roots.
I love that there are so many expressions, fairytales, nursery rhymes and all with Jack in it, it adds to the feel of the name, that it gives to the personality of a bearer in my opinion.
I don’t like every single name that has Jac in it, for example I am not a big fan of Jacob, or Jace, but I do love all the forms of Jack. All the Jackins, Jackies, Jacs, even Jocks and Jockies! They’re all so brilliant and so vibrant and each has their own feel that I love. I think the Welsh Jac is my most favourite because of how minimalistic it is but how much inner potential it has. As I said I also love Hyacinth and all its forms, perhaps Hiacynta a little less than the rest. I love Jacqueline and the abundance of her forms too, despite it actually seems to come from Jacques, which comes from the Jacob/James family.
I thought I’d give you just a little bit of an idea how I see those two names – Jack and Jacek – people with them, how I think their names might shape their personalities. Of course, as always, keep in mind that it’s not the name that shapes our personality in the first place, that there are genes and so many other things that determine who we are, and that name is just one factor. There are also people who do NOT fit their name’s description, simply because their name doesn’t fit them and wasn’t chosen with enough consideration, and they may experience some sort of a disharmony and conflict in their life and feelings, particularly between what they are like, and what their surroundings expect them to be like. Lastly, people spell their names differently, people have middle names, people use nicknames and often a Jack might in fact be a John, or a Jackson, and his personality will likely reflect it. These are just small, very generalised characteristics of Jack and Jacek, they’re not exhaustive. If you are sceptical about any influence a name could possibly have on a person, feel free to just treat the paragraphs below as my imaginings, that I hope to be as objective as possible.
Jack: – Jack is practical, frank and honest, and he expects the same honesty in return. He takes things as they are, doesn’t overthink them or analyse overly. He is intelligent and certainly not shallow, but he doesn’t like wasting his time on things that don’t necessarily need that, and feels uncomfortable around people who are exalted, he has certain difficulty expressing strong positive emotions, it’s embarrassing for him. He much prefers being active, and doing something to show his love and dedication, rather than use big words to show it. He is humourous, friendly, and a pleasant companion, who will get along with pretty much anyone, he is also an ambivert. It’s only with his loved ones that know him really well that he takes off the protective mask of self-confidence that he wears mostly unconsciously. Only those who know him really well can see his weaknesses, insecurities, some darker and deeper shades to his personality that he sometimes doesn’t accept. On a daily basis, it is a mostly happy-go-lucky guy, but with those he feels comfortable with, he can often be changeable and moody. Usually naive in his young years, if life lets him down, he can easily become cynical and imbittered, he may feel let down because he looks at others from his own perspective, expecting frankness and directness, and as a result, his trust is often abused, unless he won’t change his ways of interacting with people. Jack himself is very reliable, trustworthy, makes people feel safe around him. Or in any case, he has an ease of making such an impression on people, which could potentially make him a great manipulator, but Jacks are usually empathetic people who have their moral values. He has predispositions to be good at arts, but he needs to develop his taste, he’s not born with a mind very perceptive to art but he definitely can shape it, as well as his own, unique and captivating style if he decides to do art seriously. He is flexible and open-minded and learns quickly. Jack is incredibly resilient, responsible, usually quite fit, able to pursue his dreams and put considerable effort into it, mostly calm, but can be very passionate at times. He is adventurous and likes to explore, but also has a huge, often unconscious need for roots, security and stability, home, belonging, and has a strong sense of connection to his family and heritage. He is a traditionalist but at the same time he’s usually very liberal in his views. He’s down-to-earth, but likes being creative and make things with his hands, be out in nature which inspires paths of his thoughts and imagination in a subtle way, he also loves to engage in sports. He is incredibly sensitive but doesn’t like to show it for fear of being vulnerable. He appreciates simplicity – in his surroundings, people’s claims and characters, in thinking and speech – and enjoys the simplest things in life the most. Jack usually comes across as very charming, even though he’s rarely truly and objectively physically attractive.
Jacek – Jacek is very similar to Jack, especially in his honesty and trustworthiness. He’s also a practical thinker and comes across as very charming, as well as friendly, though not as much and as immediately as Jack. Jacek is more complicated, more sensitive, more introverted, more imaginative, has a tendency for being irritable, he is less resilient than Jack, may be needy and slightly immature which makes relationships with him more intricate. He is more egocentric and selfish, but not badly egoistical or anything like that, he just has a hard time looking too far out of his own mind frame. He has a tendency for pensivity and is more of a dreamer than Jack, he is also a bit less outgoing, but not significantly. He’s just a decent, nice, conscientious guy, assuming he was brought up well and his upbringing helped those traits to come up properly. He might have his quirks, be eccentric or lead a bohemian lifestyle, he may also often feel misunderstood, or he may just be a bit of an outsider, but if he has to, he will fit in without a clash and he’ll adjust to any company he’s in.
Jacky is very friendly and outgoing as well, and very charming and lovable, often thought of as attractive, but less honest and might easily get himself into lots of trouble, he usually doesn’t find himself the best kind of friends, he wants to be always there where a lot is going on and has a lot of zest but at the same time a really careless attitude to things. But he can be a very emotional being and anxious to please, as well as impressionable. He is egotistic and always wants to be the best, he tries to avoid conflict and live well with everyone that is important for him, and he is very attached to his mother, he also appreciates comfort and luxury in life and might be a little bit snobbish.
Jackson loves adventure and travel, and is a great dreamer, brave, courageous and determined. He is confident, communicative and charming, and wants to appear very masculine. Can be manipulative, but in any case is very eloquent and makes for a good leader.
Jac is very much like a Jack, but some traits of his character can be more pronounced and intense. For example the resilience and intellect.
Jacenty – well, I can only see him as a man older than 50 so I may not be very objective here. He is strong, masculine, self-assured, can be wealthy and materialistic and people usually respect him very much. An introvert who is very proud and may be a little haughty and icy, and not the most tolerant. He’s reserved and usually very serious, cool and calm, it may or may not mean that deep down he’s actually rather shy and doubting in his abilities.
Hyacinth – a girl with this name is fanciful, not very disciplined and rather dreamy, often artsy. She is a bookworm and a big thinker, often completely lost in thought, shy and perfectionist, anxious and sensitive, and a good observer. She may be very skilled in dance or music. A guy named Hyacinth is also an intellectual and cerebral type, may be either very poetic, or more into things like science, he is also very spiritual and has a tendency to isolate. He is capable of doing great things in his life and he doesn’t like any restrictions, he loves being out in nature and do all sorts of sports, loves being by the sea. He’s quirky and not the most communicative in the world, often may seem very scatter-brained because he has always plenty to think about and his way of thinking and perceiving the world is different than most other, more typical people.
Jacqueline is a complex character because her personality is a combination of great strength and extreme fragility. She usually makes an impression of a very gentle and delicate, I’d say dainty woman, and tends to be quiet and not talk a lot, but she has a steely will. She is very sensitive and emotional, sometimes to the point of neurotic, capable of loving people greatly, she has a tendency to overthink everything in her life. She is sharp-witted, sophisticated and gifted artistically and literally, and has a natural air of elegance about her.
Jackie though is vastly different. She loves being active, sporty, she has a lot of energy and she likes to communicate, cooperate and get together with others, she usually has quite a bunch of friends. She might struggle with anxiety and feelings of inferiority though, because she’s very much of a perfectionist and self-conscious about her appearance, especially as a teenager, but later on as well. Talking about her problems with the others is the best cure for her, so it’s good if she has someone she really trusts, she isn’t made for solitary life.
Jacinda is full of charm and sweetness, optimistic and very feminine, youthful even in her older age. A very emotional, spontaneous and sensitive person with a big, kind heart, very trusting and rather naive. She likes to give as much of herself as possible and doesn’t expect much in return, she is capable of loving unconditionally and very altruistically. Her weakness is vanity, and lack of imagination.
Jackin has a very good self-esteem and people usually like him, because he’s nice-looking. He usually doesn’t look like a very serious person, but he is a very ambitious man, often a great materialist wanting to achieve a lot in life. He has a bit of an authoritarian personality and may easily be impatient and a bit harsh-mannered. I hope you enjoyed those name descriptions.
Do you like the name Jack, or Jacek, or any of the related names? Do you know any Jacks? Do you like them? Any Jac people out there? πŸ™‚

So You Know.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

Candace over at Revenge Of Eve

does a series on her blog called So You Know, in which she asks us some personal questions. I’m going to answer her questions for this week. πŸ™‚

 

  1. Do you feel confident in expressing how you feel about particular things? Example: sharing your opinion or protecting your boundaries – Opinions? Yes, I usually have no problem expressing my opinion, unless there is really some sort of a tricky situation, either tricky socially for me, or in that the topic is tricky or my opinion on it is very unconventional or controversial. I don’t want to hurt people so I might be more cautious and not as direct as I would be in other circumstances, but if they ask for my opinion I will share it honestly. I guess it works, because I’ve had quite a few people who badly wanted to discuss politics and religion or such with me and some of them were like “Well it sucks you don’t agree with me but I appreciate your sensitivity/tolerance” or something like that. πŸ˜€ So yeah, when things get stressful, I try to be possibly diplomatic, unless they totally piss me off, and I don’t come out first with my opinions or don’t initiate a conversation about them if I feel that theirs are largely different and the conversation would probably not be very constructive. I don’t have any trouble with sharing my likes or dislikes or tastes even those very quirky ones, though I did for a long long time, I am very open about it, even if people look at me as if I’m crazy haha. Unless I’m around really extremely narrow-minded folks. . As for boundaries – well, that’s another thing. I do struggle with it. To a varying degree, depending with whom, and probably also depending on some other things, and things have improved over the last couple of years, but it is a struggle. I struggle with protecting my boundaries, as well as sort of defining them, I often feel confused about it and like I can’t evaluate fairly where they should be, so that I wouldn’t allow them for too much or get too paranoid or distant and push them away. It’s a bit complicated. I guess I could blame the AVPD thing for a lot of my boundaries problems as well.
  2. Do you have someone who holds all of your life’s secrets or do you keep everything to yourself? – A bit hard to say. I don’t have such a person who would hold literally all my secrets, I have quite a bunch of things that I would never tell anyone, or not all of it, but I think my Mum knows a lot of stuff about me that other people don’t. I’m also very open and honest on my blog and write about some things that I wouldn’t tell, or don’t normally talk about with people I know in real life. At the same time though, I still keep a lot to myself.
  3. What is the one quality you look for in a friend? – Hm… I guess the one I consciously look for is usually having some common ground – usually interests, but also experiences – I think it can make people feel closer to each other in some way. And I do have it with a lot of my online friends, but not all of them, and those who don’t have much in common with me in terms of interests or such are still my good friends. All of my friends though are very empathetic people, so I guess ultimately it could be empathy.
  4. What is the one quality you possess that you are most fond of in others? – Hm, how do I put it… An interesting brain… πŸ˜€ You know what I mean, don’t you?… Well I guess it doesn’t have to be obvious and sounds pretty odd, so if you don’t, what I mean is, I like intelligent, imaginative people, who have rich inner lives, who might be a bit quirky or at least able to think outside the box and be themselves… There’s way more that I could say about a person that I would classify as having an interesting brain, but that’s just the basics. It’s actually a group of qualities, but I see it kinda collectively.
    1. List five words you would use to describe yourself. Only five words. – Melancholic, individualistic, solitary, humourous, anxious (M. I. S. H. A. just needed some inspiration πŸ˜‰ ).

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

A quirky name related question for you today:

Has anyone ever told you that you don’t look like your name? Like: “You’re Mary? You don’t look like a Mary!” and if so, did they suggest what name you did look like?

My answer:

Don’t know if it was more about looks, or character/personality/behaviour, or perhaps both, but yes, my own mother, who gave me my birth name, told me that. πŸ˜€ Isn’t it a bit ironic?! When I told my Mum for the first time that I really liked the name Emilia, she told me that actually, she doesn’t feel like my birth name suits me, and if she was to make that decision again, she wouldn’t give it to me, and that Emilia did feel kind of better though she didn’t know what she’d rename me if she could and had to make her own choice. She said a strange thing, that when she mentions me or talks about me with someone and uses my name, it feels like she’s talking and thinking about two different people. πŸ˜€ That sounded weird, but felt even more weird for me because it corresponded with my feeling when people talked to me using my birth name. It felt as if they thought I am someone different, like I need to change my behaviour and the way I act to suit their expectations and their view of me. And there are still people who call me my birth name, and in most cases I get it because it’s family and if you’d always known someone by a certain name it’s hard to suddenly change it, and I still get this feeling when they call me my birth name, I didn’t know why it is so but I always felt a kind of annoyance when someone called me by my birth name, and there was some weird dissonance or something, I guess. Another weird thing here was that apparently when I was born, my gran asked Mum if she’d already picked a name for me. Mum said that she was hesitating, and she suggested Emilia. My gran! I was really surprised when I heard that because, well, my gran has five children, and looking at their names, her naming taste appears to be completely different and I can’t imagine her liking the name Emilia. Of course it was a different time when her children were born, late 50’s-early 70’s, and the name Emilia would be a bit more unusual then, but still… quite unbelievable for me even after a couple years since I learnt about that. Also I’ve never had a particularly close relationship with her, if any at all. That doesn’t mean we don’t like each other or anything, just can’t connect on any deeper level, we’re pretty glaringly different kinds of people, other than that we both seem to like the name Emilia. πŸ˜€ She didn’t comment though, or at least not to me directly and not so that I would know, about my name change.

And then there is my aunt, after whom I was named, who says I absolutely don’t fit the name Emilia. And I guess I know why she thinks so. Simply because most of my extended family, who knew me by my birth name, and don’t see me often enough and don’t know me well enough to feel familiar with the change even after about four years, still call me my birth name. And, among them, I don’t feel like an Emilia or not fully. I still feel like I have to play that other girl they want, don’t know why really because I’m not that desperate for their acceptance, maybe it’s just something that I can’t get rid of, or maybe it’s some coping/defensive strategy or whatever. I only feel fully like an Emilia when I’m with people I’m feeling at least a bit of a closer connection and like we get each other, or when I’m on my own, or doing what I love, or with people who don’t know me at all so don’t have any rooted assumptions/prejudices/expectations towards me.

Aside from that, when I was a kid in nursery, I met a woman who constantly called me Anna, and I didn’t correct her, but at some point someone else did, and she was like: “Oh really?! I’m sorry, I must have forgotten. But you look so much like an Anna!”. πŸ˜€ I also had a teacher who once renamed me, I assume either on purpose and jokingly or because he forgot my real name but still wanted to call me something, and he called me Maryla. πŸ˜€ I am 100% sure he didn’t think that was my real name, because… I don’t know how to explain it really haha… well I guess because it’s one of those names with a really kind of dusty, outdated feel, that aren’t bad or that don’t have any common bad associations but that most people just don’t like. So the likelihood of me or my equal being called Maryla is like if your average kid in an American school was called Muriel for example (I love Muriel but I’ve heard there are also many people in the US who hate it). πŸ˜€ A girl standing next to me immediately said in a very serious voice that I am not Maryla, but he was laughing and like: “No? What a pity. But from now on she’ll be. She looks so to me”. That was kinda funny, although, trying to be objective, I couldn’t and still can’t think of anything in myself that could make me seem like an average Maryla. πŸ˜€ And the girl beside me was even more confused than me. πŸ˜€ The guy was generally quite bizarre though.

Also a girl from our neighbourhood whom I used to play for some time when we were children once said a similar thing, though not exactly that I don’t look like my name. We were playing some make-believe game and I picked the name Helena for myself in it, and she was like: “Oh Helena, you’re really like a Helena!”. I do love Helena to pieces, but I’d go mad if someone called me Hela, if it was my name, and that would be highly likely. And I’m not really convinced Helena would fully suit me, I think you need to be a bit more expressive than I am to be a good example of a Helena and in harmony with this name, not extroverted, but just a bit more expressive, more engaging with other people I’d say, and maybe a bit impulsive too which I’m normally not at all.

OK, so how about you? Have you ever been renamed like that? πŸ˜€

Question of the day (5th May).

Would you ever consider naming your child after yourself, so she/he would be a “junior”? What would you think if this custom came back?

My answer:

Back when I was still using my birth name, and didn’t really think seriously about changing it, despite I did already think about myself as Emilia and loved this name, I thought that maybe if I had a daughter, I could call her Emilia instead. But now, even if I wouldn’t change my name to Emilia, it doesn’t seem a good idea for me. I think I would feel like something is not right if I did that. I could give my potential daughter my name as a middle, but probably wouldn’t, despite it is a kind of custom in our family and our region. I find it nice but boring.

Emilia is also a really hot name at the moment, I guess quite a bit more popular than among girls my age, not far below the top 10 and rising, and with Amelia being #9 and other -lia names in close proximity, and that’s off-putting for me for a baby name. As for this custom in general, of naming children after parents, like using a parent’s first name as a child’s first name, it’s not really common in Poland. I remember when I was a child, Olek told me about his class teacher “You know, you would get along with my class teacher, she likes the name Jacek, just as you, her husband is Jacek, and her son is Jacek too!”. πŸ˜€ And we were both like WOW! That’s crazy! How does she tell them apart? She really must love that name. So, I’d say it’s not really normal here. If you want to name your child after yourself or your spouse, use your name as their middle name. OK, my Dad wanted to call me Anna, after my Mum, but that’s probably why he didn’t in the end, because it’s her name already and because it’s not normal. But since I am now pretty familiar with lots of weird naming customs all around the world and especially in the English-speaking countries, it doesn’t really impress me and I don’t mind it, if someone wants it, it’s not my business. I just think it’s a little bit boring because there are so many beautiful names out there. Why limiting ourselves to just a handful?! Because I can see that if a parent names their child after themself, and a lot of people start to follow that trend, their children will likely do the same, and then naturally people’s names might suddenly become really boring and repetitive. I even have a problem with this middle names tradition over here, that everyone needs to have their parent’s name as a middle almost obligatorily, even though I do love my middle name after my Mum, I feel like it doesn’t allow creativity, especially that you can have only one middle in Poland if you’re a Polish citizen, not counting confirmation or a few traditional/obsolete hyphenated exceptions. Also, I can’t ignore the baby namer in me shouting “NO!” because as a firm believer in that a name carries a personality, or at least a strong potential influence on a person with itself, I just can’t help but feel that if you call your child after yourself, he or she may feel kind of unconsciously forced to be like you! To fulfill your expectations, follow your footsteps, won’t feel their own sense of identity, or at least that their name doesn’t belong fully to them. I was named after a close family member and my Mum’s best friend at the same time (they both shared a name), and still felt that way, like they want me to be someone I’m not, so how must a person named after their parent feel? That’s how I see it, you don’t have to agree with me and I’m pretty sure many people wouldn’t. So if someone would ask me for an advice regarding this, I’d say yes, you can, but if your name is easily nicknamed, try to find a different nickname for him, even if it’s just one letter or syllable more/less or a slightly altered spelling or let him have a nickname unrelated to the nickname that he likes and can go by daily, you’ll have to try to show your child that you embrace who he comes to be, that you accept him as he is and you’ll have to really stress that in his upbringing and make sure his personality develops harmoniously. I feel though like there really is a risk of some kind of disharmony between your own individuality and the way your family influences you. On a little different note, it’s just a little thought and it doesn’t mean that I have a problem with people naming their kids after themselves or am prejudiced but in a way it kinda feels a bit selfish to me. ‘Cause generally if we name our children after someone, we admire that person, or want to honour them because of something. So it feels slightly as if someone had a bit too large an ego. πŸ˜€

How about you? πŸ™‚

How do you imagine them?

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

Thought I’d do another round of this game, this time there will be only girls’ names in it, and most of them will be from one of the last rounds of this and that, I just didn’t have much of an invention for finding new names today, the more that my Internet is a bit sluggish today. πŸ˜€ Come on, turn your imagination on and play along! As a quick reminder for those of you who are new to it – I give you a couple of names, and your task is to write how you imagine people with these names, keep it as long or short as you wish. You can find my descriptions under the list of names.

List of names:

Charlotta

Eeva

Elaine

Grace

Hannah

Hanne

Hedvig

Holly

Imelda

Mai

Maria

Miranda

Sarah

My descriptions:

Charlotta – I see her as a Swedish woman in her thirties. She’s tall, well-built, but in this case well-built isn’t an euphemism for “fat” or anything like that, she’s just a big, tall woman, whom you’ll easily see in the crowd and who makes an impression of a very responsible, down to earth person. She has long, brown hair, may be a little curly, and dark eyes, though I’m not sure what could be their exact colour. She is very feminine and has a strong personality. She’s very determined, definitely introverted. Loves being out in nature, is also very strong physically. She is rather a bit of a loner, but you wouldn’t call her shy, she just likes her own company. Sometimes may seem overly proud, but she definitely isn’t. She is very protective of her loved ones, and is fiercely enraged if someone tries to harm them in any way. Deep down, she’s a little romantic, but she hides it so well that even herself isn’t necesssarily aware of this side of her personality. She definitely though has a very rich imagination and a little sarcastic sense of humour, likes observing other people.

Eeva – Finnish, in her early twenties. Blonde hair, green eyes, short and slim, has a lot of charm, though her looks are rather average. She’s very girly. May be a little shy, but this shyness only gives her more charm, and shouldn’t be much of an obstacle in life, in fact, Eeva is a very sociable creature and likes to have fun. She is very bright, and has a generally cheerful, positive and likeable personality. She is very idealistic. I imagine her as a student, full of enthusiasm and zest for life, and having a lot of friends with whom she likes to party, but when it’s needed, she is very focused on her goals, her personal development and takes things very seriously.

Elaine – a woman in her late thirties, she’s an American. She has dark, always neatly combed, blonde hair, dark blue eyes and pale, oblong, freckled face. she’s very slim. I think that women named Elaine have to be always passionate about something. I see my Elaine as an English teacher for some reason. She tries to be serious in her job, which can make her a bit stiff sometimes, but generally she’s full of enthusiasm, a real language lover and a lover of words, for some reason I see her as an avid reader of Shakespeare, she generally loves to read, is full of expression, when she can be a little more laid back and doesn’t think about being perfect. She is very creative and emotional, it is easy to move her to tears. She loves helping people when she only can. Loves going to the cinema, theatre, art galleries, she just loves anything related to art, culture and language.

Grace – she’s an English woman in her early fourties. She’s tall, very feminine looking, has blonde hair and warm, blue eyes. She’s generally full of inner warmth, and makes for a great mother and wife. SHe has a strong personality, is mature, kind-hearted, likes to laugh and does it often, though may be a little impatient and stress easily. She likes to sing, and has a warm, low and a little husky voice. She values her freedom and independence, is always very honest and respects people who are honest to her, she has a great intuition. Tends to worry about her children much more than necessary.

Hannah – a woman in her early fifties, can be from anywhere in the English-speaking world. She’s short, a little fluffy, has rosy cheeks, grey-ish hair and brown eyes. She may look older than she is. She has a very fiery temper and is not the easiest and the most conciliatory person to live with. She actually quite likes to argue and can be a bit of a drama queen at times. Though she’s not a bad person and likes helping those in need, particularly if the help their need is of a practical nature. She loves her children and grandchildren if she has any, though may intervene in their lives and relationships between them a little too much. She likes cooking, gardening, taking care of her house and households, may also like sewing and other such things, she’s incredibly active and industrious and doesn’t like lazy people. She’s extroverted and energetic, never hides her feelings and is not particularly diplomatic.

Hanne – she is Norwegian, a bit younger than Hannah, looks a bit more majestically – she’s much taller and bigger, but quite skinny –
she’s rather phlegmatic than as fierce as Hannah, but other than that, they’re pretty similar. Both very strong personalities, very active and hardworking, and incredibly practical.

Hedvig – a lady in her seventies, either from Germany or Scandinavia. She may look a bit frail and vulnerable on the outside, mostly because of her age, but she has a fierce spirit. She knows it well that life isn’t easy, often quite the opposite, and had a lot of time to adapt to it. She isn’t very talkative, but very active just like Hannah and Hanne. Actually, one could think that she lacks imagination, and while it’s hard to say if it’s true, she certainly doesn’t have very much of it and doesn’t like to use it, she much prefers all that is visible, measurable and can be useful in any way. Her beliefs – be them moral, ethical or religious – are very important to her. She’s very loyal and faithful to her family, though she doesn’t like to talk about it, she’d rather show it by her actions.

Holly – she’s in her twenties, she’s British. She has ginger hair, hazel eyes and round face, is short and might have a few extra pounds, though you wouldn’t call her fat. She’s lively, very communicative and talkative, very dreamy, energetic, incredibly sociable, has a steely will and always knows what she wants and what’s the best way to get it. SHe rarely hesitates in anything. She may be very artistically talented, or even if not, she’s still very creative. She can be quite noisy and never makes a neutral impression on those she meets. She can be quite anxious though.

Imelda – I know that probably for most of you Imelda sounds like an old-lady-ish name, and I can understand it, though when I first heard that name, I imagined Imelda as a little girl and it’s still the first picture that comes to my mind when I hear it. Well maybe she’s not little, she’s in her early teens, and actually can be pretty tall. She likes to eat a lot, so can be fat too if she’s not controlled. I think she’s Italian, or maybe Spanish. She has black hair and dark eyes and dark, tanned skin. I think she is quite a pretty girl overall. She’s actually very hard to control, because she has an explosive personality and is just hard to bring up. Just like Holly, when she wants something, she’ll most probably get it. She’s very energetic, but when she doesn’t want to do something, she won’t, unless her parents are very determined and strong-willed too. She’s just spoiled to put it simply. She has a whole crew of friends, but not always any best friends. Likes to show off with al cool things she has. But she’s actually quite sensitive, not as empty as she might seem, and often all her tricks and troubles she makes are a sign of rebelling against something that is hard for her to cope with. She’s very intelligent, too, and can do well with subjects such as maths or science. When she has very determined and loving parents, she can be tamed with time.

May – a girl in her early twenties, I guess she’s British. SHe has blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin, has rather subtle features, she’s rather skinny. May is an introvert, can struggle with close relationships because she simply doesn’t like herself or doesn’t think she’s good enough to be liked by others. She’s a perfectionist, and very nervous, fearful and anxious by nature. She’s quite quirky, has her own, unique style. She is often interested with everything extraordinary, things connected to spirituality, esotericism, psychology, things that are kind of abstractive by nature. She is very fragile emotionally. May is a very independent girl who loves having the consciousness that she’s free and no one can tell her what she should or has to do, though at the same time she’s not particularly assertive or self-confident. She may have issues with trusting others.

Maria – Maria is Polish. Generally, in Poland Maria is a name popular in older generations, but it’s also quite common among little girls. The one I’m imagining, is about 6 or 7 years old, has blonde hair and blue sapphire eyes. She’s a very obedient, almost angelic child, extremely good-natured, so that it seems almost unnatural and artificial, but definitely isn’t. She is very attached to her parents, particularly to her dad. Maria is calm, likes to take care of others because it makes her feel important, and she’s very responsible as for her age. She may seem a bit too serious though, and like she wasn’t actually a child. She’s very intelligent and bright, and has a lively imagination, but lacks spontaneity and some carefree attitude. She is an aesthete and likes things that are visually appealing and beautiful. I think she likes to draw and does it well. Likes to ask a lot of questions, is stressed easily.

Miranda – Miranda is American and in her late twenties. Has light brown, wavy, long hair, green or blue eyes, I think though that she can also be a redhead. She’s tall and slim and very charming. She is very self-confident and likes to flirt, or even if she’s not self-confident, flirting is her coping strategy and helps her feel more worthy. She’s a bit of an attention seeker. Sometimes her attitude might be a little artificial. When she’s not focusing on flirting though, she’s usually a nice person and often has lots of interesting things to say. She tends to live in a hurry, and I think she has a responsible job. She’s a perfectionist and indeed may seem to other people like everything in her life is perfect. It’s not always true though, as for all of us.

Sarah – an American elderly lady, short and skinny with grey hair and blue eyes. She has a very charming personality, is a very good listener and advisor, is warm and has a lot of wisdom. She’s very dedicated for those she loves. A bit scatty, she has still an imagination and creativity of a young girl, and is very sentimental and romantic. Loves to bake. Likes to be surrounded by beauty. Sometimes can be melancholic, but is not depressive or pessimistic.

And how do you imagine these women? πŸ™‚

How do you imagine them?

I’ve come up with a new sort of name-related series to replace this or that. This one will be rather short, just to see if any of you will like it. Join in and let me know if you like the idea.

The idea is – I give you the list of names, and your task is to imagine people with these names. Write as much or as little about how do you see them – how they look, what they are like, what they do for living, what they like, what their age is, whatever you want about them. If you know anyone with this name, try to think a bit out of the box and don’t let your previous associations disturb too much the picture of a person you’re creating, although it’s natural and obvious, or at least very likely, that both the person you know and their fictional namesake will have some traits in common. Of course, since I am a name nerd and people watcher, I won’t be just an altruist providing you the game, but I will also play along and perhaps help you figure out how to do it, you’ll find my descriptions below the list of names. My descriptions probably will seem a little outsider-ish to you, because I don’t live in an English-speaking country, so I don’t know people with most of these names and am not always oriented in what is their popularity or in which age group exactly. I’ll try for the names to be from different cultures so that it’d be possibly diverse and interesting.

Here we go:

List of names:

Eline

Eliam

Fiona

Garrett

Frida

James

Ida

Rune

Matilda

Archibald

Isabella

Angelo

Isabel

Emmanuel

My descriptions:

Eline – she is a Norwegian, in her early thirties, very smart and nerdy, but also good-looking, though rather shy. Eline is tall, slender, has chestnut hair and dark green eyes, her face is pale. She doesn’t tolerate stress well. Often feels lonely and misunderstood. Tries to overcome her shyness a lot and in fact is a very curious person, observes the world around her with interest and reads a lot. She is an introvert and deep down is rather dreamy, though doesn’t like to show it. Is also very sensitive and likes to help others. Tends to overthink a lot. She is a rather sporty person, but doesn’t like team sports, she rather prefers hiking alone in the woods or swimming in the sea. Eline has a very analytical mind. Sometimes may seem a bit detached, but this is her way to protect herself. I imagine her as a woman living in a town and single mum to one son whom she loves a lot and who means the world to her. She likes all kinds of crafts and is herself good at this kind of stuff.

Eliam – that’s a hard one a bit. I guess he’d be a Jew, it sounds very Biblical to me though I actually don’t know for sure from where this name comes. OK, so he’s a Jewish boy in his early teens. He has black hair, brown skin and hazel eyes, is rather small and thin for his age. He is very withdrawn, very different from his peers, is nerdy, likes fantasy books and games, often feels sad, comes from a very religious and not very warm family. Is interested by everything that has to do with magic or is enigmatic/mysterious. Hates school. Has issues with concentration, mostly because he dreams a lot and sometimes just disappears emotionally from his surroundings, this is his coping strategy. May be a bit selfish at times, maybe because I see him as an only child in the family. Doesn’t have many friends other than imaginary. Dreams about big adventures and being a hero/explorer.

Fiona – Scottish girl in her late twenties, with dark blonde hair, round rosy cheeks and big green eyes. Isn’t beautiful, but interesting and just nice, and that’s what people like about her. She appears to be very chatty and self-confident, but in fact is a bit insecure. May lose friends because of being too forthright. Is very determined when it’s needed. Fiona has a good, a bit self-deprecating sense of humour. She enjoys her life. Sometimes tends to catastrophise, but overall is rather an optimist and a very positive person, often inspiring for others. She is a good advisor. She is very modest and dedicated for her loved ones.

Garrett – American, in his thirties, sporty, tall, well-built, well-off, liked by women. He is a courageous, assertive man who always looks for new challenges, leads a dynamic life and is always in a hurry. He hates routine. Is easily annoyed. Doesn’t like to show negative emotions, other than anger, as they are a sign of weakness for him. Can be very blunt at times. If he has a wife or partner, his relationship is stable, though he likes to argue just for the sake of arguing and can be hot-tempered. He is very hardworking and wants those he loves to be safe and happy.

Frida – she’s Swedish, in her early fourties. Is very shy and introverted, not very liked and isolates herself on purpose from people. Leads an apparently very boring life, but her inner world is very rich. Frida isn’t the most cheerful person, but if she trusts you and if you are her friend, she is also very trustworthy and you can count on her. Her life isn’t easy, but she is very strong. She treasures her privacy, can be very suspicious of others. She’s tall, well-built, has sharp features, very light hair and pale skin, grey eyes. which she then tells others as true, although they sound very unlikely. She has a real willpower and is incredibly stubborn. She has a good relationship with his dad. Can be possessive of her friends or younger siblings if she has any.

James – he’s British, can be pretty much any age. Knows how to act in every situation, is charming and likeable. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, is tall and manly. James is a bit of an aristocrat, no matter his roots, he is classy, has a refined style, is kinda sophisticated, but not overly, just very naturally. Isn’t the most emotional person in the world, or actually it isn’t easy for him to show his emotions, but in fact he is quite sensitive. He is a strong man who likes to be a leader, but doesn’t have a problem if he has to follow instructions. he’s rather calm, but if he gets angry, he’s VERY angry. He is a loyal friend and loves deeply.

Ida – a girl in primary school, she’s Polish. She is short, skinny, very energetic and hyperactive. She’s a redhead with shiny green eyes. She has a fierce personality and appreciates her freedom above all. She asks lots of questions and has a very sharp mind. She is very curious about the world, and incredibly brave. Can be very impulsive and hard to tame. Likes to be the centre of attention, often makes other kids and even adults laugh, has a tendency to lie or at least make up a lot of things that sound very unlikely. Has a good relationship with her dad. She’s incredibly stubborn, often possessive of those she loves, and her moods change quicker than the weather.

Rune – he’s Swedish, in his late fourties. He’s a phlegmatic, a big thinker. He never speaks before thinking twice or thrice, which results in him being not very talkative. Rune likes family life, even if it’s predictable and monotonous, he hates any changes. He is a good person, though not the easiest to talk to, he seem to be constantly immersed deep down in his innermost world and barely notices what’s going on on the Earth. In fact though, he really cares about his loved ones and has a big heart, he is also very hardworking. He is a stocky man with shaggy, blonde but greying hair and gentle blue eyes with thick eyebrows. For some reason I think the guy named RUne I’m imagining has myopia.

Matilda – she’s a British teenager. Comes across as sour and rebellious, and rather isn’t liked, it seems even as if she would do everything to discourage people from talking to her or even just being around her. Sometimes can be really annoying with this attitude. In fact though, Matilda feels lost in her life, and often just doesn’t like herself. She’s capricious, fussy, moody, irritable, withdrawn and depressive. Though when she gets through this hard period, she becomes a much nicer and approachable person, with a lot of charm, that she doesn’t even know she has. Matilda is a slim redhead with green eyes and freckled face. She has often a very original style of dressing, and is generally a very extraordinary and quirky person.

Archibald – Archibald may be from Canada, I think. He is a guy in his 60’s. His hair used to be black, his eyes are brown, he has a beard and is a little overweight. He is a big man and still very strong, despite not being very young. He is incredibly determined, has strong will, is very proud and not the nicest of characters, however he’s very wise, fair and wants the best for his family, even if he seems unfeeling. He knows the worth of money and is quite rich. He doesn’t tolerate oposition and is very bossy.

Isabella – a woman in her 40’s, can be from anywhere actually. She is very beautiful and knows about it. She is tall, skinny, has blue eyes with long thick lashes and black hair. She is very feminine, likes dresses, high-heel shoes, is into lifestyle, health, fashion. May seem a bit shallow and vain. She is very sensitive and sophisticated though and is also interested in things like parapsychology or spirituality. She is a mum, and loves her kids. As a wife can be a bit difficult and make her husband feel jealous on purpose, she’s also very capricious and changeable. It is a very ambitious person, a real perfectionist.

Angelo – a Spanish guy in his twenties, he’s a Christian, has a heart of gold, is very energetic, an idealist. He loves music. He’s so much of an idealist that he may actually seem naive. He loves will all his heart and can do a lot for those he loves, he likes children and can work with them. Girls like him because he’s handsome and charming and always positive. He has dark brown eyes, almond-shaped brown eyes and very tanned skin, he’s not very tall, but well-built.

Isabel – she’s pretty much like Isabella, but more dynamic, and more passionate about life in general, a bit less egocentric. EMmanuel – a guy in his 30’s, with black hair, dark complexion and dark eyes. He is an artist, is very open-minded and generally thinks a lot. May seem a bit too detached at times. He has lots of great ideas, but too little will to realise them at times, though it doesn’t have to be a rule. He lacks spontaneity. EMmanuel is a very good advisor and always looks at things objectively.

How do you imagine them? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Do you have a mind for science and math? Would you consider yourself an intellectual? My answer:
I was never particularly good at science at school, if it can indicate whether someone has a mind for science or not, I was quite average. I wasn’t also particularly outstanding at biology or chemistry, and was as lame, hopeless and clueless as you only can imagine at physics and maths and hate it with all my brain. Me and my Mum actually tried very hard to get me a certificate for dyscalculia as one of my teachers suggested, but the woman who evaluated me told us that yes, I theoretically match the criteria but for some reason blind people can’t be diagnosed with dyscalculia, but I didn’t actually get out of her why exactly. If not, it’s OK, but then why won’t they adjust things so that they would be more manageable for those blind people who struggle with mathematical concepts? As far as I know it’s not just me, although I seem to be the most hopeless case of those I know of. πŸ˜€ A bit incomprehensible for me that they don’t want to cooperate more, and incredibly annoying, but very luckily it’s all the past and I don’t have to worry about that shit anymore!!!!!!!!!
However, I still do like some things about science, and I would say my approach to many things is rather scientific. I don’t like this division – that some fields are scientific, and some are humanities and arts so they completely aren’t scientific, or that some people have scientific minds, while others have humanist/artistic. I think most of those fields that are called humanities or arts are also scientific more or less, and moreover, often people who work in these fields have scientific minds too. Like I often hear people saying that for example psychology is a humanist field, so not scientific. But I think it’s a great deal of both. Same would be music, social sciences, politology, linguistics, many arts, and so on. So, I’d say I lean more to those fields that many people would call not scientific but rather humanist –
like languages, writing, music, etc. but I often involve in them with quite a scientific approach. Particularly when it comes to languages and how I learn them and how I understand various language concepts. I’ve also had people telling me that actually my way of thinking seems pretty scientific to them, and my Mum constantly keeps saying that I’m analysing way too much stuff and should become a philosopher, and it always pisses her off for some reason when I do so. πŸ˜€ I easily notice similarities in things even those that are apparently unrelated to each other which sometimes leads me to quite surprising conclusions. I like deducing lots of things rather than getting to know them straight as they are from someone. I like researching stuff and when something really interests me I can be incredibly inquiring to the point of nosiness at times. πŸ˜€ After all I am an Aquarius and all that seems to be characteristic for this zodiac sign. I guess all that can be also called characteristics of a scientific mind. Plus I also am into psychology, medicine, human brain, and some other things that are to do with science by their nature, and if I would see I would be a neurosurgeon for sure. And I’m a bit geeky/nerdy overall.
As for being an intellectual, hm, I’m surely intelligent, people often say that above average, but it is mainly my Mum, who is certainly not objective. πŸ˜€ But yeah, I myself too like to think that I am intelligent, and I think most of my interests and things I do require some intellectual potential as well as develop it further. I certainly like to do things with my brain and I like intellectual challenges. When there were still social classes that were significantly divided in Poland my Mum’s family were intellectuals, and this is still visible in what they are like, both my grandparents are very intelligent and so are they children, and they have always respected intellectual work and have a lot of comprehensive knowledge even if not all of my grandparents’ kids have graduated from unis because they simply didn’t want to, like for example my Mum started studying pedagogic but stopped very quickly because she just realised it’s not for her, and her true dream was to work in gastronomy, which isn’t something very intellectual, but anyway she was never able to achieve it either. Most of my Mum’s family are also naturally witty people and appreciate a good, but not too simple joke which seems to also be a trait of intelligent people. I think I have a lot after my Mum’s family, that I like to learn, even if these aren’t conventional things you can learn at school, ’cause I am absolutely fed up with education system overall as I said before. I’ve also learnt a lot, particularly from my Grandad, who, although he is a food technologist by profession, has also been very keen about medicine and he taught me a lot about different aspects of it, practically anytime we talk I learn something new. πŸ˜€ I also think I have some sense of humour after them, be it in the way I can see lots of absurd in many life situations whee an average person wouldn’t see anything particular, or in the fact that I like making people laugh, have, or try to have some healthy distance to most of things and laughing off stuff is my life coping strategy in many situations, I am also often sarcastic and cynnical just like my grandad and my Mum, though each of us in a bit different way. So I think I can call myself an intellectual.
How about you? Do you like science, or have a scientific mind? How about math? Do you think about yourself as an intellectual? How does it all manifest in you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Do you consider yourself artistic, in any way?

My answer:

What does actually the word artistic mean? ‘Cause, I feel like there could be a few definitions. An artistic person could be simply an artist, so, I suppose, someone who makes a living with their art. But then do really all artists make a living with their art? Someone told me that the art is only when it has a receiver, so all those who are artists are those who show their works to others, and those who for example write poetry and keep it in the drawer, these people aren’t artists, and no matter how beautiful things they create, they’re worthless because they don’t have readers/listeners/viewers… that sounds rather radical, but OK, maybe that’s true, I’m certainly not an art expert. Artistic may also mean someone who is artsy and does a lot of stuff like singing, writing, crafting, for a hobby, and they’re particularly good at it. I also have an impression that many people tend to exclude all the other arts than visual and all that is art for them is if someone paints, draws, carves or sculpts etc. that is particularly weird for me. Like kids have art classes at school and it only includes visual arts, not that much writing, singing, playing instruments, acting or whatever else.

Naah there seems to be way too many different definitions and meanings behind the words art and artistic. So I’m gona share my own with you. An artistic person, in my personal opinion, is someone who is first and foremost creative. They’re usually an aesthete, highly sensitive, particularly to beauty. They don’t necessarily have to be real artists so painters or poets, but what they do is like an art for them, I mean they’re very good at it and they do it in their own way, they’re devoted to it with all their heart, soul and mind. Their art might be pretty modest and not important in the grand scheme of things, but it is what makes them happy and, usually, is also of great benefit for those around them. This is just how I would interpret the word artist. And, as a stereotypical artist, such people are usually pretty quirky and view things differently than many other people, in just their own way.

The first such an artistic soul that comes to my mind is my Mum. She doesn’t do any real art, well, she can crochet very well, she is pretty good at writing, was at school at least, and has some gift for acting which she sometimes gives an outlet to while reading books to either me or Zofijka, or while imitating other people for fun. But she doesn’t do neither of those things regularly, she doesn’t do anything conventionally artistic on a daily basis. But she cooks like a real artist, she often says that cooking is an art, but also a very scientific thing, so much physics in it. She is very inventive in the kitchen. also she is very sensitive to beauty and has a somewhat sophisticated style, she is passionate about decorating houses, even if it’s not something she herself does. She easily notices beauty in people and places and knows how to elicit it, that’s why she wanted to be an interior designer or a beautician. And she’s incredibly diplomatic, and that’s an art too. So she definitely is artistic.

Well now as for me. I write regularly – short stories, sometimes quirky or humourous poems, recently we were remaking a lot of nursery rhymes with Zofijka into more sassy and witty versions (I just can’t be serious in poetry although I would like sometimes), I’m working on translating Cornelis Vreeswijk’s works from Swedish into Polish which I also consider some sort of art, I am also musical although I’m not doing anything about it at the moment other than being a keen listener to a lot of music. But even if I write something, nowadays I rarely show it to someone, so in a conventional way I wouldn’t consider myself an artist now. However in my definition I think I am artistic in some way because I definitely am sensitive to beauty, and quite creative, I like to do creative stuff with the language, and I am a synaesthete which is – maybe a bit stereotypically – usually attributed as a sort of artistic trait, I am highly imaginative, so I think I do have some artistic side to my nature. Oh, and so many people say that baby naming is also an art, which I actually agree with.

How about you? DO you consider yourself artistic? How does it manifest? What does the word artistic actually mean to you? Would you agree with my definition? πŸ™‚

How to figure out people’s personalities fairly easily?

Thought I’d write about the thing that I brought up once on my Polish blog before and it got quite a lot of interest. I deleted my Polish WordPress blog before I even started this one and haven’t saved the posts, but I’ll try to retrace it as faithfully as I can.
When I was much younger, I started to be very fascinated by people’s personalities. How they distinct between each other, what they have in common, and as I was, and still am, a habitual people watcher, I tried to find some relationships between speciffic character traits and what may cause them. It wasn’t actually only about the personalities, but individuals as a whole. I had tons of ideas, why this person is similar to that, and not someone else. Yes, genes, upbringing, social environment, but… it has to be something else. Some of my ideas were pretty reasonable, as I think, some just kinda overanalysing stuff or just nonsense, like I realised that many guys around me who were tall, were also phlegmatic, and I was convinced it’s a relationship between these two traits and that simply tall people/men are usually phlegmatic. πŸ˜€ My interest has grown bigger one day when I went to the hairdresser with my Mum and I heard them talking about astrology. It was a completely new word to me and what they were talking about seemed very interesting and coinciding with my views that there are some speciffic traits that can determine who we are or what we’re like. I then developed some interest in astrology, which was rather superficial back then, but it’s still wasn’t what I was looking for.
Another thing that led me closer to the breakthrough was meeting a person at the boarding school, who was named like me. We were just smalltalking, I introduced myself to her and she was like aw we have the same name, do you know what it means? I was like what? Can names mean anything? And thanks to her I realised that yes, names have meanings. But I haven’t heard about it more since much later. I heard in the church on saint Anna’s day, which is also my Mum’s name day, that Anna comes from the Hebrew word hannah, and means “grace, charm, mercy”. That left me wondering what my Dad’s name could mean. Many of you probably already know that my Dad’s name is Jacek, and I’ve always loved this name, I’ve always felt some kind of attraction to people named Jacek and when I was very small I used to say that if I’ll ever marry someone, his name would have to be Jacek. I wondered and wondered, and the answer came at a quite unexpected moment.
At the time I was going to the integration school, I got funding for my first computer with screenreader and other specialised stuff, and as I of course had no idea how to use all that and neither had anyone in my family, there was a girl who was training me. We were getting along very well and one day the topic of names came up somehow, we were playing with Zofijka who was only about a year old and we were saying she’s clever, and she summed it that it’s no wonder, because sophia means “wisdom” in Greek. So I asked her whether she knows what the name Jacek means, and she didn’t, as I supposed, but why not look it up. Long live the Internet! She opened a website where there was everything in detail about the etymology of the name Jacek, all its diminutives, other language forms (which I now know where wrong because everyone thinks Jacek is Polish for Jack) and something I didn’t quite understand what it was for at first. A characteristic of the name Jacek. Or rather, of a person bearing it. How can you characterise Jacek if there are so many Jaceks out there? But, at least for my Dad, the description seemed to fit.
That was the start for my new passion. The main thing I did online for a while was educating myself about names, their meanings, etymologies, but above all, traits they give those who bear them. But… something was still not quite as it should be. There are tons of descriptions over there, it’s true that most of them have something that shows you in some way the personality of a person bearing a certain name, but it wasn’t always so. why do they differ so much? Shouldn’t there be one concrete description for every name, if it is meant to be believable? Like there is the name JΓ³zef (you guessed it, Joseph) and on one website they say JΓ³zefs are hardworking, modest, shy and very practical minded people, while on another, they say they’re chronic procrastinators, very judgmental, narrow minded and narcissistic. How are these two descriptions supposed to work together for the same person? How thousands people with the same name are supposed to fit the same three-line description? Can it actually work? Also, why are there so many characteristics with only good character traits? And then you can stumble upon something which only describes flaws of a person? Is it all actually worth anything? What with people who have rare names? Hyphenated? Double? Middle name(s)? DOesn’t a nickname change anything? How about those who share their name with other people, but don’t resemble their namesakes at all?
It has taken me a lot of time to figure it out so that I felt satisfied, but quickly I realised that something like influence of a name on a person who bears it exists, but you have to think on your own to figure it out and how it works. I was looking up descriptions for very many names in very many sources, and people watching and analysing obsessively. And I started to see some rules and patterns to the game. I started to see that every name has its own feel, it may be similar to the feel another name has, but it’s never the same. This feel gives you an idea of some traits, I’d say kinda symbolises some traits. I went so deep into it that it started to work in my mind like a sort of synesthesia, even though it wasn’t. Like, you tell me your name is Helena – I see quite an attractive woman, with long black hair, pretty, heart-shaped face, dark blue eyes with long lashes, regular features, very feminine, sensitive, impulsive, generous, idealist, incredibly dedicated and altruistic, creative, ambivert, honest, very very proud, so that actually a bit overly, it’s hard for her to apologise, forgive, ask for anything, she has a very passionate nature.., likes to be mischievous at times, is easily hurt, an aesthete, very intelligent, but not quite a cerebral sort, very loyal friend, can be vindictive, envious, often exaggerates things, is very dreamy and a fantastic storyteller and housewife, when she’s young though, growing to adulting may take her more time than her peers and she likes to be cared for and awakens caring instincts in guys, she may sometimes want to be bossy and authoritarian, but it’s not her true nature, she is better as a part of the group than its leader, or particularly when working on her own, since she’s so very creative, she gets frustrated easily and her enthusiasm is passionate but short-lived…
The thing with appearance is entirely my personal quirk. It doesn’t mean all Helenas look or should look like that and are such beauties. I don’t know any Helena like that. But, for me, an ideal Helena, who would fit her name perfectly, should look like that, or close to it. She doesn’t have to have heart-shaped face or long lashes, doesn’t even have to have black hair, can be blonde and have light blue, or green, or grey eyes, or maybe even can be a redhead, kind of orange, but there just are appearance traits that fit Helena, and any other name, better, and such that don’t fit at all.
As for the personality. It doesn’t have to mean AT ALL that you’re like this. After all, all of us are luckily different. But if your parents gave you this name, it means that you’re very likely to develop these traits in your personality. Much more than if they called you, erm, whatever, let’s say Lisa. Your genes, your upbringing, environment and all the other factors that are more important may highlight these traits, or some of them, or may supplant them. And you may feel kinda conflicted, like there are two conflicting sides of you, or like your surroundings want you to be someone different than you are, or you may simply not like your name and not feel like it’s good for you. That was the case with me before I changed my name legally and it was one of the reasons behind it. I like my birth name, it’s classic and feminine, but I hated it on myself. It is very hard to explain, but anytime someone called me, somewhere deep inside I felt like they’re actually talking to someone else who I am supposed to fake. Or like they don’t know the truth and see someone in me who I am not. It felt like sorta dissonance. All that stuff about harmony prevailing in your life and how it is important sounds so incredibly cliche, but it can really influence you and your life when all of the aspects of you aren’t set in harmony. That’s what I think, have experienced and seen in others, anyway. That’s why many name nerds freak out so much when they see a clashing combo of a first and middle name. For many it’s just the thing of sound – you know, syllables, going well with the surname – but for others it’s something deeper. These names have to flow. Be similar in the feel, yet complement each other. So, going back to that poor Helena, if her middle name was Lisa, my opinion is that she would be quite a conflicted person. These names have so different vibes. I’m sure you can feel it. This is the art of naming.
You can ask yourself, who would be so dedicated and searched for an ideally matching name for their child, how you can predict your child’s personality, tendencies, to make the name(s) flow well with it. That can be a tough thing for some, but, surprisingly, most parents have that infallible instinct and nail it. I am particularly in awe for those who have some traditions in their family to give the children a few middle names. It could seem a damn hard work to make them all flow nicely and in harmony with the child’s tendencies, but most of them just seem to unconsciously do it right.
As some of you know, I love baby naming and helping people with naming their kids/book characters etc. so much that I’ve actually considreed seriously becoming a professional baby namer. So far though, I limit myself to helping people in my surroundings or on online forums for pregnant mummies. We have one here in Poland that is really reliable and there are lots of geeks in the field over there, and there are American Behind The Name, Nameberry and others, which are websites speciffically dedicated to names. What I always tell parents on our Polish forum when they have some ideas, but don’t know what to choose finally is – just wait until the childbirth and you’ll see who he/she looks like. One of the mums was confused – how you can see it who your child looks like – and I also wasn’t sure what to actually tell her, so I just said that when she sees her, she’ll have more clear idea I think. And then after her daughter was born she wrote to me: “Emi, you were right that I should see her before I choose the name. Now I know what you meant. She certainly doesn’t look like a Karolina. She is a KORNELIA!”. So I think when you become a parent, you just know what to do instinctively.
I think the worst thing you can do and the most common reason why some people’s names clash with their personalities, is a situation when before they even have a child on the way, parents are absolutely convinced about the name they will choose for their kid, for example friends promise each other they will name their children after each other. Friendships will pass, children have nothing in common with your ex-friends, but the name stays with them. That’s what happened to both my cousin and me, so that when I was changing my name even my Mum encouraged me to do it, because she “picked it so spontaneously”, just to honour a friend. Also naming children after currently popular stars/book/movie characters isn’t a good idea. The trend will pass, and there will be a whole generation of children named the same name just because of that celebrity/character being popular once, and most of such people don’t rather like their name. Of course if you’re a long time fan of some celebrity, book or movie and it’s your all time favourite, it’s a bit different. Your child will know you picked the name for them because you really liked it and had nice associations with it, and not because there was just a boom on something when they were born and you happened to be crazy about it at that time just like everyone else. I think I don’t have to mention about situations when parents give their children ridiculous or extremely rare/kre8tiv names to make them successful in life. I’d say you just have to go with your heart, and then ask your brain what he thinks about it.
What I learned very quickly as I explored the world of names was that it’s so very easy to become judgmental and trust your gut too easily. I mean, you can trust yourself, if you get how it works, it really helps me personally to have some idea of a person I can meet even before I meet them if I know their name. But sticking to that idea is something definitely not good and unfair to that person. You have to be careful to not judge them too quickly and assume you just know what they’re like.
I had a classmate, his name was Mariusz. I don’t know anyone whose name would be more mismatched with the personality than his. I think what lost their parents was the ambition that they wanted to call all their children with names beginning with M. When I heard that we will have a new student in our class and his name is Mariusz, I got a very speciffic picture of a person that I expected him to be. All the Mariusz’s I knew were a kind of guys that my Mum calls “teddy bears”. Overweight, lumpish, usually in their late 30’s early 40’s, phlegmatic, calm, like to eat well, that’s a teddy bear in my Mum’s dictionary. Plus guys with this name I knew were always lacking in imagination, sociable, rather well to do, eloquent, good daddies and rather boring people living very monotonous, schematic, but stable and family-centered lives.
And when I met that boy for the first time, I was shocked. He was anything but it. Well he was rather calm, but it was more of shyness than his real temperament, he liked to eat well and was more practical than imaginative, but that was all. Other than that, he didn’t fit his name as much as it can only be possible. He was short and thin, very agile and sporty, not eloquent at all and a bit of a nerd. πŸ˜€ I couldn’t be more mistaken. Needless to say he didn’t like his name. Around his friends, he was going by a nickname completely unrelated to his name. Once even one of our teachers commented that he doesn’t look like a Mariusz. And yeah, that learned me that I can be right very often and be good at figuring out others’ personalities, but that doesn’t mean I can just judge a book by its cover.
With time I realised that names and naming are a really fascinating thing, and stopped relying on online resources/books when it comes to name characteristics. I know I was good at it because my name instinct rarely let me down, and I started to be popular among my friends and they always came to me when they wanted to know a characteristic of a name and were always like “Wooow how do you know it?” πŸ˜€
I could and still am wrong at times, no one is unfallible and this is a very subtle area, but most of my assumptions or “forecasts” are right or at least fair.
I started to explore Behind The Name then and to go deeper into foreign names and name trends in general. And then I started to wonder whether the English-speaking Internet has some sites like we have, with characteristics of people based on their names. ‘Cause so far I haven’t seen any.
I was searching intensively for something, but the only stuff I seemed to find were sites based entirely on numerology. During the time when I was so very interested in all things esoteric in the past, I’ve explored numerology and I think it doesn’t work well with names. You have just 9, or optionally 13 numbers that you can operate on and that can represent different types of personalities and different symbols. If you get a whole numerological portrait of a person, I don’t know, maybe it could work, but if you have names and want to make characteristics of names based on numerology and only on numerology, what you’ll get is even more nonsense than on our sites, because you get a dozen or so of names that fit one description. And another reason why I really dislike such sites is that you often only have a search edit field to enter a name there, and you actually can enter ANYTHING you want. I once typed Shit, and I got a characteristic of Shit’s personality. Isn’t that very creative? πŸ˜€ I think it is, but not quite what I was searching for.
So far, I’ve found only one fairly good English website with very detailed characteristics of a very wide range of names. Sometimes they may be repetitive and they say these characteristics are also based solely on numerology, but I think it’s either not true, or they go into some more sophisticated numerology because their characteristics are really detailed and most often good.
That’s a pity that English-speaking countries, with all that wide range names that are freely in use, aren’t more interested in that stuff, but luckily there are many good sites with cold raw facts about names that aren’t just made up or not verified, and there are much more baby naming/name nerd communities than it is over here.
If you read this and are also interested in the topic and know some good English resources with name characteristics, let me know, it will be much appreciated.
It’s not as easy for me to make my own characteristics of foreign names as it is with Polish names, but I’ve been working on it a lot and I think I am fairly good at it. If I hear the name for the first time, of course it sounds usually very unfamiliar to me and I can’t say anything about it, but as I hear it often repeated, write it or something, it gets more personality. However I still have some issues with those names that are completely out there for me, like dunno Asian, African… and I’ve never done a characteristic of any super rare/unheard name for anyone else so I don’t know how good I’m at it. And sometimes I struggle with very popular names too, such timeless classics, all the Katherines, Janes, Annes, Marys, Johns, James’ and their equivalents in popularity in other cultures. It’s because they are so common and it’s hard to be objective and make a universal characteristic without relying only on the personality traits of all the people I know with that particular name, and not too universal and general so that almost anyone could fit in, as so many people seem to do. What was very stressful for me for a long time was when someone asked me for making a characteristic of their own name, and I knew them well. I was afraid I will fail at separating their name’s traits with their own personality traits and that they will think I just said all that I know about them personally. But now I think I cope better with it and am better at doing it objectively and right. Also what I find particularly hard with English names is figuring out for each name how its spelling influences the person, I mean for example how can Lyndsay be different from Lindsay and whether the differences are significant enough that we need to make completely separate characteristics for them. That’s really interesting. Websites fix it with numerology, but since I don’t really believe in it and its effectiveness, I don’t know what would be the best to do.
Have you ever wondered what more can be to a name than just how it sounds and looks? How do you feel about your own? Do you agree with all that or not, believe that your name can influence you in any way? Why or why not? Have you any thoughts or questions? Is it of any interest for you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Do you consider yourself a nurturer? Do you have a nurturing friend?

My answer:

Hm, that was a little bit tricky for me, since I felt like I hadn’t have very clear idea of what actually nurturer means. It’s because there’s no equivalent word for it in my native language which is Polish, so my idea of it was rather brief, just someone who nurtures, and the word nurture actually can’t be expressed in one word either, at least as far as I know. But I found a very interesting definition, not in any dictionary, but apparently there is a personality type based on MBTI, which is called nurturer and this is ISFJ. At least the site personalityperfect.com calls this type the nurturer. I did the MBTI test only once and not very carefully but it says I’m INFP, but I used their description of ISFJ to see if I can consider myself as a nurturer.

They say nurturers are philanthropic, altruistic and generous, to put it simply. I don’t know if I’d call myself philanthropic, rather not, but I think I am generous and I like to help people if I can. I used to be a real altruist like REAL, as is my Mum, but I’ve noticed it isn’t always the very best thing to do, so I try to be reasonably altruistic, although as in many other interpersonal situations it’s often hard for me to deduce where actually the middle is and where the extremes begin, but I’m learning with time, I believe.

They say that: “The people and things they believe in will be upheld and supported with enthusiasm and unselfishness.” Well, I try to be supportive towards people whom I believe in and I quickly engage in their lives and am always happy with their successes, as for things, everyone who knows me a bit knows that if I’m into something, I am always way too enthusiastic about it, which is the more hard for other people to stand that I have a lot of interests, so a lot of things to be enthusiastic about, which at times is just the only thing that keeps me motivated when both my mood and energy are so low that otherwise I wouldn’t even be able to move my finger, which really saves me.

They say they’re warm and kind-hearted. Well I don’t think many people would say I’m warm, in fact I’ve heard either directly or via some other kind individuals that I am frosty or even icy, and I think they’re right because after so many years of stifling emotions it has become damn hard for me to release tem even when I am just with myself not to mention with other people. I try to seem as warm and emotional as I can though. As for kind-hearted, um, yeah, I guess I have the genes for it as my family consists of incredibly kind-hearted and sensible people, but I’d rather leave it for others to say, as I think no one can be objective about themselves in this case.

“They value harmony and cooperation, and are likely to be very sensitive to other people’s feelings.” I do value harmony in my environment and surroundings a lot, I do value harmony in music even more, as for cooperation – emmmmmm well naaah, I’m not for it at all, well I wouldn’t be like rebellious if I’d have to cooperate with you and I’d try to do my best for me and for our team, but I’ve never liked cooperating and had never been good at cooperation, I was always either the one who let all the others do everything just doing my job as quickly as possible to be free from it, or I was the “leader” doing everything for everyone to not have to communicate with them too much, I am oversensitive for other people’s feelings, which can have its advantages, but often sucks, which I think every empath with a lot of imagination and interest in others would confirm. I am not only sensitive to their emotions, but also sometimes to how they feel physically, like it often happened when my Mum had period I just felt kind of like I had it too, even though mine was just gone. πŸ˜€ That’s so weird.

They say nurturers are considerate – um, I guess I am, – and bring out the best in others – not sure.

So that’s all about the nurturers, and I think I can say that overall I am a nurturer.

As for friends, yes, I do know lots of people who would fit these “criteria”. First of all my Mum, who is definitely my friend (my Mum is an ISFJ!!!), one of my blind Polish friends who had just a heart of gold despite having a total hell of life herself. Since like a year I’ve made a lot of friends in mental health communities, particularly on email lists, and now here on WordPress, and I see a lot of people everywhere whom I could call nurturing. And then there is my best friend, about whom I’m actually not sure anymore if we’re still best friends since he seems to decide to not keep n touch with me anymore, though I don’t know any reason for it, we haven’t written or talked together for almost half year now but I still do think about him as my best friend even just because I got used to it so much. Anyway, I could see a lot of traits in him that would match the above very well. So I think he is a nurturer, even if nurturers don’t usually end their relationships out of the blue, but as I said I don’t know his point of view, so don’t want to base my opinion just on my feelings. I also had to cut off all the contact with some people in the past so I don’t think I have the right for judging him, even if from my perspective he hadn’t have any reason to do it.

OK, so how about you? And your friends? Feel free to use this description of nurturer I used, or any other definition, however you want to answer this. πŸ™‚

Suspicious.

My Dad is very suspicious

by nature. So suspicious that I often even call him paranoid. He was suspicious as long as I can remember, always thinking that all people around are cheating – on him, on us, on the whole world. Of course, especially media, politicians, health services, Mum, Internet… but in fact, more or less, everyone. He has always had a very hard relationship with Olek – my brother. I’m sure he loves him, but he always treats him like kinda black sheep and whatever he would do is automatically perceived as absolutely wrong. It was always a significant issue and a reason to worry for my Mum.

My Dad isn’t a man you could have a really deep discussion with, as much as I love him I have to admit he has his views, prejudices and so on so any deeper conversations usually won’t make much sense or even may cause an arguement. But even though sometimes it happens that we talk about more deep stuff, as he likes to talk to me. And sometimes I talk to him about what I’ve read in a speciffic topic we are chatting about. And then he is usually like: “Why do you think they are right? Maybe they just want to manipulate people. Maybe they have paid to write this and not anything else?.” And such thinking makes me feel helpless. I mean – sure, there are lots of manipulative people, manipulative strategies in media, some form of manipulation is probably almost everywhere, not necessarily to make us any harm, but if just everyone is manipulative, what should we believe in? Or why actually should we believe in anything? Why does he believe in God? Maybe it’s just one big cheating? You know, I’m not assuming it is indeed, I am Christian as well, but, thinking the way he does… everything looks so pointless, doesn’t it? Just think, everybody is a total cheater, there’s no one to trust in the world, you have only yourself, well, I wouldn’t even be so sure if he actually trusts even himself. It looks so depressive. And thinking about it, about what my Dad’s reality looks like, makes me depressive, even if it’s not really my reality. I am sorry for him that he chose to live in such an unsatisfying way. But I can’t change it. It is only he who could change it and although he’s grumping so often, he doesn’t seem to really want it.

I am also a pessimist although I think my pessimism is more of a defensive kind, you know, I prefer to be ready for the worst even if everything looks like it’s going to be all good, but that’s how different life circumstances made me and I like to think about myself I still have have the ability to be happy and appreciate even pretty small things and I don’t really like to complain in front of other people, I just find it pretty weakish, anyway when I do so. But my Dad’s pessimism, for me, seems to be only all about grumping, complaining about others, about other people’s dogs peeing where they shouldn’t, not doing anything constructive with his life and thinking almost only about bad things that are happening to him. What frustrates me, he never seems to be really glad of anything, or, more exactly, I suppose he must have some moments when he’s at least a bit happy, but he can’t show it and it really can piss off people around him if they try and do their best to make him happy or at least to make him appreciate what we do for him. Personally I feel like he always kinda favoured me the most in comparison to my siblings, so I didn’t feel it that much directly, but I’ve observed my Mum and my siblings who haveΒ  tried a lot to satisfy him and no one and nothing seem to be good enough which makes them discouraged, and me frustrated for them. Now as he is getting older, although he still isn’t old, all these traits seem to deepen, and he doesn’t even see it. I really do love my Dad and with years I’ve learnt how to act with him, but he’s going more and more annoying and challenging for us. As my Mum put it recently while talking with me – he wants to be mentally old. He is in quite good condition physically, but mentally gets old extremely quickly. He’s not even yet in his fifties, but looking only at his personality traits, I doubt anyone could guess it.

But what exactly did I want to say in this post? No, its main purpose isn’t complaining at my Dad, not even letting out my emotions related to him and his difficult and challenging way of being.

What sometimes concerns me, when I think about him, about what he’s like, is that although I think I can’t say I’m grumpy or really overly demanding for people, I see a lot of his traits in myself. actually more than in my siblings. I think, characterwise I am more similar to him than to my Mum, whereas my siblings are rather more similar to her. She says so too. And although of course he has also a lot of good traits, sometimes I am afraid. I am afraid because as far as I can remember I had issues with trusting people, not as he has, but rather in the way I’m always pretty distant to people, even those I want to be close to. I have always had the tendency to be depressive, to overthink, to feel hopeless. I am often very stressed out about small things and always very unsettled by any major changes in life, no matter if good or bad. I am slightly obsessed about my privacy. And I often feel ridiculously suspicious about people in some situations, which can be really mentally exhausting. I know that lots of situations in my life, often very early on, helped my to develop all that and it’s not only the case of just genes or the thing that I wanted to be like this, and my suspiciousness differs from his, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid that someday, when I’ll be let’s say the age he’s now, I’ll realise that I am like him. Overly suspicious, cautious and not letting people to like me. That my life will be as hopeless and empty as his is, or seems to be for me. That I will clinge to my stupid daily routines like he does now in fear of just any changes. Luckily I don’t have such temper as he has so I think having such impressional tantrums won’t be my domain. πŸ˜€ It is Zofijka’s. πŸ˜› and actually I always try to avoid this thought because I really don’t like to think about it and I feel like it’s a bit ridiculous to be afraid about such odd things which could only happen in very distant future, , but I can’t help I’m afraid about it. isn’t it a total paranoia to be paranoid about being paranoid in thirty years? πŸ˜€