Just to say: it is no war, and there is not one group that is better than the other or more of an advantage to society.
Often, people can be both, and use both their left and right side of the brain.
I love this picture. I love that it portrays the strengths of each side of the brain. How if you work predominately through your left brain, you’ll be strong at analysing and working with facts and you’ll use tools and methods that are proven to work. You’ll love lists, and doing things in chronological or strategic order.
Then the Right-Brainers, are the spontaneous ones, they’re the wild ones, they do what they feel like in the moment. They love experiences for who it made them feel- the thrill, the passion, the connection.
Woah and look at those last descriptions. Lefties “know exactly who they are”; Righties, “are everything they wanted to be”. I’d say I know who I am, but there’s still more to learn and figure out about myself, and in a lot of ways, I’ve become who I’ve imagined being- someone bold and not afraid to have an opinion, but I know there’s still areas of fear or insecurity that show me I’m not yet all I want to be.
I don’t think we can ever arrive at the fullness of all we are meant to be. You can know who you are, but knowing everything? Where’s the mystery in that? Knowing everything about yourself is more limiting than it is liberating. If you were to think that you know everything, then you’re implying that you know exactly how you’d respond to all situations.
That’s impossible. Sure you can have an idea based on your past experience, you can even plan and decide what you’ll do for when the moment comes. I encourage that, in fact. It is good to know who you’re going to be rather than let emotion dictate your behaviour. It is wise to decide that no matter the circumstance, you will be a strong person, or kind person, or a person of integrity. You can decide that you’ll keep a positive attitude. Deciding that means that when something messes up your day, or life, you can choose to maintain your positive attitude.
Feelings will influence how you behave, but I suppose I’m questioning if that determines who you are. This advert suggests the deal is done, the cards laid on the table, and there’s a definitive description of who you are. What I don’t want to happen is for people to think they cannot change their description. I never want somebody to think that they cannot change their lot in life. Or for people to take it to the extreme. I don’t want people to see one description and fully encompass themselves within that description. Yes that could describe you in this moment, but you don’t know what could mould your personality in the coming years. And if you are forever to hold a certain label over your heart, you may limit yourself to just that description and never get to know other aspects of your personality.
Last year, I felt like every few months I zoned in on a different part of my personality and really learned how that part contributed to me as a whole.
I spent time feeling natural and most myself at the centre of attention, telling stories, being expressive, and loud and funny.
And then, a shift occurred within me, and I just wanted to hide, I let others speak first, I became the one who listened all the time. I preferred hanging out on my own rather than in a group. I’d wait to be asked questions instead of volunteering information. For a while I thought I wan’t being myself unless I was loud, but I realised, no, this quiet listening side is valid too. And I can be full energy meeting new people, one on one, or on my own. I’m not limited to being either introvert or extrovert. I’m both.
I then spent a season being highly administrative, requiring lists just to get through the week, needing detailed notes, and ordered, sectioned points. That left brain side. I was organised in every aspect.
But I used to be highly “go with the flow”. I never needed to know the plan or itinerary, I’d just turn up at the lesson, whatever it was, where people around me would know exactly what their day looked like. I’d only be concerned with “what’s next” But in this new season, I wanted to make the plan and have it in the calendar. I wanted to know what came after the “next” thing.
And then, I became less behind the scenes admin type, and more leader type. I went from making “wobbly” decisions, like “We could do this, or that, I don’t mind, whatever you wanna do”, to, “Let’s do this.”, “I think such and such”, “This is how I feel,”. It was liberating to feel so assertive and bold. Like I could just tell people what’s what and I had no issue standing up for myself, whereas before I’d be consumed with putting their feelings first.
It’s funny how different traits become more pronounced. But I don’t think we can ever be defined by one set of traits. Even if right now you’re 80% left brain and 20% right, I wouldn’t want to let you say you’re a Left brainer. Because you are both.
There is no separation between creative people and academic people. There are creative people that create with order. There are academic people who plan with creativity and let the spontaneous occur. We are so much more complex than the boxes we want to put ourselves in.
- Are You Left- or Right-Brain Dominant? (psychologytoday.com)