Tell me this, are you a collector? Do you collect people? Not dead ones, but real life ones.
Do you search out people who are high achievers or have famous relatives, an interesting flaw, a riveting story or have survived a great injustice? Do you seek out news makers, not content to hang with the news gatherers? Do you sort the compelling from the dull in the first few moments of engaging with someone? Are you only interested in surrounding yourself with people who make great dinner conversation, who are most probably wonderful people, but who you focus on at the expense of taking a punt on another whose story may take a little longer to reveal itself?
Are you a person collector? Are you a personalityoligist (it’s my blog I can
make-up invent new words)?
I’ve noticed an increase in this phenomenon as I’ve grown older and found myself needing to search out new friendships in untraditional places. I no longer go to university or work in an office, we run a small business from home, and with three small children I seldom find myself propping up bars all over Adelaide. Lightening speed kindy drop-offs, infrequent playgroup attendances and often frenzied early dinner dates with friends also with children, make it difficult to engage with people. Friendships get harder to cultivate – selectiveness is often required at twenty paces.
Without a doubt I judge – it’s speed dating, for middle-aged people looking for friends, not sex. Shoes, hair, smile, sense of humour, kind, smart, schooling, career blah blah blah. There’s definitely a checklist, but often it’s discarded as you find connections beyond the surface.
However, I am a novice when it comes to people collecting. Personalityoligists can scan a room in seconds. They lock and load like a missile in combat. Firing off questions with precision, they know in seconds if their target will provide them with stimulation whether it be at the school gate or online. They hook on to the people they deem socially advanced and fuelled by a self-declared superiority, ignore the “run-of-the-mill” ones all together. I find them unnerving. They are so quick to add to their collections.
Sometimes I’m collected, I can feel the pull of their charm, enticed by their seemingly exciting life. Sometimes I am passed-on by, left to question my own appeal.
I wonder if we are all personalityologists to varying degrees? I suppose we are, I am just unsure how many good friends the hard-core people collectors truly have.
What do you think? Do you judge or feel judged? Are you drawn to certain types of people?
Great post, Bianca. I’m not a collector – in fact, the older I get, the fewer friends I make. I often meet people I like and would enjoy meeting again, but find that ‘friend dating’ phase so awkward. You know, ‘So… would you like to have coffee some time?’ Gah! On the few occasions I’ve been ‘collected’, I’ve loved it: there’s something so impressive about someone who just decides they’re going to be your friend and that’s that. I wish I was more like that!
I was drawn to you. That counts, right?
I have no idea.
I do get passed over – which tends to make me want to shove a knitting needle up the passeroverer’s nostrils. (A story for another time…)
I am glad YOU are in my collection.
Those kind of people scare me. Especially the women. I find it much easier to make new friends with blokes as the style of making friends is so much less like ‘judging’ you. I haven’t met many bloke people collectors!
Those type of people scare me. I haven’t met many bloke people collectors and is perhaps why I find it easier to make new friends with blokes than women.
EEK – Darling…. Can you please delete any duplicate posts… I got confused with how to sign in and use the comment section and now I look like a frigg’n idiot! xxx
Sorry about comment above being non comment!
I don’t think I’m a collector, though I do agree that quick judgements are easy to make. If I like a person’s shoes, hair or accessories I’m likely to like well, them. That is unless they’re of the totally high end variety and then I judge them for that too cos somehow that makes then less interesting. Oh wow I sound horrible and a massive judgey mcjudgey. What I guess I’m trying to say is that I look for genuinely interesting people and I don’t think they have to be the ones with big personalities. As I get older I actually have less friends not more but they’re real friendships that totally enrich my world. And I have found more connections online than in real life over the last few years & you are part of that! Really interesting post B. xxxx
I think I’m the opposite. I’m content with my lot and have little energy to collect anyone at all anymore. Having said that, this year has been the year for making real life friends from online, and I’m more than happy with that! Now… I just need to figure out a way to get to Adelaide…
I know what you mean about speed-dating friends. But it’s snatched conversation, rather than the snatch?
Sorry about that.
As for the fame junkies, I’m the total opposite. I strongly believe that the quiet ones are invariably the most interesting. x
Hmm.. interesting concept! I’m definitely not a collector…And rarely a collectee, I think. I tend not to be drawn to traditional charisma (see: old man grumpy boyfriend). I’m a weirdo like that.
I don’t collect people. I’ve never been able to “read” people, so I’m never sure if they are nice or just being nice, until I’ve known them a while. I’m often passed over too, but that’s fine with me. I probably don’t “fit” their group or whatever. I have plenty of friends though and don’t need to like or have the while world like me.
I definitely don’t have a “type” in our expat world – our friends are all ages, cultures, etc.. I felt passed over last year in Adelaide, definitely felt very judged (done by a bloke who thought he was very important). I love making new friends, not meeting new people is possibly one of my biggest fears about coming home permanently.
You know, I learnt a very valuable lesson in high school about this.
I was friends with this girl who was popular, and I really wanted to be friends with her other (just as popular if not more so) friends.
Anyway, at the time, I think I *knew* she wasn’t really a great friend, you know? But I continued on.
There was another girl who wasn’t as popular but was *always* nice to me. We got on very, very well, but I was still drawn to the popular crowd.
One day, I walked in to Social Studies, and the popular friend said, “Hey, Jodie…sit here with me,” and patted to a chair next to her. (It was more of a demand than anything else.) I looked at my nice not-so-popular friend who was sitting just in front of her – also with a spare seat beside her – and she said, “You can sit wherever you like. I don’t mind,” and she smiled a very kind, genuine smile.
It was an easy decision. I sat next to her and not the popular girl (who, predictably, gave me shit about it) and the not-so-popular girl became my best friend (and lifelong friend today). Although I remained friends with both girls after school finished, I eventually kind of dumped the popular girl, because she wasn’t a good friend at all. (Too long a story to go in to here.)
Still today, I see people make choices based on who is popular, but I don’t. Cos I learnt that lesson…
PS – Apologies for the long reply. Obviously not having a blog anymore, I need an outlet, you know? 😉
Great view. I did find myself starting to think like that when I first started this blogging thing. Funnily enough I never used to do that. I had to step back and look at what I’m doing and just go back to basics. Now I’m just being authentic and that’s it.
I find it hard to cultivate new friendships as I get older. I do love meeting new people and hearing their stories, that is one of the reason I love blogging so much.
My mother is a people collector. I watch as she collects them and then throws some aside for the new shiny ones.
As I have gotten older I have become a people discarder. Unless you are a true friend I am not going to waste my time with you any more.
Interesting post. I am thinking now… yes, I think I do collect people. Depends on what’s happening in my life at the time as to what type of people I collect.
I make friends very easily but often grow tired of them. I can’t sustain friendships over decades. I always used to be attracted mostly to colorful fruitcake type people but they can be pretty high maintenance. Now I just choose calm, gently humourous friends who I can chill out wtih.