Which One Are You?

I was thinking about a post I want to write on hoarding – coming eventually – and this phrase popped into my head: “there are two types of people: those who hoard and those who purge”.

If you read my post on to do lists, you’ll know that I started that post with more or less the same phrase.

That got me thinking about the fact that I tend to categorise human behaviour in opposing pairs. People who rinse dishes, those who don’t. People who dye their grey hair, those who go natural. Neat people vs messy people. Morning people vs night owls. The list goes on.

The funny thing about this is that it’s a very black and white view of the world, which is ironically very different to how I believe things actually are, namely lots of greys. (Because there are people who see things as black and white and those who see shades of grey… sorry! I couldn’t resist!)

I’m not sure what drives this desire to categorise people in such a way. Does human behaviour sometimes fall neatly into two opposing positions, or is it just that if I create these categories it’s just a little bit easier to understand and make sense of a very chaotic world. Maybe I like the idea that there is balance out there: for every hoarder, someone who purges, that sort of thing. A ying for every yang.

Does anyone else do this? I guess you either do or don’t. In which case I’ve found a new way to categorise people: those who categorise behaviours in opposing pairs, and those who don’t.

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5 thoughts on “Which One Are You?

  1. Well I have a LOT of stuff but I wouldn’t call me a hoarder (google hoarding and you wont find me!) … But I do like a good purge too … So a fence-sitter I’m sorry!On all fronts – sometimes I one thing – sometime the other ( though I did recently toss out a Winnie thhe pooh colouring book that must have been about 20 years old …)

  2. I reckon everyone except the clearest of thinkers simplifies any issue till they understand it. I do. Think I’ve got something/someone understood. And yet it’s rarely true, at least for any length of time. It’s astonishing how we can see through an issue rationally, yet will react emotionally and contradictingly(?) to a similar situation soon after. Even the simplest things are too complicated to set unwavering rules to.

  3. Funnily enough, I think I’m a fence sitter on the hoarding one too…. more on that later. I guess this is why I know it’s futile to categorise people in the way I do and yet I do it repeatedly. Probably, as Tim says, in an attempt to simplify an issue till I understand it (and then I can let it be all complicated again!).

  4. Len – I really don’t think I should enter into this discussion. We could go around and around in circles for days. I am a hoarder but I am also a minimalist. I see things quite clearly as black and white (but then again I am a Collingwood supporter but we won’t go there) and on the other hand some times there is a bit of grey in there. OMG why do you do this to me????

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