So I was filling out a questionnaire for work today for something called the Birkman Method. The questionnaire first asks you 125 questions about your perception of “most people”. It then asks the same questions about your perception of yourself. It closes with 48 questions on job preferences. Yes, I’m looking for a new gig, tyvm. πŸ™‚

No problem filling out the “most people” part.

But when I got to the perception of myself, I ran into an interesting problem (that coincidentally ties into Jacek’s recent Not-A-Meme challenge). I found a noticeable difference between how *I* (the physical person living behind Aenea) would answer truthfully and how Aenea would answer (truthfully, but also more idealistically).

For example, two simple True/False questions from the questionnaire:

I speak up when I see someone doing something wrong.

I tell people when they’ve hurt my feelings.

See, Aenea is very vocal — I like to get into it. πŸ™‚ So if I see a friend doing something I’m not in agreement with, you can be sure that I’ll IM them about it. And I’m very direct when someone’s hurt my feelings; I hate drama, and swallowing those feelings can only lead to more drama. These reactions are extremely true to the way I am.

But in RL, I tend to hush up. I avoid confrontation, although I will offer my opinions if I’m asked, and people who are close to me know they’ve hurt my feelings because I get very quiet and withdrawn; otherwise, I think you’d never know. And then I swallow it and let it fester…

Obviously, the difference arises because Aenea is my ideal me (I would hope that for most of us, we are living some semblance of idealism in our second lives). I’ve touched on this many times before in this blog (I really should just make an Identity category to keep all those entries at hand πŸ™‚ — done!).

So which is the right answer for this questionnaire? Both are me. Is my RL reaction more real/correct than what Aenea would answer? I know I’m capable of better reactions because of the way they play out in my second life.

Most of my serious interpersonal relationships over the last 6 months have been in here, and we can all attest to the velocity at which those relationships develop and evolve in SL. Why is there any less merit to the way I react on a day-to-day basis in SL than what I would do on the few occasions recently where the same situation has occurred in RL?

Of course, probably the right thing to say here is “get yourself together there, Aenea.” On something that relates to being true to myself, is there any reason *not* to go with what I’ve found feels right when I do it as Aenea? Why maintain those barriers, that distinction? I’ve talked so much about bringing the good things I learn as Aenea into rl; why’s it so hard to do? I mean, I’m Aenea for 4-6 hours a day, at least; her influence should at the very least rub off on me.

Another one:

I get very excited about what I do

In RL, I’m generally pretty even-keeled; I don’t get overly excited or overly down about things. But in SL, I’m perky — all the time. I get excited by everything I do and everything my friends do. Is that so wrong? πŸ™‚ I like being that way.

I guess I’m working through all this. There are no conclusions here, just realizations. But I can feel that the right stuff is inside of me; I just need to expose it to the light.

(If you thought that that was fluffy, it’s a good thing I couldn’t find the phrase from the Tao te Ching I was looking for… πŸ™‚ )

To close, another question from the questionnaire:

I can get along with about five hours or less sleep each night

TRUE!!! Thank you SL!