Visual Personalities

I am not a very visual person. Sometimes I am struck with how much peoples different personality types influence individual understanding of the world and how others perceive other individuals. A discussion about music videos revealed how much people both create their own visuals to accompany music and associate produced visuals (music videos) with the music. This is something that I don’t do, I do not associate visuals with music. If I make a concious effort to I can, but it is unnatural for me to do this. People live in different worlds as everyone’s world view is coloured by sets of preferences determined by their personality.

I love opera and theatre, but don’t enjoy ballet/ dance as artistic expression. Why? because I comprehend how in opera/ theatre the actions of the players represent emotional states conceptually. Whereas in ballet/ dance emotional states are represented physically and visually, this I am poor at comprehending.

What was interesting about this discussion I was having was that someone asked: ‘What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?’ It so happened that questioner has a very similar Myers-Briggs type to me, yet they were a very visual person. So we created the suggestion that Myers-Briggs personality type is not associated with whether someone is a visual person.

The Myers-Briggs personality types are interesting. They offer a way of helping people understand how they are different and lead to explanations of conflicts with other personality types. for the record, I am INFJ. I strongly connect with the Introverted intuition type (IN) very weakly feeling (F) over thinking (T) and fairly weakly for Judging (J) over perceiving (P). I used to be overly concerned with people reacting negatively to me. So, being able to be free of knowing that it isn’t usually my behaviour that is the problem, but other peoples failure to understand it.

I love music, I connect with music quite deeply. When I was younger I didn’t fully appreciate, that the majority of people don’t do this. The majority of people like music, these people may need assistance of visual imagery to fully understand the music. Then there are people who don’t really get music, who probably are irritated by how ubiquitous music is in modern society. All aspects of personality exist on various spectra. I just happen to be nearer the extreme ends of the music and visual ones. The right music can help me understand a visual piece of art better.

When I was younger and more angry and cynical, I would become upset with how music is presented, particularly how popular music was a bizarre mixture of great and poor music. It angered me that music that I considered good was treated in the same way as bad music, why were music mediums such as TV/radio being poor at quality assessments, the forces deciding what music was commercially successful were themselves not musical. Of course I now appreciate that associations of music with particular visuals or social phenomena (i.e not the music itself) were what was driving this, The majority of people whose personalities were not music specialists. I have become tolerant of such workings of the mainstream world.

There is such diversity in personalities in the world and so many spectra that make each individual, a genuine individual. This diversity leads to perceivable preferences. for example, fashion is important for some people, a visual presentation of the self. These preferences will influence how individuals behave and what ideas and concepts they more strongly associate with. It takes a long time to get to know another person fully (and it’s never 100%), which is why learning to know people better is fascinating.

Yet in the world there are so many value judgements made about particular groups of people. There is much conflict based on superficial understanding of peoples motives. I appreciate that my personality type, predisposes me to tolerance and avoiding conflict. However in a more integrated world, where people are decreasing left alone to do their own thing, tolerance is becoming more important than ever.

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