How being a creative affects my relationships

People on a laptop and iPad among cups of coffee, books and ribbons.

I’m a firm believer that God has a better timing than our own, even when we don’t really see it until we see it in hindsight. I chose a number of topics for LoveBlog in January, writing titles down in a list by prompt, and working my way through the list in advance, except that I have been ill and had to write the posts as the challenged happened, and not in advance as I originally intended. For this reason, I’ve written the posts for yesterday on Saturday, before writing this one. The topic of that post was originally a different one, and in fact the post was sitting in my Google drive written half-way through. A conversation with a friend, and one of the posts that came up from other bloggers for the Vulnerability prompt had me change the subject to what it ended up published, and when I opened the blank document to start this one and went to look up the intended title, I smiled at how I’m now about to open up on a relationship topic just after discussing the boundaries I put as a blogger.

The thing is, being a creative comes with a set of challenges, some universal and some particularly related to my specific situation, and these challenges become obvious when another person is in the picture, whether it is a partner, or your mother telling you off for not having a “real job” at the age of 30.
Psychologists have long had an interest in studying the personality and mind of creatives because there are some clear differences with those of the population who is able to function within the boundaries of a society they have themselves created. While everyone has creative traits, a creative person has a lot of them and to a degree that is uncommon, and often to the degree that they become a negative trait instead of a positive one. Especially in relationships. I’m basing this on this list from the Second Principle.

I’ve always been on a quest for knowledge for knowledge’s sake. I ask questions, often about things that I don’t understand all that well. More often than not, though, I will have some facts to share about something, and if I don’t, I have to learn about it, which makes going on dates and days out more like a school trip than something romantic, and leads me to picking out my phone to Google something at the most inappropriate times like 2am when I should sleep, or at the table while having a meal with someone.

Being an idea-generator
I’m hard-wired to come up with things and better ways to do things. It’s really hard for me not to take over something with solutions, and while I have saved the day on many occasions with things big or small (cleaning paint  with gin to unscrew a door so we could take my sofa into the flat was a high point of my entire life), I can be really annoying to be around because I struggle to give instructions that make sense to the other person, and then get frustrated when my masterplan fails.

Uninhibited in expressions of opinions
This isn’t one that comes to mind as being much of a problem to me, but I am willing to bet anyone close to me would beg to differ, especially my mother…

Willing to take risks
I guess in a way, despite what I wrote about regrets, I am a risk taker. I wouldn’t be in London otherwise. As my current relationship only happened because I made the first move, this is probably the only positive way creativity affects my relationships.

I’ve famously been given to stop thinking as a penance after confession…more than once…so really I’m guilty of this a lot, and it affects my relationships because I often retreat in a world of my own making and make judgements based on this ideal rather than the reality of the person. A thing I have accused my mother of doing several times…I’m really turning into my worst nightmare.

Inappropriate sense of humour
Sometimes I hurt people because I’m too irreverent and inappropriate, and I use laugh to address things that scare me like you’d do with a Boggart. Sometimes I also laugh out of being nervous in situations that make me uncomfortable, which in some cases ends up with me hurting someone’s feelings by laughing when I should cry.

Open to the irrational
People have had to literally stop me from acting on impulse on things that would have long-lasting consequences. On some occasions, they really should have let me do it, but in others they have saved me from myself.

Heightened emotional sensitivity
Apart from taking things to their extremes when it comes to emotions and being hard to handle, I am constantly seeking aesthetic stimulation and I need to be surrounded by beautiful things and beautiful places. This governs every decision I make, which can create tensions with people who are not governed by the same internal compass.

Non-conforming and OK with chaos
I must confess that even I have a level of chaos in places and situations that I find overwhelming, however my level of tolerance is much higher than most people, and therefore I drive everyone who isn’t like me crazy. I’m also really bad at doing as I’m told and as expected, and as such I’m a handful for anyone who needs structure.

Criticise constructively and does not accept things on authority without examination
This trait doesn’t really affect relationships that I can tell, except that I have had many discussions with my now estranged aunt about the fact that I don’t take things on authority. It’s a good trait for an academic, as everything is done through challenging assumptions through evidence rather than revering the big names who wrote something, but she believes I should be referential, especially when it comes to her opinions (although she heavily criticised me for saying I disagreed with something a professor had said at university).

There are other traits in the article, and they also apply, but at the end of the day they all can summed up as affecting relationships because they make me a very difficult person to relate to unless you share those things with me.

This post is part of the LoveBlog challenge on the topic of Creativity.

Pinterest graphic with blog post title

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