Friday, April 20, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Neophilia

"Change in all things is sweet."-- Aristotle


I have a confession to make: My name is Angelina C. Hansen and I am a neophiliac. I am addicted to change.

Don't be alarmed. I don't think it's contagious. At least I hope not. I've suffered from this personality characteristic all my life but never knew there was a name for it. This week I happened upon this interesting article from Psychology Today:

From Wikipedia:
Neophiles/Neophiliacs have the following basic characteristics:
*The ability to adapt rapidly to extreme change
*A distaste or downright loathing of tradition, repetition, and routine
*A tendency to become bored quickly with old things
*A desire, bordering on obsession in some cases, to experience novelty
*A corresponding and related desire to create novelty by creating or achieving something and/or by stirring social or other forms of unrest.

This explains a lot. One of my biggest challenges is that I can't stand to live in one place for more than 3 years (I've been in my current location for 7, thus my extreme angst, see April 6th post.) I get bored with eating the same food, can't stand to watch a movie or read the same book twice, don't like to vacation in the same place. . . and the list goes on and on and on.

One of the most important needs that I MUST satisfy is the need to create. Writing novels fills that need.

What about you? Am I alone here or do some of you bear this characteristic to some degree? If so, how do you cope?

22 comments:

  1. I can be a neophiliac on certain things like jobs and where I live. But I am also resistant to change in many other aspects. I love watching certain movies over and over!

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    1. I'm married to someone who resists change, but always has to have the latest gadget. There's probably a little of both in everyone.

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  2. Oh this is totally me! Not in all areas at once, but I've noticed if too many things are static for too long, I get all cagey and anxious. Like, if I live in the same place, I have to change jobs, or if I've had the same job, I have to learn a new hobby, or meet some new people.

    I suppose this is a great trait for a writer - we're constantly starting new projects, aren't we? :)

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    1. Yes. But it's the in-between project time that can be crazy-making. ^_^

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  3. I used to be worse than I am now. It seems that in my middle-age combined with real job, I've settled into a routine. Ah well. Change doesn't scare me so I guess that's good.

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  4. Oh my gosh, I am the exact OPPOSITE. I'm neophobic or something. Even about the littlest things sometimes -- like if I hear a new song on the radio, I usually dislike it just because I don't know it. I enjoy doing the same things, going to the same places, reading the same books, etc. Change makes me uncomfortable and, occasionally, panicked. But, given enough time to get used to the idea, I can handle anything. So it's not so bad, I guess.

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    1. Yep. Neophobic. That's what they call it. And strangely enough, I'm married to one. ^_^

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  5. Not at all. I've eaten the same breakfast every day for about ten straight years.

    Although I'm with you on the not watching the same movie twice thing. I don't understand how people can do that. Once I've seen it, I'm good.

    Weirdly, I'm kind of a pantser when it comes to writing because I hate feeling locked into an outline. Too constrictive. I like the novelty of creating novels. Maybe it's just that I get my ya-ya's out by writing and then I need the comfort of routine with every other aspect of my life.

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    1. I'm with you on the pantser thing. If I wrote an outline, I wouldn't write the book. Funny how we're all wired differently. I've always thought of a routine, as they say, as a rut--a grave with both ends open. ^_^ Even with my writing, I have to change up my routine at least once a week--writing from a different location, different time of day. . .

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  6. I'm a neophiliac when it comes to how I structure my days. I'll stick to a schedule for maybe a week or two before hating it and wanting to switch things up.

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  7. I confess. I'm a neophiliac. I crave change. :)

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  8. I definitely fit #3 and 4 and possibly even a bit of #5. Most fascinating post!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Us neophiles must stick together. ^_^

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  9. I certainly get bored super fast and it's rare I'll read a book more than once, although it has happened for a handful of books. I think change keeps me sane and yet at the same time, I love the security of something changeless in my life eg the concept of home.

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    1. Yes. Home and husband are constants. However, I'm really looking forward to moving into a "motorhome" which means we can move from place to place without ever leaving "home". ^_^

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  10. It's so nice to have a name to go with my problem...and nice to know I'm not the only one. When I read your post, it was like I was reading about myself. I have moved three times in the past year if that tells you anything:)

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    1. Three times? Wow. So you can probably understand my angst at having been in this isolated house in the woods for seven years. ^_^

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  11. Change? CHANGE? Just the word makes me shake in my boots (unless, of course, we are referring to money). I suppose I'm the opposite. I love the comfort of my routines, although I do periodically rebel against them. So, I guess I have to admit that a little change is good (unless we are referring to money -- then A LOT of change is good).

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    1. You are a funny one, my neophobic friend.

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