What’s Your Type of Crazy?

I took a walk with an old friend the other day. I don’t talk many walks simply for the purpose of walking and talking, but it was rather nice. A good way to catch up.

He mentioned a really interesting article that he discovered this summer. The core concept is it recommends that people at the start of new relationships–even on the first date–reveal “your type of crazy.”

I didn’t quite understand what this meant at first, so my friend elaborated that you’re supposed to identify the craziest thing about yourself and share it with the other person. There aren’t really any other boundaries than that, because we all have different things we perceive as “crazy.”

My sense is that the core purpose is to basically put a big red flag on yourself. It’s something we’ve all done when dating someone else–we look out for those red flags. But usually we have to identify them instead of them being self-identified using this new concept. If you both share your type of crazy, you might realize right away that you’re not a good fit.

At least, that’s the idea. The concept is new to me, but my friend says it’s been a huge help for people who have used it.

So what’s my type of crazy? I’m extremely protective of my time. This manifests in a number of ways. Even though I am often a few minutes late, if I’m left waiting for someone else who is late, it really frustrates me. Same with if I perceive someone as wasting my time (say, with something they could have learned by just looking at my company website or Kickstarter blog).

I have a very clear picture as to the upcoming schedule, day by day, hour by hour, for about 5-7 days in the future, and if that schedule changes unexpectedly, it can really throw me off. Sometimes I’m flexible about impromptu changes, but I like to know the exact framework of those changes, and any variations really bother me. Like, if someone says they want to chat or stop by for 15 minutes, but it turns into 30-45 minutes, I get really annoyed.

I’m not justifying this behavior or saying it makes sense–it’s simply my type of crazy. Even as I type this, I can see how it would be important for me to tell a woman within the first few dates. It could save us both a lot of time if it’s a dealbreaker.

What’s your type of crazy? Have you talked about this sort of thing in your relationships?


11 Responses to “What’s Your Type of Crazy?”

  1. youre little slice of life blog entries are refreshing. Thank you!

    • Emma says:

      Agree! I also like this topic. Everyone has probably several kinds of crazy. I don’t handle apathy well in others, to be sure. And I also take balance/fairness to an extreme sometimes, almost OCD, but it doesn’t often affect others, it’s more like balancing my body – if I clean one ear, I need to clean the other. I subconsciously split any food I’m eating into two and chew it evenly on both sides of mouth, including dividing things like m&ms into even numbers to eat with the most possible balance of colors and combinations. It rarely causes problems because it’s more personal and most people don’t even know but it’s a tiny form of my crazy πŸ™‚

  2. Nelsy says:

    I’m gonna be honest, and I know you didn’t mean anything by it but we should all be careful using the word, “crazy” to describe behaviors of others (and even ourselves). For example, your rigidness with time. That’s straight up not crazy. That’s a personal preference. Hearing voices in your head tell you to kill a bunch of people is crazy.
    Again, I do understand that you didn’t mean it badly, I just really genuinely believe we, as a society, should stop calling each other and our behaviors “crazy.” It’s very invalidating. Also I think it’s a little offensive to say things like, “oh, i’m SOOO OCD,” just because you like things in order, or “she’s bipolar,” because a woman is emotional. Lots of people suffer from real mental disorders that really impact their daily lives and I find it pretty distasteful to belittle their experiences (which you were not doing in your post, I was just elaborating on the misuse of terms similar to “crazy”).

    I also might be more sensitive to it because I’m a woman and that’s a classic go to move–by women and men–to call a woman “crazy” when her behavior isn’t what we like to see.

    Anyway, I definitely don’t want to take away from this post and I think these conversations are excellent to have when starting new relationships. Maybe a word like, “idiosyncrasies,” is more what you are looking for. I just think all of us (myself included) should be a little more careful how we label things! πŸ™‚

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Thanks Nelsy! Before I wrote this post, I thought about writing a big disclaimer about the word “crazy,” but I figured people could tell through this post that I wasn’t using the word in a disparaging way to people who have mental illness. I’m sorry that you and other women have to deal with people giving you that label. I think it’s quite different if we own the term by declaring our own type of “crazy,” as described in this post. I like the word “idiosyncrasy” to describe this as well.

      • Nelsy says:

        yeah I thought I made my reply pretty clear that I understood where you were coming from, but I thought its definitely worth addressing. I guess we will have to respectfully disagree that calling anyone (yourself included) “crazy” is okay. It’s not really a term to own, at least in my opinion. That was kind of my whole point actually. Its become this societal norm and I hope one day it changes! One step at a time! Thanks for the thought provoking post! πŸ™‚

    • Emma K says:

      Thank you for saying this, I had not caught it but I quite agree. We all know Jamey meant no harm, but we should always be challenging this kind of language in each other!

  3. Dionne says:

    My type of crazy is that I have a pretty strong “P” on the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator. My actual type is INFP. So because of my strong P I do have a disorderly office (I swear there is a method to my madness). Ok…I have a disorderly house, but, for the record, I do have 2 toddlers at home. It’s not that I don’t value organization. It’s that I don’t have the time to get organized. It does not come naturally to me.

  4. Dale Taylor says:

    Wow, your online persona sure doesn’t come off as being extremely protective of your time. You seem to respond in depth and in a timely manner to all the blog comments. You must have a scheduled time slot reserved for blog replies! How many other board game geeks have highly organized lives? It’s never worked for me, but then again I don’t have a million dollar board game.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Dale: I think a big part of that is I highly value public comments and questions (compared to private ones) for my work, as it allows me to reach a bunch of people at once instead of just one. For example, if you had e-mailed your comment to me directly, you’d probably get a different Jamey in response–polite, but slightly annoyed you didn’t just make your comment here on the blog. πŸ™‚

      So it’s not really a reserved time slot–that’s just an ongoing part of my day.

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