Everyone wants to be creative, and why not? Who wouldn't want to dream up a world-changing business idea, best-selling novel, or hit pop song. But here's a more difficult question for you: would you like to live day to day life as a highly creative person?
While the fruits of creativity are lucrative, glamorous, and easy to crave, but a growing body of science testifies to the fact that living breathing creative talents are sometimes harder to love. According to a host of new studies outlined in a recent PsyBlog post and elsewhere, dreamers who come up with great ideas often also display some less than initially endearing qualities.
Here's a rundown of characteristics and behaviors that might annoy your boss, your friends, or even you yourself at first, but which are closely linked with creativity.
1. You're sarcastic
Yeah sure, sarcasm is great for your career. Everyone just loves a sharp tongued smart aleck. But wait, I'm not actually being sarcastic here. Studies show that sarcasm is a sign of intelligence as well as creativity, and can be a good predictor of career success.
What's more "researchers have discovered that sarcasm can actually cause creativity, rather than just being its byproduct," PsyBlog reports. So go ahead, snipe away.
2. You're easily distractible.
Being unable to focus sounds like a bad thing, but according to science being easily distractible is also a sign of creativity. "Real-world creative achievement was associated with leaky sensory processing--or a reduced ability to screen or inhibit stimuli from conscious awareness," researchers studying the subject have written.
So while your unrestrainable mind might not help you power through bone dry expense reports, it should help you dream up money-making ideas for your company. Which is more valuable?
3. You're grouchy.
Companies always say they want to hire creative people, but when researchers test to see if that's really true, they often find bosses who are reluctant to collaborate with and promote the truly creative. Maybe that's partly because creative people tend to be grouchy.
When Norwegian researchers rounded up a group of highly creative musicians, artists and the like and compared them with a control group, they found those with fertile brains also "have a tendency not to be very considerate, are obstinate and find faults and flaws in ideas and people."
4. You're an emotional roller coaster.
The same researchers also discovered that those with the greatest creative abilities were the least emotionally stable. So if you find yourself doubled over with laughter one minute, and nursing a black mood the next, you just might be more creative than the average bear.
5. You argue with people you disagree with
Are you the only one who engages in political conversation with that one deranged uncle at Thanksgiving while everyone else pretends to focus on the football and pumpkin pie? Then congrats, you're not just the most likely to experience indigestion and annoyance, you also just might be the most highly creative person at the table.
"Innovations emerge... by small improvements, the mixing of ideas, situations and pure luck," a new study finds, according to PsyBlog. "The best thing you can do to be more creative... is to talk to people who disagree with you."