By: Kathy Shalhoub

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My mom knows a lot about people. She said to me the other day that the main thing people want to know about you is: ‘Who are you?’ And ‘What do you do?’

Simple enough right? I say I’m Kathy Shalhoub, I’m a writer. But it got me wondering, is that sufficient? Based on that information alone can people really decide whether to take an interest in me or not?

So I started looking for a better way of defining myself. I did some research online, I looked at a few books, I asked some people how they define themselves. No one seemed to have a good answer. I’m just me! Someone said. Well yes, I’m me too, but who is that?!

One self-help guru suggested making a list of things that define you. He said ask yourself:

  1. What are your beliefs?
  2. What is your personality like?
  3. What kind of actions do you take in a particular situation?
  4. How do you handle relationships?
  5. How do you influence others?
  6. What are your coping skills?
  7. What are your goals and accomplishments?
  8. What are your priorities?

So I wrote a bunch of those down, and found that I needed a couple full pages to define myself this way. Ok, that’s interesting, and it definitely gave me insight on myself. But I doubted that I could remember to carry around a two-sheet flyer with me and hand it out to people every time I wanted to introduce myself.

Is there a better way?

I came across Sally Hogshead’s book: Fascinate, where she speaks about how each person has a special way they attract people and capture their attention with. I did her little online test and according to her, I happen to ‘fascinate’ with

  1. Passion, which means I am: Expressive • Intuitive • Social • Impulsive • Enthusiastic
  2. Prestige, which means I am: Ambitious • Detail-oriented • Recognized • Uncompromising • Focused

So then there’s this little formula on the website you have to follow to create a single sentence that defines you, using those descriptions and a few others. But I wasn’t convinced one bit! In fact, it felt totally pretentious saying that in an introduction. So I’m back where I started.

I’m just curious, when people ask you who are you, what do you say and are you convinced? And more importantly, when you ask someone who they are, what do you wish they would tell you about themselves?

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

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