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July 19, 2012 / diannegray

The Selective Elephant

Am I obsessed with characters? Probably. Sometimes I take people’s idiosyncrasies and add them into my characters. I never make a character from one person because no one person has all the traits I need.

There are different character types and I’ll put a few examples of the some of the people I’ve met in my life into the list below – if you know me and recognise yourself on the list, please feel free to blame my mother (everyone else does).

The ‘Selective Elephant’– They say elephants never forget. The ‘Selective Elephant’ never forgets a particular incident or something you said or did fifty years ago. Every time you meet them or they introduce you to someone they mention it. The thing you said or did becomes who you are, regardless of what you have done or said ever since that time.

The ‘Topper’
Me: I caught a shark once.
The Topper: I was bitten by a shark!
Me: I’m looking at buying a new laptop.
The Topper: I’ve got three laptops!
Me: I feel like a coffee.
The Topper: I just bought a $10,000 coffee machine!
At first the Topper can be a bit annoying, but after a while you wished they’d just GET LOST (no they’ve already been lost in the desert and survived at least three times!)

The Martyr – They constantly go above and beyond the call of duty and no one ever appreciates them. They do things like bake cakes for morning tea and everyone thinks that’s nice and say thank you, etc. but this isn’t good enough. The martyr gets upset because people didn’t thank them enough. They end up storming off and saying how ungrateful everyone is – then do exactly the same thing the following week.

The KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Person) – They share private things with certain people (similar to the ‘Whisperer’, but far more cunning). The KIPPs favourite line is – ‘Don’t tell so and so, but…’ Now this is all well and good, we don’t want to share everything with everyone, but it’s the way it’s done that is crucial to this character type. This person deliberately leaves people out of their conversations in the hope they will hear the news and wonder why they’re no longer ‘in with the in crowd’.

The ‘Whisperer’ – I had a very nasty experience with a whisperer. I tried to avoid this person as much as possible because of their complete lack of anything-nice-in–this-world-or-beyond personality. Unfortunately, this person was at my father’s Wake and not only constantly whispered to a friend, but also looked at me and laughed a few times. This was a grown woman, not a giggling teenager. Avoid ‘The Whisperer’ at all costs, otherwise you’re likely to waste a good pastry when you peg it at their head.

The New York Times – They call you and tell you the most intimate secrets of everything about everyone they have ever spoken to and insist on asking you how you are. Of course, you never tell them because you know they’ll be yelling it from the rooftops as soon as you hang up the phone.

The ME-ME – Related to ‘The Topper’ but have absolutely no interest in anyone else’s life. You tell them your favourite aunt just died and they cut in to say they’re crushed that the deli no longer sells their favourite ice cream.

The Drop Bear – They drop by for a visit and stay for a month because you have a couch.

The Boom Box – This person is usually okay until they drink alcohol and think you’re standing on the other side of a paddock and can’t hear anything they’re saying. This usually happens about two in the morning (and can be particularly annoying if they’re a Drop Bear or Topper).

The Contra-dictator – They have to be right about everything but their memory empties faster than Niagara Falls. ‘You NEVER told me that’ is their favourite line. Their second favourite line ‘That’s NOT what I said.’ Even if the conversation was recorded they deny everything – because they are ALWAYS right.

The Cryer – The good thing about The Cryer is they know they’re a Cryer. They try to control it, but always end up in tears at the end of a sad movie. They even cry when they’re trying to explain to their friends what happened in the movie. They cry during TV advertisements where puppies are running around with toilet roles in slow motion to the sound of classical music. They cry when Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo dies in Southpark. I believe only politicians who are Cryers should be voted into office. I’m seriously considering starting a Cryers Anonymous support group called Cryers Helping Others Prepare Strategies To Instil Crying Karma (CHOPSTICKs)

My favourite character? The Cryer

My least favourite character? The Whisperer


Leave a Comment
  1. maggiemyklebust / Jul 19 2012 7:26 pm

    lol…this is great!


  2. Seth / Jul 19 2012 7:32 pm

    Hi Dianne,

    Love this post, think I am a bit of a contra-dictator … Thanks for following my blog also.



    • diannegray / Jul 19 2012 7:49 pm

      Haha – thank you, Seth! I love honesty 🙂 I see you’re on Twitter, so I’m following you there as well. Best of luck with The Omega Existence 🙂


      • Seth / Jul 19 2012 10:35 pm

        If I am known as anything it would be honest, sometimes too honest 🙂
        Thanks for following me on twitter as well!
        I’ll need all the luck I can get, your wishes are gladly received 😛


  3. Dan_Penatgram / Jul 19 2012 7:44 pm

    Don’t we all know some of these types! I have to admit ‘The Topper’ is one that really infuriates me.


    • diannegray / Jul 19 2012 9:13 pm

      You’re so right, Dan. I used to work with one who I swear was 250 years old because he had done and seen everything! We got stuck in the lift together one day. Not only had he been stuck in a lift before – he had also delivered a baby while he was there (ARGH!)


  4. kilobrush / Jul 19 2012 8:13 pm

    Brilliant post. Wish I had put this up myself. *like the ending*


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 7:22 am

      Thank you! I’ve been reading some of your poetry – it’s beautiful.


      • kilobrush / Jul 20 2012 6:36 pm

        Really? Oh I am SO happy. You inspire me.


  5. Sayantika Adak Ghosh / Jul 19 2012 8:39 pm

    Absolutely Brilliant… I’m gonna reblog this soon 🙂 I think I’m a cryer… Not an extreme one but I love using my tear glands 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 19 2012 9:17 pm

      I’m a cryer as well (yes – I admit it – it was me who cried when Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo died!)

      Thank you! And feel free to reblog 🙂


  6. starproms / Jul 20 2012 5:07 am

    I find the ME-ME most annoying. I’ve met plenty of those. Great post!


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 7:07 am

      Yes – they are great people to avoid (unless they’re relatives and then you’re stuck with them!)
      PS – I LOVE the pictures on your blog 🙂


      • starproms / Jul 20 2012 5:59 pm

        Aah thank you Dianne. That’s kind of you to mention 🙂


  7. pennycoho / Jul 20 2012 5:59 am

    What a great post! Hey I think I know and resemble these people (okay just some of them)! Great blog site I will enjoy following you.


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 7:17 am

      Thank you, Penny 🙂 I’ve been looking through your blogs – you are one amazing, strong woman! I’m really looking forward to following you too!


      • pennycoho / Jul 20 2012 9:07 am

        Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it very much. 🙂


  8. 1girl4adamwest / Jul 20 2012 8:31 am

    Ah this was right on!!!!


  9. jebroadmeadow / Jul 20 2012 8:59 am


    I loved the list of people types, I am a huge fan of ironic accronyms so I had to cover the screen until I figured out CHOPSTICKS. Keep it up!


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 9:33 am

      The CHOPSTICKs group is taking on a life of its own! Thank you for the like and the follow 🙂 🙂


  10. Don't Quote Lily / Jul 20 2012 9:40 am

    Great post. The topper is most definitely not a fave! 😉


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 10:52 am

      Absolutely right, Lily! The Topper probably goes home from work thinking ‘WOW – I impressed SO many people today’. Not realising they’re actually driving people insane! 🙂


  11. Linda Vernon / Jul 20 2012 10:38 am

    Loved this post. Only thing to add is if you want to get rid of a me me you change the subject to yourself and they will suddenly remember something they needed to do. Works every time.


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 10:55 am

      Hahaha – Great suggestion – I’ll have to try that 🙂


  12. pixilated2 / Jul 20 2012 11:12 am

    I’m so glad you came to visit me today, because I really like your style! In the midst of my writing you give me a clue about building and fleshing out a character’s profile. Great stuff Dianne.
    Thank you, ~ Lynda


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 1:28 pm

      I’m glad you liked my blog! Best of luck with your characters 🙂


  13. Sheila Morris / Jul 20 2012 1:41 pm

    Hi…thanks for following I’ll Call It Like I See It – and your blog was brilliant. It slapped me right upside the head because I’m afraid I’m The Martyr lately and I need to change that! Warmest wishes, Sheila


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 5:09 pm

      Thanks Sheila! Just followed Red’s Rants and Raves, too. I love the pic of Ollie peeing!


      • Sheila Morris / Jul 20 2012 10:10 pm

        Great – welcome aboard! The Red Man is a mess…Smokey Lonesome Ollie is usually much nicer! 🙂


  14. thevanspot / Jul 20 2012 2:05 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog…. I am new to this….. I have enjoyed your post, I love the Cryer too 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 5:14 pm

      Thank you – I liked your Cyber Bullying page but realised it’s too late for me because I’m blogging under my real name 😦 oh dear..

      In case you haven’t guessed – I can be a bit of a cryer when I’m watching sad movies!


  15. Tammy @ LaughingAtEverydayLife / Jul 20 2012 3:08 pm

    Great post, however I did one that……. Just kidding.. LOLLLL, I love it. As I read each one a different person in my life popped in my head. 😀


  16. Daphne Shadows / Jul 20 2012 6:41 pm

    Oh, this is awesome! I have to bookmark this!


  17. richarddancer / Jul 20 2012 8:05 pm

    Great idea! The Topper is probably everyone’s pet hate. You as an Aussie and I as a South African will doubtless recognise him/her as particularly English. Don’t we all hate one-upmanship? Thanks for visiting my blog.


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 10:18 pm

      Thanks Richard. I’m enjoying reading your blog (and I’m glad you managed to finish the last one!)


  18. Sayantika Adak Ghosh / Jul 20 2012 9:15 pm

    Reblogged this on My Song of Dusk and commented:
    I totally loved this post, I think I’m a cryer… What do you think???


  19. eamonmoroney / Jul 20 2012 9:50 pm

    Great post, totally spot on. I can see those characters all around me. Thanks for the follow on my blog too.


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2012 10:25 pm

      Thanks Eamon. I loved your blog about listening to music while writing – The Jezebels are great!


  20. justinwriter / Jul 20 2012 11:27 pm

    Wonderful post on the study of human behaviour. I find Toppers and Whisperers the most annoying and I find listeners who can also hold a conversation the most enjoyable to be with.

    I know a topper who also tells people ‘you should …’ as in you should do this, you should do that, as if people aren’t smart enough to manage their own lives. I suppose I should call this person a Topper/Unwanted Advisor or something like that.

    BTW, thanks for following my blog.


    • diannegray / Jul 21 2012 8:31 am

      Thanks Justin – The Unwanted Advisor, now that is one annoying person!
      I really like your blog, it’s well organised and easy to navigate. I feel like mine is just a bit of an unorganised mess at times. I need to put in links to my FB page and twitter account so people can actually see them. I’m not even sure how to add extra pages (I’m a bit of an IT illiterate). I also really like the clarity of your information (and the white background – I find blogs with white writing on black background can be really hard on my eyes and I can only look at them for short times).
      I’ve probably rattled on for far too long here, but if you get time, could you please write a blog about how to set up a blog page for dummies (like me)? Many thanks for your comment and follow 🙂


      • justinwriter / Jul 21 2012 11:04 am

        Thank you for your kind words. It took me ages to learn how to use and when I hear someone saying ‘it’s easy’ I think, gee, I must be a slow learner or something … I still struggle with wordpress, but have found these helpful as I muddle my way through – I was going to send them via your contact page, but then remembered you didn’t know how to add pages (that exercise can send you mad by the way, but I eventually worked it out) – :

        Whenever you read ‘helpful tips’ on wordpress, make sure it’s about not – yes, there are two wordpresses and by the time you find out it’s forehead slapping time …


      • justinwriter / Jul 21 2012 11:16 am

        Hi, um I replied to this before, but I don’t know if you received it because I included some helpful links and wordpress may have seen it as spammy and maybe deleted it. Anyway, you can contact me via my contact page and let me know how to send you the links. Kind regards, Justin


      • diannegray / Jul 21 2012 11:38 am

        Oh – I haven’t checked my spam – they may have. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll check it out 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 21 2012 11:45 am

      Found it – you were right. It was in my spam 😦


  21. ocdreader / Jul 22 2012 5:54 am

    This post is a crack up!! “if you know me and recognise yourself on the list, please feel free to blame my mother (everyone else does).” The absolute best! I find I fall into one or another category at different times and with different personality types. (Some people bring out the worst in me!!)


  22. Sarah / Jul 23 2012 1:06 am

    I am a Cryer and at times Selective Elephant. I find the worst people to deal with are Toppers and Whisperers. Martyrs to a point as well, but they are easier to brush off.


    • diannegray / Jul 23 2012 7:17 am

      You’re right about the Martyrs (and I must admit I had a bit of a giggle when I read that!). Im glad you agree wit me on the Whisperers – what an annoying habit!


  23. anonanurse / Jul 24 2012 5:10 am

    I’m a Cryer!


    • diannegray / Jul 24 2012 7:39 am

      Me too – wear it proudly! Breathe deeply

      I really hope my posts don’t make you cry 🙂 🙂


  24. Tiffany / Jul 24 2012 2:48 pm

    Lol… I loved this!!! Great post!


    • diannegray / Jul 24 2012 5:36 pm

      Thanks, Tiffany – I’m just going through the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ excellent stuff – commenting soon :))


      • Tiffany / Jul 24 2012 8:16 pm

        Thanks so much for the comment! It truly made my day! You have a great writing style! I also loved the way you describe the Topper!


  25. cashbackmonster / Aug 6 2012 11:05 pm

    I’m a contra-dictator! My husband will attest to that, haha! My mother is a drop bear…


  26. foroneplease / Aug 18 2012 1:10 am

    Love the post! I hate the mumblers/ self-talkers 😛 They mumble when they’re angry, they mumble when they’re busy, they mumble when they’re upset, they mumble even when they’re happy…aaarrrrgggggh!


    • diannegray / Aug 18 2012 6:57 am

      Thank you!

      Oh so true! I used to work with one of those (Grrrr).


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