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Unsettling Personality Quirks
By Theresa Potratz
Published December 16, 2019
unsettling-personality-qwerks

All of your best traits are your biggest downfalls. Before the time of participation trophies started, my sister’s stubbornness was next level. I mean, it still is. For example, when she dislocated her hip in first grade going down a slide – it’s a long story so I am fast-forwarding through the how and getting to the relevant part – she was not allowed to bear any weight on it for weeks, yet she refused to miss t-ball games. She demanded to sit in the dugout and support her team. Her coaches gave her a trophy for the most determined player. 

Later on in life, during a job interview, a college friend was asked what their best attribute was. Their response was, “my confidence.” The very next question asked for their biggest fault, “my confidence,” was their cheeky response. 

Both of these narratives frame an interesting concept – there is a darker aspect of our best qualities. The parts that make us special have the capacity to undermine our strengths. Expanding this concept deeper than I had ever thought through, for the new Kickstarter, Unsettled, Marc and Tom created incredibly fleshed out personality traits displaying the dichotomy of our parts. When the trust among the team is high, most people’s personality traits shine sometimes, though people tend to rise to the occasion of difficult/desperate situations. 

So backing up a bit. When Tom and Marc added these traits as part of the game they added them in pairs. Much like my sister is both determined and stubborn, showing two sides to the same thing, the quirks listed below are paired up and attempt to display a duality of a trait.

Below are some of the traits the team has explored and added to Unsettled. To retain the mystery of how these are used (and mostly because I am ignorant of how the game mechanics come into play) I will jump into some of the traits. 

**Disclaimer: Much to no one’s surprise Theresa is not a licensed psychologist. She lacks both knowledge and nuance in equal measure. While she has at least read the cards left unattended in hopes to create a blog post, her interpretation of what they mean appears radically different than Tom’s. Your read on the game cards will assuredly be different than both Tom and Theresa’s.

Theresa’s views do not reflect those of her employer.  This disclaimer was also written by Theresa for further proof she is an unreliable narrator. 

Inspiration/Egotistical

Within the context of a solid team dynamic, inspirational people allow others around them to accomplish more. These same people exhibiting a strong inspirational quality tend to focus too much on personal achievement. This overbearing focus on needing to rack accomplishments rubs people the wrong way once that strong dynamic degrades. 

Timid/Serene

Being a zen master is great. Displaying strong senses of peace is how many of us long to be. While this is an awesome trait, during times of conflict and tension people bearing this trait retreat inward putting up barriers of communication with the outside world. This makes sense – the world has proven to be a threat to your internal stasis, yet you refuse to lose your balance and sense of center. Since you cannot maintain attachments outside and your center, it’s easier to push against the outside and cocoon.  

Your commitment to internal harmony makes you resilient, but this resilience comes at the price of communication during times of stress. 

Lucid/Critical

Some people shine brighter during times of high tension. Those operating under the lucid/dynamic are an example of this. During copasetic times they come across as critical. Their high attention to detail is always focused on generating the best outcomes for the team. 

Think of it like this – Spock has the propensity to be viewed as overly analytical, but as soon as it hits the fan his ability to focus and prioritize makes him invaluable to the team’s success. 

Caretaker/Unfulfilled

May we all know people who operate under the Caretaker trait. Simply being near them allows you to focus. They are deeply attuned and attentive to others. They thrive off of helping others. By feeling needed caretakers derive a sense of self-worth.

Their giving nature flips when they aren’t helping anyone. This causes them to feel unfulfilled.

Independent Logic/Hyper-Analytical

Different than being critical, these are our heavy thinkers who prefer to work alone. On the positive side, they have invested their entire pursuit tirelessly chasing knowledge. Their thought experiments operate at the expense of social dynamics. Meaning if teammates have the capacity to take time to understand their logical colleagues, everyone is stronger as a result.

Once that precious trust dynamic breaks down the hyper-analytical members seem to have sacrificed too many “dealing with people points” to play nicely with others. 

Domineering/Effective

The positive side of this trait drives success. The person’s confidence pushes the team to achieve great accomplishments. They are able to decisively make decisions and propel everyone toward the common goal. That’s the good news. 

The darker side of this attribute comes across as brash assertiveness. Their overbearing nature causes teammates to shut down preventing them from speaking during your turn. Ouch. Perhaps I say ouch because I see identify with this quirk and its negative aspects.

Paranoid/Prepared 

Arguably the funniest one in here, I imagine every single prepper documentary I’ve seen. What? I can’t be the only one who binges documentaries. People with these personalities vacillate between having everything you could need in an emergency and wearing a tinfoil hat and ranting about conspiracies. 

As this plays out in the game you can’t focus on other players near you when times are bad because hey, you’re paranoid and that doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. But when things are good this prepared side generates a desire for security threats making you very effective. 

Denial/Energetic

Ever meet people so dogmatically positive you can see their joyful desire providing them with tremendous stamina? At their best they are effusive. On the flip side, their “dedication to optimism prevents them from facing the truth.”  

Comfortable/Melancholic

Within the context of the group, this person constantly feels excluded. They operate like they are on the outside looking in. As soon as they realize trust within the team has broken down to the point where *everyone* is struggling they don’t feel excluded. 

This lack of trust grants them the ability to shine. They suddenly feel a part of the group and have the ability to execute with excellence. When the group sees this person feel comfortable, everyone’s communal trust rises. 

In Conclusion

Basically, Unsettled allows for interesting personality quirks where the strengths and weaknesses of players are prescribed. They take into account how the trust of the group affects an individual’s actions. Players are able to experiment with how different personality types affect group dynamics – which as intriguing to me. I enjoy trying to think through how and why people think about things. I tend to overthink a lot of things anyhow. 

If this tickles your Vulcan mind like it does mine, then you should probably visit our Kickstarter page and get this thing backed …for your edification.

Look for more info on Unsettled? Theresa has written more – The Mindset Needed to Colonize Planets and Let’s Talk About Trust Baby.

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