Being a left-brained or a right-brained person

I’ve always thought of myself as a right-brained person as in creative, intuitive, and imaginative. Ever since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed creative hobbies like drawing, painting, and writing. I always feel most alive when I’m creating something whether it’s a blog post, a painting, or even just doodling in a sketchbook. It’s the only time my mind finally quiets and lets me focus on the task at hand.


So imagine my surprise earlier this week when someone characterized me as a left-brained person. My jaw dropped.

“You take that back!” I wanted to say.

But I didn’t. This person didn’t know me. She only knew me as a random woman who walked into an art store for the first time in ages wanting to know more about paint. My hair was tucked back in a low, neat bun, and I was wearing a heavy cardigan thanks to my office’s Arctic-like temperatures on an 80-degree day. She only knew what she saw. Her comment did make me think though.

“Am I really a left-brained person?”

Don’t get me wrong; left-brained people are great. They’re logical, objective, and intelligent. In fact most of the people I hold near and dear are left-brained people. I just don’t think of myself as one of them.


I have ideas—lots of ideas. The whole picture is what interests me—not just at the sequence of events. I’m often daydreaming, looking at things from different angles, and letting my feelings guide my decisions. I’m even left-handed! I feel like I am the definition of a right-brained person.

However my last few day jobs have been very left-brain jobs, and though these jobs aren’t really me I worried that it was starting to define me—changing who I am and what I want to be. My bosses have always told me how happy they are with my work and that I do a good job. Could it be because I’m really a closeted left-brained person after all?

Just like with everything else in my life I had to find the balance. Maybe I have a little bit of both left and right brain in me. I can be logical and analytical when I need to be, and creative and imaginative when I want to be. It’s actually pretty cool that I can be both, and I think that’s how most of us are anyway.


How boring would it be if we were pigeon-holed and made to believe that we could only be characterized in one simple, single-dimensional sort of way? What makes people interesting are their contradictions—their exceptions to the rule—their oddities.

When I’m around artists I’m seen as quiet, rational, and analytical. When I’m around my co-workers I’m seen as random, creative, and a tad “out there.” That’s fine. I’m alright with not totally fitting in with either group because it means I’m being true to myself.

Do you consider yourself left-brained or right-brained? Do you have characteristics of both?



  1. There’s been a lot of research recently that indicates there’s less of a divide between the two and more of a personal choice as to which traits are in use – which explains a lot for logical artists, I guess! Nice post.

  2. Oh wow Steph I was just thinking about how labels like “left-brained” pigeon-hole us, as you pointed out.

    Your post reminds me of that quote by Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

    Maybe we should all cultivate the artist/poet side of our natures. yeah?

  3. I totally agree! Nexi’s point about how it has more to do with which traits we are choosing to use at a given time makes a lot of sens to mee. As I get older, I realize that a lot of people have an “artist” personality type hidden within them– it just kind of gets covered up as people find they need to pay the bills.

    I have also felt similarly about the categories of extravert and introvert. Some people seem to be very clearly one or the other. For me personally, I actually feel that I’m about 50% each. I really like being around people, and will start to feel bummed pretty fast if I don’t make regular efforts go out and be social. Yet, at the same time, I definitely have a limit for being around people, and can feel when I hit it. Then it’s time to rush home and read and work on my blog 🙂

    • That’s awesome that you feel like you have a good balance between the two! I agree with your point that a lot of people have an “artist” personality, but it gets covered up when real life things need to be attended to. It’s hard to make creativity a priority. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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