Quiz: Are You a Finisher or an Opener?

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 11.44.23 AMI love dividing people into categories…

Under-buyers and over-buyers.

Eeyores and Tiggers.

Abstainers and Moderators.

Upholders, Questioners, Rebels, and Obligers.

A thoughtful reader and fellow lover of taxonomies, Dianne Volek, suggested a  new system of categories. Let’s call the two types of people “Finishers and Openers.”

Do you get more satisfaction from…

  • Throwing away a container or bottle after using the very last drop, or
  • Opening a fresh new container

I’m a Finisher; my husband is an Opener. I love to extract the last tiny bit out of a tube of toothpaste, and he loves opening the new tube. True, I do love that first squeeze, and the first dip into a new jar of peanut butter, but I also enjoy using the very last bit of the old stuff. I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I use the last egg in a carton (as I did this morning).

Perhaps this explains the weird satisfaction I feel when something breaks or is worn out. Why do I like to see the worn spots on our sofa? Why do I like getting a hole in a pair of socks? Perhaps it’s my Finisher nature, delighting in the finish.

When I visited my sister a few weeks ago, I noticed that she had about twenty bottles of hair products in her shower. I suspect she’s an Opener.

I wonder if this is related to the distinction between Simplicity Lovers and Abundance Lovers.

Do these categories ring true for you? Are you a Finisher or an Opener?

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I spent the weekend at the World Domination Summit, a terrific event created by my friend Chris Guillebeau. If you’ve never looked at his site, The Art of Non-Conformity, check it out. (Especially if you love to travel. I don’t love to travel, and even I get a lot out of it.)

I’ve heard that a lot of people are giving Happier at Home as a gift to someone with a new home: recent grad, new roommate, newlywed, newly divorced, empty nester, downsizer, upsizer, new baby, new city. At transitions like these, we give special thought to what we want from “home.” So, to make such a gift a little more special, I’ve created a card about “Tips for happiness in your new home” that I will sign and mail to anyone who wants it. Email me here to request them. I’ll send as many as you want, but alas, can mail to U.S. and Canada only. Mailing costs!
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About Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestsellers, Happier at Home and The Happiness Project. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. Gretchen has emerged as one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on happiness to have emerged from the recent explosion of interest in the subject. Though her conclusions are sometimes counter-intuitive—for example, she finds that true simplicity is far from simple to attain, and that used rightly, money can do a lot to buy happiness—her insights resonate with readers of all backgrounds.