Dictionary.com’s Ways To Rebrand Yourself

It's a matter of self-perception, after all

It's a new year, and perhaps it's time to boot up a new you. Tired of the old one? In need of a quick makeover? How about turning what you perceive as a negative into more of a positive?

Now, our budget didn't include room for a new wardrobe, but we can provide you with some linguistic flexibility, so you can view yourself in a different (and hopefully improved) light. In Marketing 101, they call it "re-branding." The differences can be slight, but viewpoint is everything. Ready?

You're the quiet one, eh? Off in the corner hidden by your hoodie, poring over a softly glowing Kindle at a party that you had to be dragged to. Some may mock you, calling you antisocial, introverted, or a b!tch, but we're not going to do that to you. Nope . . .  Dictionary.com says:

You're not an introvert, you're merely introspective.

You look within and carefully examine your characteristics, interests, and tendencies . . . a lost art these days. With your new branding, you're giving off the impression of a Berkeley brainiac and rightly so. Dark-rimmed glasses, black turtleneck, and optional jaunty beatnik beret top off this self-renaissance.

Running to grab your car keys this morning and stubbed your toe on the table? OW!! Everyone at work is going to hear about it, and if they don't hear about it they'll sure know something's up by your limp. Out of hazelnut coffee for the Keurig at work? You'll go around and smell everyone's coffee cup just so you can give them the evil eye and a small quip about having to brew the french-vanilla cup instead. Well, some of your coworkers may call you dramatic . . . but Dictionary.com thinks:

You're not dramatic, you're just passionate.

Who doesn't have a favorite flavor of coffee? And, yes, a stubbed toe does hurt. Being passionate about your likes and dislikes and your emotions isn't a bad thing, it can just start to turn negative when passion turns into complaining. Careful of that line.

All your life, you've taken charge, but that's only because no one else steps up to the plate, right? Kids may have called you "Lucy" in school, and now that you're grown, they've tagged you as "bossy," but we here at Dictionary.com get you, because we say:

You're not bossy, you're merely authoritative.

Confident. Commanding. A straight shooter. You know what you want, and you're not afraid of going after it. As far as knowing what everyone else wants, maybe take a breath and a step back when it comes to dictating to others, you've got yourself to worry about.

Your desk is a mess, face it. You've got books stacked on top of binders on top of (oh, there's your laptop! The beeping means it's out of power)—you get the picture. You're not a lost cause. But, please wipe up that jelly donut mess. Well, your coworkers may call you mess, but Dictionary.com puts it this way:

You're not messy, you're creative.

Did you know that "many people with messy desks are more prone to creativity and risk taking" according to Lifehacker. They cite Mark Zuckerberg (Founder/CEO of Facebook) and Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) as having very, uh, chaotic work spaces. Bet no one's calling them messy.

When you picture a workaholic you often think of someone hunched over their desk late at night with one lone lightbulb to keep them company. This is usually an unflattering view for both you and your co-workers, although your boss may appreciate it. You're in need of some work-life balance and a little rebranding. Guess what?

You're not a workaholic, you're merely dedicated.

No detail is too small. You're thorough, and you don't miss a thing. This is something to be complimented, not looked down upon. Some people cut corners so often they keep scissors on their desk, but not you. Now, did you make that reservation for a three-day weekend in Palm Springs yet, because we weren't joking about that work-life balance.

People always know where you are, because they can hear you from a mile away. You could talk all day long, and sometimes you do. It's who you are. Sometimes, this can be an irritant, especially in public spots like libraries or public transit. And, often people ask you to tone it down a bit, including the volume because we are assuming you are a bit of a loud talker, too. All isn't lost, though, and we do see you a bit differently:

You're not a chatterbox, you're a communicator.

Making conversation is hard these days, people are much more adept at virtual conversations and one-liners. So, you're skilled at a lost art, and we need people like you to keep face-to-face communication alive. Just be mindful of the workplace, library, subway train, or anywhere people may be trying to concentrate. Sometimes, conversation can wait.

You're shopping with your BFF, and there are those shoes you've been eyeing for weeks. You run the math in your head, and the numbers don't work. Remember, those bills that you need to pay tomorrow? Too late, the debit card flashes through the card reader and you're out the door. Now, there's nothing terribly wrong with being an impulsive person, although you may regret certain quick decisions. But, impulse can be flattering:

You're not impulsive, you're spontaneous.

We're in your corner here. You're not impulsive because that can often denote recklessness. No, you're spontaneous; you're driving by a florist with your significant other, jam on the brakes, double-park in NYC traffic, and run in/out for a bouquet of roses. You're "in the moment" and live life on your terms. Just rethink proposing (for one minute) if it will be your fourth marriage . . . .

When you enter the room, everyone knows it. Call it an aura, or call it arrogance. This is a tough one. While old-time baseball player Dizzy Dean once said "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up," if you come off as arrogant, you may need a piece of humble pie and you definitely need to keep reading.

You're not arrogant, you're merely confident.

There's a fine line here because when you say you know it all, you come off as a little high and mighty. So instead, just remember that you know it all . . . and don't say it out loud. And, maybe bring donuts to the office every Tuesday for a month. You'll be surprised at the way people (re)view you after that.

If you have a reputation for always being distracted, this means you have a problem focusing. Find yourself daydreaming in a two-hour conference call? (You're surely not the only one.) Either way, distraction is a tough one to avoid, so we'll give you a pass and say:

You're not distracted, you're a dreamer.

A big-picture person. To you, there is no box. Consider Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs. Their minds were so full of ideas, they were bound to get distracted in long meetings too. Just, chime in every once in a while to prove your value, even if it is about the big picture and not the details.

You're a low-key sort. When you walk by that blood-pressure cuff at the pharmacy, you stick your arm in just to make sure you have a blood-pressure reading. But, if people tag you as being lazy, perhaps it's merely that they're not around you enough. From where we sit, we'd say:

You're not lazy, you're merely chill.

You're relaxed when most people are freaking out. You keep the sea calm when a storm is brewing. So, who doesn't want to hang with someone like that? Sounds like Margaritaville! Just do your laundry a little more than once a month and try not to wear your stained shirt to work . . . every day.

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