Pennie Hunt: Are You A Number Person Or A Word Person?

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By Pennie Hunt, Columnist

I believe everyone is either a number person or a word person. Which one are you? There isn’t a right or wrong answer. 

A number person loves spreadsheets filled with numbers, tracking amounts and calculating percentages. When they don’t feel well, they will say things like, “I only feel about 50% today.”

They like to give you scales to rate things – on a scale from 1-10 how strong is your pain. They remember the date and time that everything happened, like birthdays, anniversaries and the day they bought their first car. They know the make and model of every car they ever owned. 

They can rattle off statistics about every topic they are interested in.

Does this sound like you? 

Not me. I like numbers. I am fascinated with numerology and the connections numbers make to our name, our birth date and events that happen in our life. That may be where my fascination with numbers ends. 

I do have spreadsheets filled with names. I track my progress in journals filled with words explaining how much better or worse I am doing. 

Percentages? I don’t go there. 

When I don’t feel well, I will explain what hurts, how much it hurts and how long it has been hurting. I feel terrible, mediocre or fantastic! No 1-10 in my mind. My thoughts process is feelings and emotions, not percentages or scales.

I might not remember the exact date when events happened, but I can tell you what season it was, how the air smelled, if the wind was blowing, how happy everyone was and what I was wearing. 

My memory clicks through scenes as if there is a movie camera in my mind rewinding and playing the video. 

I remember seeing my first car for the first time. I danced circles around it and couldn’t wait to slide into the blue seat that smelled the way old vinyl smells. I can tell you how the radio belted out Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and how the windshield wipers sounded when they swooshed from side to side. 

I do remember what kind of car it was because it became her name – Rambler! 

Word people name everything. My current car is named Ruby. She followed Liberty, Blaze and so many others. My refrigerator is Kevin. And a few years ago, on a blustery fall day when the leaves were swirling yellow and red in my driveway, Thelma and Louise were taken away to a place where old washers and dryers retire. That is the day Lavern and Shirley came into my life. They sparkle and shine proudly in my laundry room. 

I love words. I love the way they sound rolling out of my mouth. I love playing with them, rearranging them and creating stories about life’s progress and setbacks with them. 

Number people love numbers. They love the way they bounce around in their minds. They love playing with them, rearranging them and creating stories about life’s progress and setbacks with them. 

Word people and number people aren’t that different. We may speak a different version of the same language, but we are saying the same thing. Sometimes the two types of people collide in disagreements and disconnection. When we realize we are just framing life in a different way communication becomes easier. 

I may describe my life and progress with colorful words and descriptions. A number person may chart their life and progress with percentages and monetary increases. In the end, we tell the same story.

Are you a number person or a word person?

Pennie’s Life Lesson: Number people and word people frame life in a different way.

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