Upon reading one of my previous posts, my boyfriend asked me what a “Dear John” letter was. He is from Italy, and even though he has been a citizen of this country for decades, he said that there are still some American expressions that he doesn’t understand. Though I know what a “Dear John” letter is, I couldn’t explain the history this infamous break-up letter and how it had gotten this name.
This got me thinking about all of the different types of letters there are, and I wondered if I could give personality attributes to each one. Like a Facebook test used to determine “What movie character are you?” or “What kind of Rock Song are you?” I wondered if “What kind of letter are you?” could give one insight on one’s personality.
The “Dear John” Letter
This letter was apparently invented during World War II. Many American Soldiers were stationed overseas for months or years, and as time passed many of their wives or girlfriends decided to begin a relationship with a new man rather than to wait for the old one to return.
Apparently letters to soldiers from wives or girlfriends back home would typically contain affectionate language, such as “Dear Johnny”, or “My dearest John”, etc. Therefore, a soldier receiving a note beginning with a curt “Dear John” would instantly be aware of the letter’s purpose.
Personality Traits of a “Dear John”: A Serial Monogamous, likes declarations, conflict and high drama, believes in “Out of sight, out of mind” and “Love the one you’re with!”
The Acceptance Letter
These are letters not only convey information, but they also establish a contractual relationship. In the case of accepting a job, one sends an acceptance letter as soon as you are absolutely sure that you want to accept the job offer. Another example is the College Acceptance Letter which accepts the application of a prospective student and establishes the terms for matriculation.
Personality Traits of an Acceptance Letter: Sees the world as a place to explore and try new things. Is a glass is half full kind of person, if not a cup runneth over kind of person. This kind of person makes their own luck and makes things happen.
The Love Letter
The love letter is a romantic way to express feelings of love in written form. This letter can be anything from a short and simple message of love to a lengthy explanation of feelings. Love letters typically contain a variety of emotions – devotion, disappointment, grief and indignation, self-confidence, ambition, impatience, self-reproach and resignation.
Personality Traits of a Love Letter: Likes romantic comedies and all the clichés that come with a love relationship. They are very emotional and easily hurt. Usually jumps in with both feet and sometimes breaks their legs in doing so.
The Rejection Letter
A letter sent by a company or organization saying that someone has not been chosen for a job, course of study, etc.
Personality Traits of a Rejection Letter: This is a glass is half empty type of person and will most likely never get enough to drink. This kind of person doesn’t believe in luck, things happen to them, and these things are usually bad or lacking in some way.
The Donation Letter
A letter presenting something as a gift, grant, or contribution, usually to a non-profit organization.
Personality Traits of a Donation Letter: This person is very needy and feels like they never get enough of anything: love, attention, food, sleep, opportunities, etc. They are always in need of something from someone and often blame others for their problems. The flip side of this kind of personality, however, is that Donation Letters often actually help others because they have an endless capacity to empathize. Caution though, you may find yourself in a battle of “you think you have it bad, let me tell you what bad is…”
The Open Letter
An open letter is a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally.
Open letters usually take the form of a letter addressed to an individual but provided to the public through newspapers and other media, such as a letter to the editor or blog. Especially common are critical open letters addressed to political leaders.
Personality Traits of the Open Letter: This type of person likes to tell their views and opinions to others whether or not they were ever asked a question about them in the first place. They often speak loudly enough for all within earshot to hear. These are the people you see walking around talking on their cell phone like it is a tin can on the end of a string.
Let me know how you do!