Deep in our soul, we crave to be known…
… And accepted as whole, healthy, and lovable.
We want someone outside of ourselves…
… To look deeply at us, and tell us we are not the abominations we most truly fear.
Others provide our eternal mirror, showing us…
… Reflections from the outside world.
How badly we want to look in that mirror of anther’s eyes, words and expression and see in sincerity that we are worthy of love.
We too serve as those reflections for others.
Personality analysis is one way we can begin to not only work on our own weaknesses but see the strengths in others. Many of us are familiar with a 4-type system. Books such as “Positive Personality Profiles” & “Personality Plus ” & “Colors To Success” give us simple to use personality systems that can help us rapidly identify certain traits in ourselves and others. These 4-part systems are all related and similar yet take slightly different “spins” on the ideas. I suggest starting with Colors if you’re new to personality analysis and then picking up the other two. I adore the speed of these systems because they allow me to rapidly see the type of another person and quickly maximize my ability to help the other reach their potential.
Those books however only give a surface overview of the complex combination of personality types. Working through them tends to leave me with a feeling of… “well I’m this type with a lot of that type and a little more of that type and ….”. Because they only put their focus on the primary quadrant, they often feel superficial.
That’s where this book comes in…
First published in 1978, this second release of the book “Please Understand Me”, Keirsey begins with a “Temperament Sorter” and then quickly gets down to business. This personality model is often referred to as the Myers-Briggs, Carl Jung, or Keirsey model. All three of these individuals contributed greatly and I do not know the exact source nor does it particularly matter. What matters here is that Keirsey took this system, and wrote a book that really drives at the specifics of each of the not 4 but 16 primary personality types.
This book tends to hit SO INCREDIBLY close to home, and provide such depth of insight that its one of my favorite models. If you’ve ever wondered, as I have, whether there is any redeeming qualities to being such an unusual person as you are… you’ve got to read this.
Here is an excerpt from the very beginning of the book that always gets me just a little choked up emotionally…
If you do not want what I want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong.
Or if my beliefs are different from yours, at least pause before you set out to correct them.
Or if my emotion seems less or more intense than yours, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel other than I do.
Or if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, please let me be.
I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up trying to change me into a copy of you.
If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself to the possibility that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear as right-for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me.
Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness.
And one day, perhaps, in trying to understand me, you might come to prize my differences, and, far from seeking to change me, might preserve and even cherish those differences.
I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, your colleague. But whatever our relation, this I know: You and I are fundamentally different and both of us have to march to our own drummer.
Although there is a lot that can be wrote on the contents of this book, so much more of it will make more sense when you’ve had a chance to explore YOU!
HumanMetrics produces a free online version of the Temperament Sorter, and has a number of resources available after you finish the quiz. On the results page see the link to “type description by D.Keirsey” to read a summary of that specific personality type. While there is far more in the book, that results page is from the Keirsey Institute and is correct.
One note… You’re personality results had some “numbers” under the letters. The lower these numbers are, the more likely you are to shift into that letter’s alternative. For example, if you are “I” for Introvert, but it is only a 12, there is likely to be times you express “E” for Extrovert. In fact, both time and your current situation can shift your results slightly. Not everyone will have “soft” numbers that can/will flip. Flipping pairs is “only a thing”, its neither good nor bad and is simply an aspect of your personality. (This is why if you tested a year ago you may not score exactly the same today, yet are still likely to be similar.)
I score INFJ …. Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. INFJ is classed as “Idealist Counselor”. I tend however, to flip both the I/E pair (resulting in ENFJ) occasionally and the F/T (Feeling into Thinking) pair (resulting in INTJ) from time to time. In fact, this blog is definitely my INFJ side… while my primary tech blog is my INTJ expression. (Yes, that is how an Empath such as myself can also be a geek, LOL!) Because I’ve been going through a lot of personal issues in that area, I found the book’s large chapter on mating to be a very interesting re-read this week.
What I like most about the book is that it makes me feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin. It reminds me of my own positive qualities while also pointing out things I will need to watch out for. I always walk away from this book feeling a little more “okay” with me.
Be sure to keep your focus on YOU… this is not a book to leverage to try to “adjust” your partners world views with. While it is a great book to share, it is a book that all of us must come to find and grow through in our own time. Work on yourself, and when you’re happy with yourself the rest won’t really feel so bad.
I look forward to you sharing your thoughts and insights into your own personality from taking the above quiz! Tell me what you think of it! I can’t wait to hear your feedback! If you found this post insightful I hope you’ll share it with others that may not yet have had a chance to enjoy this book (or found the free quiz!). Be sure to not only leave your comment now, but stop back in later and reply to others insights! Lets do some sharing!
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