How to Be a Gracious Gift Recipient — even if you don’t like the gift!

Have you ever received a completely TERRIBLE gift? One that seemed like it MUST have been intended for someone else? How could they POSSIBLY know you and think you would like that gift? How we respond, however, can make a HUGE difference in our relationships. And some of us have to LEARN how to receive gifts graciously! Let’s figure out how…

I mentioned in The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Every Personality that I really struggle with receiving gifts, and how often I have been scolded for my less-than-gracious responses to gifts over the years. So, let me tell you about the Christmas I broke my mother’s heart and what I learned from that horrible day… Read More


How to Beat Holiday Overwhelm (+ Survival Tips for Every Personality!)

Are there parts of the holidays you really wish you could just skip? Does the hustle & bustle of the season leave you exhausted & stressed out? Check out these tips for each Personality on how to beat holiday overwhelm!

Would you believe that, according to the APA, 68% of Americans say they feel fatigued during the holidays? Even if we’re not running low on energy, 61% of us say we’re stressed. And 52% say we feel extra irritable during the “happiest time of the year.” What’s “merry & bright” about feeling overwhelmed & unable to enjoy the season? Let’s talk about the best holiday survival tips for each Personality type & how to beat the odds this season! Read More


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Every Personality

Are you stumped on what to get that hard-to-shop-for person on your list? Check out the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Every Personality!

Can you handle a personal, holiday truth? I REALLY struggle with receiving gifts.

I know! I’m weird! Most people think that CHOOSING a gift is the difficult part, but man… for me, receiving gifts is SO STRESSFUL!

See, a) receiving gifts is WAY not my Love Language, and b) I’m REALLY hard to buy for because I am VERY particular about what I like and need! (I try to be gracious! Really, I do!)

Now, I feel quite certain you have someone in your life who is a lot like me. They’re hard to buy for, they don’t ever seem excited about what you did buy, or their disappointment is written all over their face. They don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but it’s hard to not take it personally.

So, in order to save both you and your intended gift-recipient an incredibly awkward moment this holiday season, here are my best gift-giving tips based on each of the four Personality types: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, & Phlegmatic. Read More


5 Massively Important Life Lessons about Conflict & Confrontation

Do you hide from conflict? Does the thought of confrontation make you want to run away and never come back? Once you master these 5 MASSIVELY IMPORTANT life lessons about conflict & confrontation, you’ll never have to hide again — and you’ll be able to teach these lessons to your kids, too!

Confrontation doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, I would argue, confronting issues when they arise is one of the biggest ways we can grow in our relationships!

Let’s think about it in parenting terms: when our kids do something wrong that hurts our feelings – or a friend’s feelings – we correct them. We address the hurts, explain why it didn’t feel good, how to heal the relationship (apologize), and they learn to do better next time.

Why should confronting OUR peers be any different? When we confront in love, with a true desire to understand, it makes a HUGE difference in our communication and in our relationships. Read More


Parenting Like a Naturopath

Have you ever had a verse smack you upside the head? It doesn’t matter how many times I study the book of James, these verses about being quick to listen and slow to anger always hit me right between the eyes. Today, they are confronting some not-so-desirable aspects of my parenting. Read More


Personalities in Marriage: Improving Your Relationship with One Easy Tool

One of the easiest ways you can dramatically improve your relationship with your spouse is to understand and VALUE the different Personalities in Marriage. Let’s dive in & see how using The Personalities can help YOUR marriage thrive!

You’ve made it to the very last post in the Improving Relationships with The Personalities series! Congratulations! So far in this series, we have…

Today, we uncover the secret to improving our MARRIAGES with The Personalities!

The bottom line in most marriage improvement strategies is to UNDERSTAND each other. Using The Personalities in marriage is no different in this regard. It’s all about learning to UNDERSTAND our spouse and then COMMUNICATE using this new understanding as a foundation. Understanding and communication. Sounds pretty easy so far, right? 😜

So, here’s the game plan for improving our marriages with The Personalities! Read More


Using The Personalities with Kids: Improving the Parent-Child Relationship

Are you struggling to connect with your kids? Here’s how to begin using The Personalities with kids and start improving your parent-child relationships TODAY!

It had been a HORRIBLE day.

Mom pulled our old, maroon Oldsmobile up to the curb, and I flung my 11-year-old self down into the seat, backpack smashing into my lap.

“Bad day?” Mom asked.

“The worst.”

Mom then launched into her best stand-up comedy routine in an effort to coax a smile from her distraught daughter. It was NOT working.

With the hardest glare imaginable, I ground out, “Why do you think EVERYTHING is SO FUNNY??”

The shocked look on her face said it all. Then, as quickly as it appeared, it was gone, replaced by a smirk. “Girlie girl, I think it’s time you learned about The Personalities.” Read More


Using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to Improve Relationships

Struggling to get along with someone? Take a step in the right direction by using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to improve relationships!

Last week, we kicked off our series on The Personalities with a look at why The Personalities are the EASIEST tool for improving relationships. One of those reasons is that The Personalities are DESIGNED to be relationship-focused. The meat and potatoes of this tool is using The Personalities and emotional needs to improve relationships.  Read More


Confessions of an Incurable Melancholy: Ambushed by Good Intentions

Once we announced we were expecting our first baby, it started. Well-meaning women (and men, at times) would stop me in the hallway or pop in to my office and ask, in that sing-song voice I’ve come to despise, “Soooooo… How are you feeeeeling???”

People who have not talked to me in years all of a sudden come out of the woodwork wanting to know all the personal details of my pregnancy. I’m almost dreading the day I begin actually showing because I know everyone will think my belly is public property and can by fondled at any moment they choose.

Adjusting to my new role

As a Melancholy/Choleric, I am generally comfortable staying mostly in the background, quietly running the show. For the most part, people leave me alone and just let me do my thing, which is great by me. But now, all of a sudden I’m on everyone’s radar. If I enter a building, every woman within a 50’ radius knows and comes running to see how I’m “feeeeeling,” and there is no sneaking quietly in and out of meetings. It’s like I have a flashing neon sign floating above my head at all times declaring, “Pregnant woman here! Stop what you’re doing and come talk to me!”

I don’t generally like being the center of attention anyway, so I am becoming increasingly frustrated and agitated by all the interest I’m suddenly receiving. All these lovely, outgoing people simply want to celebrate with me and love on me, but I interpret the constant attention as bombardment and bothering. After several weeks of trying to hide and avoid people as much as possible, I’ve finally figured out the problem:

Remembering emotional needs is key

As a Melancholy, my most important emotional needs are support, sensitivity, space, and silence. However, I work with a lot of Sanguine people, whose emotional needs are attention, affection, appreciation, and approval. So, when all these dear Sanguines are attacking and fawning over me, they believe they’re giving me what I need, which in their minds is the same thing they would want in my situation: attention and affection. However, the Golden Rule only goes so far, and definitely should not be applied when deciding how to best support and love on someone of a different personality type. Doing unto a Melancholy as you would do unto a Sanguine, just doesn’t work. The heart is in the right place, but the actions don’t translate well.

In order to best support me as a Melancholy, I need the people around me to give me space to be my introverted self, silence to process new information and still get my work done (SURPRISE! Work doesn’t stop just because I’m running to the bathroom every 15 minutes), support when I bring an issue to their attention, and sensitivity to the fact that all this is completely new and slightly overwhelming for me, which means I need even more space and silence to process the newness of it all – a completely foreign concept to most Sanguines who don’t tend to know what they’re thinking until they hear themselves say it out loud and NEED people around to help them process.  

My needs are not the same as your needs

The other piece of this puzzle is that while Sanguines want to tell everyone their exciting news and have a hard time keeping a secret, we Melancholies only want to share our innermost thoughts and secrets with our closest friends. Sanguines will talk to a fence post, but Melancholies have to establish a level of trust and respect with someone before they’re really allowed to see the messiness and excitement of our lives.

I don’t mind talking about the baby or how I’m doing with my best friends or others who have been actively involved in my life before a baby entered the picture. When someone who has been solely an acquaintance and has shown little interest in my life up to this point, all of a sudden is asking a bzillion questions and wanting to know everything about the baby and my birthing preferences, I feel used. You didn’t care about me before, but you care about me now just because I’m pregnant? No, I don’t think so.

Just because I’m having a baby doesn’t mean I’m going to trust everyone with the thoughts and experiences that are closest to my heart anymore than I used to. Please don’t expect me to share openly with you – and don’t be offended if I don’t – if you have not been an important part of my daily life before now.

I’m not intending to be harsh

I realize this post may come across as harsh, but my intent is mostly to help my well-meaning acquaintances and coworkers understand where I’m coming from, why I can seem withdrawn and anti-social, and what they can do to help me feel more comfortable in this new stage of life. I do believe most people are genuinely excited and innocently nosey, but if they really want to support us Melancholies well as we usher life into this world, they need to understand the our unique emotional needs and how to adjust their approach so we won’t feel assaulted by their good intentions.

I hope it helps!

Question for you, readers: Are there any other Melancholies out there who have felt similarly overwhelmed once everyone found out you were expecting? How did you handle it? Any tips would be much appreciated from the Melancholy population out there!