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Marriage Communication Secrets: 5 Ways to Powerfully Improve Your Marriage

Are you struggling in your marriage? Do you fight & bicker like there will NEVER be a happily ever after? What happened to that fairytale romance you thought you had signed up for? Friend, there is HOPE! Check out these 5 Marriage Communication Secrets to POWERFULLY improve your marriage TODAY!

When we get married, most of us have this idea of a wonderful, romance-filled life ahead of us. Fairytale happy endings dance through our heads – even if we TRIED to ground ourselves in reality before saying “I do”!

But after the honeymoon ends, and we fall into the daily routine of work, paying bills, raising kids, and just living life, we often turn around and wonder, “What happened to my happily ever after? I don’t even KNOW this guy anymore!”

Ladies, it doesn’t have to BE like that! Read More

Interested in writing for Scattered Woman? We’re always looking for other mamas to collaborate with us! If you have guest post ideas about healing health, finding faith, restoring relationships, or crafting careers, please email laura{at}scatteredwoman{dot}com. We’re excited to work with you!

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A Lesson in Faith: Planning a Wedding with No Groom in Sight

I hadn’t dated in 11 years. WHY would God ask me to plan a wedding with no groom in sight?! Turns out, it all came down to a lesson in faith.

About two years before my now husband entered my world, I was a single woman, living on my own, working as a Resident Director at a small, private, engineering school, and desperately trying to NOT be super frustrated with my single status. Singleness is supposed to be a “gift,” right?

Well, maybe for Paul it was, but it sure didn’t seem like much of a gift for me.

Surrounded by college students, who even in their complete nerdiness seemed to miraculously find their soul mates, I felt completely and utterly alone.

Aside from my co-workers (most of whom were married or married with kids), I didn’t even have non-student friends. I was just LONELY.

And it seemed like God was sleeping or just didn’t care.

The Command

As I was getting ready for bed one night, I was struck with the overwhelming thought that I needed to plan a wedding. But this wedding wasn’t for one of my students – even though there are several each year! – this time it was MY wedding I needed to plan.

Why, God? There is no man in sight for me to marry. Why should I spend all this time and energy planning a wedding? Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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When It Seems Like God Is Sleeping

There are times it seems like God is sleeping. Below decks, unaware, or uncaring about the storms around us. It’s in those times we HAVE to choose to trust His Good Heart toward us.

 A number of years ago, I was driving home late one night from a Bible Study, after what had been an incredibly emotionally difficult day and evening. As one of the few single participants in this graduate student study, seeing all the happy couples who had met and fallen in love in this group didn’t help any.

I just wanted to have a partner, someone to walk through life with, someone to love me and tell me I was worth fighting for. As of yet, someone like that didn’t seem to exist. And I was so lonely.

I felt like I was in the disciples’ boat when the storm came up all of a sudden, pouring water into the boat, and threatening to capsize it, and Jesus is asleep, blissfully unaware of the problem (Luke 8:22-25). I was so tossed around and pummeled emotionally, I didn’t know how I was going to make it through another day, much less another year or more, or however long it took for Mr. Right to materialize out of thin air.

Sure God could fix everything. He’s God! But, He seemed to be asleep at the wheel again. Mysteriously, conspicuously absent. Didn’t He care? Why wasn’t He DOING something?! Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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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

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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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

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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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

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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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

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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The Easiest Tool for Improving Relationships

Relationships are HARD. But The Personalities are the EASIEST tool for improving relationships and helping you navigate your way through them. Here’s how!

Relationships are HARD, right? People who think differently than us drive us crazy. People who think exactly LIKE us drive us crazy. Why do relationships have to be so complicated??

I have good news for you: they don’t!

There is one AWESOME tool you NEED to have in your relational toolbox. Are you ready? It’s called The Personalities! Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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I’d Rather Have a Piano: Living in Plan B

 Once upon a time, a young couple decided to get married and went shopping for an engagement ring. At the store, the woman spotted a positively gorgeous ring. “It’s perfect!” she exclaimed, and asked the shopkeeper if he would pull it out for them to look at. The shopkeeper noted, as he reached for the ring, “You have good taste. This is the most expensive ring I have in the store!”

Sadly, the price was much more than they could afford, so they left the store and continued down the street, sobered by their recent reality check. A few moments later, they passed by a music shop with a grand piano in the window.

“You know what?” the woman said. “I think I’d rather have an engagement piano.”

The man smiled, “You know what? I think I’d rather buy you one!” Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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Arguing & Always Being Right

“It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.”
~ Proverbs 25:27 (NIV)
I’ll be honest and say this particular devo had me stumped for several days on how to respond. The devo itself focused a lot on not arguing about things that don’t matter, not stirring up trouble, and just leaving well enough alone sometimes. It wasn’t until I looked up other translations for this verse that I finally got a clue. For most translations, the second half of the verse focuses on avoiding self-seeking glory:
  • “… or to seek glory after glory.”(HCSB)
  • “… so for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory.” (AMP)
  • “… and so is trying to win too much praise.” (GNB)
  • “… nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” (ESV)
Combine the original commentary about not arguing with this other concept of not seeking out one’s own glory, and my own version of the verse came to light:
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to arguably “persuade” someone into my own way of thinking or insist my way is the only way all the time.

Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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A Strong City Wall

 

“Help your relatives and they will protect you like a strong city wall, but if you quarrel with them, they will close their doors to you.”

~ Proverbs 18:19

 

Why are family relationships so doggone hard? Our families have the ability to build us up or to completely destroy us with just a few words. And because we’re family, and “have” to love each other no matter what, we tend to think it’s okay to be careless with our words. They should just “get us” enough to be able to explode at them and say what we really think extremely tactlessly, regardless if it hurts their feelings or not. If it’s not safe to “blow up” with your family, then where IS it safe?

Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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An Overview of The Personalities: The BEST Personality Typing System

Have you ever screamed in frustration, “I just don’t UNDERSTAND them!” If so, it’s time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I’ve found — and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let’s dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!

I need to apologize to my readers: I had written most of my “Confessions of an Incurable Melancholy” posts with the assumption that anyone who read them would understand The Personalities, which was mostly true when my only readers were family and close friends. However, now that more people are reading these posts, it seems like the perfect time to give a brief overview of the Personalities for those who may not be familiar with them.

So, let’s dive in!

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service through these links, I may receive a small commission, which helps to keep my family and this blog afloat. Your price, as always, stays exactly the same. Thank you for your support! View my complete terms & conditions here

An Overview of The Personalities

You’ll notice I use animal images with each Personality type as you scroll through this post. Those animals are the same ones Gary Smalley uses in his version of The Personalities. I don’t typically refer to the animal names, but if they help you remember the different types, go for it! ?

According to this theory, The Personalities consist of 4 distinct types: Popular Sanguines, Perfect Melancholies, Powerful Cholerics, and Peaceful Phlegmatics. All of us are a unique combination of these four types, but generally, we are predominantly one more than the others with a strong secondary. For example, my type is mostly Melancholy with a strong Choleric streak. My husband is largely Phlegmatic, but has a Sanguine side, as well.

Because I know these names are a little odd — they ARE Greek after all! — I’ve created a handy-dandy, color-coded cheat sheet to help you remember each of The Personalities! You can snag it here:

Let’s take a look at some quick descriptions of how to recognize each type and what some of their main traits may be. (Remember, these are generalizations – not every Sanguine is going to display every trait listed in their description, and there are many more I have not given here. To learn more and explore the COMPLETE Personality picture, be sure to check out the book, Wired That Way!)

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!Popular Sanguine

The easiest Personality to recognize is the Popular Sanguine – fun, bubbly, charismatic, and sometimes flighty, these “People-People” are generally characterized by a loud voice, loud clothing (lots of bright colors and patterns), open mouth (always talking), and an open life (no secrets here!).

Everything about the Sanguine is fun-loving and wide open, much like the otter who represents them in Gary Smalley’s typing system. They love people and assume that everyone loves them right back. One of my husband’s best friends is definitely Sanguine and recently told us, “Oh, everyone loves me!” For the most part, that statement is true.

It’s hard not to love a Sanguine, though their tendency to be forgetful or child-like can be irritating. But then they’ll apologize and charm you right out of your frustration, making it difficult to stay mad at them.

You will also see the Popular Sanguine represented by the color yellow — just as bright & cheerful as they are!

I'm a Popular Sanguine! The Personalities are so cool! What is YOUR Personality? Click To Tweet

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!Perfect Melancholy

The second easiest Personality to recognize is the Perfect Melancholy, mainly because they are the exact opposite of the Popular Sanguine. Where the Sanguine lives life loud and wide open, the Melancholy is known for his quiet voice (and tendency to mumble), quiet clothing (traditional, no loud patterns or colors combinations here), closed mouth (doesn’t talk much), and closed life (operates on a “need to know” basis).

These “Detail-People” are perfectionists, tending to focus on the individual trees (like a beaver! ?), instead of the forest as a whole, and can detect a flaw in a single leaf faster than anyone else. My radiologist father is a Perfect Melancholy, and because he catches such small details, he is definitely the one you want reading your x-rays and CT scans.

However, when a Melancholy spots an imperfection in her life, she can become depressed. These individuals are generally very intelligent, highly artistic, but tend to be moody when life isn’t as perfect as they would like.

A fitting color for the Perfect Melancholy is blue, like the deep, blue ocean. You could swim forever in their depth!

I'm a Perfect Melancholy! The Personalities are right up my alley. What is YOUR Personality? Click To Tweet

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!Powerful Choleric

Powerful Cholerics are the third Personality type and are usually recognized by their “powerful” presence, “powerful” walk, and “powerful” body language. The lion is definitely a fitting symbol for this type!

When a Choleric walks into a room, the whole energy of the room changes: it either becomes charged with anticipation and a knowing something big is going to happen, or the atmosphere becomes incredibly heavy and stressful, depending on whether or not the Choleric is living in his strengths or in his weaknesses.

Cholerics walk, talk, and gesture with purpose and intensity, especially when they’re focused on something important to them, so they can come off as bossy and unyielding if crossed while they’re on a mission. My residents often notice these traits in me at the beginning of the year when we go over policies at our All Hall Meeting and during fire alarms when I’m running around, yelling to get everyone to get out, and then trying to find out what happened, drill sergeant style.

These “Natural-Born Leaders” also make decisions very quickly and often on very little information, making them perfect for taking charge in a crisis.

Red is the color we use most often to represent the Powerful Choleric because of its powerful connotation in color psychology and its association with intense situations — think about the bright red of a fire engine or the red lights of an ambulance springing into action!

I'm a Powerful Choleric! The Personalities are the tool I've been looking for! What is YOUR Personality? Click To Tweet

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!Peaceful Phlegmatic

Last, but certainly not least, we have Peaceful Phlegmatics, the “Natural-Born Peacemakers.” Personally, Phlegmatics are some of my favorite people – especially since my husband is one of them! When I’m freaking out about one of those bazillion things in life that goes wrong, Phlegmatics are the ones who can peel me off the ceiling and help me calm down. I’m still not sure how they do it, but with their calming presence, calming voice, and relaxed body language, they simply exude peace.

Phlegmatics are content with life and their place in it and are quite possibly the most patient people on the planet (just like the Golden Retriever!). One of my best friends and her now husband, another of my good friends, dated long distance for two years and were engaged – also long distance – for another year before finally getting married and moving to the same state. Because both of them were Phlegmatics, they were fine with the drawn-out courtship and were willing to wait for what they knew was God’s best for them.

The trouble for Phlegmatics comes in that they can appear disinterested or unenthusiastic to the more expressive Personalities. Generally, Phlegmatics have to be identified by process of elimination. While the other types are overtly something – loud, quiet, strong – the Phlegmatic notes a distinct lack of anything obvious. They are the chameleons of the Personality world, able to fit in with any crowd and assume any trait as needed for the given situation. If you’re ever not sure what type someone may be, or they seem to be ALL of the other three, they’re probably Phlegmatic.

Just like a calm, serene meadow, we often associate the color green with Peaceful Phelgmatics.

I'm a Peaceful Phlegmatic! The Personalities make SO MUCH SENSE. What's YOUR Personality? Click To Tweet

The Personalities Is All about RELATIONSHIPS!

While it’s easy to view The Personalities as just another “put you in a box” typing system, it’s important to understand that this tool — and any personality theory, really! — is simply that: a TOOL. It’s a TOOL to improve our relationships, improve our communication skills, and minimize conflict that arises simply because we don’t understand each other!

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!

Learn More about The Personalities!

While this overview of The Personalities may help some of my readers understand the basics of this personality typing system, it is by no means exhaustive. If you’re interested in learning more about The Personalities and how to use this information to communicate well with people of all types, check out Wired That Way by Marita Littauer or Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. I was trained in personality theory by these two women, and I highly recommend their materials.

You can also read more about The Personalities right here on Scattered Woman:

One final, shameless plug: If you’re interested in having someone present The Personalities in an entertaining, informative, and interactive workshop, please let me know. I do these presentations periodically and would be happy to come talk with your Sunday School class, community group, or other events. Just contact me here or let me know in the comments if you’re interested!

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.