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!
If you haven’t heard of The Personalities before, jump over to my Intro to the Personalities post for a brief overview, then come right back. I’ll hang out here…
Okay, glad you’re back! Now that you understand the basics of this particular Personality theory, I can’t WAIT to show you what an awesome tool it is for improving relationships. Actually, I’ll be spending the next THREE Faith & Family Fridays showing you how to use this amazing system in your most important relationships. I’m so excited!!
Here’s what you’re getting in this series:
- How to improve relationships by understanding each Personality’s Emotional Needs,
- How to use The Personalities to improve relationships with your kids, and
- How to use The Personalities to improve your marriage.
I have been using The Personalities since I was in 5th grade, and I’ve been training others to use The Personalities to improve their relationships for the past 10 years. Using this system pretty much second nature to me now, and because it’s so simple to understand and put into practice, you’ll be a pro in no time!
Let’s dive in and show you exactly why The Personalities is THE EASIEST tool for improving relationships!
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The Personalities are designed to be simple.
If a relational tool is so complicated you can’t remember how to use it in the heat of the moment, what good is it for improving your relationships? The Personalities are DESIGNED to be SIMPLE. They’re super user-friendly. Shoot, they were first used as a parlor game to entertain friends! But, the creators soon discovered the amazing power they had to help those same friends relationally BECAUSE the tool itself was so fun to learn and easy to remember.
With The Personalities, there are only four main types. (Everything comes in 4s with this system, which aids in its simplicity and ease of use!) Everyone is some combination of all four types, but we all have a primary Personality type and a secondary Personality type that stand out the most. Once you learn the basic Personalities and how to recognize them, it’s easy to guess someone’s primary & secondary types — without the awkwardness of saying, “Hey, could you please take this profile so I can figure you out?”. ?
BTW, if you are currently experiencing conflict with someone (and who of us is ever 100% conflict free??), be sure to hop over and check out the 5 MASSIVELY Important Life Lessons about Conflict & Confrontation, as well as the FREE Conquering Conflict Resource Guide. Understanding The Personalities is a FABULOUS first step in minimizing conflict — now put ALL the pieces together in your very own Relational Toolkit!
One thing to keep in mind that helps with determining someone’s primary and secondary types is that only certain ones go together! If you KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt someone is primarily Sanguine (the easiest Personality to recognize), you can safely assume their secondary is either Choleric or Phlegmatic, since having a Melancholy and a Sanguine, which are exact opposite types, in the same body is not likely.
Here are the basic combinations:
Natural combinations are Sanguine-Choleric, Choleric-Sanguine, Melancholy-Phlegmatic, and Phlegmatic-Melancholy. The primary and secondary Personalities share the same energy levels — they are either both extroverted or both introverted.
Complimentary combinations mean that the energy levels associated with their primary and secondary type balance each other out. One is extroverted, and one is introverted. (This is where that whole “ambivert” thing comes from.) Complimentary combinations would be Sanguine-Phlegmatic, Phlegmatic-Sanguine, Choleric-Melancholy, and Melancholy-Choleric.
You are not generally going to see a NATURALLY-occurring opposite combination, such as a Sanguine-Melancholy or a Choleric-Phlegmatic. Many of us LEARN to function in opposite manners — such as a Sanguine LEARNING to be ultra-organized because her parents expected it of her, or because her job demanded she adopt that skill set. Or a Phlegmatic LEARNING to lead well in order to please his boss and move up the ladder in order to better provide for his family.
However, God doesn’t tend to create people in His image who would be walking contradictions. (Okay, women can be sometimes, but that’s not what we’re talking about here…) Creating a person who innately prefers to take charge and simultaneously hide in the shadows wouldn’t make sense. God wouldn’t design someone who is both ultra organized and ridiculously messy. (I’ve seen enough roommate pairs with this awful combination, that it’s easy to imagine ONE person with both those qualities would drive herself crazy!)
God WANTS us to know who we are and understand ourselves. He wouldn’t purposely place opposite tendencies in our Personalities just to confuse us. So, these combinations — while you may see people FUNCTIONING in opposite patterns — are not a NATURAL occurrence.
The Personalities are designed to be relationship-focused.
If we stop here — understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and combinations of The Personalities — all you have is a label. But understanding The Personalties is not about labels; it’s about relationships!
The most important things to remember are the “Vital” pieces of the Personality puzzle: each type’s emotional needs, the aspects of their Personalities that help us care for them in a way they can receive it naturally. (If you’re familiar with the Love Languages or the Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman, it’s the same principle: people receive love best in certain ways that come naturally to them.) Our job is to figure out their Personalities and MEET their emotional needs because WE know what they probably are, even if they don’t!
“If possible, SO FAR AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU, be at peace with all men.” (NASB, emphasis mine)
If YOU know how to help improve your relationships and bring peace, it’s up to YOU to do so!
What about these other theories?
While you may be familiar with other personality theories, these VITAL pieces are not always included with other typing systems!
Let’s take the MBTI as an example. The MBTI is designed to help people figure out how they think and process information. While it CAN be used to improve relationships, having a deep understanding of 16 distinct types is A LOT to remember! (Remember the first reason The Personalities is the best system for improving relationships? It’s SIMPLE!)
Plus, with the MBTI, there are all these intricacies and dynamics between the functions that change how the other functions respond… There’s a reason I had to get a big, fancy certification in order to use the MBTI with my students — it’s complicated! Very valuable in some circumstances, but COMPLICATED! It’s not the tool I pull out when I’m experiencing conflict and trying to improve a relationship.
Have you snagged your FREE Conquering Conflict Resource Guide yet?
Other typing systems like DISC, or Gary Smalley’s Animal types, or True Colors are all based on Hippocrates’ 4 basic types, so they line up well with The Personalities. The problem comes if there isn’t an emphasis on relationships when the information is presented. As long as the goal is the relationship, I don’t care if you remember The Personalities as animals, letters, colors, or Winnie-the-Pooh characters. (Yes, I do have one friend who can only remember the types in terms of Winnie-the-Pooh characters. Whatever works!) Whatever allows you to best put the concepts into practice to improve your relationships, use that system!
Are you sold yet?
Isn’t this the EASIEST tool for improving relationships? I love it! Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore more specific ways to take your new understanding of The Personalities and apply them to all your most important relationships. Here’s what’s coming:
- A more in-depth explanation of the Vital Pieces — the Emotional Needs — that make The Personalities so powerful for improving relationships!
- How to Use The Personalities to Improve Your Relationships with Your Kids
- How to Use The Personalities to Improve Your Marriage
This series is going to be AWESOME. I can’t wait! You are NOT going to want to miss it!
How are YOU going to use The Personalities this week? Tell us in the comments below!
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.