I love reality TV shows like “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race”, and it isn’t really because of the competition. It’s mostly because of the people. I sit back and enjoy watching the intricacies of human relationships develop and the good and the bad of personalities pushed to their limits.
Personalities and how we interact as humans fascinates me. If I could suddenly figure out a way make my living off of people watching, I just might have to switch careers.
I think it is the amazing truth that each one of us is the same, but completely unique at the same time.
You will never find another you.
I can search the entire world, but there will only be similarities, never someone just like me. That’s amazing to me.
Who we are–and how our temperaments put our own unique twist on personality types–is a special touch from a Master Designer who loves variety and who finds beauty in each and every one of us.
In her book, Personality Plus, Florence Littauer makes an interesting observation about personalities and temperaments.
“My temperament is the real me; my personality is the dress I put on over me.”
In her book, she takes time to break it all down so that we can understand who the “real me” is for each of us so that we can understand what we are made of, who we really are– and by understanding those things pinpoint our strengths and weaknesses so we can know how to improve our personality to become a better, stronger person.
With an overview of the four personality types (Sanguine, Melancholy, Choleric, Phlegmatic), her entire aim is to help us to not just understand who we are, but understand others and why they work the way they do.
It is not enough to understand just your own personality type.
I love people watching because I think it unlocks keys of understanding and relating to all kinds of people–not just the ones like me. I think understanding the basics of human temperaments and personality might just be essential to being effective as a friend, a sibling, and a mentor.
Especially as Christian women: as mothers, mentors and friends, we need to understand ourselves well, but we need to be able to relate to and understand others as well.
Personality Plus goes over each temperament type and helps us to understand how they think, how they work, and what helps them feel connected to and loved.
It also promotes the encouraging truth that we aren’t stuck with the ugly. God has given beauty and uniqueness to each one of us. That makes us who we are! But He has also given the power and the grace to overcome those personality traits that drag us down and make us less than our best. Being aware of what they are means we can turn them over to God and begin the process of changing into someone better.
For introverted, much-afraid me, this is good news. I will always be introverted. It’s who I am. But those fears of failure and pain? I don’t have to carry that baggage around with me for the rest of my life. God is willing and able to change the much-afraid part of my personality into something beautiful and brave.
And He can change all of my personality defects and create a better version of the real me. This is good news for all of us!
You can pick up a copy of Personality Plus (and Florence Littauer‘s other books on the same topic, including Your Personality Tree), from Amazon or PaperbackSwap. It’s a great resource for personality buffs or mentors who want to be better at understanding those who we are blessed to serve.