An email from my friend Mary this morning nudged me to write about something I’ve had in my “for future” file ever since beginning this blog a year ago. Mary introduced me to the “true colors” personality identification method several years ago, and since then it’s become the “language” we use when describing people to one another. It’s one of many methods out there that identifies personalities; specifically, by using four different colors to categorize. The book Mary shared with me introducing this typology, “Follow Your True Colors to the Work You Love,” by Carolyn Kalil helps people zero in on career choices that best suit them. When I read it, I wasn’t on a career search, but it was transformative in the way it helped me understand those who are not the same personality “colors” as I am. It also was affirming in that it showed me I haven’t strayed from my “color scheme” in choosing my profession. Though I’m aware of other personality-identifying methods, this one seems the simplest to me of those to which I’ve been exposed. I truly believe that by considering personality colors, we can help move about our world with more understanding of others with whom we come into contact. In terms of parenting, understanding our children’s colors can have the same effect, and greatly help us meet our chlidren where they’re at through respecting their unique color scheme.
I ended up buying the book after Mary shared hers with me, but in all my enthusiasm, lent it out (and it’s still “out”). But I can basically describe what each color encapsulates in terms of personality traits. So here’s my very simplified version of the “true colors” concept:
Blue = compassionate, peacemakers
Green = analytical, “big picture” thinkers
Orange = fun-loving, spontaneous
Gold = thrives on organization and having a plan
When I read about those who vary most from my own personality type, I instantly had a newfound understanding and compassion for those types who have tended to rub me the wrong way most of my life. (I am sure that when these people cross my path, I irritate them just as much.) There really are few people who get under my skin, because I tend to be a compassionate, peace-loving “blue” type. That said, the high “gold” personality and I sometimes have a difficult time meshing. But just understanding that it’s likely nothing personal, and more likely a product of our at-odds personality types, helps a great deal in my ability to interact with them. I am definitely attracted to other “blue” people and can easily spot them in a crowd. Even if I weren’t aware of these color distinctions, blues tend to find one another. When we do meet up, all is right with the world. Most of my friends are primary blues and I love them to pieces.
It’s easy to see why identifying your color can help your life, and possibly help you understand your child and others in your world. If you’re at all curious, I’d recommend taking the online personality quiz to help you identify your colors. It’s super quick. If you want to learn more, you can find the book online or through the library.
Just to give you an idea of what you’ll find if you take the test, your results will look similar to mine below (excuse the poor quality). It’s interesting. I’ve taken this quiz about five or six different times, and every time before today I was blue-green (the primary color is most important, but the secondary one is an important complement). Today, a bit more of orange than usual entered in. Perhaps I’m loosening up a bit these days and not analyzing everything as much as I used to. Regardless, I seem to be fairly solidly a blue, no matter what day or in what circumstances I take this quiz. And as you can see, I rank very low on organization (gold). Of course, we are all a mixture of all these colors, but our two primary colors tell us the most about ourselves.
So when Mary wrote me this morning, she wanted me to tell me about someone in her life who has caused her some frustration. To give me an instant visual of this person, she told me what she perceives to be their colors. Based on that, I knew just what she meant when she said she was having a hard time finding common ground with them. And even though that doesn’t change the situation entirely, it allows her to be mindful of those colors when the two of them are in the same room, and better navigate their personality differences.
I think it would be a fun exercise for you readers to take this test and share your results. I promise, even if you are full-blown gold, I will not hold it against you. If, on the other hand, you are blue like me, well, no wonder we found each other!
Happy color-identifying. I look forward to hearing back from anyone who feels like sharing their results.