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Understanding Your Personality

personality & relationships Sep 13, 2022
Cover image for Understanding Your Personality blog post including the words determination, Inspire, Support and Correct


What if we lived in a world where everyone's healthy personality type was celebrated? What if everyone was taught that their natural way of "being" is okay? Whether the rest of the world does this or not, each of us can do it on their own no matter what the world chooses to do. Each of us can learn to respect another's natural tendencies and celebrate their unique nature.

 In the book Positive Personality Profiles, author Robert A. Rohm teaches us how to do just that. He explains that our personality is revealed in the way we operate when we are most relaxed with ourselves, and suggests that our natural state is something to be understood, honored and celebrated rather than changed. I love the example he uses of a newborn tiger and a newborn deer. Each has its own nature and we never expect a tiger to act like a deer or a deer to act like a tiger. You approach different animals or choose not to approach different animals based on what you know about their temperament.

The same is true of people. To have a better relationship with people, it's best to figure out how they're wired, not so we can change them but rather so that we can get along with them and understand them. The really cool thing is that no one type of personality is better or worse than another. It's simply about seeing the differences, understanding them and appreciating situations where each personality type or combination of personality types shine.

To explain the four personality types, think of a pie cut into four equal pieces. Each one of the personality types equals one quarter of the pie with qualities that are related to the other quarters connected to it. For example the top two pieces of the pie tend to be more outgoing and the bottom two pieces tend to be more reserved. The outgoing people are usually fast-paced, optimistic, energetic and self-confident. The reserved people have a steadier pace, and tend to be more patient and cautious. Outgoing types tend to take the lead and look at the big picture while the reserved types tend to work behind the scenes and take care of the details.

In balance, outgoing people learn to steady themselves and reserved types learn to speak up and ask for what they want or need. Out of balance, outgoing people can be overbearing and reserved people become uncommunicative.

Splitting the circle vertically split the personality types into a task versus people orientation. Task oriented people like planning and working on projects. They tend to like high-tech and can easily be left alone to get the work done. For those who are people oriented the concern is about how people get along while the work is done rather than focusing on the task itself. Task oriented individuals excel at organizing especially when there are lots of details involved. They can, however, forget about the human factor if it conflicts with finishing a task, but give them a project and they get right to work and keep on working until the task is complete.

 I happen to be extremely people oriented, and I have a sister in law that is very task oriented. It took us some time to understand each other, but because of learning about personalities, we have a loving and happy relationship. I know how to respect her boundaries, and she knows the effort I put into respecting her boundaries when my natural inclination is different than hers.

Those with a people orientation tend to be high touch rather than high-tech. This orientation focuses on relationships. They are aware of others' needs and desires and for them, life is about developing friendships. 

In balance, task people learn to be empathetic while completing a task, and people oriented folks learn to plan their work and work their plan.

When you create the final model that includes all four basic temperaments, they are represented by the letters D, I, S, C.


D’s are outgoing and task oriented.

I’s are outgoing and people oriented.

S’s are reserved and people oriented, and

C’s are reserved and task oriented.

Each of these letters has an additional significance to help you understand and remember what each type represents.

D types tend to be dominant, driving, demanding, determined and decisive doers.

I types tend to be inspirational, influencing, impressive, interactive, interesting and interested.

S types are generally supportive, sweet, stable, steady, sentimental, and shy.

C types are generally cautious, competent, calculating, concerned, careful and contemplative.

Finding someone who thinks of themselves as solely one of the four personality types is on the rare side. It's more common for people to relate to two or more types with one type being more dominant. 

This post is a quick overview of each personality type, and the Moving Toward Better podcast goes into more depth for each personality, so be sure to check those out too. Let's get started with the letter D.

 The "D" type personality is outgoing and task oriented. They are the movers and shakers and sometimes lack warmth and sympathy. They are often the ones to tell you to suck it up and move on. They tend to be dynamic leaders with the flare for the dramatic. They can be demanding but that is a result of their own drive and determination. They rarely hear the word no as a stopping point. Rather they think of it as a no for now. They would be the ones to tell you if you're going through hell just keep moving. They tend to have a lot of nervous energy and very busy minds. They move a lot and love a challenge, and even if they fail at some of the many things they try, they figure they're way ahead of those who are sitting on the couch.

Only about 10% of the population fits this profile type which is probably a good thing because you can only have so many chiefs. As teenagers, those with a D personality can drive parents crazy because they appear to be defiant because they detest taking orders and being told what to do. I happened to know on a personal level what it's like to have a teenager like this because one of my children is a D type personality. In our case we had two wonderful things going for us. The first is that my son was more interested in being successful than anything. Because of that he wasn't interested in being with the wrong crowd or anyone who could keep him from being successful. That is the challenge of a D child, to direct them toward their best life and challenge them to go for that because the thing that the D personality craves most is challenge, choice and control. In our case, we told our son if he made good choices, he would have control of his life. If not, it would be like we shared a skin, and he would lose his choice. We had this conversation when he was 12, and he truly rose to the occasion.

Next we move on to the I personality type. I types are outgoing and people oriented. They are inspirational and make people feel good when they're around them. Because they have the gift of gab their influencers which means they can become great leaders if they're honest or great con artists if they're not. I types are all about the fun. They love to impress people and truly believe that life is too short to be miserable. They tend to know a lot of people like to feel important. I types like to dream and scheme and must beware of their own inconsistency. I types also love people and activity. They want to know what everyone's up to and love being with groups of people. I types as children and teenagers are the ones who say, "but mom everyone is doing it." They are very concerned with relationships and when everyone to get along, and will go out of their way to make sure that that happens.

About 25 to 30% of the general population have I type personalities. These are people who do not work well on their own except in small increments, but give them a person or two to work with and they can move mountains. I happen to know about this particular personality type because it's my dominant type. It's why cleaning my home was such a chore until I found a chat room that allowed me to hang out with friends so to speak while I was cleaning. Out of every 30 min. I would focus for 20 min. and chat for 10 and I began to accomplish more in a few hours than I had previously accomplished in a few days. I've always said if I had a personal assistant to keep me on track, I could conquer the world, which is a very common high I personality thought process.

The S type personality is reserved and people oriented. These are steady and stable types who thrive on routine and order. They desire security and detest conflict. They are supportive and generally sweet and shy and can occasionally get themselves into the really bad trouble because they have a hard time saying no to those they love.  S types love the status quo and can be very sentimental. As children they tend to be very compliant, but as adults they can very easily be run over by everyone including their own children.

About 30 to 35% of the population has this personality type. In my life, I have two people who are very high S type personalities. One was my mother-in-law, who in the nearly 30 years I knew her, never once told me how to be a wife to my husband or mother to my children without me asking her first for her advice. I’ve said more than once that I hit the mother-in-law lottery, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart. The other person in my life with this personality type is my husband who I call my knight in shining armor because I am his princess and always does his best to make me feel safe and secure.

And finally we come to the C type personality, who are reserved and task oriented. C type are competent, cautious and calculating. They are critical thinkers who follow rules and instructions and cannot understand why anyone would not do the same. They are conscientious and love details. They also love to be correct. If asked the question, which you rather be right or happy? They would answer right. C types thrive on consistency and order. As children they may be the child who actually does clean their room because they prefer things to be just so and as parents may not understand why their children who refuse to follow the rules and do things the way they do because if it works for them it should work for everyone, right?

About 20 to 25% of people have the C personality type. I have 2 sister-in-law's who both have this personality type, and until I understood personality types I never understood their relationship. Sometimes they got along so very well and seemed as though they were the best of friends, and other times they completely disagreed with each other and neither seemed willing to give an inch. When I found out about personality types, what I realized is that they have a bond in that they share a personality type and they understand each other in a way I'll never understand either of them, but because they believe in rules and following them and sometimes their rules don't match up, they conflict, and when they do, because they believe in being correct and in control, they have a very difficult time admitting that they might be wrong or the other one might be right because as I said before the C type of personality would rather be right than happy.

There's so much more to talk about with the personality types, and I've truly just scratch the surface. That's why I started the Moving Toward Better podcast that looks at the the strengths and weaknesses of each personality type as well as how the personality types interact in so many ways. Also, starting in October of 2022 you can watch and/or listen to interviews with people who have taken the DISC assessment and had a one on one meeting with me afterward. We'll talk about what those people learned and how it helped them to build better businesses and personal relationships no matter what their personality type.


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