This month’s edition of recent reads is all about personality, it seems.
I got a pre-launch copy of Anne Bogel’s Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything. (Thank you Anne!)
I’m definitely a personality type geek, and I loved how this book took the major personality typing frameworks and distilled them down to their essence.
It got me interested in finding out more about the Enneagram, which I haven’t delved into.
I love how Anne points out that personality typing doesn’t put people into a box so much as it shows which one they’re already in, and that by understanding our own personality and that of others, it frees us up to step out of it more. (That’s not a quote, it’s my spin on things.)
That made sense to me. Knowledge is power. Understanding your blind spots and weaknesses makes it easier to not be so… well, blindsided by them. It’s slowing down or swerving before that pothole instead of hitting it every time and wondering, “What just happened?”. Or more accurately, “Why does that always happen?“.
Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too)
I found myself giggling in recognition at various points in the chapter on Questioners (my type). I used to refer to myself as a Maven, in reference to my love of research… a very Questioner trait.
Without realizing it, I’ve created safeguards in my life to keep me from (most of the time!) overquestioning, something that I can do in times of stress. (For me it shows up as researching too much and not taking enough action. I find great comfort in books, but sometimes it’s time to plant rice, y’know?)
I really want my husband to read the chapter on Obligers (his type). I’m sure it would be equally enlightening to him.
Interestingly, a few days ago my eldest son came to me and shared that he felt the need for more structure and discipline from my husband and me. That surprised me.
As a Questioner, I easily meet inner expectations, and at his age I was already married and running a household.
But that’s how a Questioner would feel! (Questioners don’t like too much oversight).
I didn’t know at the time (he later took the quiz), but he’s an Obliger. Now the conversation makes perfect sense. Obligers NEED external accountability in order to best meet expectations.
They also need protection from other people’s expectations, as they find it hard to say no to other people’s demands!
I had intuited the second piece, and have tried to impose some boundaries, gently reminding him to rest more. At one point I even insisted that he slow down for a couple of months to recharge (he didn’t comply, but I know he appreciated my concerns!).
Knowing a person’s framework is extremely helpful because it helps you know how to talk to them. As an example, with an Obliger who needs to exercise more, it’s best that you remind them that exercise helps them fulfill their obligation to others.
For instance, my husband struggles to exercise but was a great ball player in high school. He requires that accountability of a coach and team relying on him, or he won’t stick to an exercise program.
I’ve urged him to get a workout buddy or some other system, but he hasn’t. My new approach will be to remind him that exercising will mean he lives longer and can be there for me and the kids, and that he owes it to us to stay healthy so he can take care of us and avoid doctor bills, etc.
That’s probably what will do the trick, because he’ll then tell himself that he’s exercising “for the family“. Also, yesterday I literally told him to GO mountain biking. I am NOT the pushy or naggy type, but I know that he will put off caring for himself, reasoning that he’s doing the right thing by hanging out with the family.
I’m also finishing up The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte.
As it turns out, the book is about how we often set goals the wrong way. We think we want a particular outcome, but we actually want the FEELING we imagine it will bring us.
So, we don’t really “want to lose 10 pounds”. We want to FEEL light, or energetic, or beautiful, or svelte, or stylish, or whatever.
It’s an interesting way to look at goal-setting and one that might work for me, because years ago, I mostly gave up on goals in favor of activity standards and habits.
Have you read any good books lately?