Little sprouts of green are starting to protrude from the ground. Tiny buds begin appearing on bushes. And small little flecks of spring start emerging. It’s a welcome sight, especially if you feel as though you just survived an unending winter! You are probably seeing some of these same signs of spring starting to appear. What can springtime teach us about personalities? I am excited to share this blog article my friend Carrie Hoffman wrote after we discussed personalities together one day. She brings such life to the personalities as we excitedly celebrate spring!
Finding Beauty in Variety
You know that spring is trying to break through when you see the first tulips bursting through the slightly frozen ground. Even with a coating of wet spring snow, their stiff leaves appear before most other flowers are anywhere close to popping up. I have a patch of red tulips in my back yard that always appears first each spring. These ambitious, early blooms remind me of the Powerful Choleric personality, those gutsy, go-first, “I do it myself!” types.
If you have a Choleric kid, you know the joys and pains of this personality type. They are self-starters. They’re independent. They work hard. They are natural-born leaders. On the flip side, they can be bossy, abrasive and very strong-willed. Their opposite personality is the Peaceful Phlegmatic. These kids are easygoing, gentle, quiet and agreeable. This may seem like an easy child to parent, compared to the Powerful Choleric, and in many ways, they are! But this child can also be hard to motivate, reticent, unenthusiastic and indifferent.
Every person comes with a unique set of personality traits that includes strengths and weaknesses. If you were looking at a Wired That Way personality profile (a tool we love!), each of these personalities is represented by a different color. Powerful Cholerics are red, just like my go-first tulips. Peaceful Phlegmatics are green.
Playful Sanguines are represented by yellow. These really are the bright and shiny ones! They are cheerful, enthusiastic and expressive. They exude joy. But they can struggle with being undisciplined and easily distracted. Their opposite personality is the Proper Melancholy, represented by blue. These are your deep and thoughtful kids, serious, purposeful and creative. They can struggle with being moody or depressed and can dwell on negatives and be disappointed with imperfections.
Imagine a garden of only one color. While there would still be beauty, imagine how much more breathtaking it is to see a garden of many colors. White daisies next to yellow daffodils. Red roses behind dainty bluebells. Delicate green ferns and big purple hydrangeas. Gorgeous!
Learning about the personalities has helped me appreciate the beauty in others. I have a friend who is a blend of Sanguine and Choleric. She is always on the go! Just looking at her schedule makes my melancholy soul tired. This ambitious and energetic friend is also late on a regular basis. I think she just packs more into her schedule than anyone can humanly do. I’ve learned to give grace for her lateness, reminding myself that this friend would also bend over backward to help me, even if it didn’t fit tidily into her schedule.
Are there some people in your garden that you could appreciate a little bit more? Here’s a little experiment you could try this week: Think of a person that feels a bit more like a weed. (It’s ok, we won’t tell!) Their not-so-good traits probably come easily to mind, while their wonderful traits might be harder to see. So look for them! Search for the good. Appreciate what they bring to the table. Remind yourself of these things when frustration rises. And for extra credit, tell them the positive things you see in them. When we encourage others, they often want to rise up and show us those positives again.
Now go and enjoy the personalities in your garden!
Friend and Colleague
Isn’t that a fun quick glimpse into personalities? Thank you, Carrie, for sharing that with us! I have to tell you a little about Carrie. We have been friends as long as two people can possibly be friends! My mom was pregnant with me when she went to visit Carrie’s mom with her new baby (who was Carrie)! We have been friends as far back as it goes! We have both always been fascinated by personalities and how they just truly help you understand people and relationships. In fact, we first learned about them when we were in junior high! That’s been a while!
It is wonderful that we have some similar interests in counseling/coaching, speaking, and training. We are excited to think ahead about upcoming opportunities for educating, supporting, and inspiring other parents. There is a page right here on ParentingWithPersonality where you can read more about some upcoming retreats and topics. If you would like to be kept in the loop with upcoming retreats, please be sure to fill in the information line at this link http://parentingwithpersonality.com/retreats/
Perhaps this personality information is new to you! Let me offer you this quick and easy tip sheet that shows the four different personalities. This is a very simplistic look at personalities, and there is so much more to learn about combinations of personalities, strengths, struggles, and emotional needs. But this can at least give you a little glimpse into what the personality styles can tell you about some of the general traits people possess. To get your free download of this tip sheet (quadrant) feel free to visit this link and provide your email. We will send you this free resource as well as give you free access to a library of other resources you may find helpful in parenting.
Learning the personality information has been the best and most useful tool in parenting for me. In fact, I think it should be taught in every counseling program. It is one of the tools I utilize most in counseling. If you would like to find out more, feel free to visit this page to see the flagship online parenting course I offer, titled, Learning the Language of Your Child’s Heart . You might also enjoy the book “The You Zoo” that I co-authored. Both the course and the book break it down for tips and ideas on how to handle different personalities in discipline, friendships, with siblings, in school, and so much more. Follow this link to find the book on Amazon or my devoted book site.
Now get on out there and bloom! Enjoy spring and let it remind you that differences and variety bring much joy to life!