Thursday, October 27, 2016

Feeling Blue

Can we talk colors? Four, to be exact.

I teach a course at a community college designed to introduce students to the wide world of college. The content includes college success skills and a bit of career counseling, among other topics. One of the assessments we use to help students learn more about their personalities and how it may relate to potential careers is the True Colors Test. Now for you personality assessment junkies (and who isn't?), this instrument uses the principles of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which is based on the theories of Karl Jung's personality types. I won't bore you with it all, but essentially Karl Jung believed that there were "temperaments" or types of personalities. Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs (a mother and daughter team during the 50's-- not really the most supportive decade for women so let's give them a rousing round of kudos) developed an instrument that refined the theory into 16 types of personalities. The True Colors Test is an offshoot of this that simplifies the "types" by eliminating a few categories (introvert/extrovert). Still with me? It doesn't really matter. Keep reading.

As part of my training to teach this section of the course, I had to participate in a True Colors workshop. Sign me up. I totally geek out on this kind of stuff. I was really hoping to learn something about myself I didn't know. Alas, at 52, it seems there isn't much about myself I don't know. My results were predictable.

You can take the test here-- it's the same version I took. It will explain the results which boil down to four colors:



Okay, now to get to the point of this post. I want to be an orange. Oranges are Tiggers! They are fun, fun, fun. They are spontaneous and bold. They are active and optimistic. Oranges are the life of the party. They "bring excitement to society"! I want to be this person!

I am not.

I'm a blue. I knew it when I was taking the darn assessment. I was going to be the nurturer. I would need harmony. I would be a heart-follower. I would be forever in search of myself. Sigh. Not that there's anything wrong with this. I mean, yes, we blues are likable; we're peace-makers; yeah, yeah, yeah. All warm and fuzzy-like.  I want to be dashing and exciting.

But I suppose there's some good that comes out of this. I'm adaptable. This has come in handy over the last couple of years. I need opportunities to be creative and seek that out (however, I'm not bold or orange enough to let my creative light shine too much).

Oh, but good heavens, the drawback is I'm forever introspective and in search of myself.  I can get lost in the dusty caverns of my mind, which is sometimes not the best place to hang out. Trust me. To make matters worse, my second highest color is gold. We are the conventional backbone of society and adhere to structure and schedules well. We are values and order. Seriously? This is the opposite of exciting and spontaneous. I feel boring. And safe. I am forever the people-pleaser and rule-follower. Just... SIGH.

But here's the good news. Taking this little inventory and knowing thyself isn't a life sentence. We can learn to let our lessor colors shine a bit. So I'm going to work on actively putting a little spit n' polish on my orange. I'll never be a complete convert; I doubt I'll ever "thrive on crisis". But I am going to actively be more aware of being in the moment, being a little less concerned and uptight about what others think. The Squeeze is a great partner in this effort. Although I don't think he's an orange either, he does bring me a great deal of fun and gently encourages me (sometimes not so gently) to not be so worried about convention or what others think. He takes chances and lets his creative light shine. Yes, this is living!

I know I can never shake who I am, nor do I want to. Shakespeare had a good point: to thine own self be true. And let's be honest, I don't really have a choice because to quote another famous character: I yam what I yam. And that's OK.

But let this serve as a warning, dear blog readers: I might let a little bit of audacious and stunning orange show up from time to time.




20 comments:

  1. I remember comparing an 80s era M-B to one in the 00s...how much I had changed. The most dramatic...was a shift from hard extrovert to introvert.

    I lean in the gold.

    Back in the day I taught project management...I created a preso based on dog temperaments (okay, I stole from M-B)... The German Sheppard was of course the Type A personality that runs through the brush without planning. That was me.

    I have to look for that preso. You might get a grin.

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    1. I think I might be a basset hound. Kind of doofy. ;)

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  2. If we know our strengths, we can play to them.
    Haven't taken the test, but I think I lean towards Gold.

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  3. I think if I take the test I'll find I'm a mongrel color, something like elements of all four mixed together into a murky brown. I'm okay with that... :D

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    1. That's how I describe my eye color: algae green. ;) Yes, I do think we blend-- maybe more so as we age!

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  4. I'm gold. Solidly. I got 20 in gold. Very eye opening.

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  5. Very solidly green. And not the least bit gold. But that's not really true. I found that in every one of those lists of words, there were ones that described me, and others that didn't at all. I had to weight which ones I scored on. For me, the take-away is that we don't really fit into neat categories.

    Related story: each year when our school board has our retreat, one of the things the facilitator has us do is take a very simple test of this sort, to find out who is what personality type. We finally figured out that we had to answer the questions for how we approached our work on the board, not our lives. I'm a different person(ality type) in my public life than I am in private.

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    1. Funny thing, I've been doing the MBTI for years. There are actually "types" that deny the theory and find it uncomfortable on principle. And yes, green would be one of them. These instruments can provide helpful insights but never a set-in-stone script for our lives; I agree.

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  6. What a fascinating test. I got the same high score in both Green and Gold and the same lowest one in Blue and Orange. Not everything in my color boxes is true about me but most things are.

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    1. They are a little "horoscope" in their descriptions; I completely agree, but they are "mostly" true for me too. :)

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  7. I'm definitely gold with a few of each of the other colors mixed in. You're right at 52 I wasn't surprised either!! 😊

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    1. Yeah- predictable. But I want to come to FL and do a little Tigger dancing with you! :)

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  8. Oh my goodness...I am quite the Goldy. LOL This was so insightful!
    And can I just say, how warmed my heart was to get an email notifying me of your recent blog posts??

    So much love, Anna

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    1. You are a shiny lovely goldy, Anna. And I think I see sparkles of orange in you!

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  9. Being from the Mountain State, is it any wonder I scored Blue and Gold? LOL. (Those are our state colors). But I was heavier on the Blue. I suppose it's good to be blue.

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  10. You know, I'm going with: Embrace who you are. If we all shot for the same personality, it would be TRULY boring world. I'm grateful for the variety we get in all this awesomeness.

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