We are not the same – Four Temperaments

We are not the same – four temperaments

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to explain how we are not all the same and what that signifies for relationships and business.

First a quick update:

“The art of flirting”
Read the transcript of the interview I gave to Sue McGarvie Clinical Therapist and Syndicated Talk Show host of Ottawa’s EZ Rock 99.7 “Love & Lipstick”, about flirting from the male perspective – which flirting techniques work with men and which don’t.

“The training – now also via webinar”
In response to requests from people outside the US, the training course for my unique therapeutic technique “Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique” (SRTT) will now be conducted over the phone and via webinar so you can learn and follow along and ask questions via your computer from anywhere in the world, and, we have adjusted the dates to ensure everyone is accommodated. Are you one of the lucky few to grab the last places to make up the 15 people being accepted? Hurry!!!

Now, let’s talk about why we are not all the same and its implications.

This year, the T.I.M.M.-E Company, Inc. (Tolerance in Multi Media Education) – an educational company that teaches tolerance and diversity in schools, celebrated its 10th anniversary of the children’s book “We Are All The Same Inside.” The book’s message is to encourage children to celebrate our similarities while embracing each other’s differences.

And yes, it is true that were we to remove color, gender, culture, age and other differences such as socio-economic disparities, we would find that inside we are all very similar and accordingly we do also have common physical and emotional needs such as food, water, shelter, attention, approval, love & connection, security, challenges, significance, growth, and contribution – meaning and purpose. (See also my Newsletter from June 30, 2010: “Getting your six needs”)

Common humanity is one of the key messages of the 1985 classic film “The Breakfast Club”: beneath their obvious external differences, the geek, the sports jock, the princess, the criminal and the kook are in essence all the same, sharing the same fears, hopes, deepest emotions and problems.

However, there are also critical ways in which we are very different and that, in turn, can destroy relationships and our general happiness & enjoyment of life.

There were two brothers, just three years apart in age. Both boys suffered abuse from an angry alcoholic father and felt unloved by a mother who was self-absorbed and not very nurturing. When the two boys grew up, one became angry like his father and continued to be verbally abusive towards his mother. The second brother left home at a very young age, traveled the world and studied psychology in an attempt to understand and heal himself.

In another incident, three young boys were sitting at the edge of the road, playing, when a car drove by and ran over a cat. One boy laughed wickedly, another remained stunned, and the third boy ran away and subsequently grew up afraid of cats (interestingly, not cars, roads or driving.)

The point here is that we perceive events differently, we respond and react to them differently and we can all be affected differently by the same event. In other words, we are not all the same and yet, generally we expect other people to act, respond and behave the same way that we would do.

The differences in the way we process, react and respond to events can be caused by many factors such as our subconscious programming and our personality and temperament. For example, in my audio book, Personality Test: Who are You? Talker, Doer, Thinker, Watcher?”, I reveal that in a crisis the Doer (the Driver) would automatically take charge; the Talker (The Expressive) would be the first person to make light of the situation, and; the Watcher (The Amiable) would be busy consoling and expressing compassion to everyone involved.

It is not clear at exactly which point in maturation that we develop personality or if we are simply born with a clearly defined personality. Some parents will relate that their child has a distinct personality from very early infancy. Of course, even a distinct personality and temperament can become further molded by environment, events and upbringing. A person that would naturally be highly expressive might grow up to be shy and introverted because of negative experiences, childhood abuse, constant criticism, condemnation or other instilled fears.

The moral here is that we need to become aware of and recognize the differences that exist within each of us. And herein lays the problem that can lead to misery – our expectations of other people – and this affects our social, business and romantic relationships and, the way we communicate with each other. When we fail to recognize that each one of us is different, we are ultimately saying “why can’t you be more like me?”

Thus relationships can become the victim of the “Be Like Me” syndrome: We mistakenly assume that everyone is just like us and we manage our relationships and communicate from that perspective and, when others are not like us, we assume they are deliberately being argumentative, difficult or simply defiant. In the extreme, we conclude that the person who behaves differently to us must be inferior to us or we become frustrated and angry feeling like a failure because the other person isn’t acting the way we would or doing what we want them to do. It is easy for us to be completely befuddled when a person responds in a seemingly overly sensitive manner to something that might not affect us at all.

If you are the extrovert type (energized by being around people) you might scoff and find quite boring and stuffy the person that is introverted and prefers to stay at home than go out or entertain (introverts are energized by being alone and drained when faced with large groups of people); if you are a person that tends to be methodical, literal and likes practical data to work with, then you would think of people who tend to be guided by their intuition as flakey and they, in turn, would see you as boring, cold or unimaginative.

If you make most of your decisions based on logic and reason then you would easily become frustrated with the person that makes most of his/her decisions based on emotion, what he or she believes to be right. Surprisingly, the feeling-type decision maker usually mistrusts the logical thinker-type decision maker.

Though rarely mentioned, personality differences can also account for a large percentage of marriage and relationship breakups because the two people see and approach the world through highly conflicting preferences, filters and value systems. Thus, if you want to communicate effectively and move easily through conflict, rather than expecting the other person to “be like me”, adopt the approach of “I need to be more like you.” Put another way, whenever you want to persuade or influence someone, stop trying to make them see the world through your eyes (though that is appropriate in certain situations) and instead, see the world through their eyes.

Remember that although, we all have the same fundamental needs, we are not all the same and we all view, respond and process life differently; people cannot be what you want them to be nor respond exactly as you would; your best friend might be the most similar to you and your family might be the most dissimilar to you. We often choose our friends based on similarities and common ground.

If you want to learn more about each of the personality type, their emotions, behavior at work, as parents and friends, and their best matches in relationships and romance, listen to my audio book: Personality Test: Who are You? Talker, Doer, Thinker, Watcher?

  • The Talker is the Artisan, extroverted, seeking sensation, does what works, speaks of what is, and excelling as promoters, crafters, performers and composers
  • The Doer is the Guardian, extroverted, seeking security, does what is right, speaks of what is, and excelling as supervisors, inspectors, providers and protectors
  • The Thinker is the Rational, introverted, seeking knowledge, does what is right, speaks of possibilities, and excelling as field marshals, masterminds, inventors and architects
  • The Watcher is the Idealist, introverted, seeking identity, does what works, speaks of possibilities, and excelling as teachers, counselors, champions of causes and healers

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
www.patrickwanis.com

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