How to Deepen Your Relationship - Part 1
Something that has always fascinated me is relationships; and I am not only talking about romantic relationships, I mean all human relationships including family, friends, coworkers, clients, and even strangers. When I was young my mother worked in a field where they required her to complete countless personality and relationship-based courses, most of which she would then share with my father, sister and I. This is what sparked my interest and led me to develop a deep fascination for understanding the different ways in which people interact, and how they form relationships based on their own individual strengths and triggers. I loved this subject so much that I went on to attend multiple seminars during my high school years, and took 9 different personality and relationship psychology courses as electives during my undergrad. To this day, my understanding and knowledge on this subject is something I utilize daily to further understand not only the people who are important in my life, but everyone I interact with. Being someone who struggles upon meeting new people, this has given me the ability to confidently walk into a room knowing who to approach whomever I am faced with.
There are an enormous amount of personality and relationship theories out there, which are accessible to you through a quick google search; but after exploring and learning a significant amount of them myself, I have developed a preference for 2 particular theories. Don't get me wrong, I think there is powerful information to be gathered from each theory out there, and I highly encourage those who are interested in this topic to explore them, but in my opinion, these 2 theories are not just quick and easy to understand and identify, but they also focus on the idea that humans are not ever just a single thing. Humans are complex and evolve overtime, and these theories suggest that every individual is made up of all the categories presented, and what makes a being unique is the degree to which they identify to each category.
The first theory I want to talk about is the Coloful Personalities, published by George J. Boelcke, through his book Colorful Personalities: Discover Your Personality Type Through the Power of Colors. This theory identifies 4 main personality types: Blue, Gold, Green, and Orange. His theory emphasizes that everyone has all 4 personality types (colors), but each individual has a different degree of each, often leading to a primary and secondary color which describes most of your personality. It also suggests that the degree of each color can be dynamic based on external events (for example, how you are with your spouse vs. how you are with your boss). Each color has specific traits that are commonly found in individuals that display this personality, including their strengths, triggers, common vocation choices, and interests. The reason this theory is more relatable is because often times you will find a trait that you highly identify with that is not in your primary color, and that is okay! You are all the colors, simply to a different degree. This article will only introduce the basis of each color and touch on how this knowledge can be beneficial. If you are interested in learning more about this personality theory, there is a limitless amount of information through the internet available to you. Lets get into the colors.
Two of the strongest traits of a blue personality are being warm and sociable. They have a deep longing for relationships, helping others, and maintaining harmony among people. They thrive while working with others, enjoy collaborating and connecting with new people. They are often exceptional communicators and caretakers, and are strongly in tune with their own emotions as well as those around them. Occupations that contain a high population of blue personalities include nursing, social work, artists, therapists, human resources, and customer service. Common stressors for this personality include conflict, too much time alone, negativity, aggression, and injustice. People may perceive blue personalities as overly sensitive, too nice, too trusting, soft spoken, and irrational, while blue personalities might perceive themselves as compassionate, caring, nurturing, and harmonious. Signs that you are dealing with a blue personality include someone who prefers hugs rather than handshakes, someone who speaks softly and asks about your feelings, someone who shows compassion towards animals and children, someone who is constantly offering to help others, and someone who is concerned about maintaining a harmonious atmosphere. The best way to approach a blue personality is with a smile, ask them about their day before asking for a favor, call rather than text, show physical affection (when appropriate) instead of physical distancing, speak calmly and without aggression, and express your feelings rather than facts.
Two of the strongest traits of a gold personality are organized and responsible. They have a deep longing for stability, and predictability. They thrive with routines, to-do lists, and planning ahead. They are loyal, dependable, timely, honest, traditional, and value authority. Occupations that contain a high population of gold personalities include managers, financial advisers, lawyers, military, and teachers. Common stressors for this personality include last minute changes, multitasking, chaos or disorganization, not following the rules, trying new things, and being late. People may perceive gold personalities as rigid, controlling, serious, boring, and resistant to change, while gold personalities might perceive themselves as consistent, goal-oriented, traditional, loyal, realistic, dependable, and decisive. Signs that you are dealing with a gold personality include someone who is always on time, someone who is organized and detailed oriented, someone who has everything on a to-do list, someone who plans ahead, someone who is honest rather than spare feelings, and someone who resists change. The best way to approach a gold personality is by sticking to the plan, being on time, offering tried and true solutions, keeping your word, and setting detailed goals and deadlines.
Two of the strongest traits of a green personality are being analytical and independent. They have a deep longing for facts, logical thinking, and efficiency. Green personalities tend to internalize their feelings rather than express them. They thrive when left to work alone, are given detailed instructions, and are asked questions. They are often exceptional at observing, analyzing situations, and obtaining new information. Occupations that contain a high population of green personalities include engineers, detectives, scientists, and surgeons. Common stressors for this personality include discussing feelings, small talk, irrational decisions, distractions, and inefficiency. People may perceive green personalities as arrogant, cold, insensitive, unappreciative, and absent minded, while green personalities might perceive themselves as confident, mentally and emotionally strong, logical, observant, disciplined, and objective. Signs that you are dealing with a green personality include someone who seems cold and distant, someone who prefers to observe rather than talk, someone who researches all the facts before making a decision, and someone who avoids being the center of attention. The best way to approach a green personality is to talk about facts rather than feelings, ask them questions, text over call, get to the point, give them space and time to process information, and approach them privately to make request rather than in groups.
Two of the strongest traits of an orange personality are being risk takers and spontaneous. They have a deep longing for adventure and action. They thrive with variety, stimulation and surprises. They are highly motivated to take action, and adapt quickly to new situations. They are rule breakers, witty, charming, persuasive, and memorable. Occupations that contain a high population of orange personalities include public speaking, comedians, sales, marketing, athletes, and acting. Common stressors for this personality include routines, rules, responsibility, deadlines, lack of variety, and inactivity. People may perceive orange personalities as unorganized, distracted, impulsive, obnoxious, childish, risk takers, and self centered, while orange personalities might perceive themselves as flexible, playful, clever, multitaskers, adventurous, bold, and assertive. Signs that you are dealing with an orange personality include someone who is energetic and bold, someone who has innovative ideas, someone who enjoys sports and adrenaline inducing activities, and someone who multitasks well. The best way to approach an orange personality is by doing something active, offering new ideas, giving them a chance to speak rather than listen, in person vs call or text, being flexible with deadlines, and offering a variety of choices.
While this is a very high-level overview of each personality type, being able to recognize and understand the personalities around you allows you to identify the strengths others have that may enhance your life, as well as the strength you have that may help others. Having the ability to correctly approach a stranger, or someone important, can deepen the relationship you develop with them, or simply give you and understanding of the most effective way to integrate your life and habits with theirs. It can also alleviate common misunderstandings and frustrations between various personalities. To learn more about each color personality and the different dynamics between the personalities, I highly encourage you to read the book and take the personality self-assessment!
The second theory I want to talk about is The 5 Love Languages, written by Dr. Gary Champan. This theory is about 5 different ways in which every human shows and receives acts of love. This theory is not only useful for romantic relationships. Understanding how someone shows love and receives love can help you target how to make them feel appreciated, valued, and cared for; a skill that is very powerful, irrelevant of the type of relationship you have with the individual. Read Part 2 of this article learn more about this theory.