I am so excited to be a member of the launch team for Anne Bogel’s book, Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything, which publishes on September 19!
The book is still available for preorder, which will also get you a free audio version of the book and free access to a course Anne created about different reading personalities with personalized book recommendations based on your personality! Amazon currently has the book listed for $9.16 which seems like a steal for how amazing this book is!
Before I dive into all the reasons I loved and resonated with this book, I have to share just how pretty the physical copy is. The spine is gold foil and the title and her name are gold embossed on the front – it is just a really attractive book!
Reading People condenses different personality frameworks into a single book to equip you to better read yourself and this around you. I’ve gone through each framework to see what I can learn about myself to improve as a wife, daughter, friend, sister and hopefully, future mama. I feel stronger in each of my roles, when I feel confident about how I am likely to engage with different situations.
I am an introvert and a highly sensitive person. I need time alone to recharge and process my thoughts and emotions from my day and the world at large. I know I’m an HSP because I feel emotion deeply, cannot view anything too graphic visually, audibly, or read it in a book – it gets engrained in my brain too easily! I feel sensitive to caffeine, fabrics, sounds or too many people in a crowded place – it can all become too much and I need to retreat somewhere I feel I can breathe. Realizing this about myself makes so much sense when I reflect on my preferences in every sense – my entertainment choices, textile choices, food choices, travel choices, etc. I want to make choices that bring a sense of calm and comfort, so I prefer happier, cheesier television and films. I love soft, cozy fabrics and hate anything scratchy or uncomfortable. While I love to try new foods, certain textures can be challenging. I prefer to travel places when it’s not tourist season and you can feel more like a local. Having a name to describe these preferences helps me feel less alone. In college I always felt a bit uneasy going to the fraternities or bars if I hadn’t been preparing for it all week because the noise and strangers and unknown of it all overwhelmed me. I preferred a cozy night in watching a movie and eating sorbet to dancing until the early morning. Being out could feel really draining. It’s why I love being a homebody, and spending time with my husband. I’d much rather go out for brunch and to the Farmer’s Market or on a hike, than out to a club with loud music. The way William and I live and travel recharges me and brings a deep sense of comfort and peace.
My love language is a tie between Acts of Service and Quality Time. While Physical Touch makes me feel connected to William, and still gives me butterflies, and while I love hunting for the perfect, meaningful gift for the people I love, and a thoughtful letter or comment can make my heart warm, there is something about serving those I love to honor them, or finding someone has done something to serve and honor me. It can be as small as making the bed in the morning, or fixing my cup of coffee, but doing something to make my life easier just melts me. Quality Time fills my soul because in our busy world to have that time set aside for the ones you love is such a valuable offering. Time is such a precious gift.
Kiersy’s Temperaments was a new framework for me, though it ties so closely to Myers-Briggs that I feel a bit Sikh for not being familiar. I learned I’m a Guardian, or sensing and judging type based on my ISFJ result of the Myers-Briggs. While my brain does easily remember names, important dates, etc., and I do enjoy my routines, I feel much more like an Idealist. The high empathy, focus on what could be, sensitive to nuance, a good reader of facial expressions and body language, intuitive and fascinated by the study of personality all feel like a stronger fit to how I perceive myself. I resonated with every aspect of the Idealist description, so on reflection, I definitely think I’m an Idealist and not a Guardian.
As I mentioned, I’m an ISFJ, a Defender. I love the quote by Brian Tracy on 16Personalities – “Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” Anne describes ISFJs as a “kind-hearted nurturer who unites strong powers of observation with a deep-seated desire to do good.”
My cognitive functions are Introverted Sensing (Si), Extroverted Feeling (Fe), Introverted Thinking (Ti), and Extroverted Intuiting (Ne). Introverted Sensing means I like to collect and store details, taking an inward, reflective focus to understand the present. Extroverted Feeling prioritized harmony, helping everyone get along, and requires social interaction to be satisfied. It means I am quick to read and empathize with the emotions of others. It also means I wear my heart on my sleeve. This resonates so deeply! Introverted Thinking means I am non confrontational and may seem to others to live in my head, but also, that I like to think things brought from all angles – which is true! If I don’t catch myself, I can get over analyzing which isn’t healthy! Extroverted Intuition loves to draw connections between seemingly unrelated things which I do ALL the time! I love finding new ways the world fits together! It also means I am skilled at seeing possibilities and patterns of meaning an can lead myself down a rabbit trail following different ideas as they evolve and crate new pathways.
The Strengths Finder is a framework I first learned of several years ago. My five strengths are Positivity, Developer, Arranger, Empathy, and Individualization. I love how Anne said that Strengths can be developed and to seek out opportunities to keep growing. Both Positivity and Developer are Influencing themes. On the Strengths Finder website Positivity says, ” naturally positive, upbeat and energetic – and their enthusiasm is contagious.” Developer says, “can recognize and cultivate the potential they see in others.” Arranger is a Strategic-Thinking theme and says, “brilliant at managing all the variables of a given situation into the best possible plan. They are characterized by strong organizational skills and flexibility.” Both Empathy and Individualization are Relationship-Building themes. Empathy says, ” instinctively understand how others are feeling.” Individualization says, “believe every individual possess unique qualities and seeks to understand these qualities so they can draw out the best in others.” I find it interesting that I have no executing themes in my strengths. If I just saw the list of thirty-four themes, I would be surprised to not have Relator, Connectedness, Ideation, and Belief in my top five alongside Empathy. I do, however, feel the top five I do have make sense as to how I navigate the world.
Enneagrams are new to me and a framework I want to learn more about. It looks at our motivations for why we do what we do and that’s intriguing. Of the nine types, according to a quiz I took, I’m a Type Two, though I thought I could have also been a Type Nine. Type Two is “The Helper” – the need to be needed. According to Anne “unhealthy twos repress their own needs to tend the needs of others,” and I have definitely done that before! But, she says at our best we “delight in appropriately caring for others and loving them unconditionally” which is also true!
I appreciate these insights into my personality and trying to better understand who I am, why I feel certain things, how I process the world, and my actions. These insights allow me to understand my own brain which is so peaceful!
I look forward to going through all of this with William and the other people I love to understand which frameworks they fall into. I think understanding personality frameworks in a work environment is also important, as it allows you to improve communication and teamwork. I also think from a counseling perspective understanding the frameworks will allow you to better help your clients process through situations by understanding the inherent ways they are approaching a situation to equip them with best tool set.
I see so much value in understanding personality frameworks and highly recommend this book to everyone!