Friday, March 29, 2013

Seeing Red? It's Just my Color Code showing.

Back in high-school (21 years ago, yikes!) I had a Psychology class where the teacher had us take a color coded personality test. The colors were green, gold, orange, and one I can't remember. I remember that most of the kids in that class were orange--which our teacher predicted. I was not orange which I found a little embarrassing--orange was basically "fun" and what 17 year old didn't want to be fun? I think I was gold--can't remember for sure--but I do know that whatever color I was reflected that I was practical and determined--only one other kid in the class was the same color as me.
Life moved on and low and behold, I continued not to be fun and grew in both practicality and determination. About ten years after this high-school profile, I was introduced to The Color Code, a book by Taylor Hartman which was similar to that green/gold personality profile I'd taken in high-school. I bought the book and took the test to determine what color my personality was. Here's the basic color mapping:

Red: The Power Wielders
Reds have the most dominate, intimidating personality. Expressing themselves emotionally is uncomfortable and creates the vulnerability they typically avoid.

Blues: Do-Gooders
Life cannot bestow on anyone
a more grtifying reward
than the sincere appreciation
and trust of a Blue friend,
employer, or family member.

Whites: Peacemakers
Whites offer us all
a model for gentle
human dignity.

Yellow: The Fun Lovers
Happy is as happy does. Yellow people love themselves because they know exactly what they love to do and always find the time and resources to do it.

No one is all of just one color, but when I did my profile I was a bit dismayed at the results. I thought I was a Blue/White, with a little Red mixed in to make sure I was on time for appointments. Instead I was very Red, with some Blue, a little White and absolutely no Yellow. NO YELLOW. Not even one stupid answer came out Yellow!

If you go back and read those personality descriptions (they are from the chapter headings of the book) you'll notice that only Red points out the negatives of that personality type. With great power comes great responsibility, I gather.

Basically, Reds are hungry for power, want to be productive, want to look good to others, shouldn't be taken too seriously, and seek leadership. This also means that they have strong opinions, get frustrated with other peoples opinions, get the work done, often have a big mouth, and tend to keep people at an emotional distance. They like to be in charge, they like to debate, and operate from a practical and logical place. It sounds like I'm portraying these negatively, but in my mind, I see most of these as good things. However, I have just enough Blue in me to feel bad about that.

Blues are motivated by altruism (which means helping others), seek intimacy, crave being understood, need to be remembered and appreciated and are directed by strong moral conscience. Basically, they are nurturers and want the world to be a better place. They like understanding and getting along and want people to be happy and comfortable.

Not-so-surprisingly, Red/Blue is one of the trickier personality profile out there because so many of the personality traits work against each other. Basically, I am this:

  • I have really strong opinions I share easily but then feel bad when people don't agree with me.
  • I like to give other people opportunities to feel the success of leadership, but I want to do it myself.
  • I can do almost anything (as far as role/organization/commitment) but I want to do it my way.
  • I'll feel bad for not wanting to do it your way if I bowl you over.
  • I share opinions then regret them later and want a do over.
  • I hate hurting people's feelings but often roll over them to get my way.
  • I have emotional baggage but don't let it get in the way of progress.
  • I am impatient with other people's emotional baggage but feel like a creep about it.
  • Accomplishment is important to me but I worry it makes others uncomfortable.
  • When I hold back, I often regret it.
  • When I put it all out there, I often regret it.
  • I am very confident in my opinions.
  • I second guess everything.

I am about 60% Red, 30% Blue, and 10% White. Seeing as how I have no Yellow, it perhaps makes sense that I hate Disneyland, don't make room for play in my life, and tend to prefer small groups or no groups when it comes to down time. My idea of 'fun' is lunch with a friend, reading a book--alone--or creating something. When I exercise it's about accomplishing a goal rather than enjoying the invigoration or the sunshine. I really don't see this lack of fun as a drawback--but I know other people do and I have enough Blue to regret that. I have enough White to forgive myself for it. My Red thinks I'm wasting my time missing Yellow, my Blue thinks my Red is being mean, and my White wishes that Red and Blue would both just calm the heck down and think about things in the greater scheme of existentialism.

Right now, I am feeling very frustrated with the world at large and my place within it's varying opinions. I have opinions that differ with many of my family, friends, and peers, and I can't seem to shut up about them, which I can feel is creating gaps. Then again, when someone agrees with me, I am over the moon and further motivated to share my thoughts, which inevitably makes someone else uncomfortable and ends with me questioning myself all over again. I'll read one opinion piece and completely agree and tell everyone how much I agree. Then I read a rebuttal and agree with parts of that too but don't know how to respond and then I second guess both my earlier opinion and the one that follows. I find myself continually asking, "What is Right?" because Reds want to do things the right way. But what is right? What is right? What is right? There are a lot of people telling me what is right and as a Blue I am motivated to agree, but then they disagree with each other which makes my White hesitant to trust either of them. And then there are people telling me what is wrong, and that gets my Red up because I hate being questioned.

So, what's the point of this post? I don't know. My Red says that it's to educate all you people so you better understand me, my Blue says it's to help you understand me in hopes of better understanding yourself, and my White says that it's because with understanding comes a sense of comfort and peace and who doesn't need more of that in their lives? My Red wants to share all my political opinions about everything tell people how wrong they are when they don't see things my way, my Blue wants to retain a neutral presence and encourage everyone to find their own foundation, and my White doesn't want to rock the boat.

The real point of this post, I think, is to help me try and make sense of myself. The fact is that I am Red. Red is awesome--it's Red's who run the world and keep it going. So, how can I be my best Red? Can I use my Blue to temper my Red without taking away the great things about being Red? How can I let the quiet strength of my White show through the loudness of my Red?

I guess that's my course right now--learning from myself and others and trying to embrace the best of all three of my colors. They all have strengths and they all have weaknesses, but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. I want to be Red. And Blue. And White.

As for Yellow--well, I haven't really missed it and I have enough to worry about (Blue) without adding that to the list (Red.) And I have a whole bunch of lists :-)