Literary Pursuits

Review: Reading People

Did you ever take one (or more) of those silly online personality quizzes? Which Winnie the Pooh character are you?

Studying personality types fascinates me so I was happy to be selected for the launch team for Reading People by Anne Bogel. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

As Anne explains it in Chapter 1:

We are all different–in matters both serious and silly–and discovering those differences is strangely enjoyable… We suspect our lives would be better if we actually understood ourselves and the people we love.

I’ve often thought if we just understood one another better we wouldn’t have nearly as many misunderstandings and hurt feelings as we do.

Reading People is a very brief overview of several different personality frameworks that are helpful tools for understanding ourselves and others. I would have liked for it to be a little more in-depth than it is, but it does provide a good stepping-off place for learning more. I’m definitely going to be digging into some of the books and resources listed in the bibliography in the back.

Just for fun, I took a few of the free online assessments mentioned in the book. (No, nothing about Winnie the Pooh!)

This first one was no surprise whatsoever…

My result: Introvert.

I answered “Strongly Agree” to every question except the one about being described as “quiet” as a child. Unless you count having my nose in a book much of the time.

This next one surprised me…

My result: Highly Sensitive.

I checked 17 of the 27 options as true of myself. More than 14 indicates “probably highly sensitive.” This is something I never realized about myself before.

And then there’s the well-known Myers-Briggs assessment:

16 Personalities

My result: “Advocate” – INFJ.

Hmm… I’m not so sure about that… Other assessments I tried give the same results, but I think maybe it’s possible that I’m actually INFP.

One chapter in Reading People talks about something called “Keirsey’s Temperaments” which somehow tie in with the Myer Briggs assessment. Discussion of the various temperaments make me suspect that I’m probably actually INFP, rather than INFJ.

The difference has to do with how I make decisions. The “J” people lean more toward making decisive judgment calls, where the “P” people tend more toward postpone decision-making in order to keep their options open.

So, I took the

Keirsey’s Temperament SorterĀ 

My result: “Rational” – INTJ.

Ummm… Maybe I’m just mixed up.

It’s pretty obvious I’m an introvert. And “N” stands for iNtuitive, so there’s that.

Other than that, I think I need to do some more studying. Or pay to have a professional assessment.

Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type? Because obviously, I don’t.

In any case, Reading People did give me some insight in why I operate the way I do… and why my family and friends are different.


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