I had a great time yesterday hanging out with friends (male and female) and talking about anything and everything. The conversation took a heated turn when one friend, “Haley,” mentioned a book she is reading which describes three types of men. I and the other female in the group, “Rhonda,” urged her to tell us more. Without going into too great of detail because I don’t want to endorse a book I haven’t read, Haley explained the three types of men described in the book were:
- the dreamer/visionary who always comes up with grand ideas and is willing to blow all the family savings on pursing those dreams
- the quiet type who serves, is very dependable and whom everyone counts on to help
- the chauvinist/leader who thinks he’s king of the castle and expects his woman to serve him.
I turned to the two men in our group and asked, “What do you think about that? Stereotyping? True? Malarkey?” To my surprise, both men were rather disgusted. “Ben” burst out that he hated those types of books and ways of pigeon-holing people because he believes everyone has a bit of all categories in their personality. He also pointed out some “character traits” may be issues which need to be changed in order to be a healthier person and have healthier relationships, and that the whole basis for these particular categories is based exclusively on one belief system. “Wes” felt that personality labeling – not just this book but labels used in the past, such as phlegmatic/melancholy/sanguine/choleric, the Meyers-Briggs tests, etc. – was the same as astrology, such as if your are born under a certain sign, your personality is thus and such and isn’t amendable. He just doesn’t have any use for stuff like that.
Haley went on to share about another book (same author) which describes the three types of women but I won’t even go there because I was, quite honestly, insulted by the labels. What I took away from the conversation was an appreciation for the male point of view and the educated opinions which were shared. It’s so easy to believe our opinion is the truth about a subject, however well- or ill-informed we are. I’m not big into debating issues, but it is refreshing to be presented with information and opinions which I never before considered. It’s especially nice to hear the opinion of someone from the opposite sex.
No matter our personality types, whether introvert, extrovert, leader, helper, emotional, logical, let’s focus on our strengths to be the best person we can be in order to help others be the best they can be. Let’s just be ourselves and let the real power of our personalities shine because by shining, we encourage others to shine.