A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was part of the launch team for Anne Bogel’s new book Reading People: How seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everything. The book officially hits the shelves on September 19th and you. must. get. it. This book, honestly, changed the way I think almost everything.
If you’ve spend any considerable amount of time with me, it’ll come as no surprise that I love a book about personality types. The psychology surrounding relationships is fascinating to me and Reading People was the most refreshing approach I’ve found in regard to this subject. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific personality assessment and Anne Bogel walks you through each of these concepts gently and kindly. There is no “type A is better than type B” mentality and I found her words to be both encouraging and informative.
I like to think of myself as fairly well-versed in the world of personality types, but in the first few pages of this book I was learning more about myself than I ever anticipated. For example, Chapter 3 is about Highly Sensitive People (HSP). Ever heard of this? No? Me neither. I made Carter read this chapter so that he could understand that, no, I’m not being dramatic when I say that my head feels like it’s going to explode when there’s music playing and the tv is on and you’re trying to have a conversation with me AT THE SAME TIME. While I enjoyed the beginning of the book, I was 100% invested (and became slightly obsessed) when I read the chapter in which Anne perfectly describes me…
“I’m very empathetic….and I have difficulty making dinner while the counter is cluttered with the morning’s dishes. I lose my mind when someone is singing while the radio is playing a different song. Watching the news makes me want to assume the fetal position and never get up.” – page 60
Through her anecdotes, Anne gives you a glimpse of the person behind the four letter Myers-Briggs label or the Love Language that you hear people refer to. She turns the textbook definition into something relatable and understandable. This helped me to better understand myself and the people whom I interact with on a daily basis.
Do you know your personality type(s)? I love understanding other people’s personality and how/why our relationship is shaped a particular way based on how we each view the world. The most eye-opening moment for me came on page 113…
“A good match isn’t something you’re given; it’s something you make. Any combination can be a good fit if you accept the other person for who they are and lovingly support them in becoming the best person they can be.”
I probably read this sentence nine times. It’s so true! Forget the mentality that you have a “type” that you’re attracted to or that you can only get along with like-minded people. If you understand why people think and act the way they do, you can have a wonderful and fulfilling relationship. For example, it makes sense that Carter is dominating and unafraid to assert himself because he’s a classic 8 on the Enneagram. On the other hand, I’m a 6 on the Enneagram and it totally explains why I’m prone to viewing the world as a dangerously unpredictable place. Because we understand this about one another, he knows how to help me get out of my “everything-will-go-wrong-at-any-second” mentality and I can recognize when he becomes aggressive or power-hungry.
I wish I could give a copy of Reading People to everyone I know, honestly. This book has helped me to feel more comfortable with myself and helped me to understand why I feel so exhausted after being with a large group of people or why I feel the need to opt-out of carpooling to work (hello, my name is Stephanie and I’m an ISTJ). Do yourself a favor and pre-order a copy so it’ll magically show up at your doorstep!! While you’re patiently waiting for your book to arrive, check out the links below to the various tests that Anne shares for each personality assessment –
- The Highly Sensitive Person
- The 5 Love Languages
- Keirsey’s Temperaments
Happy reading, friends!