Saturday, September 09, 2006

Personality Soup--Not To Be Served in a Box

Recently I participated in Union Chapel’s staff retreat for ministerial assistants, who, like Prince, are formerly known by another name: “secretaries.” We spent a day away from the offices, bonding over savory meals and an afternoon at The Artist Within studio, where we all painted our own pottery. Unfortunately, only a few of us actually found our artists within. Mine is MIA. Put it this way; the owner had to help me literally scrape mistakes out of my bowl.

Exhibit A, the bowl. Exhibit B, the inspiration for the bowl.

But I digress.

During the morning, we met to discuss a book we had all been given earlier in the month called Personality Plus, by Florence Littauer. We were to complete a personality survey and be ready to share that morning.

You should read the book, but I’ll fill you in. Littauer takes another look at Aristotle’s philosophy about the four temperaments: earth, wind, fire and air. You will probably remember their ‘70’s hits, “Sing a Song” and “Shining Star.”

Anyway, here’s my semi-professional take on this cogitative theory:

Personality 1: SANGUINE—Party in a box, Will Ferrellish or Tom on Oprah. Biblically, David prancing around in his Joe Boxers.

Personality 2: CHOLERIC—Captain of the ship, Donald Trumpish. Biblically, maybe Martha “Git 'er Done” sister of Lazarus.

Personality 3: MELANCHOLIC—Brooding artist, Johnny Deppish. Biblically, Solomon, when he wrote Ecclesiastes.

Personality 4: PHLEGMATIC—[Suddenly I feel the need to clear my throat.] Similar to a lawn ornament or birdbath that sits through extreme climates year after year without any ascertainable change, Ben Steinish or my husbandish. Biblically, Lazarus, before Jesus got there.

Got it? I bet you’re already pegging yourself and someone else. It’s addictive. I’ve even pegged my dog and my car.

One reason I’m almost a convert to the theory is that it sort of answers the question, “Can’t we all just get along?” Tomorrow I will dramatize why we can but it won’t be easy when I place the Fab Four in a room together to plan a party.


Tammy Dawson said...

I loved reading Personality Plus. It helped me better understand myself as well as behaviors displayed in others -both positive and possibly negative behaviors - standing out in my mind, over a lifetime.

Glad you read it. Tammy

Jackie said...

I've seen these before. My church did a personality test and I ended up being the bird I mean the phelgmatic/ melancholic.

I've always love hearing about personality types. It's so interesting.

Carol said...

I did the test for that at a conference once - had to have my husband rate me. I tested out at sanguie choleric...or was it choleric sanguine?

Anyway, it turns out you can have nearly equal amounts of two types. Sort of accounts for my split personality, I'd say.