I attended a fascinating workshop yesterday that assigns "colors" to certain temperaments. Real Colors was developed by David Keirsey based on the work of such researchers as Carl Jung and Isabel Myers and Kathryn Briggs (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) to categorize your personality in order to increase your understanding of not only who you (and others in your life) are, but how to learn to communicate with the other "colors" in your life.
You have to pay for the workshop, but here's the gist of it. If you've ever wondered why you are the way you are, why your spouse thinks the way he or she does, or why your kids act the way they do, you can gain some real insight by going through the workbook they provide to find your/their predominant temperament. While some people may lean strongly toward one "color", some, like me, have tendencies to waver between two. And though you can exhibit characteristics of the other "colors" at different times with different people, you are inherently the color that describes you the best overall.
There are four basic colors - gold, green, blue and orange. Here's the breakdown we received between parents and children:
These parents are sensitive, practical, organized, a good provider, firm, stable, thorough, punctual, dependable, painstaking, conservative, detailed, hardworking, solid, strict, consistent, structured, dutiful, predictable and reliable. They expect their children to pull their own weight and behave in a responsible way. They regard parents as authority figures and think that children should naturally respect and obey them. They feel that providing a secure home environment is their most important job.
Gold Children are neat and organized. They are responsible and usually get their work done before they play. They don't have a lot of ups and downs, and can be counted on. Then enjoy school, follow the rules and respect authority. They prefer structured situations and are often serious about life. They want to be on time, are loyal and faithful. They do not like change. They pay attention to detail, and keeping their rooms clean comes natural to them. They are Mommy and Daddy's little helpers.
Some words to describe Green Parents are: rational, questioning, unemotional, objective, intellectual, modeling, logical, cool, calm, collected, analytical and theoretical. They do not have a "predetermined" path that they wish their children to follow. However, they want them to emulate the attributes that they think are important. They provide opportunities in the home to discuss curious and intellectual topics, and help their children to make well-informed decisions. They find that arguing with their child is unproductive.
Green Children see things differently than others. They are curious and have a lot of questions. They need to research their options before making decisions. They don't mind being alone and usually do not talk about their feelings. They like to study things that interest and challenge them, and are easily bored with routine. Things are seldom black and white for the Green Child. They are the kids that are constantly asking "Why?" The Green Child does not respond well to physical punishment and sees it as a violation of their dignity. They may begin speaking in phrases at a very early age.
These parents are devoted, sympathetic, insightful, compassionate, personal, peaceful, sincere, empathetic, spiritual, sensitive, accepting, patient, giving, understanding, forgiving and true. They are the nurturers who love to talk to their children about their feelings. They avoid conflict and confrontation. They feel that their family can stay close-knit and strong if they talk openly about their feelings, forgive each other and keep communication open. They love to feel cozy and warm in their home, and put the needs of their family before their own.
Blue Children enjoy being with others and are very comfortable talking about their feelings. They don't like conflict, arguments or tension. They make friends easily, and sometimes get in trouble for talking too much. They follow their hearts, respond well to encouragement, and make good and loyal friends. They are charming and people seem to be drawn to them. Blue Children need a great deal of reassurance that they are loved and appreciated by the people in their lives. They have a rich imagination. They have a very difficult time in homes where there is dissent or tension.
Words to describe the Orange Parent are: generous, impulsive, witty, spontaneous, troubleshooter, optimistic, flexible, charming, willing, reactive, excitable, enthusiastic, easygoing, compromising, persuasive and fun. They enjoy doing fun and exciting things and take risks. They are unpredictable and sometimes a little "off-the-wall". They can be quick to anger when stressed. They don't get too upset when things are not clean or tidy. They use humor to diffuse tension. They are accepting of their children as they are, and want them to do their best in whatever they decided to do.
These kids like to do new things without thinking or planning. They are eager to try new things, and get bored with structured jobs, classes or activities. They need independence and freedom, and find it hard to follow rules and respect authority. They would rather learn by doing. They see life as a game or a party, and are very active. They are not orderly. If they find something interesting, they can be very focused and persistent. However, they have a tendency to lose interest quickly. Orange children need wide boundaries in which to explore and take risks, and respond to reward programs more than punishment for inappropriate behavior.
After working the matrix, I determined that I am a Gold Parent with Green tendencies. My oldest son, on the other hand, is a definite Orange, which tells me VOLUMES about his behavior. My younger son is a true Blue.
There is SO much more to this workshop, and if you ever get the chance to attend one, I encourage you to do so, especially if you are a parent. Not only does it give you insight into your temperament and those close to you, it gives you communication tips for the rainbow of colors that may be around you in everyday life.
For more information on the Real Colors program, go to www.realcolors.org.