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Personality Types

The Color Code
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Three Selves
Transactional Psychoanalysis
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus
Emotional or Psychic 'Vampires'

The Color Code

According to Taylor Hartman in his book The Color Code (American English spelling!), there are 4 basic building blocks of personality: Red, blue, white and yellow. This is probably a refinement or simplification of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator theory of personality types, which is based on the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung.

Everyone has one of these four building blocks that is his core foundation personality type from birth, and perhaps one personality type that is secondary. These we are born with, and can never change (we can suppress it, but that's not a good idea!) The core personality type, like any personality type, has various strengths and weaknesses. The weaknesses are tendencies for negative behaviours associated with that personality type (often those qualities one is not aware of or chooses to ignore as they are not considered part of one's identity - see the Jungian Shadow page for more information). Depending on our life experience and beliefs, we may have some or all of these negative behaviour characteristics, and indeed either some or all of the positive behaviour characteristics. Being restricted to the characteristics of one personality type is however very limiting and does not offer us the skills and qualities we need to grow emotionally and get very far in life. We therefore acquire characteristics from the other personality types through developing positive or negative beliefs, through life experience, life's lessons and listening to advice. We must learn to become whole and balanced and take some of the positive aspects of the other personality types to become rounded, otherwise we remain somewhat limited in our ability to deal with all the different situations and people that life throws at us.

Taylor Hartman's The Colour Code is featured in the bibliography and provides a useful quiz that can help you to identify your core and secondary personality type. It is best to take this test twice, once for how you are currently (please be honest!) and again for how you remember you were when you were a child. You may be surprised at the difference, as it is very easy to forget our exact personal inclinations we had when we were younger. This is how when we are adults we can forget that we wanted to be pop stars, airline pilots, soldiers, firemen or detectives! Hopefully the results of the quiz will reveal that you are still in tune with your core personality as a child, and that you have simply built on this and become a more rounded person. What can happen is that you may have suppressed your core personality and nurtured a completely different personality type that governs most of your present behaviour. This is a wake up call to get back to your core personality type from birth, and to reintroduce the positive characteristics of this personality type into your life! Otherwise you will most likely be frustrated and not happy, as you are not fulfilling your deep rooted emotional requirements. Try to get in touch with your gifts and your talents, find out what they are, and remind yourself of them and be grateful for them, and really treasure, nurture and develop them. So many people have talents that they never explore or realise, as they have been conditioned by negative beliefs about themselves from birth. Don't rebel against your gifts, deny your gifts or your core personal qualities through desires for loyalty, inappropriate modesty, embarrassment, political correctness, or because of beliefs about which of your gifts and qualities are important and which are not, or beliefs about which of your gifts and qualities are cool and which aren't cool, decisions arbitrarily made based on beliefs that you have acquired often unconsciously and happen to believe in at one point in your life, but which sets the map for the rest of your life. Please remember that society needs all the different personality types and the different talents and gifts to survive and function, and no personality is necessarily good or bad! Everyone is different, and has a unique combination of the building blocks. Below is an overview of the positive and negative qualities of each building block.

The actual quiz included in Dr Taylor Hartman's book The Colour Code can be found on his web site (free of charge).


Taylor Hartman's Building Blocks of Personality are listed below:

Red Personality - Positive Characteristics:

Red Personality - Negative Characteristics:

Blue Personality - Positive Characteristics:

Blue Personality - Negative Characteristics:

White Personality - Positive Characteristics:

White Personality - Negative Characteristics:

Yellow Personality - Positive Characteristics:

Yellow Personality - Negative Characteristics:

Some of the above qualities are reflected as what is termed 'submodalities' in NLP, which are examined on the Modalities and Submodalities page.

The 4 personality types do have some significant overlap with the personal qualities of Doshas in Ayurvedic medicine, although there is not a complete like-for-like mapping of qualities. For instance, the White personality is largely reflected in the Kapha dosha. The Blue personality type is largely reflected in the Pitta dosha. The Vata dosha is a fairly even mixture of Yellow and White personality types from what I can see.

Following on from Taylor Hartman's concept of building blocks of personality, and the need to incorporate other qualities into one's personality to become truly rounded and balanced, there are a variety of 'skills' that one can learn or explore in order to become a more rounded person, and to become more confident, more in touch with one's emotions and sexuality, and more expressive, more confident in a greater number of situations and scenarios, and also to build up more positive beliefs about what you can do; to become a more mature and developed personality. Lack of many of these skills, awareness or areas may be a sign of being emotionally underdeveloped and like a 'blank sheet' like a child's. Certain parts of one's personality, and ability to express oneself and one's sexuality are areas that some people never really explore, often through fear or negative beliefs about who they can and cannot be. These are derived from my personal experience and may reflect certain biases, but I believe the majority to be universally applicable. Whilst some are clearly specialised, most are things that in my opinion that everyone should develop, whilst specialising in a few (depending on your innate abilities and gifts) and preferably the more the better. Some experiences you may have a blank for, i.e. no belief in particular, or maybe a weak belief that you probably can't do it, but if you have some working competence or ability then it is another positive or empowering belief to add to your no doubt huge collection of other positive beliefs! It is not just a case of taking on new positive beliefs, but backing them up with some practical experience, confidence and substance. These include activities/experiences/emotional states such as:


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to determine personality type and orientation. It is based on Carl Gustav Jung's 1921 book Personality Types. This model defines 16 classifications of personality, which draw on the four basic building blocks above (or rather the above are a modern distillation of these ideas) combined with many of the aspects of Personality Orientation described on the Personal Orientation page. It is perhaps a matter of personal preference whether to keep them as separate blocks or to combine them into some (but not all) of the most common permutations.


According to Jung, the two perceiving functions, sensing and intuition, are information gathering (perceiving) functions. The two judging functions, thinking and feeling, are decision making (judging) functions.

The Type Dynamics model used a similar to the later one proposed by Hartman, where there is a dominant personality trait, a secondary, perhaps an auxiliary (3rd) and perhaps an inferior (4th) function. These traits are defined as characteristics attributed within a given personality type. Each of the 16 Types.

The Personality Types with their later Keirsey interpreted portrait characterisations s are listed below.

The Sixteen Portraits are described at the web site below.


A free personality test based on the above personality types can be found at the link below.


A free personality test based on the above personality types, incorporating a career advice report, can be found at the link below.


The Three Selves

To further complicate matters, Paul McKenna's concept of the three selves shows that those characteristics or traits that we display at various times, whether we are aware of them or other people are aware of them, may not be our real, authentic inner selves.

Clearly at different times we may show our Pretend Self, our Negative Self-Image and our Authentic Self, although often the Authentic Self's 'authenticity' may often be compromised to an extent by the other two Selves, but which people can see through to know who we really are. Ironically, other people are often better at seeing our Authentic Self than we are!As described above, if one seeks to embrace everything beneath the Pretend Self as 'you', the light and dark, there is a strong chance that much of what you are embracing is self-loathing or destructive behaviour that is a result of layers of negative self and world beliefs or a lack of ability for the Authentic Self to get the support it needs from positive and empowering beliefs and for one to follow one's true path, one's Will. Part of this is growing up, but it is not necessarily the case that one shakes off the other two Selves with age. Teenagers may be more insecure, but adults are often conditioned over longer periods and more lacking in self-confidence. The Negative Self-Image is a good indicator to us, if we are honest with ourselves, it is a cry for help from the Authentic Self and subconscious mind, highlighting the actual negative beliefs and limitations, the things we habitually force ourselves to think and feel that we don't really want to, that our Authentic Self wants us to address so it can express itself and take charge more of the time and without interference from the other two 'pesky' Selves. So in a sense, we should listen to what the Negative Self-Image is doing and what is supporting it, and hammer away at those supporting references, to bring it crashing down; and build up the supporting references for the Authentic Self - bring in a whole 'crew' of homeboys and family, in a metaphoric sense, bring in and reinforce positive and empowering beliefs that allow it to be the Self that we experience on a daily and preferably continual basis. This doesn't mean that we should suppress our childish side, and have to be 'adult' all the time, or vice versa, but simply those aspects that make up the Authentic Self, playful and serious, and notice when the Negative Self-Image is seeking to sabotage things. One should do well to notice the difference between these selves and be honest with themselves, and not just embrace and nurture their Negative Self-Image with open arms because it appears to be a little 'dark' and seems to be a 'good idea' to use it to balance our more positive Authentic Selves. That is not to say that our Authentic Self need always be boring or be boring at all. It is often the Negative Self-Image that makes us stagnate and that which restricts the fluidity of the Authentic Self. If we bring in other qualities that we feel we 'should' have to try to be more balanced, rather than noting that our Negative Self-Image is actually stopping the Authentic Self being balanced, then we may be missing the point. Unless, these 'qualities' are really what the Authentic Self is! And we just dont' know it or know enough about ourselves. Clearly there are ways to grow our personality and become more balanced, and these are explored elsewhere on this page. 

Transactional Psychoanalysis

Eric Berne's model of child/adult/parent, the three modes that people alternate between when interacting in a given situation, can be loosely applied to Taylor Hartman's concepts of personality building blocks. The creative, playful, jealous child would be yellow personality (positive and negative characteristics). The logical, sensible, technical speaking adult could be positive blue or red personalities. The nurturing, caring and judgmental parent would be blue personality (both positive and negative characteristics). Let us take the example of child-like personality types, or rather those trapped on the child-level for most of the time. Child-like personalities may appeal to us as the people seem pure, innocent, kind, in need of nurturing or loving, and very sweet at times - although clearly not all of these qualities are present strongly in each such individual. Child-like personalities of course are able to exist in the adult and sometimes parent modes, but spend most time in the child state and revert there when things get uncomfortable or any triggers or buttons are pushed. Are all children sweet angels? Of course not! They have other qualities or aspects too that make them a real handful at times. For example, child-like personalities, whilst maintaining the self-image of being pure, righteous, often believe they are innocent victims in every conflict or personal upset they are involved with. They tend to take everything very personally and be somewhat oversensitive, and do not take constructive criticism well at all. They tend to feel sorry for themselves whilst in the child-state in situations where they feel they were 'wronged' or 'attacked', finding it hard to relate to the other person's point of view. If they are allowed to be spoilt, they can because very obnoxiously. If they are never given 'guidelines' or boundaries as a child, then this spills into adult life, where they may not be aware of what behaviour is and is not acceptable, and may be rude, argumentative, personal in a discussion with another person who was in the 'adult' but also 'parent' modes. Clearly it is not to late to instill boundaries into such a person in adult life. Child-like personalities can be spotted easily as they betray child-like interests or fixations and may appear emotionally underdeveloped or 'too pure'. They may appear to lack knowledge of certain social conventions or social skills as they have been in their 'child-like bubble' separated from the real world for some time, perhaps being too inwardly focussed - this is not true in all cases of courses and depends on the core personality type, and how it relates to their child-like personality. An extreme negative white personality type would be an example of this. In addition, child-like personalities are prone to lose their temper and have tantrums, and to sulk with people more than one would expect of an adult. Indulge in 'tit for tat' behaviour. This is exaccerbated by the perception of being 'attacked' and being a 'victim'. So whilst child-like personalities may appear 'too good to be true' on one level, they have a reverse side. Much like 'parent' modes have two aspects, the one that wishes to nurture and the one that wishes to scold and scorn and judge. Those people conditioned into parental roles throughout their entire lives may suffer from this 'Jeckyl and Hyde' nature, being fixed in their parental nurturing role or 'mumsy' role, but also being high judgemental and critical of other 'mums', parents or children - and highly opinionated in general. The exact nature and balance of all three clearly varies in each person.

Adult skills, or the ability to operate in a level headed and mature manner in the adult frame of mind, is one sign of self-actualisation. Of course, having access to more spontaneous and playful sides to one's character is healthy too, however not at the expense of proper integration of these faculties with the critical and analytical mindset.

As stated in a forum post by Jeremy Crow, advanced abilities of the adult mode could be said to be lateral thinking skills, i.e. the ability to see the bigger picture and to think creatively; solid critical thinking skills, being able to understand and use logic and reasoning and be able to critically analyse your own ideas without being emotionally tied to them, and to be able to logically argue or defend your position, if you indeed feel the need to adopt a fixed and rigid position on any matter, without becoming emotionally excited, defensive, angry or upset.

Other skills may lie within the reach of any of the 3 modes, including intuitive skills, relying on gut instinct, feeling and extra sensory perception (not involving the conscious mind), active curiosity - the ability to ask the right questions; and also self-motivation, especially when it comes to your own personal development - being able to work with existing ideas, systems and goals set by others including mentors, and to rise beyond this, to set your own goals, create your own methods and so forth. 

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus

John Gray's models of male and female personalities (as outlined in his famous book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' are more like a subset of characteristics that fit in to a person's building blocks. However, the characteristics ascribed for each sex sometimes are found in the opposite sex. They are probably to a large extent conditioned by society in the gender roles, although not in all cases. Taylor Hartman's concept of personality types is the overriding model, and is independent of sex. Please see the psychology bibliography for further information. John Gray is also has a ken interest in 'New Age', for example his introduction to The Oracle Cards - however this should have no bearing on the 'psychology value' of his aforementioned book (whilst a little repetitive). 

Emotional or Psychic 'Vampires'

Judith Orloff M.D., in her book Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (2009), defines 'emotional vampires' in four different ways. These embody some of the negative traits of Taylor Hartman's core building blocks of personality. You may recognise these in yourself and in others. Those that indulge excessively in one or more of these traits require careful handling or should even be avoided.

- The Narcissist - those who hog attention, crave admiration and have elevated sense of self-importance and entitlement. They lack empathy and have a limited ability to show love. Everything revolves aroudn them. If they don't get their way, they may punish otherwise or withhold. Perhaps this is the negative aspect of the yellow personality. These are emotionally limited people. Keep your expectations realistic. Never put your sense of self-worth conditional upon them. To get the best out of such people, you need to show how something can be to their benefit (ego stroking) - if the relationship really is unavoidable.

- The Victim - those with a 'poor me' attitude. Those who hate to take responsibility for their own actions. Everything is always someone else's fault, and the world is always against them. They are a poor, pure, innocent victim all the time. They dislike solutions as it means they have to stop feeling sorry for themselves or complaining. Set firm but fair limits. Listen briefly but set limits on their self-indulgence on your time; or empathise but explain you must get back to your work etc. Or emphasise you are on a deadline and use closed body language. Some people don't pay any attention to this, at which point you must make up any excuse and walk away. Or simply avoid to start with. You could also try pre-empting their self-pity by distracting their focus onto something they might like or find beautiful. Sometimes this doesn't work as they are too sulky.

- The Controller - people who have an opinion about everything and must always be right, and try to control and dictate to you how you should think and feel. They may invalidate/dismiss you or put you don't if you don't fit into their set of rules that they've arbitrarily created. They'll prescribe solutions to you all the time. It serves to leave the recipient of this control feeling dominated or patronised. In a way, they represent the negative blue personality, the scolding parent role. Or perhaps the negative side of the red personality. It is hard to control the controller, unless they do have a more impartial side to their character and just got 'carried away in the moment' through tunnel vision. Healthy assertiveness or pointing out the facts as opposed to dictating to the controller what he or she should believe is a shrewd strategy. Focus on the main issue rather than the peripherals, and if necessary, tell the person that you value their advice but would like to try to work through it on your own right now. Or simply avoid!

- The Splitter - are dualistic type personalities, seeing everything in black and white terms, and you are either loved or hated. They may go from idealising you as a fantasy version of who you are, and when you fail to meet these unrealistic expectations (or standards which they have set, not you), then you are rejected and hated, and scorn or loathing poured on you. They may seek to punish or retaliate against you if they feel you have 'wronged' them or 'jerked' them around. They seek out targets to despise as it makes them feel better about themselves or gives them purpose, as they lack self-knowledge and self-esteem. They rely on fantasy images of people to make them feel good. One may have to tread carefully around them. Splitters feed off anger, as they become righteous as vindicated. It is best to set limits and be firm but fair, providing them with a structure such as acknowledging they are upset now but that one will talk later at a given time or date. If such a person tries to manipulate you to take sides in a disagreement then politely refuse to play their game. Be aware if the Splitter tries to play games with your friends of families to try to split people apart or cause trouble. Such people as any of the above are best avoided if possible! 


So who are we? What we own? Our job? Our car? Our friends? Our house? Our clothes? Our hairstyle? Our bling? Our money? Our status? What other people perceive us to be? What other people think of us? What we used to do? What we are currently thinking? People often confuse these things with who they are. For example, as Jerry Seinfeld joked about on his TV show, if someone gives you a compliment about your new car, watch or jacket, we often say 'thank you!' as if they are complimenting us! We are taking credit for the car! When in fact it is the car that is really getting the compliment! We happen to have found/bought/received the said item, and happen to be enjoying it, but so what? Does this make a person 'cool'? The whole concept of being 'cool' is really rather ridiculous. One may indeed buy fashionable clothes but to see this as part of one's identity is only conducive to pandering to the ego, which inevitably results in more disconnection from who we really are. Our exact relationship to our possessions is our own business, but it may be helpful to regard our clothes, car, watch as functional items, and if we happen to own luxury versions of such items, then we should appreciate the fact that they are luxury items, but not be defined by them or obsessed by them, and be just as happy to wear/drive them as we would wearing cheap, scruffy clothes or driving an old, cheap or 'ugly' car.

Anti-fashion fashions are just as guilty of their 'crimes' of superficiality as fashion fashion is. For example, rigidly dressing in one manner in order to dress differently from 'most people' often results in dressing the same as others who are like minded. And this creates a restrictive uniform that people see as part of their identity. Anyone who adheres too much to the fashion without embodying the general stance and attitude of that counter culture group, e.g. punk or goth etc. is seen as a 'plastic'. However, anyone who restricts their modes of self, emotional and artistic expression within certain confines of 'punk', 'goth' or whatever, are by definition not completely being themselves and being free and are inevitably 'plastic' or a slave to some extent. Of course, it is more common for children in their teens who are desperately searching for a sense of identity and who they are to cling onto anything that comes by, like clothes, a certain look, certain bands, certain lifestyle or certain political/moral ideas. Equally, making a big fuss about not wearing a certain style of dress as it goes against our identity, for example, wearing a suit at a formal function, points to a superficial and materialistic obsession and insecurity about who we are. These things are the ego working overtime, based on a lack of positive, empowering beliefs. But this is the ego working overtime, based on a lack of positive, empowering beliefs. The concept of self and ego is examined more on the focus and belief page. Clearly, each colour personality type has its ego inclinations, with red dominating and winning, blue trying to maintain control and obsessing with details and being right, white disconnecting from others and focussing on himself, and yellow being vain and selfish.

© 2006-2024 Fabian Dee