If the viral Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes are any indication, we are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. But what we’re finding is this: knowing which Harry Potter character you are is easy, but actually knowing yourself isn’t as simple as just checking a few boxes on an online quiz.
For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part–collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life.
In her friendly, relatable style, Bogel shares engaging personal stories that show firsthand how understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.
GENRE: Inspirational Non-Fiction
PUBLISHER: Baker Books
RELEASE DATE: September 19, 2017
“We all live in the first person.”
I have always loved studying personality – why people act the way they do, how people are different from each other, how I’m different from other people. So when the opportunity came up to review Reading People, I jumped at the chance. It also didn’t hurt that the author’s blog – Modern Mrs. Darcy – was one of the blogs that I followed for a couple years before sticking my own toe in the water. #bloggergoals
Too much introspection can be harmful, sure, but as Anne Bogel claims in Reading People, uncovering insights into personality – our own and other people’s – also helps us see the world from someone else’s point of view for a while. It can explain why we have a difficult time getting along with someone, why clutter irritates us so much, why we get our energy from being by ourselves, and so on. It can also improve our relationships – particularly in the way we approach conflict – and gives us the tools we need to create an environment of peace for ourselves and those we love.
On the pages of Reading People, Bogel arms us with easy-to-absorb information, as well as handing us the keys to truly know ourselves and those we love. She gives an overview of several personality frameworks, including:
- the Five Love Languages (extra cool bonus – she references and recommends my uncle-in-law’s book that he cowrote with Gary Smalley – The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace!)
- Keirsey’s Temperaments
- the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (and the Cognitive Functions that go along with that)
- the Clifton StrengthsFinder, and
- the Enneagram
I had lots of fun plotting myself in each of these frameworks, and sharing them with my husband who did the same. Being already familiar with most of these frameworks, I didn’t glean a lot of new information personally – at least until I got to the chapter on the MBTI Cognitive Functions. And then – wow! Lots of things fell into place, particularly in comparing myself and my husband. You see, I am an INFJ. My husband is an INFP. (If those letters are ‘alphabet soup’ to you, grab a copy of this book!) I mistakenly thought we were nearly alike except for that Judging/Perceiving line. Both Introverts. Both Intuitive. Both Feeling-driven. Why then do we sometimes just not get each other? Enter the Cognitive Functions. I’m not going to spoil this discovery for your own personality, but suffice it to say that in every way he is an introvert I am an extrovert – and vice versa. Mind. Blown. And now I have a place (and a reason) to start gathering even more info that will make our next 17 years a lot smoother than our first 17 🙂
In case you’re wondering, here’s my personality breakdown from the various chapters: introvert, borderline HSP (highly sensitive person), quality time/words of affirmation, guardian, INFJ, Ni/Fe/Ti/Se (ok – spoiler alert – this is the cognitive function thing i mentioned. My husband is Fi/Ne/Si/Te.). Those are the ones I know for sure. I’m still working on determining my Strengths and my Enneagram results.
Bottom Line: For anyone who can’t get enough of those personality quizzes that invade social media, this is the book you need to read! If you’ve ever asked yourself, ‘Why does my spouse (or parent or child or friend) do that?’, this is the book you need to read! Reading People by Anne Bogel is conversational, educational, and applicable to everyday life. The frameworks she presents have the potential to be eye-opening and life-changing for those who take the time to truly understand themselves and others. There’s a lot of information here, but Bogel’s engaging style sets you at ease and feels like a chat between friends. While I do wish there had been more time devoted to ‘ok, now I understand myself better – how does that play out in my interactions with other types?’, the author also leaves us with a list of recommended reading for further study. Now that I know what I want to know 😉 this list points me in the right direction to find out what to do with what I know.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / This will be a frequent re-read!
Preorder Reading People and receive:
♦ a free download of the audio version
♦ access to Anne’s online ‘What’s Your Reading Personality’ class
Anne Bogel is the creator of the popular blog Modern Mrs. Darcy and the podcast What Should I Read Next? Her popular book lists and reading guides have established Bogel as a tastemaker among readers, authors, and publishers. Bogel lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
What about you? Do you know your Myers-Brigg or Enneagram type?