Thursday, 18 December 2014

It's Carl Jung's Colours Time Again!

Every now and then, we do Colours. It’s supposed to make us aware of each others' differing personal styles and so help us work better together. It was invented by C G Jung and is based on two scales: introversion – extraversion and intellectual – feeling.

It looks plausible and it’s fun. But it’s also based on a misleading concept of human action and personality. Here’s my take on it:

If I’m Cautious it’s because this is the kind of stuff that can wind me up in the shit , and I want to be sure I’m not going to wind up in the ….

If I’m Meticulous, it’s because wrong details will wind me up in the shit

I’m not Deliberate

If I’m Systematic, it’s because it saves effort when I have to do it again

I’m not Formal

If I’m Candid it’s because that’s what I think it might take to get the results I want

I’m Straightforward, because I’m a man

If I’m Single- minded, it’s because I want to get this shit done and out of my life

I’m not Purposeful

If I’m Persevering, it’s because this shit won’t go away so we may as well get done with it

If I’m Diplomatic, it’s because I think you’ve got thin skin or a bad sense of entitlement

I’m Nurturing, Supportive and Patient it’s because I’m a decent person, and you deserve it

I’m Dependable, because I’m a man, and you haven’t done anything to disqualify yourself

If I’m Impulsive, it’s because the sun is shining

I’m not Energetic, I just grind this shit out

I’m Optimistic when the odds justify it, which is not often

I’m not Lively

I’m Persuasive when I think you can be persuaded and I give a shit about whatever it is

People have styles, but these are superficial. The transition into adulthood is about living a life that is about achieving results, in a broad sense that includes raising children, making and nurturing friendships and having fun. So our actions are directed towards those ends, and the style with which we do them reflects the people with whom and the circumstances in which we’re doing them. We do what’s needed to get the job done. People who say “I can’t do that” or “I can’t be like that” might be having a childish moment, but mostly we say things like “Really? Is it worth it?” which is about risk/effort vs reward. That’s a very adult view of the world. So I’m meticulous when I need to be, but not otherwise, as are most people. Some people are just super-control freaky (I am meticulous, you are a little obsessed with details, he/she is a control freak) most of the time, and they have psychological problems. That’s why you need to be careful round them, not because they are detail freaks.

In other words, being an adult is exactly not about being at the mercy of whatever whimsical character genetics you were born with. It’s about transcending those to be someone who gets the shit they need doing, done. And Colours measure the residual stuff that we do when we’re not thinking about how we’re acting.

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