Personality Plus

(Paperback - Jul 1992)
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Understanding the power of personality
In Personality Plus, Florence Littauer gives you valuable insight for appreciating your one-of-a-kind, God-given personality. This engaging book also provides keys to understanding those around you. You'll learn how to accept-and even enjoy-the traits that make each of us so different. Through humorous anecdotes and straightforward counsel, Personality Plus guides you to improve upon your strengths and correct your weaknesses.


  • SKU: 9780800754457
  • SKU10: 080075445X
  • Title: Personality Plus
  • Qty Remaining Online: 92
  • Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
  • Date Published: Jul 1992
  • Edition: #2
  • Pages: 208
  • Weight lbs: 0.60
  • Dimensions: 8.40" L x 5.40" W x 0.60" H
  • Features: Table of Contents, Price on Product
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Category: PSYCHOLOGY
  • Subject: Personality

Chapter Excerpt

Chapter One

There's Only One You

Everyone wants a better personality. We all picture ourselves on Fantasy Island, where the ringing of the mission bells transforms us into articulate, attractively attired aristocrats. We no longer trip, fumble, spill, or grope; we converse, captivate, charm, and inspire. When the show is over, we switch off our mind-set and resume our test pattern of life. As we stare at our blank screens, we wonder why our "situation comedy" was canceled; why we've been replaced by the new stars who play their roles with confidence; why we seem to be cast as misfits.

We rush off to personality courses that promise to transform us into sparkling wits within twenty-four hours; self-evaluation experiences that will make us into minigods with maxipower; or sensitivity sessions, where we will feel our way into a fantastic future. We go expecting miracles and come home disappointed. We don't fit the mold of the exciting person, bursting with potential, pictured as the norm. We have different drives, abilities, and personalities-and we can't be treated as the same.

No Two Alike

If we were all identical eggs in a carton, a giant mother hen could warm us up and turn us into slick chicks or roving roosters overnight; but we are all different. We were all born with our own set of strengths and weaknesses, and no magic formula works wonders for all of us. Until we recognize our uniqueness, we can't understand how people can sit in the same seminar with the same speaker for the same amount of time and all achieve different degrees of success.

Personality Plus looks at each one of us as an individual blend of the four basic temperaments and encourages us to get acquainted with thereal me underneath before trying to change what shows on the surface.

It's What's Underneath That Counts

When Michelangelo was ready to carve the statue of David, he spent a long time in selecting the marble, for he knew the quality of the raw material would determine the beauty of the finished product. He knew he could change the shape of the stone, but he couldn't transform the basic ingredient.

Every masterpiece he made was unique, for even if he had wanted to, he would not have been able to find a duplicate piece of marble. Even if he cut a block from the same quarry, it wouldn't have been exactly the same. Similar, yes, but not the same.

Each One of Us Is Unique

We started out with a combination of ingredients that made us different from our brothers and our sisters. Over the years people have chiseled on us, chipped, hammered, sanded, and buffed. Just when we thought we were finished products, someone would start shaping us up again. Occasionally we'd enjoy a day in the park, when everyone who passed by admired us and stroked us, but at other times we were ridiculed, analyzed, or ignored.

We were all born with our own temperament traits, our raw material, our own kind of rock. Some of us are granite, some marble, some alabaster, some sandstone. Our type of rock doesn't change, but our shapes can be altered. So it is with our personalities. We start with our own set of inborn traits. Some of our qualities are beautiful with strains of gold. Some are blemished with fault lines of gray. Our circumstances, IQ, nationality, economics, environment, and parental influence can mold our personalities, but the rock underneath remains the same.

My temperament is the real me; my personality is the dress I put on over me. I can look in the mirror in the morning and see a plain face, straight hair, and a bulgy body. That's the real me. Gratefully, within an hour I can apply makeup to create a colorful face; I can plug in the curling iron to fluff up my hair; and I can put on a flattering dress to camouflage too many curves. I've taken the real me and dressed it up, but I haven't permanently changed what's underneath.

If only we could understand ourselves:

Know what we're made of Know who we really are Know why we react as we do Know our strengths and how to amplify them Know our weaknesses and how to overcome them

We can! Personality Plus will show us how to examine ourselves, how to polish up our strengths, and how to chip away our weaknesses. When we know who we are and why we act the way we do, we can begin to understand our inner selves, improve our personalities, and learn to get along with others. We are not going to try to imitate someone else, put on a brighter dress or new tie, or cry over the kind of stone we're made from. We're going to do the very best we can with the raw material available.

In recent years manufacturers have found ways to duplicate some of the classic statues, and in any large gift store you may find dozens of Davids, walls of Washingtons, lines of Lincolns, replicas of Reagan, and clones of Cleopatra. Imitations abound, but there's only one you.

Where Do We Start?

How many of you have a Michelangelo complex? How many of you look at other people as raw material, ready to be carved up by your expert hand? How many of you can think of at least one person whom you could really shape up if only he'd listen to your words of wisdom? How anxious is he to hear from you?

If it were possible to remake other people, my husband, Fred, and I would be perfect, for we set out to chip away at each other right from the beginning. I knew that if he'd loosen up and have fun, we could have a good marriage; but he wanted me to straighten up and get organized. On our honeymoon I found out Fred and I didn't even agree on eating grapes!

I always enjoyed plunking a whole bunch of cold, green grapes beside me and plucking off whichever one appealed to me. Until I married Fred, I didn't know there were "Grape Rules." I didn't know each simple pleasure in life had a so-called right way. Fred first brought up the Grape Rule as I was sitting on the patio outside our cottage at Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda, looking out to sea and absentmindedly pulling grapes off a large bunch. I didn't realize Fred was analyzing my unsystematic eating of the fruit until he asked, "Do you like grapes?"

"Oh, I love grapes!"

"Then I assume you'd like to know how to eat them correctly?"

On that I snapped out of my romantic reveries and asked a question that subsequently became a part of a regular routine: "What did I do wrong?"

"It's not that you're doing it wrong; you're just not doing it right." I couldn't see that there was much of a difference, but I phrased it his way.

"What am I not doing right?"

"Anyone knows that to eat grapes properly, you cut off a little bunch at a time, like this."

Fred pulled out his nail clippers and snipped off a small cluster of grapes, which he set before me.

As he stood smugly staring down at me, I asked, "Does this make them taste better?"

"It's not for taste. It's so the large bunch will keep its looks longer. The way you eat them-just grabbing grapes here and there-leaves the bunch a wreck. Look at what you've done to it! See all those tiny bare stems, sticking up all over the place? They ruin the shape of the whole bunch." I glanced around the secluded patio to see if there was some hidden group of grape judges waiting to enter my bunch in a contest, but seeing none, I said, "Who cares?"

I had not yet learned that "Who cares?" was not a statement to make to Fred, because it caused him to turn red and sigh with hopelessness, "I care, and that should be enough."

Fred did really care about every detail in life, and my presence in his family did seem to ruin the shape of the whole bunch. To help me out, Fred diligently set out to improve me. Instead of appreciating his wisdom, I tried to sabotage his strategy and subtly change him to become more like me. For years Fred chiseled and chipped away at my failures-and I sanded steadily on his fault lines-but neither one of us improved.

It was not until we first read Spirit Controlled Temperament (Tyndale House) by Tim LaHaye that our eyes were opened to what we were doing. Each of us was trying to remake the other. We didn't realize someone could be different and still not be wrong. I found I am a Popular Sanguine who loves fun and excitement; Fred is a Perfect Melancholy who wants life to be serious and orderly.

As we began to read and study the temperaments further, we discovered we were both also somewhat Powerful Choleric, the type who is always right and knows everything. No wonder we didn't get along! Not only were we opposites in our personalities and interests in life, but each one of us knew we were the only one who was right. Can you picture such a marriage?

What a relief it was to find there was hope for us; we could understand each other's temperaments and accept each other's personalities. As our lives changed, we began to teach, research, and write on the temperaments. Personality Plus is the culmination of twenty-five years of seminar speaking, personality counseling, and day-by-day observation of people's temperaments. This book will provide a quick psychology lesson in easy, enjoyable terms so that we may:

1. Examine our own strengths and weaknesses and learn how to accentuate our positives and eliminate our negatives.

2. Understand other people and realize that just because others are different does not make them wrong.

To find our own raw material and understand our basic natures, we will examine the personality or temperament groupings first established by Hippocrates twenty-four hundred years ago. We will have fun with the Popular Sanguines, who exude enthusiasm. We'll get serious with the Perfect Melancholies, who strive for perfection in all things. We'll charge forth with the Powerful Cholerics, who are born leaders. And we'll relax with the Peaceful Phlegmatics, who are happily reconciled to life. No matter who we are, we have something to learn from each of these types.

Chapter Two

Your Personality Profile

Before we are introduced to the four different types of temperaments, take a few minutes to check off your own Personality Profile, which was compiled by Fred. When you have completed the forty questions according to the directions, transfer your marks to the score sheet and add up your totals. If you are a Popular Sanguine and get confused by columns, find a serious Perfect Melancholy who sees life as a series of statistics and ask for help in adding up your assets and your liabilities.

No one is 100 percent of any temperament, but your score will give you an accurate view of your basic strengths and weaknesses. If you come up with even scores all around, you are probably Peaceful Phlegmatic, the all-purpose person.

Your Personality Profile is unlike any others, but the general information in your temperament pattern will be valuable in understanding yourself and in learning to accept others as they are. As you encourage your family and friends to analyze themselves, you will open up new avenues of communication that will be both enlightening and entertaining.

When you have scored your temperament test, you will have some idea of your inner traits-your inborn characteristics that cause you to respond to circumstances as you do. To get a deeper understanding of the real you, follow the next five chapters and learn something new about yourself.

When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13



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