Sunday, January 10, 2016

Transcending Personality Styles

How different we all are. The fearful and paranoid, the driven and the dreamers; the passive aggressive and the theatrical; the narcissist and the introverted. The list goes on and on, and all of us have met plenty who fit one of these boxes perfectly.

I read a German translation of Francois Lelord and Christophe Andre's "Comment gerer les personnalites difficiles", which to my knowledge is not yet available in English. It is fascinating, and I learned a few things about the different personality styles, and had an opportunity to reflect on some of the people I know who seem to fit some of these boxes. The classification helps you dealing with them, as each style comes with concrete suggestions how to interact; what to do, and what better not to. At the end of each chapter there is a little quiz that lets you assess in which box we would fit. I was surprised to find that I had a few characteristic of nearly all styles, without fitting one box perfectly. 

Genes are responsible for our styles, as is our upbringing. But personality styles don't have to be fixed; they can be adjusted over the decades as one is thrown into new environments, or suffers traumas. One can even actively change personality traits as every life coach will tell us. I had two reflections when I thought about the book. First, the analysis of personality styles deals with the ego domain. Never classify a brother in one of these boxes permanently for you will lose out on so much creativity life has to offer. Second, there is no good or bad in any of this. Just let everyone do their thing as they see fit. You have a soul demand to fulfill and you just manifest whatever character it takes to write your life story.

Spirituality is an evolution of the ego dimension. It is the observation that Oneness rules, not the voice in our head, or the feelings we may have in particular situations. As you evolve you first have to satisfy your soul demands by wrestling with life, but as you stumble upon the beautiful world that some call God's Kingdom, soul demands and SELF increasingly merge. In the spiritual world thinking about the ego domain is a hindrance. You don't have to be worried about difficult personalities there for you will only meet with people when they are ready to dance with you. The rest will simply have better things to do than to deal with you. 

So where does this all leave us? Let life transform you. Follow your dreams but keep an eye on the Way. Holding Her Hands you will float through life just like a chameleon adjusts to the jungle. Life dictates your personality trait in the here and now, as will your siblings reflect back to you what is meaningful. Along the Way, personalities melt with the holy Now.

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