Monday, January 9, 2012

Please Understand Me: Character And Temperament Types By David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates

Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types

Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types
By David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates

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(105 customer reviews)

Product Description

This book is excellent for understanding your own character and it is in new conditions. No marks or breaks on any of the pages.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #6786 in Books
  • Published on: 1984-11
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .51" h x 5.30" w x 8.18" l, .55 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 210 pages
Editorial Reviews Review
Does your spouse's need to alphabetically organize books on the shelves puzzle you? Do your boss's tsunami-like moods leave you exasperated? Do your child's constant questions make you batty? If you've ever wanted to change your mate, your coworkers, or a family member, then "Put down your chisel," advise David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates in this book of personality types. We are different for a reason, and that reason is probably more good than bad. Keirsey and Bates believe that not only is it impossible to truly change others (which they call embarking on a "Pygmalion project"), it's much more important to understand and affirm differences. Sounds easier than it is, you might say. Well, this book is a guide for putting an end to the Pygmalion projects in your life and starting on the path to acceptance.

For anyone acquainted with the ubiquitous Myers-Briggs personality test, Please Understand Me will be familiar territory--but gone over with a fine-toothed comb. And for the uninitiated, this book will be a quick introduction to personality typing the Myers-Briggs way--with a Jungian accent. After presenting a brief rundown of 20th-century psychology movements, Keirsey and Bates encourage you to take the 70-question "Keirsey Temperament Sorter," a sort of mini-Myers-Briggs test that places you in 1 of 16 personality types. Like the Myers-Briggs system, this test sorts your personality into groups of extraversion/introversion (E/I), sensation/intuition (S/N), thinking/feeling (T/F), and perceiving/judging (P/J). Unlike the Myers-Briggs system, Please Understand Me also presents four easy-to-remember temperament types--Dionysian (freedom first), Epimethean (wants to be useful), Promethean (desires power), and Apollonian (searches for self)--that underlie the 16 possible personalities identified by the test. The book then delves into a detailed analysis of each type, with sections on mates, children, and leaders. An appendix paints portraits of the 16 possible personality types.

Unless you're already a true personality-typing devotee, this book may seem a little esoteric, especially the somewhat "in" references to psychological theory that few laypeople will be likely to understand. But give it a chance and you may find that you'll begin to understand why you always know where to find Anna Karenina on the shelf (you have an ESTJ husband), why your boss is sarcastic one day and praises your achievements the next (she's an NF), and why knowing the reason that the sun comes up in the same place every day is important to your little one (he's Promethean). You may even find that once you accept quirks and ticks in others, they will understand you a little better, too. --Stefanie Durbin

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

91 of 93 people found the following review helpful.
5A valuable tool for improving all of your relationships!
By Baby Strange
I tend to be very skeptical of any book that smacks of 'self help,' but "Please Understand Me" has been one of my most frequently referred-to books ever since I bought my first copy five years ago. I don't ordinarily push books onto friends and family, but somehow or other I can never keep myself from INSISTING that others read--and, most importantly--USE it.

I've always known I'm a kook, but never really understood why. I took the Kiersey Temperament Sorter in the front of the book, and found that I am split between INTP and INTJ, two of the rarest personality types. Most of my family members are SPs and SJs--small wonder they think I'm a wacko! And no wonder I kept thinking they were uptight, or lacking in imagination. No wonder they don't get my jokes (which are not really jokes--and if you don't get that, you need to read this book ).

The light "Please Understand Me" has cast on my relationships with my family and friends has been of inestimable benefit. Sure, my ESTP father drives me nuts, but now I understand why, and it allows me to step back and say, "that's how he is--consider this before tearing off on a rant, will you?" It also helps me understand why I am so close to my INFP kid sister, but fought constantly with an ISTJ ex-boyfriend. By understanding how the different types relate to the world and the people around them, it is easier to understand why they behave as they do. It becomes easier to be more compassionate. Rather than lashing out in irritation and frustration because I assume I know why someone is acting the way he or she does, I can use what I know about the Myers-Briggs types and try to see the world through that person's eyes. Some very problematic relationships have been profoundly changed for the better, as a result.

I recently bought "Please Understand Me II," and recommend it as a companion volume; it expands on the ideas here, and is gives more in-depth analysis of the types, but this is really where you should start if you're interested in Myers-Briggs. If you're stuck at Christmastime, wondering what to get your family members, maybe you could give everyone a copy of this book. Get them to take the personality test, and compare notes--especially with people you've never really gotten along with. What better gift than mutual understanding?

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful.
5Understand Me, Understand You
By D. Bodenheimer
I am an INTJ, and always wondered why everyone wasn't like me. Well, it turns out that I make up less than 1% of the population, and this book was a great help in helping people to understand me, but also in giving me the information I need to realize that everyone is different, and everyone needs to be understood in a different manner. What might make total sense to an INTJ, might really hurt someone else's feelings. And getting passionate about an illogical point in an arguement completely backfires when dealing with someone like me.

Everyone is different, and this books helps to at least start defining those differences into 16 general personality types. Now, there is still a ton of differences within a single type, but getting to 1 of 16 is a great start at dealing with those around you, as well as giving them some insight into your personality as well.

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful.
5"Please understand me"
By S. Forrester
Keirsey's explanation of the different temperaments was a real eye-opener for me. Finally I understand why people get upset with certain of my character traits, and why I always felt so misunderstood by some people. It was a big relief to know that after all, I'm "normal", and so are the others. Where there used to be resentment on my or the others' part, we now knowingly smile at each other, saying "ah, there shows your J again, can't help it, can you?"

Keirsey introduces us to four basic opposite tendencies in temperament, then describes the temperaments, and applies this to the areas of relationships, work, children, and learning.

The book starts with a questionnaire that you can take to determine your type. I would strongly advise not to just read the part about your own type, though. The real aha effect comes when you read about the others, too. You won't even need everyone to take the test, you'll know just by what you've read what types you're dealing with. It's fun to realize our differences and see them in a new light.

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