Speak My Language

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“Personality has the power to uplift, power to depress, power to curse, and power to bless.” -Paul Harris

Researchers and life coaches are becoming a prominent factor in helping people find themselves. We have books like Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages.” This 1992 classic, in my opinion, will never get old. As long as there are relationships in this world, “The Five Love Languages” will be referenced to assist those seeking information on identifying their love language.

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If you have not read the book, here are the categories of love languages:

  • gift giving
  • quality time
  • physical touch
  • acts of service (devotion)
  • words of affirmation

I’m certain one is sticking out to you more than others. Are you more into gift giving or service? Maybe you prefer constant words of affirmation. Why is it imperative that we know things of this nature? Well, for one, it helps us to identify the type of communication that works for us. How can we build relationships with others if we aren’t aware of what we favor and how we prefer to communicate?

What does this have to do with teaching? Everything. It will help us to understand not only ourselves but the people around us. We have problems in communication and building relationships because the reality is that we would prefer that everyone be like us. This is absurd and is not going to happen. The world is a melting pot of differences and preferences.

Now, let’s add the work of the American author and bestseller Gretchen Craft Rubin to the repertoire; “The Four Tendencies” in particular. This well-written piece provides us with an in-depth analysis of personalities in regards to our response to expectation.

So basically after conducting extensive research Rubin found that there are four tendencies that shape behavior: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. She offers a quiz that can help you to identify the type of responder you are. This is quite a conversation starter for you and friends or your spouse. My spouse did not take the quiz (yet), but we had an in-depth conversation based on my results.

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The Obliger

Go figure. That’s what my answers on the quiz deemed me as. I tend to meet outer expectations very easily. However, I struggle inwardly to hold myself accountable. This would explain why I needed Brittany and Mark in the Mentorship blog posts. Inwardly I wanted to be healthier but I needed outward accountability; hence the trainers. This doesn’t make me a bad person. I just know now that there is truth to this madness. This is why I’m great at meeting deadlines and being there to accomplish things for others but sometimes struggle to find the motivation to do things for myself.

Maybe you can relate? If not, there are three other personality types that’s described by Rubin. I will provide you with a brief description of each as to not rewrite the book for her.

The Questioner

This person simply does exactly what it says, QUESTIONS. It’s the person that questions every question and answer. These personality types can seem rude and disrespectful to authority and others if they aren’t careful. They simply will not do anything that doesn’t make sense. Sound familiar?

The Rebel

Resister! That you definitely are. Exactly what is inward and outward motivation this person thinks. I do what I want, when I want; this is the beauty of having freedom of choice. The more you try to make them do something the more stubborn they seem.

The Upholder

This is the type that most people might find themselves envying because their personality read almost seems ideal for anyone. They are the rule keepers. They learn what is acceptable and they stick to it. They don’t do well with abrupt change in environment though. They are motivated to complete tasks for themselves and others.

Knowing these personalities and being able to identify them in ourselves and others will create a greater peace and respect for our differences. Much like the five love languages, those of us that are yet breathing, whether you are in leadership or not, should strive to learn more about personality types. This will allow us to effectively communicate to others. This will also show us how to respect the opinions of others.

The rebel is the rebel, you can’t change them, that’s why they are the rebel. The upholder will be there to make sure the deadlines are being met for themselves and the team. The questioner means no disrespect, they just have to know why. If the reasoning doesn’t make sense to them, they will take their time by completing the task or they won’t commit to doing it at all. Last but not least, the obliger. They will get lost in the affairs of everyone else, giving little attention to their own needs. They very heavily need someone to hold them accountable to see that they commit to also taking care of themselves.

Hello, my name is Shaundra Straughter and I have been identified as an obliger. What is your name and identity?

See you in the next post? Same time?

Published by personalizedoutfitters

I am a year 2 elementary school teacher. Year one was very overwhelming and suprisingly successful. I work at a Title I school that is in "turnaround" status. My school is currently in a transitioning phase for personalized learning after having a much success this past school year. I have been selected as a model classroom for personalized learning at my school and I have presented at one of the nation's largest personalized learning conferences, PL Summit hosted by EdElements. I had a great first year and am now ready to share with you my journey.

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