I totally still have an inner 13-year-old who's obsessed with personality quizzes. I feel forever thankful to my friend Beth for reigniting that particular little spark during our senior year of college, when she introduced me to The Temperament God Gave You. Yes, you complete an extensive questionnaire in order to learn something new about yourself, but this is so much more than a quiz or being put in a box.
Rooted in classical philosophy, the underlying principle of this book by Catholic husband and wife counselors Art and Laraine Bennet is that there are four distinct personality types that can be a deep source of greater self-knowledge. According to this book, most everyone has a primary and secondary temperament which reveal who we are, how we solve problems, what we're good at, what we're not, and how it affects different relationships.
I found myself nodding along, recognizing myself so clearly, as I read about my temperament (phlegmatic-sanguine, anyone?). What I love about this book, and what I think sets it apart from other personality-centered reading, is how closely tied in it is with Catholic spirituality. There are chapters that focus on what one's spiritual life tends to be like, according to one's temperament, and areas of weakness to watch for and grow from. So, rather than just describing you to yourself, this book encourages you to become the most virtuous version of your particular self and gives you concrete ways to do it.
I missed out on taking marriage prep evaluations like the FOCUSS test, which I've always been intrigued by but have heard mixed reviews of. I know some people aren't like me at all and hate to do these little analytical quiz-type things, but I feel like they don't exist just to tell you something you already know, to act like they know you personally, or to oversimplify a person by sticking them in a category. Read with humility, I think that the point, actually, is hardly just to learn about who you are and then keep it to yourself.
The point, in my eyes, is to take that knowledge outside of yourself, so you can best love and serve everyone you come in contact with. Can you see, then, why something like this could be such a valuable part of preparing for marriage?
Toss your two cents in! Have any of you read this? Any strong opinions on the temperaments or personality evaluations in general? I'd love to know!