GLBTQ – Personality Style

   What is personality style?  Aren’t we all the same?  No, we are not all the same.  Our personality is formed partially through genetics and partially through our experiences growing up.  Everyone has a personality and everyone’s personality influences how they see the world and how they react to others and stressful situations.

     Being GLBTQ means that some of our experiences are different but we are still equally influenced by our personality styles at work, in our family, with friends and in our partnerships.  How we act, react, and perceive the world is influenced by our personality.

     For example, some people keep the peace, some love being in relationships while others are content being at home and don’t like feeling intruded upon.  Some people live their lives chasing exciting scenarios and enjoying conflicts and others work excessively to provide for their loved ones.  All of these various people have strengths and struggles.  Their particular personalities contribute to their success and generate conflicts with others in stressful, anxiety provoking situations.  Some people seek out their partners or close friends for support, others retreat and want to be alone, and some will contact everyone on their call list to talk about their problems.  All these behaviors are indicative of personality styles.

     Many people come to therapy because they want to understand what makes them tick.  They want insight into their patterns and what makes them successful and where they get into problems.  They want to know how they relate to others and why others may react the way they do towards them.

     There are many models that describe personality styles.  The model that I have found to be most thorough and interesting is called the Enneagram.  This is a model that has nine (9) basic personality styles and explains them and their inter-relatedness with other personality styles.  The clients I have used this with have found it to be very enlightening and helpful.  

     Understanding your personality style involves both acceptance and change.  We accept our strengths and understand where we get into problems.  With these insights we have more choices about how we want to be and how we can handle certain situations differently.