What Type of Person Are You?

Published on August 30, 2010 by CT in Blog, Questions

5

There are two types of people in the world:  those who categorize others into types, and those who don’t.

My friend Sarah is one of these types of people.  Over Saturday dinner, she shared with our group her perspective on 4 types of people—particularly in how we react to them in relationships.

  1. Look Good.  Look Gooders care most about what others think about them.  Their reputation is king, and they will accept emotional turmoil within so long as no one else knows about it.  Honesty is the bain of Look Gooders.
  2. Feel Good.  Feel Gooders care most about how they feel.  They are emotionally-driven and reactive to situations, willing to change who they are or how they relate to others as long as they feel comfortable.  Courage is the bain of Feel Gooders.
  3. Be Right.  Be Righters care most about being right.  They will sacrifice relationships in the name of truth (or perceived truth).  Arguments and debates are comfortable arenas with them, because these are forums to wield their sabres of wit and words.  Humility is the bain of Be Righters.
  4. Be In Control.  Be In Controllers care most about controlling situations, or at worst, controlling others.  They will manipulate with words or emotions, sometimes without even knowing they’re doing so.  Trust is the bain of Be In Controllers.

I always find it interesting to see how people categorize others, in part because there is often some truth to it.  And Sarah’s framework is likely quite right.  And if you pay care attention, you will notice something of significance about each type of person here:  each one is self-centered.

The reason we want to look good in front of others is because we value ourselves more than we value someone else.

The reason we want to feel good about ourselves is because we value ourselves more than we value someone else.

The reason we want to be right is because we value ourselves more than we value someone else.

The reason we want to be in control is because we value ourselves more than we value someone else.

This particular framework is useful in uncovering our own particular strain of self-centeredness, because we’re all plagued with this disease.  Practically, we are born into a state of need, and we spend the rest of our lives concerned first and foremost with ourselves.  Theologically, we are born into a state of sin, and we spend the rest of our lives in opposition to the preeminence of Christ in all things.

The cure for all these strains of self-centeredness is the same:  a humbled, repentant, faith-filled, hopeful heart, mind, and spirit which desires to see and savor the glory of God as seen in the supremacy of Christ above all things.  Or to say this another way:  people who value God more than they value the comforts of sin.

I am a Look Gooder (and to some degree, all four), but I have asked God to destroy this disease within me.  I want to be more concerned about God and His glory than I am about justifying myself and making sure others justify me as well.  I want to love God and love others, so that He will bear fruit in me that furthers His kingdom.  And I want to be ultimately be the type of person who participates joyfully and expectantly in being made more and more like Jesus.

Question:  Which type of person are you?

  • Elizabeth

    Ha! That first sentence is awesome. But seriously, what do you do if you're a little bit of all four "types"? That seems to be bad news….

    • http://cravesomethingmore.org Chris_Tomlinson

      You join the club =).

      • http://lauradroege.wordpress.com lauradroege

        I guess I'm a club member then! I LOVE to look good, feel good, be right and be in control, usually all at the same time. Ouch.

  • ruach

    I was going to say I like this post but then again, I am not sure I do since I have lived like all of these four types of people at one point or another. I would like to think that there is at least one other type of person, "serve joyfully and humbly." That would describe my wife well, someone from whom I have learned much and am constantly amazed at her words of grace not designed to manipulate but truly to understand and love others deeply.

    • http://cravesomethingmore.org Chris_Tomlinson

      David, you make a great point. Jesus was none of these types of people, and as we're being conformed into His image, and as we submit to the Spirit working fruit in our lives, we won't be these types of people either. It sounds like your wife is an amazing woman. Thanks for the refining thought!