on June 8, 2001
PERSONALITY PLUS is one of the most enlightening books that I have ever read. Florence Littauer shows how to determine what type of temperament you fall into: Popular Sanguine, Powerful Choleric, Perfect Melancholy, or Peaceful Phlegmatic. Understanding that, we are then shown the strengths and weaknesses that accompany each of them. Littauer then teaches, gently and humorously, how we can improve ourselves and our relationships by simply recognizing and accepting the temperaments (in ourselves and others). For once we understand that the other temperaments are different from us because that is simply how they are built, and not because they wish to annoy us or make things difficult, it changes the way we look at and deal with people. As I read this book it was like a lightbulb popped on in my head--difficult people in my life were suddenly seen in a new light and dark motives I had attributed to them disappeared. And our relationships improved.
I highly recommend this book. It will help you in friendships, with family, with romance, and at work. I recommend it even more for those who are in positions of leadership. Understanding yourself and then understanding those around you will radically change your life interactions for the better. FIVE STARS.
on December 4, 2003
After getting a little insight into the theory of the different personalities (Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy and Phlegmatic) I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend who had read it and also heard Mrs. Littauer on audiotape.
After taking the quiz inside the book, I found that I am nearly all Powerful Choleric, with some Popular Sanguine and Perfect Melancholy thrown in for good measure. I was somewhat aghast to find that there is no Peaceful Phlegmatic in my personality (a fact that doesn't surprise anyone who truly knows me!).
Florence's book is entertaining, an easy read, and very valuable in it's insight. You won't find 'pigeon holes' in this book, for we are all a combination of multiple types of personalities (as I explained about myself above) but you'll definately gain a better understanding of your strengths and even some of your areas of challenge after reading this book.
I liked the flow of the book and the detailed descriptions of each personality type. As I read through the book, I could see parts of people I worked with and have known throughout the years, and it's definately helped my personal interactions with them.
Beware, you'll find yourself identifying parts of people's personalities on a constant basis once you read this book, but it's really fun once you get the hang of it. If you are a people person (or even if you are not) this book will become a much-used resource in your library.
When working with my image consulting clients, I often recommend they pick up a copy of this book and read it from cover to cover as part of developing their self-image and indeed, discovering more about their true selves. People often deny parts of their personalities, believing there is something 'wrong' or less than desirable about a particular strength that they have.
Florence's wonderful book will encourage all who read it to accept their individuality, while understanding more about what makes us the special and terrific creatures that we are.
on August 27, 2006
I read this book quite a few years ago but I really enjoyed the updated version. She has so much wisdom about this topic. I teach school and I have my students take this test. It really helps me to understand them and plan accordingly. It has also helped me to understand my kids and husband. I highly recommend it to parents and educators. Very enlightening!
on August 2, 2005
Most books and pop-psychology about personality types are nonsense. There are a million different ways to assess people's personalities. "Personality Plus", however, sticks out from this sorry group like a sore thumb (I mean that in a good way). The author, Florence Littauer re-packages the ancient Greeks' thinking about personality into a Christian perspective on personalities, personal improvement, and social relationships.
The Greeks thought there were essentially only four types of personalities: sanguine (talkative, life-of-the-party), melancholy (introverted, artsy, deep, perfectionist), choleric (workaholic, ambitious, leader), and phlegmatic (go-with-the-flow, nonchalant).
Frankly, I've found the wisdom of the ancient Greeks to be far superior to modern methods that seek to categorize every little aspect of your life. Mrs. Littauer, weaving in personal experiences, anecdotes, and her knowledge of the four personalities, has written a wonderful little book on "how to understand others by understanding yourself". You'll be an expert in no time.
She discusses the personalities themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, methods of improving on your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses, relationships among people of various personalities, blended personalities, and more. (Of course, she includes a self-test that you can take to determine your personality.)
It is no exaggeration to say that learning about these social dynamics and personal realities can improve your friendships and even save your marriage! This is because you will learn to recognize, accept, and deal with other personalities in a systematic way that you otherwise wouldn't have been taught.
I docked the book one star because Mrs. Littauer tends to charicature certain personalities. She will dwell so much on your weaknesses that you'll think to yourself, "I'm not THAT bad!" Then again, at least she gets her point across.
Mrs. Littauer includes a short Bible quote at the end of each chapter, and dedicates a short chapter to the importance of loving Christ, who completes us as persons and who wants to use our unique talents in His Divine Providence. But it is not a book of theology or Scriptural hermeneutics; "Personality Plus" is constructed in such a way as to be accessible to believers and nonbelievers alike.
Indeed, everybody should know about the four personality types. Don't delay!
on March 8, 2006
My marriage was a mess and I was ready to throw in the towel when my husband and I came across this book. That was 14 years ago. We realized we were sabotaging each other instead of appreciating each other. When my husband (melancholy) would retreat for some quiet time I (choleric) would take it personally and think he didn't want to be around me and was very hurt. I would then emesh in him which drew him away even further. Once we identified our strengths and weaknesses we realized the things we had origionally found attractive in each other were rubbing us the wrong way now. We found that our weaknesses were the other ones strengths and we began complimenting each other instead of resisting. We also saw how this impacted our whole family (4 kids all teenagers at the same time!) and how we could work with them differently. We taught them about the personalities as well which helped them get along better with each other. What a life changing book for us and one that I am grateful for. Bonnie McElwain
on July 22, 1999
As an abuse survivor I have spent most of my life struggling with my lack of self-esteem. My desire to be a control freak. My desire to be a perfectionist, while at the same time dealing with bouts of depression. This book helped me realize that I'm not mental. I'm merely 1 of 4 basic personalities! I know now that I was a Sanguin turned into a Melencholy. As a Christian I also cherish the fact that much of the author's statements are backed by scripture. Instead of suggesting pills, as many psychiatrists, have suggested, she merely gave me a blueprint of my personality and helped me understand it. This book CAN change/save your life!
on September 16, 1998
This is one of the most helpful books if you want to understand and get along with other people - and anyone can read it. It is hilarious in places and you will see yourself on many pages doing things that come naturally but annoy others. It made me appreciate why my relationship with my brother has always been difficult - I just need to find a way for him to read the book! Perhaps then he will understand that our personality traits move us to act in certain ways and may cause unintentional offence. Armed with this knowledge, we might make a few more allowances for each other. I reckon every teenager needs to read this book - it should be on schools curricula - and maybe we will all get along a little better with each other. A super book.
on November 15, 2014
This book was given to me by a friend, so I wanted to like it. And I don't enjoy writing a negative review, especially when the author seems to be such a nice person. I enjoyed some of the author's anecdotes, but when it came down to the actual point of the book ... I found the personality test and its scoring sheet needlessly complicated and prone to inaccurate conclusions. Anyone interested in understanding themselves and others would, in my opinion, be better served by Type Talk, Please Understand Me or another book based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The 16 MBTI personality types are more finely drawn and the test is more accurate.
on December 11, 2013
I first suspected I had wasted my $13.99 on Personality Plus on page 7 where I saw author Littauer’s dedication to Tim LaHaye who Wikipedia indicates “encouraged Jerry Falwell to found the Moral Majority” and is probably best known for his “Left Behind series of apocalyptic fiction”.
My opinion went downhill from there. In chapter 1, I was shocked…..shocked to learn that there’s only one of me. No two of us are alike. And here I thought I was just one of the dumbies who bought silly self help books.
However, I wanted to give the author a chance to prove her theories, so, after a quick review of the fill-in-the-blank scoring sheets and the psychobabble that followed, I had a look at the back of the book to see where the author had found all this insightful information – unfortunately, there is no bibliography - and no footnotes. So, one can reasonably assume all the personality information offered is a creation of the writer – except for one early, brief reference to Hippocrates writing 2400 years ago and another to Tim LaHayes’ work.
If you’ve already bought and read Personality Plus, you will be pleased to learn that I’m a “Peaceful Plegmatic” with overtones of “Powerful Chloric”. If you have not, use your money to purchase a Magic 8 Ball fortune teller.
on January 18, 1998
This book is a powerful tool in helping to both understand others, and get along with others better. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to have more than three friends. It explains how there are four basic "personality temperaments", and how each temperament interacts with the others. It also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each temperament, and Florence makes suggestions to each temperament as to what he/she can (should) do about their weaknesses, and is very insightful in that sense. It is also quite healing, as one is forced to realize that the others aren't INTENDING to be abrasive, but seem to be simply because they have a different personality than you. However, this book is also very unbalanced. Although it feigns to be a Christian book, it fails miserably to clarify that some behaviors are simply wrong, no matter what personality type they are coming from. The less mature reader is led to believe that particular behaviors are strictly aspects of people's personalities. There is literally, and absolutely NO acknowledgement of the fact that right is right, and wrong is wrong! In that sense, this book is an absolute, total failure. Parents, in particular, should be aware that the writer will tempt the reader to think that wrong behavior is simply an aspect of a personality. In effect, as I have seen, an immature Christian reader can take the things in this book too much to heart, end up failing to distinguish right from wrong, and ultimately do their children more harm than good; that is, by passing everything off as simply "personality" and failing to teach right from wrong. I say this to caution the reader that yes, this is a very good book, but also very dangerous if the above caution is not noted during and after reading the book. Since this book fails on such an important issue, it only gets a 6.