Book Title: Reading People
Author: Anne Bogel
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: NonFiction, Self Help
Pub Date: 09/19/17
If the viral Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes are any indication, we are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. But what we’re finding is this: knowing which Harry Potter character you are is easy, but actually knowing yourself isn’t as simple as just checking a few boxes on an online quiz.
For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part–collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. In her friendly, relatable style, Bogel shares engaging personal stories that show firsthand how understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.
“We are all different-in matters both serious and silly-and discovering those differences is strangely enjoyable. Cynics argue that we’re drawn to these simple check-the-box quizzes because we’re ill-equipped to deal with the complexity of real life, but I believe this trend points to something more substantial.”
This year has unexpected rendered an explosion of ARCs to read, leaving very little time for pleasure books of my choosing. When I saw the opportunity to review a read that was on my “for fun” wish list, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and here we are. I don’t read nearly enough nonfiction, as I’m in the walk of life where I’m needing fictional escapes to refill my depleted tank of “ME”, but picking up Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything helped me understand the WHY behind that need, along with a multitude of other self realizations I hadn’t known I had been searching for. It won’t be for everyone, but if this type of stuff interests you I can’t imagine finding a better resource out there.
“A big part of learning about personality is learning to make peace with who we are. But if we use personality insights well, we wouldn’t dream of stopping there.”
I truly believe that the above quote sums up the entire purpose of this book; sure, we want to be able to cope with our quirks and throw up a good defense, but the end goal really is to take it a step further and go on the offensive so that we can thrive utilizing our best traits. Going into this book, you should know that the author has done her research; over the course of multiple years she has utilized some of the most popular and useful resources and condensed what she feels is the most helpful of such into one succinct companion to help you discover and apply the parts you need to know. After reading the introduction and first chapter, it is encouraged to flip through and read the rest of the book in whatever order interests you most; there’s no need to just hunker down and absorb in numerical fashion. I really enjoyed the freedom this gave me and found myself skipping back and forth, while also reading certain sections more than once. I’m going to briefly list the table of contents below since I’ve received a good number of questions wondering what all is covered here; this way you can decide if it contains some of the topics interesting you personally.
Introduction- A Noble Pursuit
1. Understanding My Personality Type
2. Introverts and Extroverts
3. Highly Sensitive People
4. The Five Love Languages
5. Keirsey’s Temperments
6. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
7. The MBTI Cognitive Functions
8. The Clifton Strengths Finder
9. The Enneagram
10. How Much Can People Change?
Obviously that’s a lot of information and it took me almost 2 weeks to get through it all, but this isn’t the type of study that you want to rush through. I was able to learn so many things, like how I’m actually an introvert and not an extrovert (I AM STILL SHOCKED AND SHOOK AND A MESS ABOUT THAT GUYS) and I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (I didn’t understand what that actually meant.
I thought it was just people who cried at grocery store openings like my mom). Clearly we all can stand to learn a little bit about ourselves, and if you’re looking to do so but have no idea where to start and are as overwhelmed as I felt, this is the perfect book for you! Listen, Anne has done all of the hard work for you so that you don’t have to sift through all the muck that she did. If you’d like to do the hard thing and look at yourself a little longer than is typically comfortable, give this a try. I can attest that Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything is an eye-opening experience, whether you’re just looking to brush up on some of the latest trends or if you need an overhaul on your personality like I did. Highly recommended to all!
*Quick side note- if you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to one of Anne’s podcasts and hearing her voice, make sure and do that before picking up the book. Imagining her reading this out loud to you just enhances the experience, I promise!
*Many thanks to the author for sending me a signed copy; it now sits on my special signed shelf and sings Nanny Nanny Boo Boo to all who walk past. ❤