Self and Social Development

I just finished a course called Transcend that is taught by one of my favourite Psychologists, Scott Barry Kaufman. Transcend The New Science of Self-Actualization eBook: Kaufman, Scott Barry: Kindle Store is about extending Abraham Maslow’s Self Actualization theories and I both learned a lot as well as meeting some really good people.

Through my research I also found another Psychologist, Edward Hoffman, who wrote a couple of books about Abraham Maslow as well as this book:
The Love Compatibility Book: The 12 Personality Traits that Can Lead You to Your Soulmate eBook: Edward Hoffman, Ph.D., Marcella Bakur Weiner, Ph.D.: Kindle Store

Although I am skeptical about some of the ideas associated with soulmates (i.e. that there is just one person that is an ideal match) the general definition seems valid to me.

A soulmate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity. This may involve similarity, love, romance, platonic relationships, comfort, intimacy, sexuality, sexual activity, spirituality, compatibility and trust. – Wikipedia

The premise of the Love Compatibility book (which I think can also be applied to friendship and other relationships) is that you can better determine your compatibility with another person by understanding your and another person’s 12 personality traits. Personality involves many more components but this research asserts that the selected 12 are most relevant to compatibility.

If there is a relatively good match with the top 4 traits important to you and the other person there is a greater chance that you could have a mutually rewarding long-term relationship. Where you are on the spectrum for each trait is neither good nor bad. The more you match with another person the higher the likelihood you will get along.

12 Compatibility Personality Traits:

1. Need for Companionship

  • Do you get lonely easily?
  • Is it important for your daily well-being to have heart-to-heart conversations, in which you share your desires and hopes, disappointments and dreams?
  • Or do you prefer maintaining your privacy and keeping others at an emotional distance?

2. Idealism

  • How idealistic are you?
  • Do you believe that people are basically good and trustworthy and that following the Golden Rule (“Do onto others as they would do onto you.”)! is the best way to live?
  • Do you believe in a Higher Power that guides us?
  • Or do you believe that people are inherently dishonest and untrustworthy and that human existence is essentially “dog-eat-dog”?
  • We have found this trait to be the single most important element of compatibility and have labelled its opposite as pragmatism.

3. Emotional Intensity

  • Do you cry easily at movies?
  • Do you often enjoy belly laughs?
  • Are your feelings strong about most people and situations?
  • Or are you emotionally low-key and placid, with little in everyday life evoking much inner heat?

4. Spontaneity.

  • Do you typically act on impulse?
  • Do you prefer making spur-of-the-moment decisions and keeping your schedule as open as possible?
  • Or do you like to plan things well ahead and keep to an established routine?
  • To put it plainly, do you enjoy vacations in which every day is carefully planned in advance, or does that make you feel straitjacketed?

5. Libido

  • Are frequent touching and sex important to your well-being?
  • Do you enjoy erotic movies, pictures, and jokes?
  • Or do you feel that sensuality is overrated and certainly not very basic to your day-to-day happiness?

6. Nurturance

  • Do you like pampering?
  • Does taking care of others, whether they be plants, pets, or people, make you happy?
  • Or do you prefer to take care of yourself when you’re tired or ill and to have others do likewise for themselves?

7. Materialism

  • Do you like to be chic and fashionable?
  • Do you enjoy spending your leisure shopping or window-shopping for designer clothes, jewelry, accessories, and other things?
  • Or do you value simplicity and practicality and shun fashionable acquisitions?

8. Extroversion

  • Do you feel energized by being part of a group?
  • Or do parties and meetings generally leave you drained?
  • Do you draw energy from group situations and display your emotions easily (extrovert), or do you feel more comfortable alone or with just one other person (introvert)?

9. Aestheticism

  • Is the enjoyment of art, music, or nature’s beauty important to you in everyday living?
  • Do you like to spend your leisure time listening to music, visiting art shows, or seeing beautiful scenery?
  • Or do such experiences tend to bore you?

10. Activity Level

  • Are you constantly “on the go, charging from one activity to the next all day long?
  • Or are you more of a “laid-back” person?
  • The demands of work and career certainly affect our daily routines, so a better indicator of
    your real activity level is how you prefer to spend your weekends and vacations:
  • Are you busily doing things, like hiking, jogging, or sight-seeing or are you relaxing on your
    couch or at a poolside resort?

11. Subjective Well-Being

  • Are you usually optimistic in daily life?
  • Is it your normal expectation that situations will turn out well for you?
  • Or are you a worrier?
  • Do you find yourself often regretting the past or becoming uneasy about the future?

12. Intellectualism

  • Are you an avid reader?
  • Do you enjoy discussing current events and future trends, as well as listening to news programs about such matters?
  • Or do these activities generally make you yawn?

In the book, there are more comprehensive questions about your views on each of the personality traits which you can use for discussion to determine the degree of alignment or difference with other people.

Food for thought: Diversity has been shown to be valuable for innovation and promoting different roles in team building.

In what ways can people benefit from socializing with people that are different from them?

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