Reacting Reactions…


“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions”  ~ Pablo Picasso

I have a new nail polish called Reaction – it changes colors depending on whether my nails are exposed to cold or to heat.  If my hands are cold,  the color goes to a deep purple and when I get my pinkies all warm and cozy,  the color goes to this awesome bright turquoise blue.  If I am going between hot and cold (as we have done often this first week of Spring),  the nail color begins a two-tone look… funky, a bit freaky but very entertaining and expressive!

I was watching my nails turn color the other day as I was on a plane (okay,  I do get amused easily…) and I started thinking about how we use various colors to describe our emotional reactions:

  • We turn red with embarrassment
  • We turn purple with rage
  • We may be green with envy
  • We might be mellow yellow

Some personality tests like Insights® use colors to describe our styles so that we can understand how we (and others) may react under times of stress or when things are going great:

  • Blue describes the less expressive, more analytical type personality styles
  • Green is the color for those folks who are the very caring and nurturing types
  • Red is for the drivers of the world,  those who are movers and shakers
  • Yellow is for the expressive personalities (that would be me…)

Most of us do not want to be boxed into being judged or evaluated based on a certain personality style because we realize that we are complex creatures.  Similar to chameleons,  we change colors depending on the situation we are in,  the stressors that we have beating on our door and how we are reacting at any given moment.  I am Sunshine Yellow a great part of my day when I am at work because I am a people person and relationship builder.  I love to be involved.  Then there are times as a leader (either at work or at home), that my Red comes out: I want something done…I want it done quickly…I want to move on…When I am in that Red mode,  my relationship building skills are not at the front of my radar – getting the task done is where I am at.

All styles are strengths, however sometimes our strengths may get in the way of what we are trying to do.  When I am trying to get something done quickly like it needed to be done yesterday,  I may not be taking the time to check all the potential unintended consequences to my actions.  Those are the times that I need to pull up the bit of Blue I have sitting at the tips of my toes to tap into my analytical skills so that I can properly evaluate if moving ahead with vigor is really the best course of action.  I also need to balance my Red “get ‘er done right now” with my Yellow “let’s work together on this” styles so that I am creating a more even keel view of the situation.

So I have realized that much like my Reaction nail color that turns varying colors based on the external temperature,  I also turn varying colors based upon my internal/emotional temperature…

“You have the ability to choose your reactions.” 
― Steve Maraboli

What colors best describe your personality style?  Do you have a primary color or do you tend to have variations of secondary colors?


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