What color describes your personality, and why?

Throughout the month of January, WordPress is sending participating bloggers a writing prompt each day. It’s a way to find some creative inspiration and perhaps make connections with other bloggers. My entries in this blogging challenge will appear here under the tag #bloganuary.

I confess that I really don’t like this writing prompt at all. In the first place, the idea that colors are associated in any rational way with one’s personality type just rubs me the wrong way. I understand the use of color adjectives, say, to describe someone’s mood: “He’s a bit blue today” (he’s down or depressed); “she is green with envy” (though what green has to do with envy I don’t know). But to assign a color to a personality type makes very little rational sense to me, unless there is some well-established convention by which color names become shorthand for a specific personality type. Is there really such a thing? Are you a “pink,” for example, while I am a “green,” and she is a “dark blue?” The whole thing seems arbitrary and silly. There is a site out there that assigns certain symbolic words or phrases to various colors. On that site, I’m probably either a “beige,” or a “gray,” which I admit offends me a little bit, on some level.

I understand that different colors may evoke certain kinds of feelings, perhaps even subliminally. In my cinematography classes at the university (admittedly a long time ago) we discussed the use of color, along with lighting, as a method of influencing an audience’s perception of a scene. Even the colors of clothing that different characters wear are often chosen as a means of manipulating how an audience responds to those characters. Color does mean something. But does it somehow relate to personality?

Many of my friends use the Enneagram to help them sort out their own personality and those of others. Before I had ever taken an Enneagram test, a number of my friends had decided that I was a “9,” which implies the following personality characteristics: characteristic role–peacemaker; ego fixation–indolence; “holy idea”–love; trap–seeker; basic fear–loss/fragmentation/separation; basic desire–wholeness/peace of mind; temptation–avoiding conflicts/avoiding self-assertion; vice/passion–sloth; virtue–action; stress/disintegration–type 6; security/integration–type 3. (If you know something about the Enneagram, this will make sense, I suppose; if you don’t, you can click the link above to get some information about it from Wikipedia.)

Although I haven’t studied the Enneagram enough (one online workshop) to truly understand what all of that means, there are aspects of this generic description of a particular personality type that ring true for me. One can also Google “color and personality,” and find this site, which associates personality types with the individual’s favorite color. My favorite color has pretty much always been green, and well, as it turns out, the green personality described there aligns pretty well with the Enneagram type that supposedly describes me.

There is another site I found by Googling “enneagram and color” (or something like that) where you can take a quick-ish Enneagram test, and based on your responses, certain colors are assigned to your personality. Oddly enough, I tested as an Enneagram 5 in that test, and the colors that it assigned to me were green and yellow. The characteristics for an Enneagram 5 are (according to Wikipedia): characteristic role–investigator/observer; ego fixation–stinginess; “holy idea”–omniscience/transparency; trap–observer; basic fear–helplessness/incapability/incompetence; basic desire–mastery/understanding; temptation–replacing direct experience with concepts; vice/passion–avarice; virtue–detachment; stress/disintegration–type 7; security/integration–type 8. Frankly, a lot of that description checks out, as well. And weirdly, the green color is a common denominator, depending on which Web site you wish to believe.

So I suppose I must begrudgingly answer that the color green somehow describes my personality, because, oh, I don’t know…because of the Enneagram. Or something.

In any case, I feel like the word that best describes me today is “curmudgeon.”

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