This is Part 2 of The 7 Personality Types summarised. As explained there, this post will explain the expression roles in detail.
As Puttick explained, no-one is only one type. Everyone has traits of all 7 but 2 tend to predominate, 1 more than the other. These are the primary and secondary roles. The secondary role is the main reason for differences between people of the same role, and can manifest subtly or strongly. Think of the whole mind as an omelette; the primary role is the egg while the secondary role is the added ingredients. Mushroom, tomato, herbs, etc. In the rare case of a person with the same role for primary & secondary (extra egg on the omelette), they’re most likely to conform to the role’s archetype. The archetype is the collective perception others have built up over years/ decades/ centuries of someone with a particular personality.
(Important note: these roles are personalities not professions or careers, though there is overlap since the names are taken from medieval social roles. Also, the statements made about them below don’t always apply to each and every person with the particular role; these are general behavioural traits that often manifest)
These are the prime innovators, inventors, creatives of the world. They are always seeking to create something new, as well as reinvent themselves to always be unique. They have a wide range of leisure pursuits and hobbies, get bored of routine and repetition, and usually have several careers throughout their lives. Through their eyes the world is not solid; it’s a constantly shape-shifting fluid. Interestingly, they’re also the most likely to have tattoos/ piercings/ other body modifications.
Better than anyone else they also understand, appreciate & celebrate the benefits of chaos & destruction. Chaos is the inherent instability of life, its never-ending shifting from one state to another, the unpredictability that allows for things to be different and refreshed. Destruction is part of the creative process, symbolised best in the Hindu god Shiva. He destroys in order to make space for Brahma (the creator) to create again. This is how the artisan sees life too. For this reason they thrive best in stable chaos, and are natural anarchists ready to shake up the current order of things to make it better.
They don’t create for the mere sake of looking pretty though. They like their inventions to be useful, combining form & function. Think Ikea.
Artisans are also highly sensitive, able to detect the general mood of a group of strangers very quickly as well as know/ predict the zeitgeist and paradigm of the culture they live in. This can make them prone to sensory overload, being overwhelmed by creating more ideas in their head than they can handle. Out of all roles artisans are the ones least able to tolerate rules and routine, as it contradicts their spontaneous nature. This thus makes them the most appreciative of novelty and they love surprises. They work best around other creative people in creative environments and prefer living in cities to countryside. They make up about 20% of the world’s population.
Artisans are either very easy to spot or very hard to spot. “Normally” their buzzing energy, upbeat personalities and/or fashion sense gives them away. But they’re the perennial shapeshifters (hence why normal is in quote marks) so they feel no need to always stand out and be noticed, sometimes they just want to blend in. Nothing wrong with that. Male artisans often come across as feminine, though if placed in a job where they “have to” act tough (e.g. personal trainer, businessman) or if around stereotypical macho men they can overcompensate as a defence mechanism. Though female artisans are also typically very feminine, artisans are the ones most likely to bend gender since to them nothing is so cut-and-dry.
Though they are sociable and empathic, they’re also the role most prone to moodiness. And they hate having to explain themselves so don’t expect them to tell you why! As shapeshifters even your first impression of them is likely to change, partly because of who you are (whether you’re more sensitive or stern) and partly because of how come across to them (sympathetic or a dickhead).
They also often end up lightening the mood of a group and looking the most stylish – all subconsciously. Almost predictably they also usually enjoy shopping, but they only become spendthrifts if they hold a competitive perspective (see the previous post for perspectives), feeling they have to outdo everyone else. “Normally” they thrive on the challenge of bargain hunting, looking good at a good price! At the philosophical and relationship perspectives they’re likely to pay attention to the ethical side of clothes, e.g. if they were made in sweatshops or with environmentally friendly materials.
Artisans are typically very good-looking, but even if not they’re very good at accentuating their better side. They tend to retain a youthful look well into their later years.
Being so good with their hands gives them an edge in employment, typically found as sculptors, hairdressers, weavers, graphic designers, plumbers, decorators, repairmen, plumbers, mechanics, engineers, cameramen, fashion designers, models, painters and car mechanics. In the medical field they’re likely to be dentists, bodyworkers, physiotherapists or aromatherapists. They prefer working with things than words, which are better handled by Scholars and Sages (see below). However, they can make good poets, singers, songwriters and authors too.
As long as their creativity is valued and given space to be expressed, artisans can be happy working near enough anywhere. As life is so full of opportunities they are relatively easy to make happy. Because of their ordinal axis (see previous post on axes) they prefer being independent to being a teamplayer or boss, but can do the latter as long as they have freedom to create. It can be hard for them to handle the mundane everyday tasks of a business like balance sheets or 5-year plans because of the sheer repetitiveness and predictability, and since artisans reserve the right to change their mind with no warning whatsoever other employees struggle to know where they stand with them. Interestingly, this role is the least interested in leadership and make terrible bosses if their talent gets them promoted higher than they want to go. However, at the philosophical perspective Artisans are just as organised, focused and practical as anyone. Even if usually talkative, artisans typically hate public speaking. They prefer to let their creations and performances “speak” for them. They take themselves seriously and aren’t known for their humour unless their secondary role is sage. When talking to them take care to be as sensitive, empathic and intuitive as you can since they get offended easily. Also if they seem distracted don’t assume they’re not listening; they may just be noticing other things going on. Remember their sensitivity makes them notice things others wouldn’t.
If they like you they make excellent company, are generous, remembering your birthday and giving you personalised gifts. Due to their sensitivity and ordinal axis artisans (males and females alike) make excellent lovers, tuning in to others’ feelings, very good at teasing and flirting and creating sexually titillating environments. However they can be pretty introverted, and tend to find dating difficult because they’re so picky with who they like. Despite their desire for relationships and commitment they need a lot of personal space. They’re most compatible with sages, due to both being expression roles. Servers will also be really good for them, taking care of them emotionally and practically, and priests will exhilarate them. Warriors & kings are most opposite. They find scholars difficult but intriguing. Being so in touch with their inner child themselves, artisans love children but often need help keeping up with the more routine tasks of parenthood – especially setting rules and boundaries. As children artisans tend to show creative talent young, and will be happy, charming and popular at school (especially girls). They may become scared and confused if the adults around them aren’t honest, and if boys are put in schools with a macho/ military culture they will tend to be bullied unless they:
- befriend a warrior, or
- are good at sports
Teenage artisans are the moodiest of all roles, and feel the contradiction between their true selves and pressure to conform most strongly of all roles (especially boys). They rebel against parents and society most intensely of all roles, but peer pressure at school is just as frustrating to them. Luckily they’re often the popular ones, and end up being desired romantically by all the guys/ girls.
The positive pole of the Artisan role is creativity, fairly obviously but it should be noted that artisan ≠ artist. They bring novelty and beauty to life in any manner they believe is warranted, through their clothes, words, decoration of their houses, workbooks, personal philosophy, etc. The negative pole is artifice. This means fakeness, the bland mindless imitating, plagiarising, copying and pasting of something already done. It can also manifest as self-delusion. The line between reality and fantasy is fluid anyway, but people in this pole can get lost in an imaginary life story and become unrealistic & impractical. This is ironically the opposite of one of their positive-pole traits, practicality, which also happens to be the antidote to the negative pole.
If you are predominantly an Artisan, Puttick gives some tips to help you in life:
- If you have a relationship-oriented perspective, it’s likely you struggle with reconciling personal values with those of others. If so , surround yourself with like-minded people – friends and love interests alike
- Counselling and psychotherapy can help in worst case scenarios, as well as art therapy. To get the most out of them, ensure you have the freedom to self-define and discover yourself
- Those with a competing perspective are most prone to falling into the negative pole, but this doesn’t have to be all bad. If your audience and clients share your perspective, you can pretty much get away with artifice! And if you’re not so “successful” (in the sense of fame and money), you can copy the style and dreams of those who are!
- At the philosophical perspective, don’t feel compelled to follow the crowd. Stay true to your vision
- Set aside some alone time. It’s important for your creativity
- Most importantly of all, find what you truly most enjoy and stick to it
Typical Sage in action, Kansiime Anne. Check out her channel.
The simplest way to describe these people is “motor mouth.” They can talk your ass off.
Unlike typical artisans, sages love words, crave a stage to be seen & heard from, and are masters of humour. Anything and everything can be turned into a joke. And they have the gift of the gab! I had a colleague at my old workplace who personified this exactly; nothing was off-limits to him, and he could convince customers of damn near anything.
Very ironically, there are two sides to this role that seem to completely contradict how Sages typically behave: WIT and WISDOM. Sage literally means wise one, and as such this role holds a mirror up to society, forcing it to confront its pretensions and hollowness. Similar to artisans they bend, break or reinvent rules at whim. This doesn’t mean they totally disregard rules, as they understand the importance of cohesion and basic good manners. Despite this, they often come off as bullshitters because they have no problem going against rules themselves. They might find it rude to boast but will self-deprecatingly let others know of their accomplishments, for example. Despite that, though, when it comes to expression they’re also good at telling the difference between sincere people and fakers.
Sages make up about 10% of the global population. They tend to enjoy cities, especially ones with a strong entertainment culture.
Sages are usually the easiest people to identify, being so flamboyant, extroverted & popular. They’re the life of the party, both as guests and as hosts, and are in high demand by their friends. More introverted people might find them intimidating, but with a relationship/ philosophical perspective they’re especially inviting. They’re very rarely pessimists, and if they are they’ll be good at gallows humour. However, since they behave happy and bubbly all the time people may expect them to never be upset or exhausted – which “compels” them to keep up an act since they think it’s the only way to be liked.
Their dress sense is almost as good as artisans’ but tend to prefer bold outrageous looks. For example, they may show off their new tan by going topless in the snow.
Physically they tend to be extremists, either squat (short and obese) or lanky (tall and skinny). They are usually strikingly good-looking, but even if not they’d rather be Totally Fucking Hideous than plain. Regardless they’re very photogenic and their humour makes the males renowned for laughing women into bed. Their optimism gives them good protection against illness (which some use to heal themselves and others, like as hospital clowns) but their tendency to over-indulge makes them prone to illness. Especially the cold, incorrectly called flu.
In terms of employment, sages excel as actors, playwrights, screenwriters, TV presenters, comedians, poets, storytellers, authors, comic writers, entrepreneurs, politicians, PR spokespersons and salespeople. They also make excellent singers, most especially in opera and musicals where they can combine using their voice with performing. More physical sages make great clowns, acrobats, dancers and sports champions – Muhammad Ali being the best-known example of this! It should be no surprise that they’re masters at using social media. Perhaps surprisingly they also often feel at home in academia but peers may see them as piss-takers. Their cardinal axis means they find it hard to work alone, and though they can lead well they usually prefer not to (because responsibility isn’t fun). In order to work at their best, sages must feel the job is fun and gives them space to be expressed. Sages are very good at splitting their attention, so they can be listening to one conversation and talking to another person simultaneously.
The best way to talk to them is to open up with a compliment, and unless you’re a sage or very determined to raise your game, it’s best not to wage a verbal war with them. Because you will lose. Badly. Also, if you find them not listening to you, be very clear you’re trying to talk. If necessary interrupt them and tell them to shut up, even if they get offended (which is mostly for show anyway! LOL).
In romance these people love the drama, prioritise making their partners laugh and play to people’s fantasies and seduction games – see the Bible’s King Solomon/Queen of Sheba interplay. Interestingly, of all the roles they get the most out of online dating. It should be noted that more reserved men can find sage women overpowering, even intimidating. Unfortunately their craving for novelty makes loyalty a challenge to them though they expect it from the partner, and can risk annoying them if they don’t drop the act throughout the relationship. They’re most compatible with artisans, even more than with other sages who’ll probably try to upstage each other. This is also a potential issue with priests and kings, both being cardinal roles as well. Servers will give them the emotional support they need to be at their best, and scholars share their love of language & craving for mental stimulation. The most opposite personality to the sage is the warrior, though they can make good friends.
When it comes to children, sages are the ultimate in holding their attention and keeping them entertained. However, they find the routine and messy stuff boring and would rather let someone else deal with that. They also find it hard to enforce rules and boundaries, so they need to learn to be clear with that. Luckily their upset and anger is short-lived. As children, sages learn to talk early – with full sentences, proper grammar and well thought-out questions. They positively require a lot of attention, and to a degree expect to be treated as special whether they’re the oldest, youngest or a middle child. If this need isn’t met they may go their whole lives overcompensating. Though they (and their sage parents) value formal education, fun and self-expression are more important, so if they’re not taught in a fun way they’ll switch off and do their own thing. Teachers therefore would do well to let them see consequences early – such as lowering their grades for too much chat. Since male sages aren’t usually “macho” they rely on charm and wit to rise through the popularity ranks and deflect bullies. They often become gang leaders, but more of cool kids and/or nerds than of thugs.
The positive pole of the sage, if it wasn’t obvious enough, is communication. One of their most vital social roles is freshening up the language, creating new words/ phrases/ soundbites. As such they get annoyed at overused clichés, bad grammar, jargon, bad jokes and emoticons. It can be hard to imagine any flaws in such a person when you meet them, but ALL roles have their negative pole, and for sages it’s verbosity. In other words, being a motor-mouth, talking whether you want to listen or not, not stopping to check if others actually understand them, and not letting anyone get a word in edgeways. Quantity becomes more important than quality. It’s effectively also a form of greed and narcissism, as they try to hog all the attention. If left really unchecked (and most especially with a competing perspective) it can become outright deception, deliberately using their charm, wit & superior improvisation skills to cheat, lie, steal, bully, whatever. “Normally” sages see truth as relative and don’t let facts detract from a good story anyway, but now they’re actively using it to abuse the gullible and rip them off.
The best way to prevent/ counteract the negative pole is truthful introspection. Taking a long hard look at themselves, or have someone do it for them like a sympathetic psychotherapist or counsellor. Ultimately sages benefit (themselves as well as others) most by learning to be authentic, true to their personal values and receptive to others when they talk. They may also do well to remember that “many a truth is spoken in jest,” so there’s no need to sacrifice wit & humour in the search for authenticity.
Part 3 will look at the Inspiration roles of Server and Priest.