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Style Magazine

True Colors

May 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

According to scientific definition, the color we see is the effect that light of varying wavelengths and frequencies has on our eye and the optical nerves. Applying that definition to something like a rainbow is kind of depressing. It’s like the “no Santa Claus” theory of Christmas – it just sucks the fun right out. Science aside, color is fun and dramatic, and we use it to tell ourselves all kinds of things.
Consider the meanings we give to roses – white for apology, red for love, yellow for jealousy. Or the way color can be used to express emotion in art. Or, to encourage a certain type of mood, your interior design colors orchestrate this example. Red is thought to bring energy and warmth, where green is seen to be relaxing; yellow is cheerful; and blue is cool and calming. Anecdotal stories about the emotional effects of color are pretty eyebrow raising. Years ago I read about a color called “Baker’s Pink,” supposedly used in insane asylums in the 1920s for its calming effect on patients. Legend has it that the color had the complete opposite effect, bringing on violent reactions among the patients, and consequently the use and manufacturing of the color was hastily discontinued (and let’s face it, painting any room pink is really just asking for trouble).

Whether the effect of color on our moods is real or imagined, it’s a pleasant way to view the world. Sure, it’s just light reflecting off our brain or whatever, but that doesn’t mean we can’t believe in our own “color Santa.”

With the growing popularity of personal development in careers and relationships, a number of organizations have started using color to identify personality types. (I’m purple. Can’t you tell?) One such organization is True Colors, Inc. ( True Colors applies colors (Blue, Gold, Green and Orange) to four basic personality types derived from existing psychological studies (in particular the work of clinical psychologist David Keirsey). Participants build their own ‘color spectrum’ based on their personality strengths and weaknesses, and the color spectrum can then be applied in larger ways to help determine a career or educational path. A program like True Colors allows participants to connect with their own strengths and weaknesses with a fun and entertaining approach that allows people to relax and better embrace new ideas.

An approach like this is really a way to see your strengths with fresh eyes. True Colors has a career and educational focus, particularly beneficial to corporations, schools, government and non-profit organizations. True colors helps us to better understand our own personality needs and values, thus recognizing others’ personality traits. You can image how not only an understanding, but also an awareness of personality needs and values can positively impact a workplace, classroom or home environment. So if you’re feeling a little brown or gray, and need to find your inner orange, gold, green or blue, then maybe it’s time to seek out your inner rainbow and identify your own true colors. •


Orange – Orange personalities act on a moment’s notice; are witty, charming and spontaneous. They consider life a game, and are impulsive and generous. Oranges need fun, variety, stimulation and excitement and are described as optimistic, eager and bold. They value skill, resourcefulness, and courage, and are natural trouble shooters, performers and competitors.

Gold – Gold personalities follow the rules and respect authority. Always loyal, dependable and prepared, they have a strong sense of what is right and wrong in life. They need to be useful and to belong. Faithful and stable, sensible and organized, they value home, family and tradition. Those whose brightest color is gold are natural preservers, helpful, good citizens and are caring and concerned.

Green – Green personalities seek knowledge and understanding as they are analytical and conceptual and live life by their own standards. Cool, calm and collected, they value intelligence, insight, fairness and justice. They are inventive, logical perfectionists who can think in the abstract, are investigative and hypothetical. Those who have green as their brightest color are natural non-conformists, visionaries and natural problem solvers.

Blue – Blue personalities need to feel unique and authentic. They are enthusiastic, warm, compassionate, sympathetic and personal. In life they look for meaning and significance. Natural communicators, blue personalities are sincere and idealistic with a need to contribute, to encourage and to care. They value integrity and unity in relationships, are natural romantics and nurturers.
*Printed with permission from True Colors, Inc.