By Marike Nienaber, D.Ms,
How personality analysis tools can help us to appreciate the differences and similarities among generations and nurture a more empathetic society.
In our quest to understand others, we often overlook the crucial step of understanding ourselves in relation to society as a whole. Moreover, in today’s world generational gaps have become glaring, leading to debates and misunderstandings. To bridge these divides and foster compassion, we must first cultivate self-understanding and then learn to comprehend others.
By using self-knowledge systems and personality analysis tools, we can better understand the many facets of human nature, uncover our true selves, appreciate the differences and similarities among generations, and nurture a more empathetic society. Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, for instance, have unique characteristics and worldviews shaped by their formative experiences. Recognizing these distinctions promotes understanding and empathy among these diverse groups.
But understanding generational differences is just one layer of the complex human dynamic. To delve deeper, let’s first explore several different tooks for personality analysis, as they can play a significant role in bridging the gaps.
Archetypes: Personality is a complex interplay of archetypes, which are universal models of human behaviors and personalities. The insights of renown Seiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung reveal that archetypes are ingrained in our collective unconscious, and his 12 Jungian archetypes offer deep insights, deciphering human personalities and addressing generational gaps by revealing underlying motives and characteristics. Jung’s work categorized individuals into 16 personality types based on their energy source, information gathering and decision-making.
Styles. In The Power of Understanding People by Dave Mitchell, a meta-cognitive assessment categorizes individuals into four iconic styles: Romantics, Warriors, Experts and Masterminds. Identifying an individual’s primary preference allows for further subcategories based on primary and secondary preferences, providing insights into their roles in society. Understanding these iconic styles helps us adjust our behavior when interacting with others.
Astrology. Rooted in ancient wisdom and Mesopotamian culture, astrology provides insights into our personalities and the dynamic nature of our lives through correspondences between celestial observations and terrestrial events. Traditional astrology, at a basic level, categorizes individuals into one of 12 distinct zodiac signs based on their birth chart, offering a framework for self-reflection and understanding.
I Ching. The I Ching, a divination system created by ancient Chinese sages, emerged from the study of celestial and earthly phenomena. Encouraging self-awareness within situations, it addresses 64 principles of change based on the concept of Yin and Yang—the interaction of opposite but interconnected forces.
Human Design. The Human Design System, introduced by Ra Uru Hu, provides a unique framework to understand human nature. It uses birth data to calculate a BodyGraph, a graphic illustration or blueprint of a person’s energetic flow that reveals characteristics, potentials and interactions with the world.
DNA. In Gene Keys, Richard Rudd offers a transformative view of DNA and destiny, challenging the idea that DNA rigidly controls our lives. Gene Keys is a system with 64 archetypes that serves as a canvas for re-imagining and recreating your life. It invites you to contemplate the unique message within each key. Your DNA communicates with your brain, adapting your responses based on your attitude toward life, allowing thoughts, feelings, actions, and words to transform your destiny through intention and positivity.
Enneagram. The Enneagram, typology of nine interconnected personality types, is a self-discovery system providing insights into our worldviews, values, motivations and responses. Understanding your Enneagram type is a great step toward self-discovery and personal growth.
The Results are In
For my doctoral dissertation in 2022, I conducted an independent study of 20 individuals gathered from a social media invitation. Information requested included their date and time of birth and permission to use this information for my dissertation. Their birth details were then entered into the Human Design and Gene Keys websites to generate their charts.
Participants were provided with printouts of their results and a rapport explaining the aspects of the charts. A coaching session was held with each participant to discuss further the findings and implementation into their daily lives. After these coaching sessions, each participant completed a questionnaire to provide feedback and thoughts on how this new knowledge could assist them in understanding themselves and those around them.
When asked if participants resonated with their type, as defined by the Human Design chart, an overwhelming 87 percent stated that it was completely accurate, with the remaining 13 percent stating that at least some of the aspects were accurate.
When asked if the information they received could help them understand other people better, 62 percent of participants voted “yes,” with the remaining 38 percent voting “somewhat.”
When asked what value they think these and similar self-knowledge systems would bring to their lives, some of the responses were:
- “It will help in conflicted situations, decision making.”
- “I always think it is essential to understand how and what makes one ‘tick’ in order to function at your optimum.”
- “[They can] help me with how I will respond in conflict situations.”
- “It will make me happier to know that the decisions I make and the path that I am on is the correct path. It will silence the self-doubt and make me listen to my gut more.”
- “It helps to understand [myself] better and how to handle life better.”
One of my participants took these results very seriously and started implementing them into her personal life and business. We held multiple coaching sessions to understand her design’s deeper aspects, and—after just one month of working with her—she commented that it had “changed her life.” As a result, she has seen incredible growth in her business and has been dealing with personal issues in ways that align with her design, resulting in solutions that are more effective and less harmful to herself.
In every moment of life, we develop opinions, reactions and strategies based on our experiences, influences and beliefs. These views alter our perceptions of wrong and right, good and bad, acceptable and disgraceful, and more. Can we then really state that it is possible to understand and have compassion for those around us if we do not recognize that they, too, have views different from ours? Are their views not just as valid as our own?
Finding even a small puzzle piece to understanding your true self is an enlightening experience. It provides insight into how you make decisions and why you experience emotions and process information the way you do. While none of the many self-knowledge systems available are all-encompassing—and they should not be taken as such—each provides one of these puzzle pieces. While so much is left to learn about the numerous elements that make up who we are, these systems could guide us during our contemplative journey.
We do not live in a one-size-fits-all world—yet that is precisely how we are conditioned to handle every aspect of our lives. In reality, we were never meant to copy each other but, instead, complement each other by being true to our authentic selves and sharing our gifts and purpose with the world. In embracing this truth, we can create an un-offended society grounded in unconditional love and compassion.
Studying the diversity of personality characteristics and human types holds the potential for personal and societal growth. Comprehending the intricacies of the human mind is crucial for our collective growth, and passing down these insights to future generations can empower them to lead lives of purpose and significance. The brighter future of humanity lies in inner peace, compassion and love!
If we create the opportunity to teach what we learn to the next generations, letting them embrace their authentic selves from a young age, we will empower them to live a life of purpose and meaning. For the next generations, who are currently preparing to lead the new world, a brighter future lies ahead for humanity grounded in inner peace, compassion and love.
Marike Nienaber, D.Ms, is a dynamic South African-based professional life coach and metaphysician, actively guiding individuals on their transformative journeys since 2021. At 41 years old and a mother of three, Marike holds an impressive 18 coaching certifications and, at the age of 40, attained her doctorate degree in metaphysical sciences after two years of unwavering dedication. Her credentials also include being a qualified Usui
Reiki Master Teacher. Marike’s expertise lies in personality analysis and emotional intelligence, where she excels in fostering empowerment and self-discovery. She extends her wisdom through “The Clarity Catalyst,” a coaching program designed to ignite positive change. Marike is the author of the self-help book, From Sidekick to Superhero, available on Kindle. For more information visit https://www.marikenie.co.za.