I got my colours analysed at the weekend.  For those who care (and understand what it means) it turns out that I am Summer, flowing into Spring.  Lots of cooler, blue-based colours in my ideal palette.  Fortunately, this means that my Guiding uniform is pretty much the perfect colour scheme for me.  Useful, since I have no intention of stopping wearing it.

I undertook this experiment to ensure that when I buy new clothes (something which I usually put off doing because it’s such a chore) I buy ones which flatter me and I actually wear.  As a side effect, I may be more confident and professional-looking at work.

It got me thinking, though, about the things that people believe influence each other.

  • How I look influences how I feel, and how other people perceive me.  This I can understand, there are psychological factors at work.  You know, actual science.
  • Your upbringing and parentage influences how you are seen – Dad’s in jail?  I bet the child’s not great.  Thick Geordie accent?  Probably a bit rough.  Sounds like a typical Southern Hillbilly?  Probably a bit slow.*  They are stereotypes for a reason, but obviously there are going to be exceptions.
  • Does your name influence your behaviour?  If you are called “Theodore” will you work harder and be more grown-up than if you are called “Teddy”?
  • Some people believe that when you were born influences your personality – star signs and horoscopes.  There’s a little (alright, a lot) less evidence for this one, but somehow people still believe it.  So just because I was born in early May, I must be stable, home-loving, conservative, loyal, stubborn, careful with money, and reliable?
  • The Japanese believe that your blood group influences your personality – to the extent that senior politicians use it as an excuse:

After then-Reconstruction Minister Ryu Matsumoto‘s abrasive comments towards the governors of Iwate and Miyagi forced him to step down from his post, he partially blamed his behaviour on his blood type, saying “My blood is type B, which means I can be irritable and impetuous, and my intentions don’t always come across.”

Interestingly, my Japanese blood type personality lists my best traits as “earnest, creative, sensible, reserved, patient, responsible”, and my worst traits as “fastidious, overearnest, stubborn, tense”, which shows a startling amount of overlap with the Taurus characteristics I mentioned earlier.  Neither of them describes me perfectly, but combined they don’t do too badly.  Of course, they’re quite vague…

Another thought which springs to mind is to wonder what happens when someone is transfused with a not-quite-right blood type – like a type AB receiving blood from a type O.

Wrenching myself back on topic, the colour experience was interesting.  It confirmed a lot of things which I understood instinctively but hadn’t really thought about, but also contained a number of surprises.  Like the number of different shades of Navy Blue.

Have you ever had your colours done?  What surprised you most?  And have you ever been surprised by the beliefs people have about what influences their behaviour?


* Out of curiosity, does anyone know what accent people from the south US countryside put on when they’re trying to mock a stupid person?