On Color and Psychology

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On Color and Psychology

I don't really want to write this (since it will be covering a sad topic).  This is a blog about color after all.   And yet it's also about psychology.  So what can temperament based color analysis tell us about psychology?  We do need to keep in perspective that it tells us only about our temperamental nature, not our full personality, environmental factors or all of our other biological factors.  Read my earlier post about these levels.

Temperament is pretty constant your entire life (probably) and even biological. (Nature)
Personality is a layer above temperament, learned, culturally and experience influenced. (Nurture)

As noted with sadness by the world, we recently we lost a very well loved actor to suicide.   I've been noticing the reactions everywhere: friends, family, clients, in our color community.  It's a very, very painful subject, and to many quite personal.   Robin Williams was so well known and so loved, not only for his genius with humor, but also with emotions.  His acting reached depths that touched so many.  But this post isn't really about Robin, so much as his loss raising the topic of depression and suicide (again) in our consciousness.

I have dealt with depression and suicide in my career and my family. As a part of my career as a licensed clinical social worker and mental health specialist, I have worked as a mental health responder when suicidal patients are being cared for in the ER.

I have had Dysthymia most of my life and two Major Depressive episodes (in addition to PTSD, social phobia and severe PMS), so like many, I have first hand experience with my own mental illness.  I am highly functioning despite continuing to wrestle with this ongoing.  Also, I thought I understood depression for years, dealing with Dysthymia, but it wasn't until I experienced my first true clinical major episode that I realized what so many of my clients were really dealing with.  It is not just emotional, it is intensely physically life changing.

I am also a suicide survivor, though I wish there were a better word for it.  I mean a family member of someone who died at their own hand as a result of mental illness and other pain.  (It's quite personal, and not really what I want to write about here either, just to say that I have witnessed the devastating effect of mental illness on a person's judgment.  I also have personal experience with the powerlessness of having mental health training and it not helping your own family member).

Suicide is always a result of mental illness and pain.

Well, I can't say there aren't exceptions, such as suicide bombing or choosing to die when the alternative would be crippling physical illness, but for the majority of suicides it is due to crippling depression which completely distorts one's sense of options, and it may be gravely influenced by sudden impulsivity, by medications, alcohol, drugs, etc.

I have included information here before about depression and how it may be experienced differently by the four humors.  Why have I done so?  I've shared about my own depression and I believe it takes it's toll on appearance.  But I've also been interested in how everyone can face depression, but the course and form it takes might be slightly different based on your temperament.

Essentially according to temperament author, Tim LaHaye: Sanguines are the least vulnerable to depression because they can divert their attention and are the most skilled at lifting their own spirits and others, but may be more susceptible to mania or hypomania; and the low energy level of Phlegmatics may make them more likely to experience chronic low grade depression (or dysthymia); while Cholerics are said to struggle more with anger and to be achievement driven and thus depressed if they are not meeting their own goals; and finally Melancholics give away in the very name of their humor that their sensitive and perfectionistic natures lead them to be vulnerable to deep sadness.

On the Ptypes site, there is a correlation of temperaments and personality styles, which I've posted before, which also says:

  •  Sanguine & Artisan is "The Hypomanic Personality" (anxious or mildly manic)
  •  Phlegmatic & Guardian: "The Depressive Personality"
  • Choleric & Rational: "The Anesthetic Personality" (insensitive) 
  • Melancholic & Idealist: "The Hyperesthetic Personality" (overly sensitive) 

It seems to follow that Robin's creative gifts came with an almost hypomania (though again we don't really know his diagnosis).  More people are on the bipolar scale than only having unipolar depression also.  Those who are on the bipolar scale tend to have even worse depression.  So even though sanguines are said to have less depression, what if when they do it's actually worse?

If you've read the DYT post about Robin Williams, it is stated essentially that mental illness comes from not living true to your type.  First off, if there was anyone who lived absolutely true to their nature it would seem to have been Robin, the very essence of a Type 1 animated sanguine being.  There is no way to know the full story of his mental and physical illnesses without being his medical provider.  We also cannot know what treatment and healing he sought and integrated over the years.  It seems to be agreed that he was depressed and had Parkinson's according to his wife. He had also had major heart surgery. He was also a recovering alcoholic and reportedly sober at the time, though had been to treatment multiple times, the latest after his last TV series was cancelled.  Even though we still can't really know his truth, that is a lot on one person's plate.  It seems limited and simplistic to attribute this tragedy to whether he was in line with his true nature adequately.

One of my friends in the color community said I could share her statement: 

"Ideally when our minds, hearts, bodies and emotions are clear, aligning with our inner truth can be possible. Unfortunately there are many people with mental illness who due to their illness cannot access that place within themselves. The illness gets in the way and for some people willpower is not even enough. Of course there are always a few people with less severity in their symptoms who may be able to do that but to generalize that all people with mental illness would be able to do that would be like telling someone with a broken leg to run a marathon. What would seem like an empowering path could be considered disempowering which could make a mental illness worse. Hope is not a bad thing to have but it takes so much in terms of internal resources to access a path of inner truth that even a person without mental illness would be overwhelmed. Fear, beliefs, stress, and other factors can block the ability to find inner truth. Honoring people who can't access it is important."

I think this also raises a whole series of questions about assumptions we make about the temperaments that diminish them or put them into boxes that are too small.  With regard to the sanguine nature, and the lightness they are gifted at bringing, does that mean they can never be heavy, or down, or sad?  That is ridiculous.  But if you don't think about it, isn't it sort of a lazy implication?  I have had many sanguine clients in my office who are anything but glib or happy in the moment they are processing something deeply.

I guess what I'm also saying here is that your type can actually have it's specific susceptibilities.  And actually, I feel that the advice to live in line with your authentic nature is a bit limited.  In part, knowing your true nature may make you need to counterbalance certain aspects of your tendencies, as a part of your healing.  In fact, that is a part of the overall DYT message, I just think it got sorely truncated in the tribute post.

In my post with excerpts from Dr. Haushka's Awakening Beauty, I share how she mentions that each temperament has a "positive and negative pole" which we need to balance.  So, for example, sanguines have an all or nothing quality, sometimes lacking connection to their body, if they are moving between many points of focus, and vigorous exercise keeps them grounded and strengthens the nervous system; and  phlegmatics can become sedentary and bored, and should of course avoid phlegm and stagnation causing dairy and take up hobbies that are uplifting and inspiring; while  cholerics' firey nature, which can lead to frustration and anger, benefits from attention paid to relaxation and avoiding spicy foods and alcohol; and finally melancholics tend to worry and wallow at their worst, and live in their heads moreso than their body as well, they need to work on warming their body with their food choices and keeping active.

So I think living in accordance with your type is certainly the goal, but that has to mean living in the healthiest manner with both your gifts and your tendencies towards specific imbalances caused by your nature.

A few notes on his Human Design  & Astrology 
As a Generator Aura Type (see his chart below), Robin's motor was the Sacral center and it looks like he had Emotional Authority.  His head, ajna, throat and G centers were open.  Having an open head and ajna probably made him very open to inspiration and variety in the way he thought, and having an open throat certainly seems to have contributed to his amazing ability to not only speak a lot, but quickly and with so many different characters and voices.

Karen Curry shared in her email newsletter about Robin Williams' Human Design.  One thing she emphasized was his open G center. (Note below that his is white, rather than yellow).   She wrote: "When the G-center is undefined (colored in white on the chart), it is very common for people to question their own lovability.  Often people with an open G also struggle with self-awareness.  It's quite possible that Robin had no clue how deeply loved and adored he was."
His full human design chart.

Robin had a cardinal Tsquare in his chart, which usually show major karmic challenges.  Where Jupiter and Neptune were in opposition, both squared by his Mars.  In Cardinal T-squares "...impulsiveness is a prominent feature. Planets in Cardinal signs feel a need to act immediately. Patience is not a priority here. The Cardinal T-Square tends to be the most active of the T-Squares, although not the most productive. Coercing the three placements to work together can be the challenge. The nature is for each energy to do its own thing, causing conflicts and disjointed activities to become the main focus." source

According to Matthew Currie, on Robin's chart: "Moon in sensitive Pisces opposite Venus in Virgo. A Moon in Pisces is sensitive enough to life’s discomforts as it is, without any oppositions. The Moon’s ruler was Neptune, and Robin’s Neptune was in the 12th house. This is always the mark of someone who could stand to have some form of spiritual retreat in his life. It seems unlikely that the nature of his busy Hollywood lifestyle would allow for that sort of thing a lot, although he did end up in rehab a few times. The potential for something alone does not guarantee it will definitely happen. There was more to this suicide then simply indicators of depression in the birth chart. There were difficult transits happening when he died..."
Read this article by Matthew Currie about his astrology:
Here is Astrolada's comments also: http://www.astrolada.com/robin-williams-astrology-perspective

... but hey, don't listen to me, EXPRESS YOUR TRUTH! Jane


All the categories explored here!

12 Seasonal Palette Makeovers 12 Seasonal Palettes Autumns 12 Seasonal Palettes Springs 12 Seasonal Palettes Summers 12 Seasonal Palettes Winters 12 seasons 16 Color System 24 seasons 3 in 30 Challenge 365grateful 4 humors acceptance acceptance and change access accessories adjectives advanced style aeppli Air air hair air signs air style Alyce Parsons analytical Angel Angela Wright anger Animal Prints apple body shape apps Archetypes artisan soul arty-offbeat asian ASTRO-TYPE STYLE REPORT AstroFaces Astrolada Astrology astrology collages astrology ebook astrology look-alikes astrology planets aura Aura Reading for Jane authentic happiness Autumn autumn jewelry Autumn personalities Awakening Beauty banana BANGS Battle of Star Wars and Star Trek Beauty beauty code Beauty for All Seasons beauty for you before DYT BFAS Bill and Tom Kaulitz bitstrips black Blacks blogoversary blue steel body color guide body colors body shape body shapes body types bold book summaries Books Borg Brain Types bright spring bright winter bright winter jewelry brown Butler button nose cafe press Callaway capsule wardrobe Carole Jackson casual cats Cayce Caygill celebrities celebrity eyes chakras change change your clothes characters child whisperer Childhood children Chinese Elements Chinese Elements and Chinese Face Reading Chinese Face Reading Cho Choleric Choleric Rabbit chroma classic-elegant clear spring clear spring jewelry clear spring vs clear winter clear winter clear winter jewelry closet closet apps Closet Draping clothes refashion CMAS Cognitive Functions color Color Alliance color analysis timeline color analysts Color for Body and Soul Color Me a Season Color Me Beautiful color me beautiful uk color meanings color oops color palettes color profiles Color Psychology color symbolism Color Systems color tester color theory color wheel Color With Style colors by seasons colors for signs Colors from my eye colors from your eye colorstrology compassion compassionate competence concave Conflict confused consultants map Contrast Contrasting Azure Summer contrasting summer convex Cookie Lee cool cool summer Cool Summer 30 Day Challenge cool summer jewelry cool summer lipstick cool summer vs cool winter cool vs. warm cool winter cool winter jewelry coral Core Essensce Blueprinting core values cosmetic tattooing cosmetics crystals curve curviplex Dario Nardi dark autumn dark autumn jewelry dark autumn vs dark winter dark winter dark winter jewelry dbt deep autumn deep winter deep winter jewelry deep winter soft depression determining face shape Dilemma DISC DISC and DYT diy couture Dominant Functions Donner downloads Dr. Hauscka Dragon Princess Dramatic dramatic-exotic drapes draping dream light Dressing Your Truth Dye dynamic dyt DYT and DISC early springs earrings Earth earth hair earth signs earth style Earthy/Rich eBook elea blake Elements Elsa Klensch energetics Energetics of Jewelry energy enneagram enthusiast entrance Essence Essential Colors 5 Elements System Essential Oils evening wear exotic-dramatic Eye Diagrams eye drape eye pics Eye Types eyebrows Eyes Eyeshadow EYT Facebook Group fabric face reading Face Shape facebook fast Facebook Groups Faces of Jane facial features facial profiles Facial Profiling Fae Fairy Tale family fan books fans Fantastical Beauty faq Fashion and Mental Health fashion apps Fashion Astrology fashion code Fashion Feng Shui Fashion Feng Shui Quizzes Fashion for the Soul fast fashion feminine-romantic feminity Feng Shui Appearance Elements figure 8 figure types filters Find Your Perfect Shade find your season fingernails Fire fire hair fire light fire signs fire style First Base flip flops Food Cravings FORUMS Foundation four humors Four or Twelve? four type systems freckles free downloads friend gems glasses Goddesses gods and goddesses grandparents gratitude greek greek nose green closet green eyes hair hair and eyes hair by season hair by the signs hair color hair for air hair for earth hair for fire hair for water Hair Ideas Halloween hawk nose healing height Heritage Hiatus High School Hispanics history of color analysis hometown horses Host a Mary Kay Party hourglass How do you find your self how not to wear black how systems differ how to photograph your eye how to take eye pics how to wear black Human Design Human Design Channels Humors hypnosis iconoclast IlluminEssensce IlluminEssensce Cosmetics Imogen Lamport India Arie INFJ ingenue inner child inspiration intention intuition Intuitive Reading for Jane Invent Your Image Irenee Riter iridology jeans jeans by style Jennifer Butler Jesse and Joe jewelry jewelry shape Jeweltone Summer Justine Leconte Kati L Moore Kaulitz twins Kentner Kibbe Kitchener Ladee Lyon lavender lemon Life in Color light spring light spring jewelry light spring vs light summer light spring vs soft autumn light summer light summer jewelry light summer lipstick Limbo lineal linear links lip drape lip samples lippies Lipstick Lively/Bright look-alikes love styles Lucky Guide Maenad Magic Queen makeover assists Makeovers by Mary Kay makeup makeup samples man manicure marianne williamson Mary Kate and Ashley Mary Kay Eyeshadow Mary Kay I am no longer a Rep Mary Kay Makeup by season Mary Kay makeup by skin tone masculinity MBTI MBTI and Seasons mbti and type McJimsey media Melancholic Melancholic Eeyore men mens color and style Mermaid Metal mindful of our makeup mindfulness modesty mom mood Moon morning light morphology Morton My Astrology my DISC My Face My Favorite iPhone Apps My husband Greg my janeaology My Relationship my season My Smile my type my zyla colors nail polish nails names of seasons necklaces necklines neutrals new glasses and hair New Years Nine Star Ki Number Northrup noses not so girly numerology Nymph Oakland Olsen twins OOTD outlyers oval oval face overleaves overleaves Jane Padma Painterly Photoshops palette palette draping palettes paperdolls parenting pattern Paulos pear body shape Peggy perfectionism Personal Style Counselors personal updates personalit vs temperament personality personality plus Pflaumer ph and Women's Health Phlegmatic Phlegmatic Winnie the Pooh photo camera lenses photoshop alternatives physical traits pinterest Planetary Influence on Appearance and Personality planets plus size plus size dramatic plus size shopping political satire polyvore presidents profile profiles prom PSC psychopathy pure purpose purposeful color Question from reader quiz quotes rabbit hole radiance reader comment readers comment recognizing people Red for everyone redheads reflections reinventing your wardrobe Research Rising Sign Appearance Riter Rohm roman nose Romantic rosemary Round Round Face Shape Sanguine Sanguine Roo Sanguine Tigger Scarlett Johansson scarves Sci Art Science of Personal Dress season and style season comparisons season jewelry Seasonal Color Analysis systems seasonal color palette products seasons seasons in styles seasons vs types Second Base Secondary Energies Seer Segerstrom self-deprication self-esteem self-love semantics Serrahna seven soul type faces sewing sexy-alluring shaded Shape Energetics shapes shoe refashion shoes shop by color Shop Online short hair signacard Silhouette Sinclaire sizing charts skin tone Skin Tones by Season Smiles socionics socionix soft autumn soft autumn jewelry soft autumn vs soft summer Soft or Cool Summer Soft Summer soft summer deep soft summer jewelry soft summer lipstick soft winter Songer Soul Collage soul essences soul tone spirituality sporty-casual Spray Paint for Leather Spring spring jewelry Spring personality spruce Standish Star star light Star Trek Star Wars steiner strawberry Striking/Contrast stripes style style consult style icons Style Like U Style Secondaries styles Subtle/Blended Summer summer jewelry Summer Makeup Summer personality Sun sunglasses swatch books swatches Sweets system T4 tailoring Taylore B. Sinclaire teens Temperament temperament blends temperament vs personality testimonial texture Thanksgiving The Beatles Astrology The Four Temperaments or Humors Third Base Three T4 Daughters tie dye Tigger is Intense Sanguine Tokio Hotel Tone I Tone I Jewelry Tone I Pants Tone I Scarves Tone I Shirts Tone I Shoes Tone I Skirts Tone II Tone II Jewelry Tone II Pants Tone II Scarves Tone II Shoes Tone II Skirts Tone III Tone III Jewelry Tone III Pants Tone III Scarves Tone III Shirts Tone III Shoes Tone III Skirts Tone IV Tone IV Jewelry Tone IV Pants Tone IV Scarves Tone IV Shirts Tone IV Shoes Tone IV Skirts Transformational Triad transits traveling true true autumn true spring true summer true winter Truth turned up nose twins Type 1 Type 1 more sophisticated Type 2 Type 2 not so girly Type 2 or 4 Type 3 Type 3 not so crass not so brass Type 4 Type 4 not so bold type and style type order type wounding types and tones types vs. seasons tziporah salamon universal colors universal style unlocking your beauty code Unusual Seasons use swatches vacation Valkryrie vanity sizing videos Vision Boards waldorf warm warm autumn warm autumn jewelry warm spring warm spring jewelry warm spring vs warm autumn Water water hair water signs water style Wearing Black whatsitscolor widow's peak Willi Aeppli Winter winter jewelry Winter personality Women of Color Wood wounding Wright Wright Subordinates yin and yang youtube yuku Zyla Zyla Dramatic Zyla Essence Zyla First Base Zyla Romantic Zyla Second Base Zyla Third Base

check out my other blogs:

check out my other blogs:

My Blogs

Street style

Street style

Street Style

other style blogs:

other style blogs:

Other Blogs

Expressing Your Truth Polyvore