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Who's In The Skin?

By AYANNA CLARKE

When doing some shopping just last week I overheard the statement: "My spirit really took to her!"

Amazingly enough, the listener rebutted, "Really? To this day, I don't take to her at all!"

I smiled to myself, thinking how I would love to meet this person, to see just what was so great, or not, about her.

In Bahamian culture, we use the phrase "my spirit takes to someone" to admit that the personalities involved either meshed well or were totally at odds with each other.

Availability or incident may be what first draws us to a new friend, but what lies underneath all that, the disposition at the core of the person, is what will strengthen or weaken the bond.

Personality is defined as the patterns of thinking and behaviour that set you apart or make you different from someone else.

You'll find that a deeper understanding of personality types, and the ideals of personality factors will help as you hire staff, organise a study group, understand your bossy big sister or just meet different persons from day to day.

Studies have shown that each individual has a blend of five important traits that make them uniquely loveable. They are:

1. The availability factor - Do you know someone who is completely against trying anything new? Or perhaps someone who is always up for anything?

2. The political correctness factor - Do you have a family member that you can't take anywhere? They just say the first thing that comes to their mind? It can be funny sometimes, but at other times, not so much.

3. The restore/recharge factor - Who is it in your circle that seems to gain energy from being the life of the party? Who often goes off to themselves and comes back energised and full of life?

4. The getting along factor - Which of your friends will earn the congeniality prize because they get along with everyone? Which of your friends won't?

5. The negativity factor - Do you know someone who will always see the negative before they see the positive about others? Do you find yourself a bit sadder, heavier after you leave their presence?

A mixture of these five traits defines every person on the planet. In many ways, we are alike but there is always a nuance or inkling of difference that ensures no temperament is cloned.

Can personalities be changed? Can we switch certain things about ourselves to make us different? What do you believe? Some agree that while we can change our behaviour to suit a particular scenario, who we are at the core can't be changed. When completing this survey years ago, the overriding response was: "Only Jesus can change them!"

Our series is not to change you, only you can decide what factors need to be strengthened in order to grow and improve upon yourself. Our series is certainly not about making you change your circle of friends. Although it is said that opposites attract, I am of the firm belief that there must be an underlying similarity that draws us to someone or keeps us connected to persons over a long period of time. Amos asks the question, "Can two walk together if they haven't first agreed on a direction?"

I wholeheartedly believe our truest Christian endeavour must be to reach others beyond what we see; loving beyond our limited point of view.

Let's take a look beyond the outer appearance. Let's not judge the quick smiles as a great personality; or negate the sombre countenance as a bad personality.

A look at "who's in the skin" focuses keenly on the traits that make each person special and how knowing that particular person can enrich and empower our lives.

God bless you this week!

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