My brother and I each took the Personality Profile Test and then added up our results to determine our colors, which indicate underlying motivation. My score revealed that I am a BLUE, driven by intimacy. Subordinate factors for me include giver, relationships, purpose, quality, service goals, loyalty, sincerity and thoughtfulness. My brother’s score placed him as a RED. The main motivator for him is power, with sub-aspects of moving things along, productivity, vision, leadership, responsibility, decisiveness, pro-activeness and assertiveness.
To begin with, both of these results seem to me to be accurate. I believe myself to be much more relationship-oriented, conflict-adverse, service-minded, and a giver. My brother likes to be a leader, exert power over others, and feel in control. We are very different in this regard, because although I like to see progress made, I prefer to work behind the scenes with others while my brother wants to be out front giving orders. This has been true since we were young, as he would run for student body president and other offices, while I organized people to make posters and banners for him. He was in front of the scenes showing power and decisiveness while I was behind the scenes motivating people based on purpose and the benefits to them.

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Beyond doubt I am much more of a giver than is my brother. I will stop what I am doing to go help someone, whereas he puts his own needs first. When friends call and need rides or help with something, they know I will always come through. These same friends are often afraid to ask favors of my brother, because they see him as too busy to bother, or just expect he will say no. I also believe that he does not take into consideration others feelings nearly as much as I do. He has berated our sister in public and left me to pick up the pieces. I do not think he even realizes he is being mean, he just thinks that she has not performed to his standards and that he is being truthful with her. For me this is very painful to watch and bothers me tremendously.

One interesting similarity is that both of us are over-achievers. We both do want to get things done, and actually I think I am more effective than he is in some ways. My brother tends to procrastinate and then grab people at the last minute to help him out with things, at no real benefit to themselves. I always do things ahead of time and mostly by myself. If I need help, I approach people early, and always try to show some benefit for them in doing whatever it is I am doing. I volunteer for church and charity work much more than my brother does, although he will come—but he always makes sure that people see he is there. He also is sure to tell others of his good deeds, in order to get recognition for them that add to his reputation (as if doing the charitable act is not enough in itself). For example, recently we helped package meals for the homeless. My brother took pictures of himself doing this and made sure that everyone he knew saw them. I think he believes it enhances his image of power to be shown doing something charitable, whereas I do those things merely to help others.

Even our attitudes toward pets is different. My brother is not mean to pets, but is not very affectionate with them and gets annoyed if they need anything (food, water, being let out). On the other hand, I cuddle with my pet all the time and love to take it for walks just for fun. Although it is not listed as a characteristic, I think my brother is much more selfish than I am, and definitely more self-interested. This plays out in his level of intimacy with others. My brother has numerous associates, but I think he has very few real friends. In fact, if he wants to talk about something personal, he usually avoids doing it, but if he has to he will talk to me. On the other hand, I have a core group of at least ten people that I either see or talk to on a daily basis about all sorts of topics, from feelings to politics, to music and movies. My brother may be perceived as the more dominant of the two of us, but if push came to shove I really think I have more loyal friends that would help me out as opposed to him, who leads in a way by intimidation.

I think that, as far as communication goes, my brother’s need for power makes his communication much more superficial and task-driven. If he does talk to someone, it is because he needs something. Rarely does he open up and show vulnerability. It is kind of sad, but someone who has led so many organizations and given motivating speeches before crowds has actually told me that he feels envious of me. This is because he knows that I can call people at any time of the day or night if something is bothering me to talk about it, and vice versa. As shown in the earlier example with our sister, my brother’s confrontation style is brusque whereas I am much more of a conciliator. My brother will issue ultimatums, like he did recently to a girl who had been in one of his clubs for several years. She was saying some things that were offensive, and he told her in front of the group to be quiet or she would be kicked out of the organization. I was not present, but had I been I would have approached her quietly and asked her if she was upset about something, giving her the opportunity to get off her chest what was bothering her. What she was saying was not appropriate, but in deference to her years with the group I believe she should have been given a chance to explain or reconsider rather than scolded publicly.

In sum, both my brother and I are doers. We both get things done. He does so visibly, with fanfare and attention to himself, while I do so behind the scenes with consideration towards others. Our overall perspectives are quite different, as he is self-motivated and I am concerned about others more than myself. In the end, I recognize the need for powerful decision-makers, but I believe being a RED can take a toll on one’s ability to be intimate and vulnerable, leaving people like my brother feeling somewhat isolated and alone amidst a sea of followers. I am much more satisfied being a BLUE, because I feel my relationships are based on reciprocity and genuine caring.