Temperament Compatibility

Please Understand Me II – The Book that Changed My Life

Do you believe that a book could change your life? I do; here’s one that changed mine. It’s called Please Understand Me and it has two versions. The version I read is the second version, Please Understand Me II.

Book Change Life

Is the change in me for the better? I can’t tell. I must have lost something if I benefited from the book because that’s the way it works. I cannot put my finger on what I lost so it must have been something much less important than what I gained.

FingerEvery Relationship You Have Is Different

I was in a deep depression because a precious friendship with a like-minded male friend had ended. It was a kind of perfect friendship journey that only happens once in one’s lifetime. It came to an end because we were too young and because I had not read this relationship book.

Too Young

Sometimes when you are sad about finishing a love relationship it’s not because you are still in love with him/her, rather, because you don’t understand how and why it has ended.

Why End

You always think you can learn from your previous failures if you know the reasons and move on to the next relationship. However love is never guaranteed to work out the next time either, simply because the next love relationship is different, the next person is different. You don’t understand who he/she is from your point of view.

Next one is different

Please Understand Me II” taught me to understand others better. I am the same person, the other person is unchanged; but by applying what I learnt in the book, I can understand the other person better. It makes for happier relationships in every aspect of my life, not just the romance side.

Each individual has his or her own path and destiny to fulfil. I see what I gain and I appreciate it. I know that real life is imperfect, so I am content in my lack of perfection and at least my memory is of perfection, like in the movie “The Favourite Game”. The number of friends other people have around are their victories but just like Canada’s tranquillity, without such crowds, I’m content with what I have and what I have had; those memories are my fortune, my treasure.


Thinking about Temperament Compatibility

So, to the book. It has a Temperament Sorter. When you try the short-cut and use the Sorter, you usually get an inaccurate image of yourself because you do not yet truly understand the questions and answers; perhaps you don’t even know yourself! You won’t really know yourself until you thoroughly read this relationship book a few times and in great detail.

Keirsey’s Major Breakthrough

By the way, I would point out a major difference between Keirsey Intelligence Types and the popular Myers-Briggs Psychological Function Types to make sure that we are talking about the same “types”. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator contributed to Keirsey’s theory, yet it’s imperfect and Keirsey corrected and detailed it in a way that makes Keirsey’s more worthwhile. I have to say that to this point Keirsey’s contribution is enormous.

Keirsey believes that there are only two types of basic human actions: how we communicate with each other, and how we use tools to accomplish our goals - that we are concrete or abstract in our word usage, and either utilitarian or cooperative in our choice and use of tools.
This idea of defining personality differs from the Myers-Briggs point of view because Keirsey refers to what can be observed – words and tools. It sets Myer-Briggs’ and Keirsey’s views of personality rather far apart. 
While Myer-Briggs assumed that personality could be pieced together from independent elements, Keirsey believes that personality comes about not by an integration of elements, but by differentiation within an already integrated whole, emerging gradually as an individuated configuration.

The Most Important Take-Away

If you want to save a vital love relationship from failure or if you want to grow and keep a successful love relationship when it is just starting it is very helpful for you or better still you and your partner to both read this relationship book.

When you have question marks as to why some of your previous love relationships have ended in similar ways, it is important for you to understand who you are attracted to, why you are attracted and why these relationships ended.

AttractionPeople are Different

The author’s main idea is that people are different! You can’t say that someone is odd just because he or she is different from you! People deserve to be respected for what they are. It is a good start if you know who you are and know your image in others’ eyes. You can’t change yourself, but if you know your own character you know how to do others the least harm by keeping them at the best distance. “Harm” can be anything that makes others feel uncomfortable or sad.

Understand Others

Once you understand yourself, then the next step for you is to understand others. You may be proud of your spontaneous actions, but you need to come to understand that some of your uninvited surprise visits make reserved people uncomfortable rather than happy.

You will understand why some people are so demonstrative while some others sound cold. You will understand that if you happen to fall in love with the latter then you are always going to crave a bit more open affection from your partner. You will come to understand that love cannot be measured by sweetness; the hidden feelings are probably the deepest. Your partner could also feel uncomfortable with your constant expressions of affection.


This book changed my life. I learnt that I am an artistic idealist with guardian and rational influences. I was able to analyse my past love relationships and came to realise how little understanding there was in any of them. I do believe that if I had read Please Understand Me II earlier in my life then my relationships might have worked out differently.

Change Your Life

Min Min

Min Min has enjoyed observing people since her 20s and has noticed 3 temperament patterns that match Keirsey’s theory that she read later in life. She has an innate sense of people’s personalities that helps her to understand others better.

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  1. Your letter was the perfect thing for me at this time in my life. Thank you for taking the time to write such a heartfelt piece.

    Ever since I can remember, I have always had a curiosity for this deep inner knowing of “Self”. This all consuming and magnificent obsession has driven me to find new answers about human behavior. I recently ran across the “Please Understand Me 2” book and found that I was a Champion/Healer Idealist temperament.

    I am struggling at the moment with a similar feeling of loneliness and alienation. I live in one of the most conservative and traditional areas in the country and find myself constantly curious about others behavior.

    I ended up marrying a traditional Provider Guardian and have just really realized that I have tried to change her for the last 7 years of our marriage. I am deeply longing for connection and a “soul mate”, an understanding and a genuine sense that I am known (as described in the Idealist mates profile).

    How do I deal with the fact that the person I am with doesn’t understand or maybe even isn’t possible of understanding what I am longing for in a connection with her? When I bring it up or try to communicate in any way it is perceived that we are just different and maybe not meant for each other.

    I am at a loss and feel like you may have some insights about relationships dealing with this sort of dilemma. Specifically, about the internal struggles of the Idealist understanding the specific temperament of their mates, but resentful that their perceived notion cannot reciprocate the understanding. I guess what I want to know is, what do we do now that we know more about ourselves and the motivations that drive our sense of self. How can I address the loneliness?

  2. Loneliness is probably a lifelong feeling being with you. Only other like-minded people are possible of understanding you. Try to make friends with those who are like you.

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