Are you Surrounded by Idiots?

We’re all surrounded by idiots.

This is the tongue in cheek declaration by Thomas Erikson, author of the international bestseller Surrounded by Idiots… so don’t take it personally Yellows! In a saturated market of self-help books, Surrounded by Idiots is an easy-going read for those who want to understand their fellow humans.

Similar to concepts that inspired personality tests such as Myers-Briggs and DISC, Swedish behavioral expert Thomas Erikson categorizes people into 4 distinct colors (Red, Blue, Yellow and Green) with associated unique character traits. Using a mix of real life experiences and theoretical behavioral studies, Erikson attempts to give you the tools to not only understand those around you but to influence them too.

This book is definitely one for the reading list if you’ve ever asked yourself ‘why don’t they get me?’. So, without giving away too much of the book (and hopefully not get into any copyright trouble!), below is a quick outline of each personality type.

Why is he so pushy?

Direct, goal-orientated, decisive, impatient and ambitious are all common character traits of a Red. Who turns a playful office 5-a-side game into an all out serious competitive event? A Red. Who is happy when a meeting that was scheduled for 30 minutes only lasts 15 minutes? A Red. Who is confused when a colleague is upset after giving them negative feedback when they were asked for their honest feedback? A Red.

Remind you of anyone? 🙂

Why is she reading the IKEA instructions AGAIN?

Perfectionist, logical, distant, critical and thoughtful are all traits of a Blue. There’s nothing more satisfying to a Blue than being methodical. Details, details, details. Blues can’t get enough! We could all use a bit more Blue in our lives.

Why does he never stop talking?

If you know a friend who captures an audience’s attention or who could sell water to a fish, then you know a Yellow. Enthusiastic, creative, talkative and outgoing are characteristics of Yellows. Great to be around if you’re low on energy, Yellows can bring you up to their natural high with their outgoing and friendly nature.

She never forgets my birthday

Patient, loyal, thoughtful, kind and considerate. We all know a Green. Greens are considered the best team players as a result of their desire to keep everyone around them happy. Never one to want to let team members down, when a Green says they’ll do something, you can rest assured that it’ll be done.

Chameleons – it’s in our nature

Generally people are a mix of colors and it’s certainly not a one size fits all concept. By this I mean that people can have varying personalities. Personally, I’m a mix of Green and Red in the office but at home the Red side of me can’t help but show its face (apologies to my better half and family for that one!). Conversely, at social gatherings I can be a Yellow and when fulfilling my role as a Data Scientist, I’m a Blue.

While some may be against playing the ‘social game’, we all do it. Whether it’s consciously or sub-consciously, we adjust our personalities in different situations depending on the scene and setting – so we may as well understand each other a little more and stop thinking we’re surrounded by idiots.

If you’re interested in finding out what color you are, here’s a link to the test.

And here’s a link to buy the book. Happy reading!

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