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The Color Code: A New Way To See Yourself, Your Relationships, And Life

The Color Code: A New Way To See Yourself, Your Relationships, And Life

4.5 14
by Taylor Hartman, Jean Hartman (Foreword by)

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Go ahead, take the test, and find out what makes you (and others) tick. By answering the 45-question personality profile, you will no doubt gain insight and illumination that will start you out on a thrilling journey of self-discovery while


Go ahead, take the test, and find out what makes you (and others) tick. By answering the 45-question personality profile, you will no doubt gain insight and illumination that will start you out on a thrilling journey of self-discovery while you:
* Identify your primary color
* Read others easily and accurately
* Discover what your primary motivators are
* Identify and develop your natural strengths and transform your weaknesses
* Improve your relationships with yourself and others
* Enhance your business performance
The Color Code will, quite simply, change your life. It is guaranteed to make a difference in every relationship you have, starting with the relationship you have with yourself.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
According to Hartman, a Utah psychologist and business seminar leader who previously self-published this book, the romantic conflicts in Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind occur because Scarlett, a Red (power wielder) is in love with Ashley, an incompatible Blue (do-gooder) but loved by Rhett, a Yellow (fun-lover), whose passion a Red can never return. Melanie, a trusting White (peacemaker), suspects nothing. This assessment is based on a color-code system created by the author that simplistically reduces human personalities to four color categories; his book includes a Personality Profile test that supposedly reveals personality types. Hartman details the strengths and weaknesses of each type and recommends ways of applying this knowledge to develop trusting personal and work relationships, along with suggestions on building character. Useful only if you accept these silly personality classifications. (Jan.)
Library Journal
It's become commonplace: a book is self-published, sells a bundle (in this case, 250,000 copies), and then gets snapped up by a big publisher. Hartman helps us sort out personality types by motivation rather than behavior.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Every woman who has given birth to more than one child would tell you that each comes with a unique personality at birth.


Every child is born with a unique set of personality traits. Ask any woman who has given birth to two or more children and she will attest to the fact that while still in the womb her children showed marked differences in their behavior. One "demands" more room to move, chews on the umbilical cord, and refuses to accept a variety of foods Mom selects. Another settles in quietly, pleased there is no bed to make or food to cook, and thinks, "Hey, maybe I can get a twelve-month ride out of the old girl!"

Everyone knows that no two sets of fingerprints are alike. How could we possibly believe that human personalities are any less individual than fingerprints?

There are psychologists who theorize that a child's personality is not completely formed until the age of five. Others go further -- they say personality develops slowly through a lifelong process of discovery and maturation. I disagree. I think when some of my colleagues use the word personality they really mean "personal history."

I believe that each personality is complete at conception and comes in the soul of every child. It is present along with various genetically inherited traits, such as hair color and blood type, although personality itself is not inherited from one's parents. Nor is it shaped by environment. Science has not yet discovered all the factors that determine our prenatal makeup. But this should not deter us from using what we do know to improve ourselves and our relationships.

Personality is a solid core of traits reflecting the unique essence of a particular human being.

Personality is a solid core of traits reflecting the unique essence of a particular human being. Attempts by social scientists to explain personality in terms of genetics or environmental influences merely limit our understanding of the true nature of personality. By confining themselves to the old nature versus nurture argument, such attempts to explain personality doom themselves to failure. Personality is not black and white. Personality is a kaleidoscope. We can understand personality -- and ourselves -- only by opening our eyes to a Whole new kind of understanding.

Since the beginning of time, humans have been trying to learn what it is that makes them tick. Greek myths abound with spellbinding stories of men and women who were changed by their interactions with one or more of the gods. Such mythology was an early way of trying to explain personality. The suggestion was that people had unique strengths and limitations because of the influence of deities. Astrologers embraced the twelve signs of the zodiac as the determining factors in personality, substituting planetary power for the powers of the gods. Chinese tradition associated personality with the year a child was born.

Later theoreticians turned to the environment to explain personality differences. They categorized personalities according to four dominant aspects of nature -- earth, air, fire, and water. This theory of the elements provides us with an interesting starting point from which to proceed in our understanding of personality. It is simple, it is memorable, and it is rooted in fertile historical ground. I'll expand on this idea later. For the moment, the important thing to understand is that, from my point of view, your personality is formed before you take your first breath.

Now let's explore the meaning of personality. What does it do? How does it affect our lives?

Personality is not black and white.
Personality is a kaleidoscope.


Some people see the world through rose-colored glasses. Others see it through dark glasses. But we can't try on personalities the way we try on glasses. Personality is built in.

Your personality determines whether you are easily depressed, casual, formal, careful, or carefree. It determines whether you are passive or assertive. Do you dash off at the last minute for an appointment, or always arrive with time to spare? Do you prefer deep, meaningful conversations, or would you rather dance the night away? Are you most comfortable being entertained, or do you prefer to entertain others? Your personality is the key to how you react to these and all other situations. Your personality is more than just an "attitude." It is what causes you to act and react the way you do.


Personality is that core of thoughts and feelings inside you that tells you how to conduct yourself. It's a checklist of responses based on strongly held values and beliefs. It directs your emotional as well as your rational reactions to every life experience. It even determines which type of reaction -- emotional or cerebral -- you're likely to have in any given situation. Personality is an active process within each person's heart and mind that dictates how he or she feels, thinks, and behaves.

You can never change your core color.
Learn to nurture your strengths and overcome your limitations.
Perhaps the greatest human tragedy of all
is watching someone abandon their innate personality
and simply discard themselves
along the side of life's road.

Your personality watches over and guards you like a parent. Without clear-cur personality traits to mark our paths through life, we would become lost. This is what personality fears most. It is what makes you different from everyone else, and so it is rigid and quite resistant to change. Personality protects itself. It does not easily venture our to experience or understand other types of personalities. It accepts you -- that is, itself -- quite readily but is much less flexible with others. And, as sometimes happens between parents and children, your personality may give you problems from time to time. But let an outsider do or say something threatening, and our personality, like a parent, reacts defensively and lashes out.

Personality points each of us in a particular direction and makes us feel uncomfortable when we deviate from it. The moment we stray from its prescribed plan, it makes us feel disoriented. When we try to deny or explain away unusual thought processes, we feel emotional fatigue and a vague sense of fear. We suffer spiritual pain that we cannot understand. We feet confused and overwhelmed by our inability to figure out our seemingly irrational behavior.

I believe that life is the most entertaining journey of all.
It can be a better journey than you ever dreamed,
if you know where you've been and where you're going.

For each of us, the core of our personality -- its type, the direction in which it points us -- is vitally important in explaining us to our ourselves. Without it, we would be truly lost. Each of us needs a personal code of behavior, a personality, but it makes for rough going if we want to change, to grow. And if we do not understand our personalities well enough to exert some control, we can never grow into healthier, happier human beings.


Sadly, few of us really know the reasons why we think and act as we do -- perhaps none of us ever finds complete answers. Still, we can try. For many people, their own personality is the greatest mystery of all. They are puzzled and frustrated when they do not understand the basis for their actions and reactions. Trying to understand our personalities is the only way to grow. Step by step, bit by bit, we can gather enough knowledge about ourselves to begin to take control of our lives. I believe that life is the most exciting journey of all. It can be a better journey than you ever dreamed, if you know where you've been and where you're going.

This book is designed to guide you in your journey of self-discovery. Knowledge is power. The knowledge you gain from this book will give you the power to change your behavior, if you so choose, and to understand the behavior of others.

Trying to understand our personalities is the only way to grow.


Let's return to the idea that the elements can be used as a metaphor for personality. Thousands of years ago, when the "known elements" were earth, air, fire, and water, it was thought that there were also four distinct personality types. In this book I will borrow and expand upon the ancients' metaphor. In my color code, fire becomes the color Red, Blue reflects the earth, White represents water, and air is symbolized by Yellow.

Each color stands for a collection of traits, strengths, and limitations. But far from being limited to explaining only individual personalities, this color symbolism also clarifies relationships between people and the impact that various personalities have on one another.

In order to understand the power of interactions among the four personality types, we can carry the nature analogy one step further. Earth without water is parched and desolate. And fire cannot exist without air. Symbolically, we see that each personality can best define itself through its relationships with other personalities.

You should understand that the four primary personalities identified with the four colors are the personality types found in every culture in the world, in every age group, in every religion, race, and sex. They belong to and describe everyone. They identify innate strengths as well as innate limitations. They influence every action and reaction.

Of course, every person develops unique strengths and weaknesses -- this makes for numerous variations within the four primary color groups. Also, some behavior patterns are not caused by inherent personality at all but instead reflect cultural biases -- such as, for instance, the submissive role played by women in some countries. We must always look beyond culturally induced behavior to see the innate, natural personality of any individual.

Despite variations and exceptions, however, we can each identify most clearly with only one of the personality colors. If we can each find our own personal color, learn its characteristics, and discover how to accentuate its strengths and work within its limitations, we will be better prepared to understand ourselves and cope with the everyday problems of life.

To help you accomplish this, a simple and enjoyable profile appears in the next chapter. It will enable you to discover your personality color. I urge you to take the profile now, before reading on, first, so that you can understand and identify with the material in the rest of the book and, second, so you can learn to harness the strengths of your personality and enhance the rest of your life.

Copyright © 1987, 1998 by Taylor Hartman

Meet the Author

Taylor Hartman is a psychologist and business leadership coach. He lives with his wife and family in Sandy, Utah.

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The Color Code: A New Way to See Yourself, Your Relationships and Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mother recommended this book to me and I was extremely skeptical about reading it. However, after I took the test and began reading about it, I found it astonishing that I seemed to help to answer questions that I had of myself. I am exactly half Red and half Blue and for anyone who reads this book, you will understand why this is such an issue. I felt for years at constant conflict within myself and didn't understand why that could be. I felt as though I was somehow a phony person because of the different (often contradictory) sides of myself and when I read this, it helped me to understand that I am not a phony person. I have two very strong personalities within me. Both are true and neither is wrong. Now I am working on how to properly combine these two sides of myself and be okay with knowing what I am. I really suggest that if you are feeling this kind of uncertainty about yourself that you pick up this book and read. It isn't necessarily the gospel (as no book is), but it does really help for you to gain insight into yourself and to put your personality and character into perspective.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is for anyone who wants to understand why they do what they do. It is important to be honest on the self-test of 45 questions. As a result of the test, the author has an uncanny ability of assessing the true motivations of each color type. It is helpful in understanding others. Beware, though, you may find that you have secondary colors that must be taken into account when determining personality. It is an eye-opener for me, who has read psychology for over 20 years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was downright holy the manner in which I was introduced to this book! And no wonder; Hartman eliminates the two most nagging, unnecessary, and destructive questions with which the ego plagues us: 'What is wrong with YOU?!' and 'What is wrong with ME?!' Short of holy writ, no other book do I incorporate more often EVERY DAY in obtaining understanding and peace where my fellow man/woman is concerned (and myself). Formerly baffling behavior baffles no more. I laugh and accept, pause, and give more consideration--far more than before reading The Color Code. And it is written simply--easy to understand. Taking the personality test is well worth the effort. And, yes, I too am one of those people that LOATHE these personality profiling theories and tests, finding them pigeon holing at best. However, Hartman's thesis has proven out over and over again, leaving me w/increased understanding, more-than-tolerance, and enhanced appreciation for differences, instead of complete exasperation. Each of my clients gets a copy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was amazing how accurate this self analysis was. Many family members took the test and ... uncanny is the word. It turned out to be great party fun too. Soon, we found ourselves saying about a relative or friend, thats just the negative side of your yellow showing! Good fun and very insightful...
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Hartman's book makes proper and craved sense of the personalities we all encounter in others and in ourselves. I've read only one other personality book, and was able to understand the basic profiles, but was not impressed. Dr Hartman's work is much more complete and unbiased. His insight and sensitivity to the integrity of thorough work is a treasure. He is an amusing and pleasant writer. I would say reading this book would be beneficial.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I read this book together and it helped us more than any therapist we had been to! When you understand better who you really are and what your personality is made up of, it becomes easier to except each other and not try and change each other! Every marriage needs The Color Code!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If anyone is struggling or confused about themselves, this book offers you a great sense of insight. Even if a person knows themselves already, this book will still tell them more about their personality (maybe even stun them). The Color Code gives the person a multiple-choice quiz that they take to determine what color they are. Then, they add up their answers to see if they are a 'Red', 'Blue', 'White', or 'Yellow'. After they figure out which they are, then they read about their personality (mentality, and life goals which are strangely accurate). This book is definitely worth anyone's time and money.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book provides great insight into how and why you and each of your relationships are the way they are. As you read, it's like piecing the puzzle (your life) as it brings great understanding and meaning to each relationship. It just makes sense.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really helps to explain why some people are hard to get along with and why some are really easy to get along with. Once you discover your 'color' you can then use that info to find out what to expect when you interact with other 'colors' once you've determined them. This book also helps one to understand oneself and perhaps work on taking advantage of one's strengths and also trying to limit or be aware of one's weaknesses. For anyone even remotely interested in human psychology or human nature, this book provides a lot of food for thought.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The valuable information in this book aided in the revival of my personal relations. Understanding others and percieving their reasoning to decisions made (their why they do what they do) came with ease upon the completion of this ingenius book. I cannot say enough to convey the powerful impact this book has made in my life. The complete accuracy of the personality profile quiz was astounding. Read it and your life will be changed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! This bbok changed my life. Now I can understand my family, friends and self in a clear and precise way! You are missing out on the opportunity of a life time if you don't read this today!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Basically, I brought this book along to make our road trip more interesting. That was a great idea. It is always awesome to realize why people think and react differently based on their personality. It helps to understand yourself and others better, instead of making a negative judgements about them. As far as relationships go, this helped me and my significant other better understand a few basic needs. The more we try to understand people and ourselves, the better, so reading this book won't be anything but great for you!!