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Thursday, January 21, 2010

T3 - Beaver/Melancholy Personality Type

If you are just now joining me in this series, be sure to click by here to take the two Character Therapist-recommended personality tests. To read the analysis I did on the Golden Retriever/Phlegmatic type, click here. Remember, I'm working in generalities, and not everything under a given type might apply specifically to you! So without further ado...


This week focuses on the Beaver, the folks who revel in the details others despise (and, in fact, live for them). They are creative, practical, factual, perfectionist, detailed, orderly and predictable. Emotionally, they are sensitive--to others and about themselves. They're thoughtful and serious, and talented. They tend to be artists and musicians, wax philosophic and poetic, and appreciate beauty wherever they find it.

At work (as well as at school--for you YA writers), Beavers turn in the best, most thorough, and neatest reports and homework. They will fret and stress needlessly over exams or upcoming personnel evaluations. These are efficient, organized individuals who know where everything is in their drawers and could recreate a diagram from memory of their desk for a coworker if need be. They are schedule-oriented, punctual, and you can rely on them to carry out any directives or see a project through to completion. Their motto might be, "How was it done in the past?" They aren't real big on sudden changes.

Beavers find creative solutions and are disciplined enough to make it happen. They will be committed, industrious, and have high productivity. They have an intense need to finish what they start and problem solve everything. Working within a team framework, melancholics are more likely to offer design, technical skills or quality control. As a leader, they're more like the Hall Monitor, emphasizing proper procedures and company policy or school handbook rules.

When it comes to friends, they will sacrifice greatly for those they love and care about. They respect people and are purposeful and serious in their relationships. They might be a tad cautious when making friends, and likely avoid trying to cause attention to themselves, preferring to stay in the background. But when they do make a friend, they are faithful and devoted. They will listen to complaints and work hard to solve those problems for others because they have a deep concern for others and can be moved to tears with compassion. When dealing with the feelings of others, Beavers take a very pragmatic, analytical approach: the way a person feels about life and how its going for them it the consequence of the choices--good or bad--that person has made.

When dealing with stress, the Beaver just wants to get away and be by themselves. They prefer to tune out stress, and might be more likely to stick their head under the sand. They just don't like chaos. To recover from stress, besides needing time alone, a Beaver will read a book or pursue their hobby as a way of recovering from emotional stress.

Spiritually, these people are great at scripture memory, and usually can easily recall a verse (along with it's "address"). They love the idea of God being a God of Truth and Justice, as these are traits they can relate to and value themselves.


Ah, well, Beavers tend to be overly critical, often with unrealistic expectations of themselves and others. This can lead to them being judgmental. They're a bit picky, and can in general be difficult to get along with because they are prone to depression, revenge and being moody. They can be dogmatic--once they make a decision, they will not change their minds. This can be translated by others as them being stuffy and inflexible.

Friends might think the Beaver is sometimes too moralistic. They can be suspicious of people and dislike those in opposition to them. They might be vengeful and unforgiving and even antagonistic. Beavers tend to hold back affection and be withdrawn, remote, and insecure socially. They like to live through others. They also frequently are skeptical of compliments.

Emotionally, a Melancholic Beaver remembers the negatives and almost enjoys being hurt. They can have a low self-image and be considered self-centered because they are too introspective. False humility is sometimes a problem, as is selective hearing and this idea of a "persecution complex"--when they think that some people really just have it out for them. Beavers can carry a lot of guilt about things, even from times long past. Also, a Beaver might have tendencies toward hypochondria.

At work, the Beaver might be looked at as slow, with a need to move faster, but due to streaks of perfectionism, the Beaver likes to take their time. They spend a lot of their time planning, which can make them hesitant to start new projects. They might prefer analysis to actual work (or for you writers out there...research instead of butt-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard). Beavers get depressed over imperfections and can be self-deprecating, hard to please, and have a deep, deep need for approval. They usually can't see the optimistic side of things because their standards are often too high and the glass is half-empty.

Spiritually, Beavers have a difficult time separating performance from God's grace, deeds from faith. As a result, they have hard time accepting grace when they mess up, because a Beaver has a hard time forgiving themselves. In general, they also have a hard time giving grace to others. A Beaver might very well struggle internally over whether they have done everything right (according to the Book...literally). They might also battle with the issue of eternal security.


A great kink you can throw at a die-hard Beaver will be to force them to deal with something "imperfect" that they oh-so-wish to correct, but can't. Or give them a set of romantic, personal, or professional standards so incredibly high that not even the Pope could meet them all. Throw them together with an Otter (who we'll cover next week!) in a position where they have to work closely. This will drive the poor Beaver insane and really ramp up your tension.

Beavers also really thrive on affirmation for their performance and approval on their personal qualities. Have your Beaver heroine work for a person who never gives affirmation for anything. Or make them interact with a sidekick with a propensity to skirt corners and break rules. That kind of person would be a perfect foil to bring out your heroine's idiosyncrasies and quirks.

Next up is the Otter/Sanguine personality type, so stay tuned for next week!

Q4U: For you Beavers out's this ring for you? True? So-so? I want to hear from you!

Wordle: signature


Karen Lange said...

Interesting! I'm thinking I have some of these traits; I should go and take that personality test.
Thanks for sharing this.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Unfortunately I can relate to plenty of these traits, especially being a perfectionist to a fault. I like your writing suggestions for how to create tension with a beaver personality. :-)

Maureen said...

Oh Jeannie, you're awesome, you really are! :D

I'm a Beaver married to an Otter and my life is is everything you said and more...he's messy, impulsive, moves like greased lightning no matter what the task is, while I follow behind, fuming, my carefully detailed plans crashing all around me as I attempt to pick up the shattered pieces of my dreams...LOL!!!!

But there's hope. After 17 years the checkbook has been turned over to my care and we haven't bounced any checks since! I know it sounds pathetic but small victories matter to a Beaver.

Thanks for the laugh...and the this series!

Jessica Nelson said...

Uh-oh. LOL I'm pretty sure this is my secondary trait. Not positive, but fairly certain, especially on the negative aspects. Eeek! Not too pretty a look in the mirror. LOL

Jodie said...

What's hard is when you're a sang/mel (otter/beaver). Wow. It cracked me up when you said, "Throw them together with an Otter in a position where they have to work closely. This will drive the poor Beaver insane and really ramp up your tension." Does this mean I drive myself insane? :-)

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

that is a laugh, jodie! yes, that's exactly what i meant. you drive yourself insane. :) interesting combo...i'm trying to think if i've ever known someone with that type...usually combos steer toward lion/otter and golden retriever/beaver. i'm glad you're you, though. :)

Aubrie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm a follower now. And you are entered in the contest!

Crystal Laine said...

I tested as a choleric, which I'm not sure if I am or not! I usually come out to be an INTJ for personality type.

I'm never sure what I am--and I even did my master's work in learning theories and did all those tests in ed psych.

This is really interesting to me, though! And Gayle Roper used personality types to do characters years ago. She critiqued me one time at a conference and gave me sheets about it, so I really like this aspect of your blog.

Jamie D. said...

Fun! This is me, nearly to a "T". I'm not a perfectionist (I think I'm too lazy to be), but most of the other traits - introverted, suspicious, slow to trust, incredibly analytical - are 100% me. I *hate* change and chaos, though I've learned to "fake" a calmer reaction to it.

Interestingly though, I'm an eternal optimist rather than a pessimist. If something doesn't work, I find a way to make it work, and very rarely do I ever give up hope that something can/will get better, given enough time and...organization. LOL

Guess I should take that other test - since I'm an optimist, maybe that's a clue to a second side of my personality...I just took the second one, classed as melancholy (which, oddly, I almost never am).

Thanks for the interesting diversion!

Jodie said...

Never known anyone like me? I took a different personality test with the guy who developed it once, back when I was a camp counselor. He said the only other person he'd ever tested who scored as far apart as I did on his test was Patch Adams. Methodical and organized enough to be a doctor, spontaneous and outgoing enough to be portrayed by Robin Williams. :-)

Hannah L. said...

Oh, my WORD. Talk about nails on heads!!! :-D

I'm really enjoying your blog.

God bless,
~Hannah L.

Lisa Lickel said...

Scary true - and I married one worse than me.
Then I had my ovaries out...and am trying to overcome the ditziness and get back to being punctual.

Anonymous said...

i laughed while reading this. it sounds like you are writing my autobiography. and interestingly enough i found out about this quiz because my boss wants to see if our personalities "mix" well. i laughed very hard where it said to throw me in with an otter...that it would drive me crazy. im sure you know why i was laughing.

Anonymous said...

Wow~that perfectly describes me!! :)

Anonymous said...

Surely, im one of the die hard beavers, but i have learnt to work on my weaknesses for the best

Anonymous said...

yikes .... you were 95% on target with me......

Abigail said...

This is definitely spot on for me! But I am learning to embrace it :)

Unknown said...

Definitely much truth, I would have to say God helps a lot with the weaknesses though. I find He is helping me to lighten up and not be so rigid.

Admin said...

This is like looking in a mirror. I can't believe how much of me this is! I'm going to print this and start praying and seeking the Lord to help me work on my weaknesses. Thanks for posting this - it was very helpful. I was wondering what was wrong with me all this time. I can now embrace and accept myself and start working on myself in those weak parts of my personality.

hi said...

I just took the test, and I am this personality type. I think it explains me very well.

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.