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Please Understand Me [Summary & Takeaways]

by The Quick Book Summary Team
3 minutes read

Main Topic

The book explores personality types and temperaments, aiming to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and relationships.

Key Ideas or Arguments

  • The authors introduce the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, a personality assessment tool, to categorize individuals into four temperaments: Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, and Rational.
  • They delve into the unique traits, strengths, and weaknesses associated with each temperament, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and appreciating diverse personalities in various social contexts.
  • The book proposes that understanding one’s temperament and that of others can lead to improved communication, collaboration, and relationships.

Chapter Titles or Main Sections

  1. Introduction: A brief overview of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and its significance in understanding human behavior.
  2. The Artisan (SP): Examines the Artisan temperament, characterized by spontaneity, adaptability, and a focus on the present moment.
  3. The Guardian (SJ): Explores the Guardian temperament, known for its stability, responsibility, and adherence to traditions.
  4. The Idealist (NF): Discusses the Idealist temperament, characterized by a strong sense of morality, empathy, and a focus on possibilities.
  5. The Rational (NT): Investigates the Rational temperament, marked by logical thinking, strategic planning, and a pursuit of knowledge.
  6. Conclusion: Summarizes the key points and highlights the importance of embracing diversity in temperaments for harmonious relationships.

Please Understand Me

by David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates


Key Takeaways

  • Recognition of diverse temperaments is crucial for effective communication and collaboration.
  • The Keirsey Temperament Sorter provides a valuable framework for understanding and categorizing personality types.
  • Appreciating individual differences enhances personal and professional relationships.

Author’s Background and Qualifications

David Keirsey was a psychologist and professor, while Marilyn Bates was a teacher and researcher. Both had extensive experience in studying and understanding human behavior.

Comparison to Other Books

Please Understand Me stands out due to its focus on practical applications of temperament theory in daily life, setting it apart from more theoretical works on personality.

Target Audience

Ideal for individuals seeking insights into their own and others’ personalities, as well as professionals in fields such as psychology, education, and human resources.

Reception or Critical Response

The book received positive reviews for its accessible approach to temperament theory and its applicability in various contexts.

Publisher and First Published Date

Published by Prometheus Nemesis Book Company; published on January 1, 1984.


  • “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

Biggest Takeaway

Understanding diverse temperaments through the Keirsey Temperament Sorter fosters improved communication, collaboration, and relationships in both personal and professional settings.

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