Written by Kayleigh Dray
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.
From self-assured Alphas to mysterious Sigmas, here’s what psychologists have to say on those six core personality types.
Are you the sort of person who avidly takes personality quizzes and makes a careful note of the results each time? Have you taken the Myers-Briggs Indicator Test? Maybe more than once, even? Or are you the sort of person who finds the idea of personality types to be a bit… well, a bit reductive, at best?
If you fall into the latter category, it’s completely understandable; after all, learning about oneself is supposed to be something of an ongoing education – a work in progress, if you prefer, without a bevy of shortcuts. And, just as your blood pressure peaks and troughs throughout the week, so too does your personality shift and change with each new experience.
If you make sure to keep that thought in mind, though, there’s no denying that personality tests can be incredibly useful, as they offer us some insight into our psychology on that particular day. And mental health campaigner and TV & radio broadcaster, Neev Spencer, has made things even simpler by outlining the six core personality types.
If you’re anything like this writer, you’ll find that – depending on the day, week, month, or year – you might relate to several different options from the list below. And not just to their basic descriptions, but to their strengths, to their weaknesses, and to the lessons they must learn.
To that end, then, be sure to save this article to your bookmarks, as it’s worth checking back on for a little extra guidance every so often.
“An Alpha is a leader; she is self-assured, powerful and confident in everything she does,” says Spencer.
“These personality types don’t hold back, tending to steer the pack in friendships and powerfully lead their teams in work. An overwhelming number of CEOs tend to be Alphas, actually, as they relish in striving to be the best and being challenged.”
Spencer concludes: “With this kind of leadership and power, Alphas can become overworked, stressed and disengaged from their personal lives.
“As such, the best kind of Alpha is one that knows not just how to be the best person they can be, but also understand that balance in life is always needed to truly succeed.”
“A Beta is friendly, likes to be helpful, always tries to avoid conflict and wants to fit in,” Spencer explains, “and she is kind at the very core of who she is. She is driven by a need to help those around her, is loyal, and always puts her friends first but at the same time is more open to getting hurt.”
She continues: “Betas want to fit in and seek acceptance from others. Indeed, the world can seem like a harsh place for a Beta at times, so it’s important for her to know that being kind and unreactive and non-explosive can be a great strength in life. Protecting her heart and knowing her own worth deep down is a powerful exercise, as is finding strength in the knowledge she is more than she knows.”
“A Gamma is driven, hyper organised, confident and independent,” says Spencer. “She knows her worth and excels in life by taking pride in her actions, as well as by staying true to herself and her need to succeed. More importantly, she doesn’t rely on anyone else (or a job!) to do that for her.”
Spencer continues: “Gammas are in a world of their own – one that revolves around themselves, and that can be hard for anyone who wants to enter into and stay part of that world. As such, a Gamma needs to appreciate that, in order to stay true to ourselves and our goals, we need to be open to the people and the environment around us and all the chaos that may incur.
“We can’t control everything… we have to let go sometimes and learn to flow.”
“Omegas are intelligent, romantic, at times slightly introverted, and overly sensitive,” says Spencer, adding that these personality types are “most comfortable in their own company.”
“Usually bookworm types or studious souls, Omegas are deeply romantic, passionate and tend to keep themselves to themselves,” Spencer adds. “This can at times negatively affect their ability to make new friends, meet a partner and or put themselves out there in life.
“Omegas are often known to bottle up their feelings, not being able to express themselves freely and therefore often feel the effects of pent up pressure. They use movies and stories as their escape but long for deep one-to-one connections.”
Spencer finishes: “An Omega would do best to put that book down and head out into the world bravely and boldly putting themselves forward for what life has to offer. Joining a team sport would benefit these solo types and help them feel part of something bigger.”
“Deltas are great communicators, despite being self-conscious and at times shy,” says Spencer.
“A Delta has all the attributes of an Alpha, but tends to keep herself and her hopes and dreams to herself, shying away from wanting to put her heart on the line in fear of it being broken. And, because she’s been burned by past experiences, a Delta is usually extremely realistic, often helping others around them stick to a more logical way or path.”
Spencer adds: “Deltas have a unique and empathic way of communicating with people and, although they may not always put their own past out there for all to hear, they take time in connecting with people and helping them in life. Indeed, a Delta is constantly wanting to improve and learn from her past experiences.
“However, Deltas should focus less on what life did to them and more on what life can do for them.”
“A Sigma is intimidating, loyal, emotional and is utterly elusive,” says Spencer, adding that “Sigmas are very like Alphas, but with all the feels!”
She goes on to explain: “Sigmas are intriguing and powerful, easily commanding attention but also happy to step back when the need suits them. They know how to play the game.
“Sigmas are devoted to the relationships in life that they value and are incredibly loyal, and their mystery comes from their innate sense of trust in themselves. Despite this self-assurance, though, Sigmas have the ability to be vulnerable.”
Spencer finishes: “Sigmas are a combination of all of the six personality traits in one, giving them a powerful and somewhat magnetic edge over all the other traits.
“A Sigma would do well to remember this – and note that they’re far more likely to stay connected and earn the trust of others if they let things go more.”
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