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The 4 Personality Types in Men

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The 4 Personality Types in Men
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Research today suggests that the differences between men and women isn't found in the solar system or even in our brains, but in the way we view the world around us. The problem with theories that place men in one corner and women in the other is that they assume all men (or women) are alike.

These thoughts limit our thinking about gender and what it means to be a man. Like a jackhammer, they pound into our psyches beliefs about how men are "supposed" to behave. Usually it's defined as simply the opposite of how women are perceived.

Without labels we don't know who we are. We're uncomfortable with the idea that men show feminine emotion or women behave in masculine ways. It's better accepted when gender-bending behavior is over the top or characterized in drag, but more than a few eyebrows are raised when men behave in ways that don't typical fit male behavior. Without expectations of classic gender roles, who are we and how do we define ourselves?

Biological Anthropologist and "human attraction" expert Dr. Helen Fisher says the psyches of male lovers can be broken down into four personality types: The Explorer, The Builder, The Director and The Negotiator, all stereotypical characteristics.

According to Fisher, Explorers are naturally driven by dopamine. They're risk takers, who seek novelty and spontaneity. They like adventure, spicy foods and exotic, well, anything.

Next, The Builder is the popular kid on the block that sees social interaction as their purpose on the planet. They are family guys that like facts and are meticulous about the decisions they make, including the foods they eat.

The Director, on the other hand, is direct, decisive and "emotionally contained." Fisher says this man is the intellectual nerd type who enjoys foods that raise testosterone levels. They are aggressive competitors that value ambition.

Last, there is The Negotiator. This man sees the big picture and is imaginative beyond us small minded individuals. He like salads and tofu, enjoys yoga, is idealistic and emotionally expressive. A more detailed list of characteristics can be found here.

There's no doubt every man has some of the characteristics Dr. Fisher lists. The problem, however, with criteria used to label people who are ultimately unique individuals is that it puts us in a box. For instance, there's no room for the man that is primarily Director that shares equal traits with an Explorer.

In essence, lists like Fisher's are meant to unravel the great mystery of men so that we all can better communicate with, well, ourselves. Instead Cosmo tests like these reinforce the stereotypes that prevent us from truly understanding who we are and what men really want.

As long as there is a need to characterize men based on concepts of hyper-masculinity, superior intellect, physical power, ruthless decision-making and the lesser emotionally expressive individual, society will look at us men who like, love and date other men as "others" or defective members of society.

We often internalize the need for labels by fitting other LGBT people into hard, unwavering "types" along with a complete set of expectations. In many cases, after coming out we break free of hetero-concepts of what men should be only to land into a new set of expectations created by our own community. What we're left with is the same longing for identity that we started with.

While the Dr. Fishers would have us think that there are simple solutions to understanding who men are and what we want, the real answer is in front of our faces. Despite commonalities, who we are is as different as the creases in our palms. But, to figure that out we have to take a hard look at who we are and who we're willing to be outside of others' expectations.
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