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Builder, Negotiator, Explorer and Director – Which Personality Type Are You?

Last month I wrote about Dr Helen Fisher’s four personality types (Builder, Negotiator, Explorer and Director) and pondered the possibility that when it comes to successful dating, it’s all down to chemistry. That in fact it’s not our heart that makes the choice – it’s our brain, depending on the chemicals that reign our body.

This article proved to attract a lot of interest, and since a few of you have wanted to know more about the whole scene of Builders, Negotiators, Explorers and Directors, here’s a short overview of the personality types and their best/worst matches.

Also, bear in mind that both Match.com and the US-based Chemistry.com have added that exact personality test to their profile pages, so if you’re looking for more information and want to know which type you are then turn to their websites or our Match.com Review.

The Builder

builder personality Builder, Negotiator, Explorer and Director   Which Personality Type Are You?Chemical in charge: Serotonin (associated with sociability and feelings of calm)
Personality: Calm, managerial, conscientious, home-oriented but social
Best match: The Explorer
Worst match: The Director

Sociable & Loyal
Builders are considered to be calm and with good people skills, open for relationships, affable and social. Their personality is influenced by the chemical called serotonin. The reason why Builders tend to be successful in most social situations is that they find them fun and relaxing. They simply love socialising and often have a close circle of friends as duty and loyalty are amongst the traits they value very highly. Their loyalty to friends and family is often absolute.

Sensible & Straightforward
The Builder personality types are considered to be careful and cautious people, they don’t often plunge head over heels into new adventures. They are not dreamers with their heads in the clouds – they think in concrete terms, they’re well-prepared and not inclined to make the same mistake twice. Builders also tend to be very sensible when it comes to business and money matters. They like to feel themselves safe and secure, therefore things are always in perfect order around them and they plan well ahead.

Dependable but not so Flexible
Traditions and social norms are important for Builders, they hold moral standards in a very high regard. They are not easily bored or distracted, that allows them to be methodical, dependable and hard-working. Other people tend to turn to them in times of need, they truly can be regarded as the pillars of the community. At the same time, due to their ‘pernicketiness’ of doing things the ‘right way’, they can be hostile towards other solutions. They are considered to be very headstrong, even stubborn people who will not easily let go of their plans. Their need for order, rules and regulations is not the best basis for spontaneity. They can quite easily delve into being pessimistic, too rigid and take things way too literally.

A Popular & Caring Contributor

All that aside, Builders can still be considered to care a lot about the community and people around them. They are hardworking, practical and easy to make friends with, which makes them popular with other people.

The Negotiator

negotiator personality Builder, Negotiator, Explorer and Director   Which Personality Type Are You?Chemical in charge: Oestrogen (associated with intuition and creativity)
Personality: With good social skills, imaginative, idealistic and sympathetic
Best match: Good with all types
Worst match: None

The Oestrogen Factor
Negotiators’ personality traits have been linked with the primary female sex hormone oestrogen. However, this does not mean that men have nothing to do with that hormone – there are lots of male Negotiators as well. It doesn’t even mean there’s something especially feminine about them.

Mind Readers
The main characteristics of Negotiators is the way they deal with people and social situations – as the name also suggests. They are simply very good with people, as they seem to have a strong insight to their minds and hearts, almost instinctively knowing what others are thinking and feeling. They are good at reading facial expressions, gestures, postures, tone of voice.

Introspective and Self Analytical
As much as they’re interested in other people, they are also interested in reading themselves, which makes them quite introspecitve and self-analytical. They like very much looking behind the reasons of their actions, words and thoughts, finding motives, figuring out hidden meanings etc. Also, in a relationship they have a tendency to go to great lengths to deeply analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their match.

Flexible and Broad Minded
All this doesn’t mean they’re rigid in their ways – on the contrary, they are mentally quite flexible people, weighing up all the pros and cons before reaching any decision. This gives them an opportunity to choose between a lot of different ways how to react to something and how to proceed. The Negotiator’s way of thinking is never linear, rather more contextual, expanding into width rather than length. This makes them very tolerant towards any kind of ambiguity.

Good with Words and People
Negotiators are considered to be intuitive and creative people, with a solid and theoretical way of thinking. They are good with words – fluent, rapid, innovative, with broad vocabulary. As they are also very agreeable, easily accommodating, compassionate, social-minded and patient, they are considered to be friendly, authentic, earnest and diplomatic people.

It isn’t all Good…
However, there are some downsides to their ways. Because of their inability to be confrontational, they can sometimes appear spineless. Instead of putting their foot down, they can turn to secretive means, operating behind someone’s back. While they are pondering the means of action, the situations can run past them, sometimes getting out of their hands. The careful reconstruction of every step, word, action and thought in a romantic relationship, going over and over it to come up with even the most subtle meaning behind them can be quite suffocating and tiresome.

The Explorer

explorer personality Builder, Negotiator, Explorer and Director   Which Personality Type Are You?Chemical in charge: dopamine (associated with curiosity and spontaneity)
Personality: Spontaneous, risk-loving, curious, adaptable
Best match: The Builder
Worst match: The Director

Risk Takers
Explorers are ruled by the brain chemical dopamine, which is often associated with the tendency to seek novelty and take risk, often spontaneously. Explorers love to seek out new experieneces, go everywhere, see everything – they are never bored. Always up for an adventure, they tend to seek excitement, discover new ideas, meet new people and put strange theories into practice. They are very independent people who don’t much look for other people’s advice and guidance.

No Time to Waste
Explorers live a rich and varied life bas they’re such energetic, even restless people who regard time in a different way than most others. They move fast. Their natural curiosity draws them to all kinds of different situations where they can come up with new ideas, practice their theories and generate new thoughts. Shifting their attention from one problem to another is not a problem for them, they are always looking for more thrills and excitement in their lives. Their adventurous streak sometimes makes them take unnecessary risks and mleaving them prone to breaking the law more often than other types would, but with a little help from the people around them, they can also make excellent scientists and athletes – they certainly have the hunger and devotion that these jobs need.

The Good & Bad Points of Explorers
Explorers are very likeable people with generous mind and happy attitude to life and people around them. They have a playful nature, they can be sensual and enjoy life to the point of being hedonistic. At the same time, they are unpredictable and hard to rely upon, which does not make them a good marriage material. They are not prone to routine and don’t tolerate boredom very well. Their impatience can make them selfish companions as they don’t generally bend themselves to anyone’s rules.

The Director

director personality Builder, Negotiator, Explorer and Director   Which Personality Type Are You?Chemical in charge: testosterone (associated with independence and rational thinking)
Personality: Inventive, focused, logical, direct and daring
Best match: The Negotiator
Worst match: The Builder

Men Only?
Contrary to the Negotiators, Directors are ruled by the male sex hormone testosterone. Again, although it’s a male hormone, it’s shared by both sexes. Women Directors certainly aren’t rare!

Tough Cookies
The Directors chief characteristic is competitiveness. It is important for them to be the best in everything they endeavour and usually they can achieve that too. Pragmatic, tough-minded and decisive, Directors are never taken aback by difficult situations. On the contrary, they can keep a level head and make up their minds quickly, even if they are faced with difficult choices.

The Small Stuff
Directors love rational analysis, logical reasoning and objectivity and are not prone to fall into any traps. They tend to be attentive, paying a lot of attention to details and often focus on the minutiae details of their life. This makes their life easier while they are heading towards that specific goal and they rarely waste time on their way to reaching it.

To Boldly Go…
Director’s employ theoretical ways of thinking, they are not afraid to come up with new ideas and work their way to their solution. If that means they have to make unpopular decisions, so be it. Dangerous ways don’t stifle them at all. Their persistence is often the key to their success.

Multi Talented
Directors don’t have problems with understanding how machines work or systems operate, which makes them good with computers. Good maths and biology skills give them frequent opportunities to succeed in the worlds of finance, medicine or architecture, but they can be good at sports or music as well. Even if their interests are narrow, they tend to pursue them deeply and thoroughly.

Cold and Distant
However, Directors are sometimes considered to be cold and calculating people who would rather work to reach to their goal, irrespective of the people that need to be trampled upon to get to the goal. Their social skills are not great and they rarely make efforts to seem more social or affable. They can appear distant and cold and only tend to please those who might be useful to them.

Two Sides of the Director
Directors’ success can make them overly confident, which can result in arrogance. Their preciseness and punctuality can seem uncompromising and their forthrightness rude. Also, because they don’t tend to ponder over things, they can miss the nuances of social situations and personal feelings. But at the same time they are dedicated, loyal and interested in sharing their ideas, which means Directors make close friends. They can be very protective of those they love.

So Which Personality Type Are You?
Find out by taking the free personality tests at Match.com (UK) or Chemistry.com (US)

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About the Author

has been reviewing and writing about the world of online dating since 2008 and the launch of Online Dating Help. A stickler for promoting ethical practices within the UK dating industry she champions the sites that get it right while highlighting those holding it back. You can follow her on Google+



7 Responses to Builder, Negotiator, Explorer and Director – Which Personality Type Are You?

  1. Pingback: Are You a Builder, Negotiator or Explorer?

  2. Builders in Wakefield says:

    I think im probably a Builder… :)

  3. Pingback: Is love chemistry or is it just DNA?

  4. Ben says:

    It can be fun using this profile categories and personality types, but I always take them with a pinch of salt. There’s always easy examples of couples who don’t conform to the formula. I think they’re more use for individuals to get to know themselves.

  5. Devin says:

    I think it’s interesting that they base it all on brain chemicals – I believe it! The variation comes from mixing the 4 different chemicals – so people all have different levels of each, which shapes the “types” into 4 to the fourth power… then you’ve got the different environmental experiences which do the rest of the damage and make us koo joo. We’re all still unreproducible snowflakes though by the end of it!

  6. Pingback: Why pay if you can use free dating sites?

  7. Che says:

    I read “Why Him, Why Her” By Dr. Fisher and on page 11 she clearly states “Explorers are attracted to other Explorers – people with many similar traits of temperament. Builders also gravitate to people like themselves, other Builders. Directors, however, gravitate to Negotiators…. these two personality types are attracted to individuals with a complementary temperament.”
    I think the best match for Explorers and Builders listed here are wrong.

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