So far in our forray into the amazing world of personality types, guided by Dr. Glen Foster and Mary Marshall’s book How Can I Get Through to You?, we have looked at The Feeler and The Driver. Feelers are entirely emotion based. Drivers are fact-based but they are emotional about it. This morning, we’re going to talk about The Analyzer.
The Analyzer is the exact opposite of the Feeler. Analyzers base every decision they make in logic. Yes, sometimes Feelers can make logical decisions, but even their logic is based on emotion. For Analyzers, emotion doesn’t even enter their equation. Everything is logic. Everything is rational. Everything is orderly and factual and organized. Emotion mucks things up so it’s better to avoid it. And that’s what Analyzers are truly the best at: Avoidance and detachment.
Here is how you can spot an Analyzer:
Analyzers don’t really care what people think about their choice in clothing. What matters to them is making sure they are dressed for the occasion. Conventional, functional, no-nonsense clothing that makes sense for what they’re doing is what they will wear. Making a statement plays no role in the choice whatsoever.
On entering a room, an Analyzer will be moderated and controlled mentally, physically and verbally. They will be serious.
In their initial conversation or approach, an Analyzer will make careful small talk but will never really participate fully. They may give the impression that they are wearing a social mask.
In their initial attitude toward you, an Analyzer will be pleasant but distant and self-contained.
In the first few moments you speak to them, an Analyzer will demonstrate that they have an intellectual response rather than an emotional one. They are not particularly at ease in lighthearted or frivolous situations. But they are very self-confident.
How do these qualities match up to your characters? Anything hit the mark? In previous posts, I shared how Feelers and Drivers react to conflict, but Feelers and Drivers are both driven by emotion to a certain extent. So how does an Analyzer, who only cares about logic, react to conflict?
The Analyzer in Conflict:
The demeanor or image a Driver will present in conflict is analytical and calculating. They will be uninvolved emotionally and detached from fault or guilt. As far as they are concerned, the blame is yours and so is the problem. There may be evidence, however, of underlying aggression.
An Analyzer’s method of attack is calculatingly offensive. They are deadly serious, dogmatic and present their own logic in crystal clear terms. If you can’t see it, you are obviously at fault. They show no remorse unless the problem is one they recognize they have caused. They respond quickly to put-downs, real or imagined. They subconsciously check your comments and if they don’t consider them precise enough, they’ll tell you. They Demand to know why they are being asked or told to do something or answer a question.
An Analyzer’s emotional response to conflict is pretty much nonexistent. They view emotion as weakness. They don’t understand it or emotional people.
An Analyzer’s intellectual response to conflict is denial. They have a purely intellectual response to stress and control their own anger with logic. They tend to feel like they are a center of calm while everyone else is caught in the storm.
A Feeler’s physical response employs highly controlled body language with latent aggression. Primary eye movement will be to the right.
Sound like anybody you know? I actually know a lot of analyzers just in my personal and professional life. They’re a lot of fun to mess with, to be honest, because their facial expressions are stiff and awkward.
Part of what I’ve been doing with this series is talking about some of my characters who I feel fit into these personality types. For the Feeler, I talked about Ryan Lewis, who is an unwilling team leader in this YA epic urban fantasy series I’ve been working on. The Driver is Karl Goodson, the comic relief and instigator of much drama.
If this team of super hero types were just made up of Feelers and Drivers, could you imagine how much emotion would be thrown around all the time? It would be exhausting. So it’s a good thing that included in the ranks is an Analyzer named Ronnie Akkard.
Ronnie is an odd duck, in more ways than one. Without going into a lot of detail, he was born with blue hair and silver eyes (there’s a story behind it; trust me), and as a result he’s grown up with a lot of derision and bullying. He was abandoned as an infant and given to a foster home in the Bronx, New York, where he grew up with too many other foster children. He was mistreated from day one, and when he finally had enough (and had planned his escape route to the nth degree) he ran away.
His back story is very complicated, so let’s just say that Ronnie has always had to take care of himself. He’s independent to a fault. He never relies on anyone else because everyone else has always let him down. Why? Because they give in to the power of their emotions. They let their emotions get in the way and dictate their choices. Ronnie doesn’t do that.
Ronnie can detach from just about any situation. As a young child, he learned how to step back from an emotional situation in order to preserve himself. As a child, he lived inside himself and never tried to form deep friendships with anyone else. A genius with anything technological or computer related, Ronnie is the quintessential IT guy with no social skills and no understanding of how to communicate with other people.
When he is thrown together with the other crazies in his home (Ryan the Feeler and Karl the Driver), he shuts them out. He wants nothing to do with them. But whatever else Ryan and Karl are, they are good friends. And they don’t stop until they break down Ronnie’s walls.
Ryan becomes the big brother that Ronnie never wanted but can’t live without. And Karl becomes the annoying little brother Ronnie convinces to jump off tall pieces of furniture just to see if he’ll do it (and he usually does, because Karl’s Driver personality never backs down from a challenge).
Once Ronnie learns how to participate in a family, he becomes the voice of logic and reason. He never takes things personally, and though he is often accused of being stiff and too formal, his friends learn to appreciate his calm rational perspective on life.
I do feel like I need to point this out, though. One of the elements of an Analyzer’s personality is correctness of diction and speech. An Analyzer will be obsessed with getting the right word all the time, using proper grammar when they speak. Well … Ronnie is a good example of how an Analyzer personality type can vary just slightly from the norm.
Why? Well, Ronnie didn’t have a good education. He ran away when he was 13 and lived with a gang on the streets of New York until he was 16 or so. His language skills came from the streets of the Bronx. And while he has studied and tried to learn how to speak properly, some habits are hard to break.
But this is one of his personal failings (as he sees it) that he is ashamed of. He wants to speak properly and always use the right words, but he doesn’t always know them. So he prefers to be silent and say nothing rather than saying the wrong word. This hesitancy and halting speech is often mistaken as shyness. Ronnie isn’t really shy; he’s just insecure, although he’d never admit it.
However, he doesn’t refrain from speaking for fear of what other people will think. He honestly doesn’t care what people think about him, although he hates it when people stare at his hair or his eyes. He refrains from speaking because he knows he can’t use the right words, and if he can’t speak properly, what point is there to speak at all? Sounds logical to me.
So that’s Ronnie, my little Analyzer. I hope this helps you identify some analyzer character traits in your characters. Similar to the Driver type characters, if you don’t have an Analyzer, I suggest you create one. They help center everyone and bring everyone back to the point. And if you’re relying on a Driver to do that, it will happen — but there will be a lot of flailing about and gnashing of teeth emotionally speaking.
Next week, we’ll move on to the last personality type — the Elitist!