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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You have one Dominant and Sub-Dominant Trait

Builder, Negotiator, Explorer and Director - Which Personality Type Are You?
MARCH 12, 2009

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 and the US-based 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 Review.

The Builder

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

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

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

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 (UK) or (US)
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3,123 Posts
Director Dom and Negotiator sub-dom. took the chemistry test a while back

818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some love types are natural fits...

Explorer-Explorer. Explorers make ideal playmates for each other. They delight in spur-of-the-moment adventures and lusty sex. They don’t bicker over details or get on each other’s nerves.

Advice for Explorer-Explorer pairs: Be willing to set limits together -- unrestrained Explorers can burn each other out. Because novelty is so appealing to Explorers, adultery is a danger. Both partners need the resolve to say a strong "no" to temptation.

Builder-Builder. Builders enjoy sharing family traditions and social networks. They make joint plans, stick to schedules and appreciate frugality.

Advice for Builder-Builder pairs: Because Builders believe that there is one right way to do things, stubbornness can be a problem -- disagreements over trivial matters can lead to a stalemate. Builders need to work on letting go of the little things and focusing on their shared values.

Director-Negotiator. The see-all-sides Negotiator benefits from the Director’s decisiveness, while the demanding, analytical Director appreciates the Negotiator’s social skills. They have lively discussions -- the Director’s depth of knowledge is complemented by the Negotiator’s contextual perspective.

Advice for Director-Negotiator pairs: When this couple argues, the Director is likely to fly off the handle and then quickly forget about the incident, while the Negotiator may nurse hurt feelings for years. A Director and Negotiator should agree on how they will deal with flare-ups -- perhaps by going to separate rooms until tempers cool.

The Director needs to risk revealing deeper feelings to the Negotiator. And when the Negotiator needs something, he/she needs to say so.

These pairings are more challenging, but any pairing can work if partners make allowances for their differences...

Explorer-Builder. An Explorer can add stimulation to a Builder’s quiet life, while the Builder provides security. But over time, the Explorer may feel constrained and the Builder neglected.

Advice for Explorer-Builder pairs: Look for ways to combine adventure and stability.

Example: A trip with friends to a mountain lodge, where the Builder can socialize by the lake while the Explorer goes rock climbing.

Builder-Director. Both types are emotionally contained and value persistence, calm and order. However, both like to be in control, leading to potential conflict. Also, the Director’s boldness and self-reliance may clash with the Builder’s cautious nature.

Advice for Builder-Director pairs: Focus on mutual goals. The Director’s ambition, combined with the Builder’s planning skills and social network, can make for a comfortable home and stature in the community.

Explorer-Negotiator. Both are curious, imaginative and open-minded. Tensions stem from different expectations of intimacy. For the Explorer, intimacy means doing things together... talking helps the Negotiator feel close.

Advice for Explorer-Negotiator pairs: The Negotiator needs to recognize that fun can be bonding. The Explorer should practice looking the Negotiator in the face during conversations and make an effort to speak the language of emotions.

Example: The Explorer might tell stories about past adventures that include some speculation about how the experience changed him/her.

Director-Explorer. Both types are unconventional, inventive, irreverent and highly sexual -- all areas of strong compatibility. But the Director spends long hours at work, while the Explorer is more interested in having a good time. The Director’s deep knowledge about a subject may seem obsessive to the Explorer. The Explorer’s broad interests and hedonism may strike the Director as superficial.

Advice for Director-Explorer pairs: Since neither is possessive, each can pursue his/her interests independently without worrying that the other will feel left out. But schedule shared activities to avoid drifting apart.
Builder-Negotiator. Both value strong, stable relationships. However, the Builder may be befuddled by the Negotiator’s emotionalism, and the Negotiator disappointed by the Builder’s lack of introspection and imagination.

Advice for Builder-Negotiator pairs: Make the most of commonalities -- nurturing, nest-building, community ties.

Director-Director. Directors appreciate each other’s straightforward style, competence and drive. Directors don’t like to fail, which makes them willing to ride out difficulties.

Advice for Director-Director pairs: Beware of workaholism. Directors often don’t make time for each other, so put shared activities on the schedule and commit to them.

Negotiator-Negotiator. These couples are highly sensitive to each other’s feelings, have inspired conversations and go to great lengths to please each other. Yet they easily can become mired in analysis of the relationship and paralyzed by minor decisions.

Advice for Negotiator-Negotiator pairs: Set time limits on discussions of relationship dynamics.

818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

1,456 Posts
I didn't think I was very Director, but lo! and behold, it's my dominant trait.

93 Posts
I scored Negotiator/Explorer
(I'm an INFP btw)

196 Posts
Dominant = Director
Sub-Dominant = Builder

Explorer was also pretty close behind Builder. Not really what I expected, although it does seem to match up with some other INTPs.

3,878 Posts

You seek challenges. You are a tough-minded, independent thinker who likes to explore ideas or problems thoroughly. You focus easily. And you are systematic and exacting in pursuing your interests and goals. You are also assertive. You have a lot of energy. You think quickly, make decisions faster than most, and take an analytical approach to people, issues and ideas.

You are not conventional in your attitudes or values. Autonomy is essential to you. You do not follow the rules unless the rules are logical and useful. Nor do you unreservedly respect authority. Instead, you tend to be skeptical, irreverent and pragmatic. And you are comfortable working or pursuing your hobbies alone.

Yet you have a wild side. You are daring; you like novel ideas and new adventures. You are not interested in maintaining routine social engagements either, and you can't tolerate "small talk." Instead, you make a few very close friends, particularly with individuals who share your interests.

Relating to others

You are direct and informed; and you gravitate to men and women who are intellectually exciting and like to discuss topics broadly and thoroughly. Because you are curious, creative, ambitious, hard working and unconventional in your attitudes and values, your friends admire you. In return you are fiercely loyal to those you love.

In love and relationships

As a Director you seek someone who is self-sufficient and enjoys time alone. You also like a partner who is imaginative and intuitive and not competitive with you. And because you can be oblivious to rules and schedules, your partner must be flexible. For you, sex is woven with subtleties and symbolism and you like a mate who finds intimacy in this unspoken psychological journey. To balance your direct style and tendency to make up your mind quickly, you gravitate to a mate with good social skills--someone who weighs alternatives carefully, listens actively and handles conflict with nuanced grace. And because you tend to hide your emotions, you often seek someone who is emotionally expressive. You also like someone who is spontaneous, even mischievous, as well as a mate who can appreciate your rugged individualism and support of your drive to succeed.

429 Posts

thought mine would be reverse...

145 Posts
I scored Explorer/Negotiator
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