Put Down Your Chisel. Let Be. Appreciate.

by | Nov 29, 2017

Tonight a client asked me to share this with her, so I decided to post publicly so you can read it as well.

This is a thought adapted from  book called Please Understand Me by David Keirsey which deals with difference: differences in temperament and personality characteristics.  So often, what brings couples into counseling is the inability to understand each other’s point of view.  Those perspectives are shaped by temperament or basic personality functions, among other things.  The passage below is absolutely brilliant, and no matter who you are, I’m sure that you can benefit from this profoundly enlightening rebuke of our occasional tendency to see our way as THE way.  I hope this is meaningful to you.  🙂


If I do not want what you want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong. 

Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view. 

Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly or weakly. 

Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be. 

I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me.  That will come only when you’re willing to give up changing me into a copy of you. 

If you’ll allow me any of my wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself, so that someday these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right – for me. 

To put up with me is the first step to understanding me.  Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you’re no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. 

And in understanding me you might come to prize my differences from you, and far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences. 

Abandon the project, that endless and fruitless attempt to change me into a carbon copy of yourself.  You do not have a license to sculpt me using yourself as a pattern to copy.  Put down your chisel.  Let be.  Appreciate. “

(Adapted from Keirsey & Bates, “Please Understand Me”)



Keirsey, D., & Bates, M. M. (1978). Please understand me: Character & temperament types. Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis.

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