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Dongkwan’s List of Personality Types (and how to approach them)

People have always told me that I have a knack for understanding people. Many of my little moments in life were based on understanding, and penetrating the sweet spots of people around me. I guess it comes naturally from my international living experience across various cultures (Korea, U.S., Tunisia, South Africa, Argentina, Romania). While the United States is one of the few countries in the world with a true mix of such various cultures, my experience so far has been that there are some general global traits in the way people behave and think. Here are just some of them (please, don’t use this in your college paper because this is just a few I’ve sorted, and has no scientific basis – Account Planners, please feel free to contact me should you find this interesting). And please, I have no bias against any of these types (it just happened I either had more, or less to write about). I sincerely apologize if anyone is offended by this generalization of personalities.

    1. The Douche-Bag:

Typically, this is the nickname we give to people with such traits. But the truth is, “douche bags” are actually much nicer than you think. These people tend to act as if they are the “macho man,” the true manhood exposed from every aspect of their behavior – even their stance, and the remarks that come out of their mouths. But these people are actually naive at heart. They tend to have a delicate sense of emotion, but they retaliate such feelings by acting as if they were nothing. And they detest other people with delicate feelings, simply because they think such a thing is not a thing for people like themselves. Often times, this is a result of early education or some point in life where they have experienced hardships for their timidness or shyness. It’s a defense mechanism to overcome their biggest fear, or a lesson from their parents to “don’t be a sissy!” To approach them, begin by being a fellow douche-bag. They will admire you, thinking you are a natural douche-bag. Then, show them that you too, have great emotion, and they will admire you even more, and open up to you with their true self.

    2. The Cynic:

They will criticize everything in their world from how a person walks to how things are detrimental to society. Because of their perspective on the world, they are often times very meticulous people – in order to state their expression of criticism, they will ensure that their own behaviors do not cross borders with such remarks. At the same time, they tend to be jealous of things. Positive things that they are jealous of, can become negative criticism. And they will have logical reasons for such things, and position themselves as the only people behaving correctly. But by and large, these people are… humans, after all. Their words tend to speak louder than their actions. And anything to prove them wrong, they will discover more criticism for doing so. So if you run into people who mock you for making it seem like you’re doing something really evil, simply, confide to their words. Never confront them, because they can argue with you for a long time, and your relationship will never last. Tell them that you’ve made a bad mistake, and say that you’re sorry. That will give them the sense of winning, which they love. But if you get sick and tired of hearing them mock others (which most likely you will one day), tell criticize them for the way they always criticize others. Find their weak spot. Perhaps simply telling them that they should act upon doing something rather than just criticizing can give them a small shot of awakening. That’s their biggest weakness, but just make sure you’re in a close relationship before acting upon so.

    3. The Dramatic:

Well, these people tend to be people who’d you might call a “whiner.” They consistently seem to have problems with the world, and how the world makes them the victim. They think that they are the only people on earth hurt on the outcome of an event outside of their control. Just as an example, these people are the people who go into a deep coma after the end of a relationship, thinking that what just happened could only be possible in a romantic drama movie. Often times, these people have become so accustomed to thinking that they are victims that others tend to take advantage over them through ridicules. Others make fun of them because The Dramatic people can’t defend themselves real well. These people also tend to have a pessimistic view, and often times, fall in deep regret. “Ah, only if I hadn’t done that back then,” are thoughts that often strike them. But the truth is, these people are always aware of the fact that they’re the victims, and while they might appear to be quiet, terse, and having a mellow character, one day, they will explode like an atomic bomb on Tsunami. To approach these people, it’s important to stand by them at all times, and to talk deeply about their problems, and in the end, to give them encouragement. Don’t offer advice like “you shouldn’t think you’re the victim,” but more like, “cheer up. Things like that happen in this world, and the world is a crazy place. Cheer up.”

    4. The Narcissist:

There are actually two types of these people 1) those who deliberately show that they’re the best in the world vs 2) those who believe in it in their heart. I’ll talk about the first instance here. These people think that all else is trivial to the stature of themselves. Things are repeatedly questions about “why would he do that? Why is she like that?” In a way, it’s an unbelief about how things are just lowly as they are. These people tend to have a very ostentatious behavior – not through their words, but through their behaviors. For example, these people would wear fashion brands that have huge emblems imprinted on them; these people will only consider driving a car in its highest class – the class that the general population would know about. (so, tweaking the performance of the car isn’t what interests them. It’s about the name and the make.) Everything has to be packaged perfectly to look good, and naturally, these people are very careful about what they say and do, and keeps everything organized and tidied up. These people are great planners – every thing they do is planned before hand. The best way to approach these people is to make them your king. Whatever these people do, they’re planned, as they are hoped to be acknowledged. So, acknowledge them, tell them they are the greatest, tell them their shirt is awesome, etc. Whatever it takes, just never insult them, and never disorganize what they have created – because it took them a lot of planning and effort to prepare.

    5. The Wannabe:

These people are also known as “flatterers,” people who tend to stick to the leader of the group. They are simply put, opportunity-seekers. They want the best chance to be at the top, and they will ensure this comes by great relationships with the king of the herd. While these people want the greatest, they have a tendency to at times, detest their situation. They are also wannabes. They will try and mimic those that possess qualities they admire or want to have. Because they are always following the pack leader, they feel that they are always second, and not the winner. And naturally, they are trend leaders, or early-adopters. They know right off the bat that something will be a buzz, and do their extensive research on them. They are consistently looking to find such new buzz, because they want to be part of it – faster than anyone else. And because of this trait, sometimes, a bad influence as being acknowledged as ‘being cool’ can blind them from what’s right and wrong. However, they are overly conscious of people despising them for their behavior of sticking (and switching) to the leader or trends. To approach them, the best way is to make yourself the leader of the group. Naturally, they will follow you. Otherwise, it would be really difficult for them to even notice you.

    6. The Conqueror:

These people are another form of The Narcissist group. While some may not have the leader-like quality, all of them for sure have one common trait: the belief that one is the best. Those with extrovert qualities tend to be the leader of the group. They are the people-person. The story-tellers. Those who can hang around with any group, and can entertain anyone. These people constantly want to be praised, want to be complimented. Any criticism is what they detest, and simply cannot take it. On the other hand, those with a more introverted personality tend to believe that they are worthwhile to be on top. They are often times very optimistic, because they know in heart that while others are being praised for, they know for a fact that one day, their time will come – it’s only a matter of time and luck for others to recognize their talent. Either way, if these people aren’t the center of attention, they feel left out, and will fall into a deep abyss of depression and disincentive. To approach these people, make sure to make them the center of attention. Give them all the praise and glory and responsibilities – and if done so, their performance will be greater than anyone else, as this is their natural habitat.

    7. The Rash:

These people are, under natural circumstances, are people that tend to act upon feelings. Thy are often abrupt, and always take into action whenever things come their way. One could call them hyperactive, simply because a small incident can turn out to be something far greater, and sometimes, malignant. But these people, on the other hand, are people who are truly loyal. Should you have a problem in a social situation, these people will be the leader to fight for justice on your side. They are proactive, and are those willing to die to save their closest friends and family. What makes these people really great is that they are down-to-earth, have a ‘straight from the gut’ attitude, and great honesty. But this doesn’t always turn out in the right direction. For business decision makers, this is risky business, as they can be focused on trivial matters and losing track of the big picture. To truly get mixed in with these people, it is best to be honest and frank with them. It’s what they truly admire, and betrayal is the last thing on earth they will tolerate.

    8. The Wanderer (and Wonderer):

These people always seem to live a mind of their own. At the same time, they seem to be curious of all things in this world. They are often times quite difficult to understand – “what are these people thinking?” They come and go like the wind, and there’s no real way of knowing what they are thinking at this right moment. Now this sounds like something out of a quirky person from a movie, but such people who tend to live and work in a more dynamic environment tend to be like this an emotional level – their moods change from hour to hour, and their logic seem illogic. Often times, they make arguments that seem out of the question and on a whole new level. These could be points of trivial matter, but after hours of argument, you could end up realizing their point of view – a view generally acknowledged, but they tackle it as if it was a whole new topic for argument. If in a place that requires a lot of decision making, these people can delay the process, or create moments of frustration. But on the other hand, they can view things from a whole new perspective that have been unthought of before. And what’s quite the most unique thing about them is that they only pay attention to things that they are focused on – all other things in this world are invisible to them. If you want to be noticed about your new hair-cut, it would be difficult to get a compliment from them. At the same time, they might notice a change of color of your shoelace. To be friends with them, you’ll need to understand and agree to their minds, and their own logical structure. It’s a whole new experience, which can sometimes be quite enlightening and fresh. The more questions you ask them to understand them, the better they will try to explain it in a logical format.

    9. The Wiseful:

These people, what could be a mutant form of The Narcissist + The Conqueror are people who believe that they know the world inside and out. They think they have experienced every storm, every facet of life, and are at a heightened level of enlightenment, where they see the world from a divine perspective. They admire the teachings of confucianism, of the holy bible, of the yin and the yang, and how balance is created through tranquility, inner peace, and inner harmony. But part of this is for an ostentatious effort to seem like one, and often times, find themselves contradicting their own words. They believe that every word they speak is like a quote from a nobleman. However, their weakness lies in that once they are unconscious of their wisdom behavior, they act in a total different way that would totally contradict their own words. Yet the greatest thing about these people is that they will continuously develop to become a wiser human being. They will find fault within themselves after regaining conscience, and will remedy that through hard meditation and seeking patience within. And they live to help others make the right decisions. They truly want to help others through words, and want to influence the world as they see it. They believe they have the answers, and often times, can get frustrated when their words are not acknowledged. To approach these people, it is best to seek for advice – the more advice one seeks from them, the more they feel enlightened, and satisfied for providing a guide to their fellows.

I know generalization is an evil things to do, but I just wanted to share some of my perspectives of a common trait I found during my multi-cultural life. People are people. No matter what people eat, speak, wear, or believe, people’s personalities tend to reveal many common traits.

Any more to add? Let me know at


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The Age of Connection

Paper Cut-Out of People Holding hands

People Are Connected. Opportunities Lie Where There's More Connected People, Not Where There's More People.

I was doing a search on good reads in some of today’s trends, and I can’t believe there’s not a book titled “age of connection.” There was the Age of Access by Jeremy Rifkin, where he talked about how we no longer want to own, but that we’re into sharing and renting.

But I go beyond that. Looking at this on a macro scale, with recent focus on China and India, I think the next step is the Age of Connection. By connection, I’m referring to societies that connect with one another. The Internet surely helped catalyze this process – people are now linked to everyone. People are connected to each other. And so are businesses and products. And in the end, it’s the people that are either directly or indirectly connected to businesses and products. Now that’s an opportunity. It’s not about just population nor mass markets by head-count. It’s about the mass market for how much we are connected.

For market researchers and planners, I would tap into understanding where these connected people are, and how much they are affected by such relationships. Take Korea for example – they are perhaps one of the most connected peoples I know, as evidenced during the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup when millions flooded the streets. Or perhaps how Starcraft became a national phenomenon and culture in a matter of months, or how CyWorld became a social networking culture way before Facebook or MySpace. Korea showed quick signs and became a worldwide example of economic recovery. All with deep respect to the culture of connection.

There are countries and areas out there that show vital signs of connection. Eastern European countries tend to have strong pride for their country and language. They have experienced moments where people had to get together, and they strive and love connecting with one another. They are open to change, and are adapting technology faster than ever. They are lovers of the Internet. Perhaps a great opportunity there?

But you may still be weary of the fact that population (head-count) is what counts more as the potential market is greater. But let’s take a simple example based on the benefits:

If you had to extract blood from all the types of animals on this planet for a project, would reserve an air ticket, apply for multinational visas, wait, then go to the airport, change planes, then land in some country in Africa, then hire an interpreter and tour guide, then drive around the bushes and deserts, and drive from country to country looking for the different animals? Or would you take a trip along to the local zoo?

If you were looking for someone to invest in your next big idea, would you try out intercepting people on the street hoping for a guy with a fat wallet? Or would you rather go to a National Venture Capital Association’s annual conference?

It’s down to basics. It’s the same way you target your audience in your marketing plan. But it’s on a bigger scale. Think of it. Today, we’re all part of some group. is an exemplary model of how we are connected. On a macro scale, some countries are simply more connected than another. And China and India, despite their mass population, aren’t quite connected yet. They have too many dialects, too many cultures. Until there’s a way to connect them all, meanwhile, it could be more efficient to look into countries that have a stronger point which brings people together.

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