The Color Code

Okay, get ready to geek out with me for my absolute favorite Personality Test—Taylor Hartman’s Color Code.  For me, this is the King of ALL Personality Tests.  I connect with literally every relationship, no matter how insignificant, through the lens of the Color Code. 

Even hard-core skeptics, (like my husband), can’t help but buy-in to the Color Code.  I was ecstatic when he asked me to help him understand how he should be talking to different Colors (aka Personalities) for business!  If you’re not a geek like me, and you’re feeling a bit more like my husband was, press “pause” on the skepticism for just a few minutes and keep reading.  

Know Thyself

Like I said, the Color Code helps me with all my relationships.  This ideology, much like my previous post about Love Languages, helps me understand both myself and others.  I admitted I am bad at “reading” people.  But the Color Code is all about our core motivations, and when we know what people’s motives are, we can better understand them. 

Where there is understanding, there is love; and where there is love, there is happiness.

Dr. Hartman doesn’t pull any punches with the Color Code.  He lays out very clearly the good…AND the bad.  He’s not afraid to show you your limitations and weaknesses, to help you really know yourself.  This is a good thing!  If we’re confident enough to handle it. 

Maybe the idea of “knowing yourself” makes you think more like Goethe:

Know thyself? If I knew myself, I'd run away! Goethe

Oh, I’ve been there!  But, be humble, accept yourself for who you are—the good and the bad—and believe that:  

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
– Socrates

Breaking Down the Color Code

Color code colors

It really is simple enough.  The premise is that our actions, our thoughts, our values, etc. can be tied to one primary motivation.  Each core motivation is identified by a color: Red, Blue, White, and Yellow. 

Red: Power

Blue: Intimacy

White: Peace

Yellow: Fun

Can you already see how understanding just this little information could help?  How do you imagine a Red Father relates (or doesn’t) to his Yellow Son?  Or what kind of challenges can you see a Red-White marriage having?  What about a Yellow-Yellow marriage—SO much fun, but they’re living in a parent’s basement! 

couple walking

It should really come as no surprise to you, that when I was dating my husband I asked him to take the Color Code test.  You see, my first rodeo was…how shall I put this…BAD.  When I started dating my now-husband, I fell fast and hard.  But, I wanted to be able to see as far down the road with him as possible before completely committing my heart. 

I’ll just come out and say it: I wanted to know if he was a Red.  This is NOT because I think Red’s are bad—like I always tell my Red daughter, Red’s get crap done!  It was because I’m a Blue and my fundamental need is to be intimately understood.  You think Red’s have time for that crap?  They’re too busy conquering the world! 

You see, like all relationships, we were in that blissful “honeymoon” stage, and after about six months, all our weaknesses that we like to cram down beneath us, would start to eke out, and I wanted to know, “can my strengths balance his weaknesses”, and vice versa.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

You see, that’s why I love the Color Code.  It embraces the limitations that my perfectionist-little heart wants to pretend don’t exist!  The Color Code screams: “Know your ugly side!”  Know what you’re not good at and be honest about it.  Then find someone who has your weakness as their strength and learn from them.  Balance in all things, am I right?

Each color has its natural talents and strengths, and innate weaknesses. 

Color Code Strengths and Weaknesses

We need to understand who we are completely, not just our favorite parts that we want to show off to the world, or the dark parts we want to hide away.  True character comes from learning to use our strengths judiciously and managing our weaknesses with humility and gracenot using them as an excuse for bad behavior!

Color Code and Relationships

The Color Code with Our Spouse

Ah, my favorite part.  Dr. Hartman goes into a lot of depth about relationships in his book, The People Code.  There are numerous couple’s therapists who use the Color Code as a foundational principal for their practice—it’s that good.  Besides, what good is it to know ourselves if it doesn’t help us in our most personal relationships? 

Like it or not, our relationships have a huge impact on our happiness.  When we are emotionally strong and independent, we can more easily overcome the hurt or the frustration caused by conflict in our relationships, but the conflict will still come. 

The Color Code is simply a very masterful tool in our toolbox to minimize the effects of that conflict because it increases our understanding of each other. 

John Steinbeck understanding leads to love

I am really fortunate that my husband and I have a good color blend.  That does NOT mean we haven’t had to learn how to balance my strengths with his weaknesses and vice versa.  It took us a while, but we have taught each other that some things need to be taken more seriously, but that there is no reason to be anxious and worried about even the most serious of things!  Ah, balance. 😉 (By the way, I’ve intentionally not said what my husband’s color is.  Anyone want to guess in the comments?!)

Understanding your color and your partner’s color isn’t enough in and of itself—it’s the first step.  When we understand our partner’s motives, strengths and weaknesses, we will live more harmoniously.  We will hear the words our partner says more softly and interpret their actions more generously. 

The Color Code with Our Kids

Unlike the Love Languages, the Color Code requires the test-taker to be a little bit older, to have a little more life experience.  Therefore, I can only guess what my son’s color is.  I am fairly certain he’s a white.  That realization completely changed the way I discipline him. 

mother and child

He used to make me, the blue “let’s explore our feelings-” talker, absolutely crazy because when I would correct, he would shut down.  Stubborn?  Oh, you betcha. Like nobody’s business.  You back him into a corner, he’ll turn around and face the corner.  He will commit to that corner—that corner is his new living space. 

That was a fundamental personality trait I was not going to change, and understanding that, has made a world of difference with his discipline!  He is happier, I am happier, there is more peace just from understanding that one little piece of his personality. 

Conversely, when I was a teenager and I was an idiot—enough of an idiot that my parents finally felt the need to come down on me—together—they unleashed on me.  Man, they lectured me good!  I remember I started crying, which just fed the flame of my dad’s anger.  He demanded, “why are you crying?” insinuating I had no right to cry.  I said, “I’m so sorry, keep going—I’m just so glad I get to spend time with both of you, even if you are yelling!”  My blue heart so wanted that intimate connection—I didn’t care if it came in the form of the good, the bad, or the ugly!

Curious About Your Color? 

So, still skeptical? Are you at least a little curious to discover your color? Hopefully I’ve started to convince you of the merits of Dr. Hartman’s Color Code, for us as individuals, for our personal relationships, and for our families.

Understanding other’s colors can help us take a pause when emotions run high in our homes. It can helps us remember that though we are a family, we are unique individuals; that someone’s words and actions are best understood as a reflection of their color’s motives, strengths and weaknesses.

I know I’m a blue, and I crave that understanding, but understanding is a good thing, right?  Understanding leads to compassion, harmony, and our ultimate goal…happiness

If you’re curious and what more information about your color, visit:


  1. Jane says:

    Wow! I’ve never seen something describe me so well thank you !! Lol 😧

    1. Cate says:

      Jane, I’m glad you like it! It’s eerily accurate, isn’t it? 😉

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