PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Main Interests of the Personality Types Serious Type

Leisurely Personality Type

The interests of the Leisurely Personality Type include (Oldham, pg. 203):

  • playing by the rules
  • fulfilling your responsibilities and obligations
  • letting no one deprive you of your personal pursuit of happiness
  • finding your happiness through creative pursuits
  • being guaranteed the opportunity to enjoy yourself
  • defending your right to do your "own thing"

Main Interests of the Leisurely Personality Type

  1. being free to do as you please

  2. being understood and appreciated by others

  3. being able to resist the demands and expectations of others

  4. being able to avoid submitting to authority

  5. having the same advantages as possessed by others

  6. enjoying a life of pleasure and comfort

  7. being able to proceed in your own direction without risking important relationships

Characteristic Traits and Behaviors

Dr. John M. Oldham has defined the Leisurely personality style. The following seven characteristic traits and behaviors are listed in his The New Personality Self-Portrait.

  1. Inalienable rights. Leisurely men and women believe in their right to enjoy themselves on their own terms in their own time. They value and protect their comfort, their free time, and their individual pursuit of happiness.

  2. Enough is enough. They agree to play by the rules. They deliver what is expected of them and no more. They expect others to recognize and respect that limit.

  3. The right to resist. Leisurely individuals cannot be exploited. They can comfortably resist acceding to demands that they deem unreasonable or above and beyond the call of duty.

  4. Mañana. Leisurely men and women are relaxed about time. Unlike Type-A individuals, they are not obsessed by time urgency or the demands of the clock. To these individuals, haste makes waste and unnecessary anxiety. They are easygoing and optimistic that whatever needs to get done will get done, eventually.

  5. I'm okay. They are not overawed by authority. They accept themselves and their approach to life.

  6. Wheel of fortune. Leisurely people believe that they are just as good as everyone else and as entitled to the best things in life. They maintain that blind luck often accounts for who fares well and who fares poorly.

  7. Mixed feelings. Although they feel impelled to proceed in their own direction, when their choices put them in conflict with the people they care for, Leisurely people are often of two minds about how to proceed. They do not like to risk important relationships, yet they need to feel free.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.

Idealized Image

I did conceive of "character strengths and virtues" in a positive way as Martin Seligman does in his Positive Psychology, but now see them as images of perfection that inflate the idealized self theorized by Karen Horney.

Character Strengths and Virtues (what the Passive-Aggressive type is proud of)

The "Character Strengths and Virtues" are attributes of the idealized self, or ego ideal. As "conditions of worth" they are idols.

  1. Autonomy, independence, separateness.
  2. Rule-following, able to set limits, responsible, obliging, dutiful, upstanding; happy, productive, cooperative, good-worker.
  3. Resistant to exploitation; fulfill obligations, stand up for themselves, aware of their rights, don't let others make excessive demands, work slowly and comfortably; placid, patient, slow-moving, steady, not likely to get upset, mellow, not worrisome, comfort- and pleasure-seeking, emotionally even.
  4. Leisurely, relaxed, deliberate, easy-going, optimistic; accommodating, slow easy, self-controlled, not driven to excess; sensibility, humility, modesty.
  5. Self-acceptance, self-assurance.
  6. Self-belief, self-respect.
  7. Though self-determined, family-oriented, companionable, relational; generous, appreciative, grateful, kind, fun-loving, passionate, physical, loving.

Responsible, obliging, dutiful (Oldham 203), autonomous, easy-going, optimistic, relaxed, self-accepting (204), independent, separate, family oriented, relational, companionable (205), self-determined, responsible, upstanding citizen (206), self-believing, generous, appreciative, grateful, kind, fun-loving, passionate, physical, loving (208), happy, productive, leisurely (209), cooperative, good-workers (212), works slowly and comfortably (213), placid, patient, slow-moving, steady, not likely to get upset, mellow, not worrisome, comfort- and pleasure-seeking, emotionally even (216), accomodating, slow, easy, pleasure-seeking, self-controlled, not driven to excess (217).

Top Strengths*

"Social intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick"

"Citizenship [social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork]: working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one's share

"Fairness: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance"

"Humility / Modesty Letting one's accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is"

"Self-regulation [self-control]: regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one's appetites and emotions"

"Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks"

"Humor [playfulness]: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; see the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes" (Peterson & Seligman, 29, 30).

* Selected from Christopher Peterson and Martin E. P. Seligman, (2004). Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. Oxford: Oxford UP.


Leisurely: "Without haste; unhurried, relaxed manner; slowly." (AHD)

Leisure: "Freedom from time-consuming duties, responsibilities, or activities." (AHD)

Synonyms: "deliberate, slow, dilatory, laggard" (MW, 491)

"Slow, dilatory, laggard, deliberate, leisurely can apply to persons, their movements, or their actions, and mean taking a longer time than is necessary, usual, or sometimes, desirable. Slow ... , the term that is the widest in its range of application, may also be used in reference to a thing (as a mechanism, a process, or a drug) that is the opposite of quick or fast in its motion, its performance, or its operation. In its varying applications slow often suggests a reprehensible or discreditable cause (as stupidity, lethargy, indolence, or inaction) ... but it may suggest either extreme care or caution ... or a tempo that is required by nature, art, or a plan or schedule ... or a falling behind because of structural or mechanical defects or untoward difficulties ... Dilatory is relatively a term of restricted application referable to persons or to things for which persons are responsible as their actors, performers, or creators and implying slowness that is the result of inertness, procrastination, or indifference ... Laggard is even more censorious a term than dilatory, for it implies a failure to observe a schedule (as for arriving or performing) or to obey a call or demand promptly; it frequently suggests loitering or waste of time ... Deliberate ... applies to persons, usually directly but sometimes indirectly, and then is applied to things for which a person is responsible; the term suggests absence or hurry or agitation and a slowness that is the result of care, forethought, calculation, or self-restraint ... Leisurely also implies a lack of hurry or a slowness that suggests that there is no pressure for time; the term applies not only to persons and their acts but to things that have no relation to persons ... " (748)

Analogous: "relaxed, slack, lax: slackened, retarded, delayed: easy, comfortable, restful"

Antonyms: "hurried: abrupt"

Contrasted: "hasty, speedy, quick, fast, rapid: precipitate, headlong, impetuous" (491)

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1981, c.1969). William Morris, Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Merriam-Webster (1984). Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms: A Dictionary of Discriminated Synonyms with Antonyms and Analogous and Contrasted Words. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Careers and Jobs for the Leisurely type

Google Answers: selecting the right career for me

This list represents careers and jobs people of the Leisurely type tend to enjoy doing.

government employee
pharmaceutical sales
computer analyst
technical trainer
project manager
officer manager
factory supervisor
credit analyst
electrical engineer
regulatory compliance
chief information officer
construction worker
general contractor
industrial engineer
budget analyst
data base manager
funeral director
security guard

Source: U.S. Department of Interior, Career Manager - ESTJ.

Noteworthy examples of the Leisurely personality type

Many people (and not just those of the Leisurely personality type) have leisurely traits or behave in an leisurely manner. But the traits and behaviors of the Leisurely personality type are not so inflexible and maladaptive or the cause of such significant subjective distress or functional impairment as to constitute

Passive-Aggressive personality disorder.
The noteworthy examples of the Leisurely personality type listed below are examples of a *type*, not of a disorder. It is my opinion that the ideal type which is described above is best characterized as leisurely, and that the Leisurely personality type represents the pervasive and enduring pattern of the personalities of the people listed below better than any other type.

Famous persons on this list may serve as ego ideals, idealized images, and idols for individuals of the Leisurely type.

Noteworthy examples of the Leisurely personality type are: Index of noteworthy examples

Douglas Adams | Gordon Allport | Yasser Arafat | Ingrid Bergman | Pat Buchanan | Marc Chagall | Ahmed Chalabi | Tom Clancy | Perry Como | Gary Cooper | Kevin Costner | Bing Crosby | Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi | Geena Davis | Mike Ditka | Hugh Downs | Dave Draper | Dwight D. Eisenhower | Julian English | Gerald R. Ford | John Wayne Gacy | John Glenn | Jonathan Harker | Woody Harrelson | W. E. Henley | Herbert Hoover | William Dean Howells | Janet Jackson | Lady Bird Johnson | Sophia Loren | Michael Moore | John O'Hara | Colin Powell | Ronald Reagan | Keanu Reeves | Gary Ridgway | John Ritter | Roseanne | Norman Schwarzkopf | Martin Seligman Anna Nicole Smith | Whoopi Goldberg | Ringo Starr | Bram Stoker | William Styron | George Washington | John Wayne | Ann Wilson | Brian Wilson | Thomas Wolfe


  "Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been: namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir" - Friedrich Nietzsche.

I hypothesize that the personality theories of personality theorists best describe themselves and those of their own type.

C. George Boeree

Timothy Miller

  • Timothy Miller, Ph.D., Psychologist, in Stockton, California
  • buying info: How to Want What You Have : Discovering the Magic and Grandeur of Ordinary Existence

    from a Customer Review:

    How to Want What You Have, Discovering the Magic and Grandeur of Ordinary Existence, sounds like the perfect panacea to the rush and hurry, but get nowhere world. According to the jacket, Dr. Miller advises that you must learn to open your eyes to the beauty, mystery and grandeur of ordinary existence. An absolutely excellent thought. However, as a therapist, I do not believe in what I call therapy by sledgehammer. The endless talk, talk, talk about how to learn how to want what you have and especially via cognitive therapy became boring...

  • talks to Timothy Miller

    T.M.: I once subscribed to a very active email list dedicated to a specialized topic that interested me. I'm considering a WWW site for fans and potential fans. On the whole, I'm underwhelmed by the WWW, yet it seems certain that it will eventually change the world more than telephones or television did. I think it's going to have to get a lot faster first, though.

William Styron [New!]

George Washington

In The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House, James David Barber types George Washington as "Passive-Negative," one of four possible Presidential "character types."


The factors are consistent--but how are we to account for the man's political role-taking? Why is someone who does little in politics and enjoys it less there at all? The answer lies in the passive-negative's character-rooted orientation toward doing dutiful service; this compensates for low self-esteem based on a sense of uselessness. Passive-Negative types are in politics because they think they ought to be. They may be well adapted to certain nonpolitical roles, but they lack the experience and flexibility to perform effectively as political leaders. Their tendency is to withdraw, to escape from the conflict and uncertainty of politics by emphasizing vague principles (especially prohibitions) and procedural arrangements. They become guardians of the right and proper way, above the sordid politicking of lesser men.

Active-positive Presidents want to achieve results. Active-negatives aim to get and keep power. Passive-positives are after love. Passive-negatives emphasize their civic virtue. The relation of activity to enjoyment in a President thus tends to outline a cluster of characteristics, to set apart the well adapted from the compulsive, compliant, and withdrawn types.

The first four Presidents of the United States, conveniently, ran through this gamut of character types. (Remember, we are talking about tendencies and broad directions; no individual man exactly fits a category.) George Washington--clearly the most important President in the pantheon--established the fundamental legitimacy of an American government at a time when this was a matter of considerable question. Washington's dignity, judiciousness, his aloof air of reserve and dedication to duty, fit the passive-negative or withdrawing type best. Washington did not seek innovation, he sought stability. He longed to retire to Mount Vernon, but fortunately was persuaded to stay on through a second term, in which, by rising above the political conflict between Hamilton and Jefferson and inspiring confidence in his own integrity, he gave the nation time to develop the organized means for peaceful change.

Source: Barber, James David. The presidential character : predicting performance in the White House . Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice Hall, c1992.

The following is Thomas Jefferson's famous portrait of Washington:

Monticello, January 2, 1814

...I think I knew General Washington intimately and thoroughly; and were I called on to delineate his character, it should be in terms like these.

His mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong, though not so acute as that of a Newton, Bacon, or Locke; and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion. Hence the common remark of his officers, of the advantage he derived from councils of war, where hearing all suggestions, he selected whatever was best; and certainly no general ever planned his battle more judiciously. But if deranged during the course of the action, if any member of his plan was dislocated by sudden circumstances, he was slow in readjustment. The consequence was that he often failed in the field, and rarely against an enemy in station, as at Boston and York. He was incapable of fear, meeting personal dangers with the calmest unconcern. Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed. His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man. His temper was naturally high toned; but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendency over it. If ever, however, it broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in his wrath. In his expenses he was honorable, but exact; liberal in contributions to whatever promised utility; but frowning and unyielding on all visionary projects and all unworthy calls on his charity. His heart was not warm in its affections; but he exactly calculated every man's value, and gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it. His person, you know, was fine, his stature exactly what one would wish, his deportment easy, erect and noble; the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback. Although in the circle of his friends, where he might be unreserved with safety, he took a free share in conversation, his colloquial talents were not above mediocrity, possessing neither copiousness of ideas, nor fluency of words. In public, when called on for a sudden opinion, he was unready, short and embarrassed. Yet he wrote readily, rather diffusely, in an easy and correct style. This he had acquired by conversation with the world, for his education was merely reading, writing, and common arithmetic, to which he added surveying at a later day. His time was employed in action chiefly, reading little, and that only in agriculture and English history. His correspondence became necessarily extensive, and, with journalizing his agricultural proceedings, occupied most of his leisure hours within doors. On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect, in nothing bad, in few points indifferent; and it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance. For his was the singular destiny and merit, of leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war, for the establishment of its independence; of conducting its councils through the birth of a government, new in its forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example.

Samuel Eliot Morison describes Washington's character:

In describing himself as one who had inherited "inferior endowments from nature," Washington was too modest; but his superiority lay in character, not talents. He had the power of inspiring respect, but no gift of popularity. He was direct not adroit; stubborn rather than flexible; slow to reach decision rather than a man of quick perception. The mask of dignity and reserve that concealed his inner life came from humility, and stern seff-control. A warm heart was revealed by innumerable kindly acts to his dependents and subordinates. Some men, especially unreconstructed Antifederalists such as Senator Mclay of Pennsylvania, found him dull and stiff; but the ladies never did. He talked with them charmingly and danced with gusto. Fifty years later there were dowagers in every town from Portsmouth to Savannah who cherished memories of presidential persiflage when he danced with them as young girls, in his tours of North and South (pp. 318-319).

Source: Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Oxford history of the American People. New York: Oxford University, c1965.

Yasser Arafat

  • Yasser Arafat - Man of inaction. By David Plotz

    Yasser Arafat didn't start the riots and marches of the latest intifada, but once they began he lent them his support. Arafat didn't want to attend the Sharm el-Sheik summit, but he allowed himself to be cajoled into participating. Arafat agreed to a cease-fire, but he has barely uttered a public word in support of it. He has been, in short, halfhearted in every way he could be. Arafat's public image is that of a busy, constantly scheming manipulator. But the events of the past few weeks—and the events of the past 30 years—suggest that Arafat is a very different type: the passive-aggressive.


More Leisurely personality type



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