We all know that everyone is different. However, it’s discovering how we are different and how to deal with those who are different from us that is the tough part. Carol M. Welsh’s book Stop When You See Red helps in this respect. Walsh introduces the theory that we all have a personal profile based on four perceptions: visual, audio, feeler and wholistic. Each person has these four perceptions, just in different combinations. For example, a feeler/wholistic/visual/audio would have strong feeler characteristics, slightly weaker wholistic characteristics and the weakest audio characteristics. The order of your perceptions and how high you score for each perception determines how you perceive events, learn, relate to others, etc. By increasing your empowering tendencies (the positive side of your perceptions) and decreasing your limiting tendencies (the negative), Welsh says that we can all live a fuller, more fulfilled life.
Welsh offers a test for readers to take to discover what their perception order is and how strongly they rank for each perception. The test could have been more comprehensive and easier to understand. Some of the questions are a bit vague or confusing and it could be easy for readers to make mistakes. Interpreting the test is also a little confusing. This section of the book could easily be improved on.
After the test sections, Welsh goes into each perception and how people who have this as their primary perception function in a variety of real-life situations. She also gives hints as to how to recognize and deal with people of different perceptions. This is probably the strongest part of the book as everyone will recognize many of these characteristics in themselves or in people they know. Welsh does a good job of using stories and anecdotes to help illustrate how people of different perceptions get along (or don’t get along).
The next section of the book deal with the four perceptions as it relates to children. While this section will be interesting for those who have or work with children, it may not be relevant to those who don’t. This portion of the book could have been left out (or at least condensed) and would have been more appropriate for a child-rearing book.
Finally, Welsh goes into how each perception can work to decrease their limiting tendencies and ‘stop when they see red’—or control themselves so their negative feelings don’t take over. This is another strong section of the book and is useful for all those who are interested in improving themselves.
Stop When You See Red, though flawed, is an insightful book that will interest anyone who wants to learn more about themselves and those they deal with on a regular basis. Welsh’s writing style is easy-going with very little jargon and her genuine affection for people shines through in the writing. Recommended for anyone who wants to know why we’re all so different and how to make the most of it.