Surrounded By Idiots: Bite-Sized Book Summary

Surrounded By Idiots: Bite-Sized Book Summary
Photo by Brandi Redd / Unsplash

If you read my last article about building a habit, you would know that I picked up reading as a new habit. As of writing this on a Friday morning, I chewed through three books in the last two months now and am itching to get onto more.

The most recent book I finished is 'Surrounded By Idiots' by Thomas Erikson, a Swedish author, and behavior coach. He explores the four personality types which every human exhibit in their life. These are Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue. Many of things he talks about in the book date back to historic evidence from Hippocrates and is based on the DISC system (DiSC is an acronym that stands for the four main personality profiles described in the DiSC model: (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness and (C)conscientiousness.)

The polarizing name of the book spoke to me, and my better half recommended it to me, so I jumped into it hoping to learn more about how people function and perhaps identify some of my behaviors within the literature.

The book follows a clear path of going into the different colors that can make up a person, splitting it into chapters with four appropriately-sized sections. Erikson notes that multiple colors can be present in a person, and if you read this book may think you have all four color types within you. Let's dive into what the colors mean as per Erikson's writing:


Reds are dominant and commanding, want everything done quickly, and often launch into things that are not fully thought through yet. They are known to be quite blunt and point things out as they are. Some people see this personality type as having 'no emotions'.


Yellows are social and optimistic, talk quite a lot, and always want to be the center of attention. They are also known to launch many ideas without much thought and perform many things quite rapidly. They can overwhelm certain colors because they are all go, all the time.


Greens are laid back and friendly, are ok with not doing things all the time, and keep quite a lot of things holed up in themselves. A greens patience threshold is very high, as they are not a big fan of conflict. Greens are very loyal people, but you will also have to push them to do things quite often.


Blues are analytical and detail-oriented. They meticulously plan everything down to the very last detail. Often they get so bogged down in the attention to detail that they get nothing done in the end. They are very deliberate, (In a red's eyes this means slow) and rarely get stressed as they have a calculated system of not getting to that point.

Do you see yourself in any of the profiles above? Perhaps more than one? Most people are a combination of two colors.

Erikson dives into situations either in your work life or in your private life, and how to deal with different color types. He uses a lot of Anecdotal content in this book, making it very personal. He emphasizes that no type is better than the others and that each has its unique qualities that can be valuable in different situations. By understanding one's type and the types of others, people can learn to adapt their communication style to better connect with others and achieve their goals.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, as it is one further step in understanding myself and others.  It fills a good few gaps from historical events in my work and personal life, leading me to reflect on my last few years to try to understand how and why things have happened with certain people.

If I managed to pique your interest, pick it up at your local bookshop or use this link:

Until next time,