181 Are You an “Insy” or an “Outsy”?

I don’t know if there is a scientific correlation between belly-button types and personalities but casual observation tells me that belly-buttons and personality types follow the same distinctive patterns – both belly-buttons and personalities come in “insy” and “outsy” variations.Just as there are “insy” and “outsy” belly-buttons, there are inner-directed and outer-directed personality types. The inner-directed type gains validation and purpose from themselves (or what they think about themselves) while the outer-directed types gain validation and purpose from others (or what they think other people are thinking about them). Please don’t bother emailing me about this, I know this is an extreme over-simplification of a complex concept but this is a short article, not a book.


Managers and marketers who understand this concept can be much more effective if they understand who they are working with or working to lead, negotiate with, and persuade. They use different techniques, different vocabulary and different media to attract or convince either type.Outer-directed people are more brand conscious, glitterier, more aware of status and are often more emotional and subjective in their purchasing decisions.Inner-directed people are often disdainful of those attributes and think of themselves as more contemplative and objective. Their purchases reflect a more austere view.Obviously, you can’t just ask someone if they are an “insy” or an “outsy” and they might not know even if you did ask them, but you should be able to get hints by studying their mannerisms, personal style, vocabulary and syntax. If you know the demographic group and personality type of the people you are communicating with, you should then be able to create communications that will resonate with your targeted audience. Consider how you think they will feel when you attempt to convince them or lead them.As an exercise, think for a moment about the people you need to convince (either for marketing, management, or leadership purposes) and develop sales arguments, leadership scripts, or managerial conversations (depending on each individual situation) to both personality types based on how you understand what they want to get out of the things they purchase or how you expect them to respond when they are being led or managed. Done correctly, you should have slightly different emphases on the features and benefits you illustrate. Measure how the response changes among inner and outer-directed people.


If you get it right, you will become an equal opportunity belly button and personality communicator.