Monday, June 24, 2024

Sneha Shah’s book uses shapes to understand people and why they behave the way they do

Squiggle, square, circle, triangle, rectangle. 

Each of us has these five shapes within us. But which of these do you most resonate with? “80%of the time people choose forms that are their dominant shapes. They are psychologically and neurologically drawn towards them,” says psychologist Sneha Shah, who just launched her book  What shape are you? by Westland Books .

Sneha has collaborated with Susan Dellinger, the creator of the Psycho Geometrics system that helps analyse personal communication styles, who holds a doctorate in communication from the University of Colorado. “She came up with this concept 40 years ago,” explains Sneha, who met Susan in 2013 at a conference in Orlando, and has been involved in researching this concept since then.

Sneha Shah at the launch of the book

Sneha Shah at the launch of the book

The book tries to help people discover who they are, and why they behave the way they do. It also helps them be more tolerant of differences with others and connect without judgement.

“People can be a mix of two shapes. In which case, they use them in different areas. For example, one might be a square at work and a triangle at home,” says Sneha, who has been working with organisations using shape psychology since 2012. Over the years, 75,000 people have been trained in 10 different countries. While working with companies, Sneha saw that every workplace and even individual teams have their own culture. “Entrepreneurs are a triangle-squiggle combination. People who are chartered accountants have a box kind of orientation. Artists are squiggles. Psychologists are circles,” says Sneha who found it quite fascinating to observe and understand individuals according to their shapes.

Sneha says it was during the pandemic in 2020 that she started writing this book. A couple’s therapist as well, she noticed that the major issue people had was that they were inherently different from each other. All those differences created significant clashes, and resentment and people got upset. During the pandemic, differences between couples grew stronger and a lot of them started coming to Sneha with their issues. In the pandemic years, she says, 20% of couples reconnected, while the remaining 80% faced challenges. Not just couples, she noticed issues with in-laws and families too. “People also had questions about their careers. It was a transition phase for many,” she says. These events propelled her to come out with the book that is rich with shades of her experience.

Through the book, she also addresses the importance of not trying to change a person and how to love them based on their personality. “I can never change anybody and that’s a psychological fact. People will only change when they desire to. When we try to change someone, they feel invalidated. When you operate from a place of love and acceptance, you create more of that in the relationship. If you give out judgment, the other person will mirror the same back at you,” she adds. 

No one shape is superior or better than the other, she further assures. “The most healthy person is probably the one who is able to use all the five shapes at the right time with the right person and in the right proportion. And that’s what we need to work on,” concludes Sneha.

What Shape Are You is available across bookstores and on

Which of these are you?

SQUARE: The hard worker, this shape is typically very organised, logical, dependable, cautious, and tends to have some perfectionist tendencies.

TRIANGLE: They are ambitious, goal-oriented, adept at taking charge, and exerting authority. They are adrenaline junkies and prone to addictions.

CIRCLE: They are the most sensitive and loving of all shapes. Circles are focussed on the well-being of others and on maintaining harmony. They are uncomfortable with conflicts.

SQUIGGLE: These individuals tend to be exceptionally creative, expressive, flamboyant, dramatic, and witty. They have a tendency to be hyperactive and have short attention spans.

RECTANGLE: They are in a learning phase and searching for something new in their lives. They experience internal stress and confusion. They are seekers!

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