Shades of Passion


Did you know that your color preferences can tell a lot about your personality and inner balance?

Red used to be the only color I really didn’t like. I was convinced that I couldn’t wear it, that it clashed with my natural colors. 


But, as I began to study the psychology of colors, I realized that this wasn’t true. I actually needed the color.


Red clashed with my personality, because I had grown up with an imbalance. 


I was a typical person with too little red energy. Being the center of attention wasn’t my thing at all, since I was pretty shy. I found praise as well as criticism hard to take, I gave up too easily and was prone to depression. 


To try to change this, I decided to try some color therapy. Since I’m the kind of person who rarely do things half-heartedly, I didn’t just go for a red scarf. I made myself a top and a skirt in bright red and wore it regularly. It took some time to get used to, but eventually I started to like it. The bright red was like a new statement about myself. It gave me attention without any achievement from my side. People noticed me and I felt different. More confident. 


Nowadays I like red. Not all shades and tints are among my favorites, but many of them. I am also a much more balanced person. 


I am convinced that color therapy had a lot to do with that. 


Red is the lowest frequency among the colors of the rainbow and we associate it with warmth, passion and strong feelings. It stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. Some of the general interpretations are courage, strength, willpower, anger (seeing red), lust, love, brothels (red-light districts), guilt (being caught red handed), sacrifice and pain. Red is also a sign for danger and emergency. 


I could actually write a whole post about all the interpretations. But would it be helpful or interesting? And is it really that simple? 


Just red doesn’t say enough about the color to understand it. 


There are some common denominators for all the red shades. Red is always an impulse for action and an extrovert energy. (Read my blog The Three Faces of Color to understand red in relation to the other colors.) The rest of the interpretations have do do with shades and there are two other things you need to know in order to ”read” it; the lightness and the saturation of a color. 


Lightness and saturation can be applied to any color in the spectra and changes its energetic quality as well as its meaning. It also changes how it affects us. 


The first polarity is light and darkness. Here we go from a light tint (purity, thin boundaries, openness, innocence) to dark (integrity, authority, power, secrecy).


The other polarity goes from high saturation (intensity of feeling, high energy) to low (matter of fact, impersonal, lack of emotion). 


Abracadabra; four red variations are created. (And thousands of shades) They all have both positive and negative aspects, depending on a persons balance:


1. Light red with high saturation - courage, will, self-confidence/stress, insensitivity, impatience, aggressiveness

2. Light red with low saturation - loving trust, romantic love/naive, gullible

3. Dark red with high saturation - intense, passionate, love/jealousy

4. Dark red with low saturation - enterprising, drive for material success, bossy


Which shade do you prefer?


Photo by: Helga Weber


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