The sheep Personality
Sheep Characteristics: Average size • Conservative • Supportive • Punctual • Servile • Boring
Scientific Name: Ovis aries
Collective Term: A flock of sheep
The affable and meek nature of the sheep personality evokes some derision from carnivores, but a grudging respect from its fellow herbivores. Sheep have no real defense mechanisms other than the safety of numbers, which is why they huddle in suburbs with like-minded individuals, pooling resources and raising families. They are more religious than most, seeking comfort in the collective reassurance of the church where they are quite content to be labeled as flock. When confronted by obstacles, they hate to make decisions - deferring instead to their partners or religious leaders. While this may help the sheep maintain a superficial sense of wellbeing, it leads to the loss of identity that typifies the sheep persona.
Sheep Need Social Affirmation
Their reputation for lack of vision and ambition is well deserved. Largely disinterested in politics -- viewing it as time taken from work -- sheep respect the law and rarely question authority. This leaves them susceptible to the whims of the canine personalities, who with dominance and leadership are able to change the direction of an entire herd. Like most things in life though, sheep turn this into an advantage by utilizing the protection and guidance provided by these stronger animals.
Physically, sheep are nondescript and uninspiring. Dressing conservatively (in wool coats?), they draw as little attention to themselves as possible. Lacking the bulk and strength of larger animal personalities, they are vulnerable to predatory behavior, and parley their strong herding instinct into a defense mechanism. Safety in numbers and the pooling of resources more than make up for the sheep's vulnerability, and they flourish accordingly.
The Sheep Personality's Career
A prime factor in their success is their ability to concentrate on resource acquisition and money-making. Preferring to let other animals perform the time-consuming jobs of philosophizing and defending the community, they quietly go about building their families.
Sheep are tireless and valued workers with the ability to spend hours on monotonous tasks. Skilled at taking direction, their ability to concentrate makes them outstanding accountants, research assistants or secretaries, but they are rarely found in leadership roles and would even turn down a promotion if it removed them from the safety of the herd.
Sheep in the Pasture
Following the dog, sheep were the first animals to be domesticated around 10,000 B.C. The domestication of the dog may have made this possible by its contribution in controlling the first wild herds, but no one is quite sure which animal is the ancestor of the domestic sheep. It is most likely a species that has since become extinct.
Inherent in the sheep's behavior is its instinct to crowd together when threatened. This behavior produces the sheep's distinctive flocking patterns and makes it an ideal farm animal. As grazers, sheep don't just simply take nutrition from the soil. They can actually restore fertility to otherwise sandy or poor lands, and many farmers use them to increase the value of their property.
Careers & Hobbies
Collection Agent • Accountant • Researcher • Secretary • Assembly worker
Gardening • Basket making • Child rearing • Choir singing
Love & Friendship
Sheep are content to stand in the shadow of their mates and are willing to make sacrifices for the long-term good of the relationship. By living on the deferred happiness plan, they consider boredom and subservience to be necessary evils in a successful relationship.
When problems crop up in their relationships, sheep tend to assume the role of victim and have trouble with confronting their partners directly. However, from their mate's point of view, the sheep is a wonderfully compliant partner whose quiet loyalty and sturdy body make for some wild and wooly nights.
Often attracted to the dog personality -- probably because of its commanding voice and leadership skills -- the sheep's willingness to compromise its sense of tranquility for the powerful benefit of being dominated by the dog, results in a bittersweet alliance. But ultimately this match is ill fated. The over-controlling nature of the dog eventually exhausts the poor sheep, and the relationship simply collapses.
While it might have the occasional affair with a carnivore, the sheep's compulsive need to avoid conflict makes it perfect for a relationship with its second cousin; the mountain goat. Liaisons with deer and prairie dogs are particularly comfortable, as is the bouncy cottontail whose breeding ability satisfies the sheep's most powerful emotional needs.
Famous Sheep Personalities
The Moral Majority
Jerry Falwell coined the term "Moral Majority" to describe his followers -- the mass of middle-American religious families who didn't stand out in any way. But they could -- and did -- sway elections in quite dramatic fashion.
Superman carefully chose his alter-ego to be a sheep personality because of its ability to blend with the herd and make its living by not standing out from the crowd.