Are You a Bamboo Personality Type?

Are You a Bamboo Personality Type?

If you’re a coach or healer or want to help people in any way, it can be so valuable to learn how to “read” them.

We all know that Chinese medicine can read (diagnose) your health – but what most people don’t know is that it also developed a way to read your spirit.

There are hidden meanings in the patterns in your face and birth date that can help you understand who you really are inside.

And you can learn to read these in other people as well, so you can work with them in the most authentic and heart-based way.

In your birth date, there are messages in the year you were born, and in the month you were born, and even more in the day you were born.

All these messages weave together to show you why you are the way you are, where you tend to go wrong, and how you can change to create a life that’s a fit for you.

To get the complete picture of who someone is, we read the patterns in both their birth date and their face, but even just knowing JUST the birth year can reveal so much.

Were you born in one of these years?
So let’s look at some things we can read in the birth year alone.

For example, were you born in 1996, 1987, 1978, 1969, 1960, 1951 or 1942 or do you know someone who was? Read this description and see if you can relate:

Most (not all) people born in these years are said to have a “Bamboo” nature. What does that mean?

Well, one thing we know about a bamboo tree is how flexible it is. Its long trunk bends and sways in the breeze.

That’s actually the secret to its success – its ability to be flexible and adaptable. It can’t get knocked down or broken in a storm like an oak tree can. It doesn’t break – it just bends with the wind.

So if you’re a Bamboo person, this means you can come across as easygoing and adaptable.

For example, you can deal with a wide variety of personality types because you naturally adjust to accommodate them. People often love anyone with bamboo energy because they’re so easy to get along with.

This “bendability” also benefits you in terms of problem-solving. You’re not rigid in your outlook and you can adjust to changing circumstances.

Because of this you can find success working within organizations or bureaucracies like the government or corporations. It’s not that you enjoy those kinds of limitations but you’re able to work within the system. You can bend to get around the rules or adjust your plan to stay within the required structure.


If you have a bamboo theme to your nature you may find your life goes in curves rather than in straight lines.

Just like the bamboo changes direction according to how the breeze blows, there’s a changeability to this kind of energy, so you may end up moving more often than other kinds of people, or changing careers several times.

You probably won’t be the kind of person who settles into one job at age 21 and gets the gold watch 50 years later!

You may get criticized by family and friends for not settling down or being able to stick to one career but that’s not the plan for you. The breeze blows, the bamboo bends and there’s a change of direction. That’s how you’re supposed to do your life.

The need to stand firm

But every human characteristic has downsides to it. And in this case, one downside is that you can over-accommodate other people. You can be too bendable, give up too much to make way for others’ needs and wants.

Alternatively, you can be too easily influenced by other people’s opinions. Or you may change your mind too easily, or become indecisive.

There’s also the chance that you don’t always stick with what you’ve started when you actually should. You continue on for a while but then bend to go in a different direction.

If you do this too often, your life becomes one with too many changes and no goals achieved.

If you’re a Bamboo person, one thing you’ll need to learn is when not to bend, when to stay with something, or how to stand firm for your own needs or what you know is right.

Complex thinker

There’s another interesting thing about a bamboo tree. It’s not like most other trees where there’s a tall trunk and then the branches start to form high up in the tree.

Instead, right from the base of the trunk it starts branching out. There are hundreds of small branches growing out of the trunk from the bottom to the top.

If you’re a Bamboo personality type, this means is that you’re a great problem-solver because you can always see more than one option in any situation.

You excel at finding many possibilities, to come up with one idea to put into motion but if that Plan A doesn’t work, you can pull out a Plan B or C, or D!

All those branches also mean you naturally have a very complex thinking process, able to analyze in intricate ways and hold many different thoughts at once. You’re a very good thinker!

But one downside is that you can be so good at complex thinking that you think and think and think and think – and then think some more! You can overthink everything, and not take action.

“Let me think about it…”

To you there’s never just one choice, one direction to go – there are so many to think about! So procrastination, indecisiveness or changing your mind too often can be a challenge.

One of the most common comments you’ll hear from a Bamboo person is “Let me think about it.” This can drive their family and friends crazy as they watch them just spinning their wheels!

If you have some bamboo energy in your nature, it’s so important to remind yourself that at some point you just have to choose one thing and do it. You can reassure yourself by remembering that even if it turns out that there are problems down the road – you’re the expert at coming up with Plan B! You can handle it!

Inner tension

Bamboo grows incredibly fast. In some cases, bamboo can grow 4 feet in one day.

To accomplish that, there is a powerful inner tension within the plant, like a coiled spring to keep pushing it up and up and up.

What that means for a person with bamboo energy is that there’s a powerful inner tension in them too.

This is what helps them think so intensely. But that tension can have a downside in that it makes them hold a lot of tension against themselves.

People with a Bamboo type of personality tend to be way too hard on themselves, beating themselves up for every little thing.

One “cure” for this is to stay active both physically and mentally – to have an outlet for all that inner tension and to distract yourself from self-judgmental thoughts. If you don’t, over the years, it can eventually lead to depression.

Coaching a Bamboo Person

If you’re trying to coach or help a Bamboo person in any way, what does this mean for you?

First of all, their flexibility can make them always seem to agree with you, to go along with what you’re saying.

You need to know that inside their heads, however, they may be analyzing everything you say. Bamboo people are often more skeptical than they appear, because they’re aware that they can be too easily influenced.

So you’ll need to be able to establish credibility with them, and show them the logic of what you’re proposing.

And it may be they’ll agree to the action plan you’ve created for them, but then procrastinate or get distracted and never get going.

Bamboo people struggle with self-doubt. At first that plan seemed like the right thing to do, but now they’re not so sure, so they decide to wait to think about it some more.

And that tendency toward self-judgment, being so hard on themselves, can make them waver. As they meet the unavoidable little glitches that happen with any plan, they can too easily beat themselves up for what isn’t their fault at all.

So they try at all costs to not end up in that painful place of self-blame. But that usually equates to the choice of “no action = no chance of pain.” Until of course they start beating themselves up for not taking action! It can be a vicious circle.

The bamboo needs the freedom to sway with the breeze but to grow in solid ground with strong roots. And its trunk bends but it’s not weak and floppy! There is that strong inner tension and a naturally structured plan for its design.

What this means is that Bamboo personality types need two important things from a coach or any helper:

1 – Grounded advice, solid and well thought out. Nothing too woo-woo; it’s got to have a proven foundation to it.

The bamboo sways with the breeze but it’s rooted in the firm ground. Bamboo people do best with experienced mentors who have established credibility with their work.

Unconsciously they know how changeable they are, so they need to be sure you’re not!

2 – A structured, step-by-step plan. Bamboo people do best when the work toward their goal is organized into small steps over time.

Don’t give them complicated projects because I promise you, their brilliant brain is far better at “complicated” than you are! They will take your complex plan and make it even more so.

So instead, literally come up with “Step 1” – “Step 2” – “Step 3” etc.

If you do these two things for your Bamboo person, you may end up with a lifelong client! Of course, they’ll probably next be contacting you about their new career or upcoming move!

Are you a Bamboo?

If you relate to the above but you weren’t born in one of the years listed, we may find these patterns by reading your face instead. They can be found in your birth date, or your features, or both.

There’s so much more to know about the Bamboo personality type. And there are eight other types as well! This is what I teach in my workshops.

If you’d like to learn how to coach, counsel or help transform people’s lives, it’s essential to know how to understand each of them because of course there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to human beings.

I hope you’ll join me at one of the Discover Your Inner Design workshops – Click here to see more!

47 thoughts on “Are You a Bamboo Personality Type?”

  1. I see bamboo very strongly in myself. For a long time I’ve seen myself as a ‘bridge’ between types, and I very often help my friends to understand their interactions with others by seeing it from the other side. I can often get stuck in non-action/indecisiveness, and really am quite skeptical despite my easygoing expressions in society. I also pretty much live in my head. I see it represented in my body type, though not in my birthdate (which is 06/06/1985). Thank you for the post. It’s quite helpful.

    1. Thank you, Heather! Your birth date shows a lot of adaptability as well (and a good supply of perfectionism too!) so there are definitely many parallel qualities here!

  2. Wow…every bit of this describes me! Birthday: November 4, 1969. I am currently between careers, any suggestions for a classic bamboo? Btw, my screen saver is a photo of bamboo, and I planted some in my yard!

    1. Ha, I love it that you have bamboo in your life, Danna! The month and day of your birth date also show a natural tendency for lots of change and variety in your life, and an even greater need for grounding. You’ll do even better than most Bamboos with a coach or mentor to help you with the career decision.

  3. This is so on target! I have family with 2 of these birth years and this describes them so well! They both are very successful at what they do because of these traits. I see many traits of myself in this, especially the trait of seeing so many sides to an issue, I can’t make a decision and then upset with myself because I can’t make a decision:) My birth year is 1963 so where can I find out what personality type I am? Thanks so much for this post!

    1. Thanks so much, Amy! You can learn all about this in my workshops, as well as how to read what your face says about your true nature. Click on the Events link to find them or the Books link to see my books about this! <3

  4. Spot on!! Thank you Jane; my friends and I really appreciate the work you do :’) Namaste’, Renae 9/26/69

    1. Thank you, Ranae! And btw your birth date shows you have more of a grounded nature than many Bamboos!

  5. Thanks Jean! My birth date is 7/11/1951 and I definitely can relate to the Bamboo Personality especially how difficult it is to make a decision and take action and how I fit into the World. Love and Thanks again !

    1. Thanks Jean. My birth date is 7/11/1951 and I definitely can relate to the Bamboo Personality especially how difficult it is to make a decision and take action and how I fit into the World. Love, and Thanks again for all your insights!

    2. Many thanks, Susan! In seeing your full birthdate, I notice your difficulty with decisions is also affected by how much you care about doing things right (perfectionism) so it’s very understandable that you say that!

  6. My birthday is 3-29-88. I have always had trouble sticking to things. It’s not nescessarly because I didn’t like the thing anymore, I just shifted and something else showed up and I put my attention there. I know now that I am not a “quiter” like I’ve been told so often. Also, I’ve struggled with depression and thinking I was crazy for years. I wanted to turn my brain off! I chose marijuana and became inactive. As you said, “no action = no pain.” I used to think that was the way. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your work is the first I’ve found that offers me total empowerment. I am really starting to love myself again and have stopped using the pot and I instead exercise and see friends. 🙂

  7. This article is spot on for me. I am born on 6/17/60. I do coaching as well, so this information is helpful in terms of how I work with my clients. Being flexible is one of the keys to my success. I adapt and work with each client according to their personalities. However, it is always work for me to make sure that I don’t get overly flexible. I am going to relook at how I am conducting business over the next couple of months and make the appropriate adjustments. This information was useful and will keep me mindful. I will be attending your workshop in New York on August 15th and am looking forward to an enlightening experience. Thank you VERY much!

  8. Oh my gosh! This is soooo my husband. I sometimes feel like I am beating my head against a wall because I think we’ve made a decision to do something and then it all stops, usually because he’s been ‘thinking’ about it. December 16, 1951. I have to get him a reading so you can work with him.:)

    1. Ha, Beth, yes, I’ve heard that so many times from people married to Bamboos! I’d love to do a reading for him.

  9. Thank you Jean – I have all of your books and I think today after this wonderful article, I need to dig into them again. I’m bamboo through and through – 01/17/69. I recently lost my house to a flood, my job,due to working from home and my partner and am starting over again and wow talk about not being able to choose a path – it’s like being in a labyrinth made of bamboo : ) Thank you for all of your wonderful insight and advice – it’s been a source of wisdom and guidance for me for a few years now. Continued Blessings to you.

    1. Powerful times for you, Carol! Your birth date shows you’ve been moving through a cycle that has to do with “letting go” and processing feelings of grief, and it sounds like Life has certainly brought you opportunities for that. I hope there’s great ease from here for you!

  10. Thank you, Jean, for your insight, wisdom an guidancce. My nephew is a bamboo type and your description fits his personality with absolute precision! I don’t know which type I am. I was born July 4th, 1955. Thank you, Jean, André much love to you

    1. Thank you, Mabel! You’re not a Bamboo type but in fact I can see from the month and date you were born, that you do have some Bamboo influence in your nature too – This helps you understand your nephew!

  11. My b-day is August 19, 1960 and I’m a hopeless explorer! I’ll never be satisfied in the same place for long – I always want to see what’s over there…and there…and yonder. I’ve had more jobs than I can count, but the curiosity keeps things interesting! Thanks for your words of wisdom.

  12. That explains A LOT ! My Birthday is the 16.10.1960 my husband’s is 3.8.1960. I have wondered why our lives are so different to that of our family and friends who are so settled. We have moved for different jobs. My husband isn’t as patient with people as I am. He moves onto the next thing before finishing the last thing and has a million ideas, which I don’t react to or I’d go crazy. I pick up the loose ends. He recently got into the hospitality business with several employees and then hated it and left me to work it and now I’d rather he work away as he distracts me from the job at hand as we are tied in financially. His brain doesn’t stop thinking, it drives him crazy and he has bouts of mild depression and now health issues like AF & Oestoarthritis that brings him down.
    I never knew where would be or what will happen next. I even gave up planning any dinner parties because on the night he’d changed his mind about wanting to attend it. I am TOO easy going and find my self in situations I didn’t see coming but I adapt to the necessary role and make the best of it. I had lacked a better paying job so we’ve gone with his work. I didn’t want a boring life but this had led us to financial risk at times than if we had stayed on one course. He is always looking for the next thing. I’m surprised he hasn’t traded me in after 20 years ! LOL I don’t think he understands himself or can harness his energies and settle and now at 55 looking back I see the patterns clearly but wonder about the future.

    1. Thank you, Daisy – This work can be brilliant in terms of “translating” in relationships, how one person tends to think and feel that their partner may be misunderstanding. At least you both share the Bamboo pattern, but you each have other patterns it can be helpful to recognize. You might want to use my book, Your Hidden Symmetry as a guide…

  13. Thank you, Jean. I can relate to the bamboo type for sure. My birth date (1/31/1952) doesn’t fall into the year but since it is before Feb. 3rd I am guessing the year is one less and so a bamboo. I always got marked down at school for not finishing what I started and I still battle with myself for that today. I am a procrastinator and a perfectionist which keeps me in that no pain cycle.

    1. Thanks, Sue, yes, you’re right that you are a Bamboo type. You also have a strong perfectionistic streak, as you already know, and that adds to the mix. One thing we know about you is that you always care very much about the quality of everything you do, and that’s a very good thing.

  14. Hi Jean! This is very interesting; though I don’t have a bamboo birth year (6/3/1972) I feel like this describes me in some ways. I have had many many jobs and a few career paths, sometimes simultaneously! I feel like l am always trying to find myself.

    1. Thanks, Andrea, yes, your birth date shows you have “changeability” in your nature but in a different way!

  15. Oh, I think I may be described as bamboo-y, though being a gemini is what others would ascribe: May 26 1969. I’ve had a lot of reversals/losses over the last several years never settled into the career I trained for — and have been grieving, trying to avoid self-reproach for situations I had no control over.

    1. Thanks, Angeline – Yes, a big part of the work of someone with this pattern is to learn how not to judge yourself so harshly. Good job.

  16. Dear Jean,

    I can relate to many traits of bamboo personality as I am born on 9th April 1969. My question is how do you control the downsides of bamboo personality.

    1. Thank you, Suhas, and your question is very appropriate. This is what I teach in my workshops – how to embrace and honor your true nature and express it in the most positive way. We’d need to read all your patterns, not just the Bamboo, in order to guide you in the best way.

  17. This seems to explain why it’s taking me so long to leave a job (maybe even a career?) that I’ve outgrown and find clarity re: my next steps. I definitely find myself overthinking and getting lost in the numerous possibilities. My birthdate is 8/21/1978.

    1. Thanks, Sara, and your birth date shows you are designed to analyze and think about things to the nth degree! That’s a good quality as long as at some point in the process you’re able to choose a direction, with the trust and understanding that Life will help you – It’s not all up to you! <3

  18. Bamboo is not only in my numbers, it’s all over my face. I love this work because it gets straight to the point, giving me groundness to my woo-woo ness. I’m gonna share this on my blog. =)

  19. I see myself as a Bamboo type, my birth date is 28/12/1951. I seem to just spend so much time thinking that I never get anything done you are right I just have to take some action and start. Thank you.

  20. My DOB is 4/11/1987. Never thought the plant that would describe me best would be bamboo! Although I find that I fit most of the tratits listed above, adaptability isn’t a trait that I seemed to have. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t be thinking about changing my current job right now.

  21. Thank you Jean! I like pictures as well as words. The bamboo plant fits me perfectly. My birth date is August 4,1951. I have read “Your Hidden Symmetry” and “The Wisdom of Your Face”. I constantly refer to reinforce the concepts. Thank you for listening to your mother-in-law and studying,learning and teaching about these ancient Chinese principles. I hope to attend one of your events in the future. Please come to Florida! I’m ordering “The Wisdom of Your Child’s Face” today. I have 6 grandchildren and want to recognize their patterns and learn how best to mentor them.

  22. I love that “bamboo” is the word to describe who I am. Your description is the best I’ve read that really describes me. 9/12/51.

  23. Jean, Wow!
    This explains so much! The adaptability, the complex thinking, the problem with making decisions, and self-judgement, even the parts about how to coach a bamboo person (I was born 11/09/1987 by the way!, a Rabbit!), because I really do seek out teachers who are very credible as I am pretty skeptical, however, with complex instructions I tend to feel the need to simplify, yet if I was given something simple to do then I would probably construct elaborate steps around it…
    And about decision making, there have been times in my life where I think I would have just endlessly moved in circles, not getting anything done, unless I had just made a very firm decision. It was maddening! Sometimes it wasn’t even about the choice so much as definitively making a decision…
    I’m studying TCM now and based on some of my textbooks thought I was more of an Earth type, but now I’m not so sure because this bamboo description makes a lot of things make sense (finally!), and it feels really validating to know that this is indeed a “type” and that so many people feel this way too…
    I think the greatest takeaway from this article, for me, is being aware of inner tension and how it effects me, also how to best utilize it. When I am both mentally and physically active I feel tension melt away, so that must be good. 🙂
    Thanks again, there’s so many posts I am eager to explore! 🙂
    Warmly, Sasha

    1. Sasha, what a wonderful and insightful comment, thank you! The patterns in your birth date and your face provide so much information about who you really are, and don’t necessarily contradict what you may be learning with TCM but can give deeper levels of understanding about how you personally express and experience them! I hope we can meet at a workshop one of these days! <3

  24. WOW! This is me to a T!!! It really does help to know this information, I’m feeling a bit better about myself. My birthday is March 15, 1969. I struggle with many things you described and I am continually putting myself down, along with feeling stuck in a vicious cycle. This is all so fascinating to me. Thank you, Jean!

  25. Yes I am a bamboo personality type. I was born in 1987 and everything being said above was exactly who I am. From changeability, I’m not really the kind of person who settles on one job and I am criticized by my friends, not my family, for not settling down. From the need to stand firm, I did over-accomodate other people

  26. I give up to make way for other’s needs and wants.I am easily influenced by other people’s opinions, become indecisive and I don’t stick to what I started. For complex thinker, i am doubtful that I am a great problem solver, I can handle my problems with god’s help. And you’re right I do over thinking. Because I really think and think and think. For the comment ” let me think about it” yes I already said like that to my friends. And absolutely, I always struggle with self-doubt.

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