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NMSU Extension specialists says chocolate selection says a lot about a person

You can tell a lot about a person by what they eat, and especially which chocolates they select.

Woman holding a heart shaped box of chocolates
Want a piece of chocolate? Sonja Koukel, New Mexico State University Extension Health Specialist, says you can learn a lot about a person by the piece of chocolate they select by using the chocolate therapy research by Murray Langham in New Zealand. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

An observant person can learn about someone’s background by the type of food they eat. Ethnicity, social class, religious practices, fashion and economic status influence food selection, according to a New Mexico State University Extension specialist

“Since everyone must eat, what we eat becomes a most powerful symbol of who we are,” said Sonja Koukel, New Mexico State University Extension Health Specialist.

That same logic can be applied to how a person interacts with chocolate.

“Murray Langham, a psychotherapist in New Zealand has conducted research that correlates an individual’s personality to the chocolates they select,” Koukel said.

He published his findings in the book “Chocolate Therapy: Dare to Discover Your Inner Center!”

During therapy sessions, Langham watched his clients select chocolates that he had available. With time, he saw similarities in the people’s personalities in association to the shape of the chocolates, type of chocolate, fillings, and even the way they handled the wrapper while eating the candy.

Chocolate therapy can be used as a parlor game or as therapy to restore, nourish and rebalance the human psyche, Koukel said. She likes to use chocolate therapy as an icebreaker with groups.

“It is fun to have people select chocolates from an assortment, and then read what Langham says that selection means about them,” she said. “Almost always, like 99.9 percent of the time, you will hear people say, ‘That is so me. That’s totally who I am.’”

Throughout history, researchers have acknowledged the profound influence of chocolate upon a person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Langham said in his book that his chocolate therapy is concerned with healing the body, mind and spirit through liberation. Once self-realization around chocolate takes place, it allows people to understand themselves better. He said when this happens, many other neuroses and fears just drop away.

During her group presentations, Koukel gives participants a list of personality descriptions associated with the candy’s shape and type of chocolate.

“This is the fun part,” she said. “There are so many factors associated with the type of filling that I encourage people who want to learn more about themselves to purchase Langham’s book.”

Here is a brief summary of what the shape means.
• Circle: As a circle person, you love company. In fact, you must be around people or life is not worth living.
• Oval: You move beyond the circle, stretching your limits. You do this by using your feelings for others and, in turn, opening yourself to expressing your thoughts.
• Square: All sides equal, you are balanced and therefore it’s hard for others to push you around. This makes you honest and truthful.
• Rectangle: You are a loyal person who loves sitting or staying in one place. You seem to be a rock for others to lean on.
• Diamond: You make decisions slowly, after internalizing them, and only move on to a new project when you feel from deep within you that it is right.
Here is a brief summary of what the type of chocolate means.
• Milk: As a lover of milk chocolate, you like to live in the past emotionally, to love that sweet, smooth feeling that is the pure essence of childhood.
• Dark: You’re a forward-looking person. Your thoughts are always directed towards the future.
• Bitter: A connoisseur of the fine things in life, you know what you’re talking about and you are specialist in your field.
• All chocolate: So you’re a person who is flexible and can fit into any situation anytime, anywhere.
• White chocolate: You have an innate sense of fairness. You believe you have the power of the universe at your command.