I have always been fascinated by, if not sometimes obsessed with, personality tests like MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. They can provide lots of useful information about yourself. But oh, many times when I have said this, I’ve got skeptical answers from other people. Many thought I’m simply deluded and easy to hoax. I see it in a different way – a chance to improve myself. It all depends on what you do with the information you receive.
Personality tests can help you understand and know yourself better. They might help you see your strengths, things you didn’t realise you had, and even help you choose a career that’s best suitable for your personality. They can also help you realise you’re not alone with the struggles that your personality type could experience and you’re definitely not crazy, you’re just different. You could also see your weak spots more clearly and realise where you have to improve. It could also help you realise what’s standing on your way to success in your career or relationships.
But it’s true, these tests could be harmful sometimes if taken in a wrong way. You shouldn’t put yourself or others in a box based on a simple test. You most definitely should not build your identity around your results and start creating obsessive beliefs about yourself. Those could affect your life in a negative way.
Some businesses have gone as far as using personality tests to hire people. It’s debatable whether that’s ethical or not but usually people’s answers change when they are under pressure, so I bet these businesses have lost some great potential employees.
Speaking of, why is it so difficult to get an accurate, relatable answer from these tests? Some people seem to find a perfect match but others struggle to relate to anything their results say. It’s possible some people just do not fit any category but I think it definitely has a lot to do with how well you know yourself beforehand.
We all want to believe things about ourselves, that we’re kind, generous and creative. It’s hard to admit that we might also be lazy, forgetful, sensitive, co-dependent, antisocial, quiet, quick to judge, quick to get angry, resentful or demanding. Or we may all too well know our bad sides but are too modest about our good sides, or might even take them for granted even if we’re loyal, honest, hard-working, empathetic, thoughtful, organised, smart and funny people.
We all have good and bad sides but it might be difficult to see it. They say you are somewhere between what you think you are and what others think you are, so it might be helpful to ask help from your family or anyone else who knows you well. Damn, you don’t even have to take a test if you don’t want to, just ask your family about your good and bad sides and even that could help your self-improvement a lot.
Then there’s the problem of our ever-changing moods and life situations. Your answers might be very different when you’ve had a good week vs. a bad day. The people around you affect you as well: for example, if there’s a strong overpowering figure in your life, you might feel the need to suppress yourself and don’t actually know what you’d be like in a healthy environment. Your answers could immensely be affected if you have just fallen in love vs. when you have been depressed and lonely for months. Neither those rose-colored glasses of love nor those grey-colored glasses of depression help you see yourself clearly.
It took me a while to get an accurate answer too. If you are an over-analyzing person like me, it’s difficult to define yourself in any way. The other day every single piece of a puzzle just came together and I found out that my MBTI type is definitely an INFJ, which now that I know, the essence of INFJ is all over my blog and every word I write. They say INFJ types are determined perfectionists with a strong need to succeed, constantly improve and have meaning in their life. They are introverts who like deep conversations and privacy. They want to fight for justice and help others. They are sensitive, stress easily and do not have tolerance for negative people. INFJs are creative and great writers. Well hello! That’s me!
Wait, how did this realization help me? Well, besides helping me to improve and understand, it does bring me comfort that I’m not alone with the way I am. There’s people who actually can relate to my irrational and restless need to do something meaningful, every day. There’s people who can relate to having ideas but burning out easily. There’s people who also do not hesitate to “unfollow” unpleasant people in real life. There’s also people who feel like they are so private, no one around them actually knows them. Hence, now feeling like I should delete that sentence because I’m sharing too much. Oh the irony.
I think in the end, it helps to know that none of us are special snowflakes with unique problems that no one else could understand. That is far from the truth. We are human, quite predictable, quite flawed with many good qualities, and very much alike with other people on this planet. There’s comfort in that thought. It’s beautiful to understand that there’s so many types of us yet we all have our own place in this world, something we can do with our qualities and contribute to society. For it to work, every single piece and personality is needed.
What do YOU think about personality tests? What’s your MBTI type? Tell me in the comments! 🙂