Weekly Thoughts 6

A Personality Quiz

I took a personality quiz the other day. This is something I’ve done a plethora of times and I don’t really have any good reason for taking this one. I am hardly the person to go around taking online quizzes, but this one was quick and so I went for it.

As I read my results – or diagnoses, if you will, I began to grasp a sense of clarity. These people understood me, how I felt, my strengths and weaknesses. Oh, that’s why I do what I do. Section after section was filled with the descriptions of the way I act, the reasons why I do what I do, and suggestions for how I should do other things. It was astonishing.

When someone understands you and can speak into that it feels good and despite the context from which it came – the beautifully titled 16personalities.com – it spoke to my deeper sense of being, my soul, or whatever you’d like to call it.

(A quick aside about the results – apparently I’m an INTJ which means I’m introverted rather than extroverted, I lean on intuition, instead of sensing things, I think rather than feel, and I judge rather than perceive. All this thinking over feeling, the head over the heart – someone needs to tell my CD collection which is filled with far too many emo bands. Also someone should tell the me who watches sports games and has an emotional breakdown on every other play. The last thing I want to point out about my INTJ-ness is the figures and characters it gave me as others with the same personality: Putin, Caesar, Hannibal, Lance Armstrong, Walter White, House, Moriarty, etc… I never really saw myself as a super villain, but apparently it’s in my personality! Watch out.)

What comes with all this understanding though is the potential for stagnation. The freedom that comes with understanding who we are can quickly become a cage that we hide ourselves in to protect us from the outside dangers. Finding and putting things into boxes helps us to sort things and make things make sense. But nobody wants to be put into a box. And putting ourselves into boxes only hold us back from growth.

I know that I thrive when I have time to myself. In fact I can dread social interaction, particularly large groups of people I don’t know. It’s easy to blame that on my personality, I could probably point you to the paragraph in my assessment that tells how INTJ personalities find social interactions baffling, or worse boring. But I cannot let that prevent me from getting out and doing things. Exploring the world. Talking to people, real actual people.

Finding out things about ourselves is important, but what if over the next couple of years all of the science behind these personality quizzes is completely thrown out the window and seen as invalid (or maybe they already have been…)?

These sorts of things can help us, leading us into wisdom, but when we set up systematic ways of living based on these sorts of things we are missing out on bigger functions of life. We cannot commit fully to a way of living just because we have been diagnosed with something of the sort. Well at least that’s what I believe or is that just my personality?

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