Monday, February 27, 2017

Personality Quizzes

I love taking personality quizzes. They're kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. A semi-addiction.

I'm fascinated by the various theories on how to explain our personalities. From True Colors to the Myers-Briggs test, I take test after test to try to determine who I am.

But, there's a problem with this: I am very complicated. I don't fit into a box. I've been accused of doing this on purpose, because I'm a middle-child, and middle-children call attention to themselves in this way. I think that's partly true, but there's more to it.

I have my own personality theory, namely that there are four types of personalities in the world: Simple/Simple, Simple/Complex, Complex/Simple, Complex/Complex. The first word describes the you that you present to people, and the second word describes the real you. In a nutshell, S/S people are what-you-see-is-what-you-get. S/C are the passive-aggressive ones who act one way to your face and a different way behind your back, because there is a lot more going on inside them than they let you see. C/S are people who try to seem different and unique because they feel so unimportant. They want to seem complicated to push people away, but really need to accept who they are for themselves. C/C are the people who seem complicated and also are complicated. Lots of reasons behind this: abuse or trauma, extreme intelligence, wide array of worldly experiences, mental illness, etc.

I'm no psychologist,  but I've been analyzing people that I know for the longest time, using this and other personality tests. It's helped me make sense of the world. Why does this person not like me? Because he's orange and I'm blue. Why do I fight with my husband? Because he's got strong Thinking skills, and I'm strong on the Feeling scale.

I would categorize myself, in my own theory, as C/C. I'm complex. I'm difficult. I'm extremely hard to love. My poor husband. And parents. And siblings. And children. And friends. A problem that anyone with anxiety, depression, OCD, bi-polar disorder, manic-depression, etc. has is separating their personality from their disability. This is one reason I put myself in my own Complex/Complex category. So, because I'm working through an identity crisis here goes some synopses and results of a couple of personality quizzes.

Love Languages

Overview- According to author Gary Thomas, there are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and gift-giving. Most everyone in the world has 1 or 2 very strong love languages, or ways that they feel love. The problem in relationships, he says, is that we often choose a mate who speaks a different love language, so we are not fulfilling these needs that we may not understand or know that we have.

Results- Every time I have taken this quiz, I have 6, 7 or 8 on each category- none more than 1 or 2 points above another. I don't have a love language. I used to think no one did, and the idea of love languages was the dumbest idea I had ever heard of. Now I understand that they are real, but do not apply to me. I love words of affirmation, unless I feel like they have ulterior motives behind them or that I am being patronized. I love quality time, until I just want to be alone. I love physical touch, until I just need you to get away from me and let me have my space. I love acts of service, until they make me feel like I'm lazy. I love gifts, until I learn how much you paid for it and get mad at you for spending too much money.

No wonder Brandon gets so frustrated with me- he literally never knows how I will react to anything.

Five Factor Model 

Overview- Personality psychologists believe this is a pretty good description of the broad traits or general areas that go to make up a person's core personality
  • Extroversion - Energy, enthusiasm, sociable
  • Agreeableness - Altruism, helping others, affection, friendliness
  • Conscientiousness - Control, will, constraint, dependability
  • Neuroticism - Negative emotions, nervousness
  • Openness to Experience - Originality, culture, open-minded, intellect

I scored high on each of these five categories, which is not necessarily a good thing. Scoring highly in extroversion means I have a lot of energy and enjoy most social situations. A high score in agreeableness means I am a friendly, cooperative, trustworthy person. Scoring highly in conscientiousness says I am well-focused, methodical and organized. A high score in openness represents a love of art and an open mind. All seemingly positive, until neuroticism. A high score in this category shows that I am more emotional and insecure than most.

All five strong personality traits apply. Sounds like complex/complex to me. I am typically those first four mentioned. Then when I get emotional and insecure, everything flip-flops: I don't want to be in social situations and I am exhausted with zero energy, I am mean, rude, hateful, aggressive, lazy, messy, distracted...

Again, my poor friends and family. They never know when that emotional side of my personality will come out and take over the rest of me.

I encourage everyone to take these (REAL) personality tests about themselves. Not the silly Buzzfeed ones, or those on bait-and-click sites, but ones with real psychology behind them. I think it is highly beneficial to know yourself, even if you are complex/complex. Go to these websites to test your own personality, and see if you agree with the results:

Love Languages-
Five-Factor Personality Model-
True Colors-
Myers-Briggs Indicator-
What Animal Are You-

It's hard to feel like you don't know yourself because, in my case, my personality is so complicated, because mental illness gets in the way of how I think and feel. Yet, I feel it's essential to try to understand the way you are, whether you like yourself or not, whether you want to change or not. Especially if you are finding yourself in a spot in life than you aren't happy with. Stop blaming others and look to yourself. Are you the cause of your own unhappiness? Who are you? How do you think, act, feel, love? Helping yourself can help all those around you, as well.

I should tweet this to Taylor Swift. Poor girl thinks it's all the boys' fault that she can't find love. #knowthyself

1 comment:

  1. Love personality stuff . . . have you done the enneagram? Look it up and the book "The Road Back to You." Super interesting stuff.