Testing Your Personality

We test our personality all the time.

Even when we’re asleep…?

Okay, maybe not all the time. Then again, maybe sleep is a personality test.

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sleep test - close to home

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Sleep is definitely a personality test when we think about it, talk about it, fight it, worry about not getting enough of it or too much of it… compare our sleep with the sleep of others.

And if you sleep with someone else… that’s definitely a test! Sometimes it’s an endurance test.

There was a study – you know those things where people in lab coats use other people as guinea pigs to prove or disprove a theory – which claimed that sleeping with someone else increases our stress levels and has the potential to ruin a good relationship. Why It Might Be Healthier To Sleep Alone. It concluded that our intimate relationships would benefit from separate bedrooms… but then other people would judge us, our relationship, if we did that and that would stress us out, might even cause us sleepless nights.

“Oh… you and your significant other sleep in separate bedrooms…” they say without needing to say anymore than that for it to be a personality test which we’re afraid we may have failed.

If your sleeping partner snores, steals the covers, is a restless sleeper, takes up more than their share of the bed, is surfing the internet or reading or doing anything really which might disturb the quality of your sleep…

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My parents slept in separate beds, in separate bedrooms, sometimes even in separate houses in separate countries. My mother still found my father’s sleeping habits annoying and used her annoyance as a personality gauge. She was superior to him because she woke up at the crack of dawn while he usually slept late. In her personality test, he failed so that she could succeed. Yet he was more productive than she was in many ways, ways from which she benefited more so than the benefits she received from being an early bird.

She was a very angry early bird… perhaps if she’d slept late…?

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Miserable together, miserable alone… which one allows us to live longer, so we can stretch the misery out?

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Our personality is tested all the time, 24/7, by ourselves, by others, by society, the media, relationships, life, your pets… you name it, it’s testing.

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Doghouse diaries

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Sometimes we’re aware of the test, we’re on our guard, wanting to put our best face forward and hide our worst face, get the best grade we possibly can because that is what we’re trained to do, to pass tests even if passing them is not in our best interest but is in the best interest of someone else.

Sometimes we’re not aware of the test, but there is still a part of us who is observing, an examiner in a lab coat jotting down notes in a notebook, judging us from within… although we often project our internal judgments onto others and then confront them, test them because we test ourselves but find it hard to confront ourselves.

Evasive tactics ensue… another personality test begins and never really ends.

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The moment we make an identity statement, an ‘I am…’ claim… the test begins.

Are we really who we say we are? Can we prove it? Does our walk match our talk?

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“I am empathic…” we may say… then fail miserably at being empathic by not understanding any other point of view, thought or emotion, but our own yet still we cling to our identity statement and back it up with proof in the form of words…

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empathy

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And maybe it’s a good thing not to be empathic all the time, being too empathic may be too much of something… but we’re hard taskmasters, perfectionists, idealists, bitchy lab coat wearers pressuring ourselves to prove something empirically because our grant depends upon it… grey areas are black holes… especially when we’re testing ourselves.

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You’d think that with all the personality tests which we put ourselves through, which others, relationships and life puts us through, on a daily basis that we’d avoid things such as online personality tests.

But we flock to them, make them trendy and popular, make classification, labeling, judgment, something to pursue willingly, voluntarily… why?

Most of us will agree that labeling, classification, judgment is more often negative than it is positive – unless it always favours us and tells us how awesome we are, we’re going to dislike it. Yet we still like to label, classify, and judge others… we just don’t like it when others do it to us… unless it is complimentary.

Perhaps we like personality tests because we want to get to know ourselves better, improve our relationship with ourselves.

Let’s assume that’s our reason…

Do we get to know ourselves better by receiving our results from an online personality test. Results which claim to tell us, personally and individually, who we are…?

Or do we get to know ourselves better while taking the test before we find out the results?

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INTP checks

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For me personally and individually… it’s the latter, because I rarely manage to last the course of the test. And that in and of itself tells me more about myself than the results ever would or could.

When I do make it to the end of an online personality test, I’m usually not interested anymore in the results… they also tend to disappoint. Such a build up for… such a let down.

I went through all of that… through all of the repetitive questions asking the same thing in different ways with limited options as answers over and over again to find out… what exactly…? That I wasted precious time, life time, on something which told me either what I already knew or something I can’t relate to because it is too generic.

My reaction to the results… that is far more informative than the results themselves. But only if I’m paying attention to that aspect of test taking.

Your reactions… are very informative, that’s how you get to know yourself!

Those reactions are also how you get to know others, because others sometimes test you… for your reactions.

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I used to be an online personality test taker… until my curiosity was satisfied. My enthusiasm waned and I moved on… to asking myself (yet again… am I listening to myself now or do I need to test myself some more…?) – Why am I expecting someone else to tell me who I am? Shouldn’t that be something I know already… or at least something that only I can figure out for myself by getting to know myself, by asking myself questions?

After all… no one else is as interested in us as we are in ourselves… this often pisses us off… other people tend to fail our – please be as focused on me as I am on myself test. But do we pass that test or fail it?

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Just you...?

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The last online personality test which I took – Personal Intelligence –  stirred my curiosity for such things again. But the test crashed when I pressed the ‘give me my results’ button. I guess it didn’t like my results, didn’t have any results for me, or was afraid of how I would react as it may have been aware of my increasingly argumentative stance about the questions… not so much the questions as the optional answers which were limiting, didn’t include what I would have actually answered if it gave me an option to give my actual input…

Or perhaps it was just a software problem… nothing to do with me at all…?

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Frantz Fanon

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Tests… are always a work in progress (just as we are)… and rely on the test creator (a person just like us) to… really know their shit and want to know the shit of others (ruh roh!). If all they are is a lad coat examiner out to prove their theory (for personal reasons… maybe inner child still fighting outer parent who has now been internalised reasons), certain things are going to get left out (what they don’t want) as those things may disprove their theory (bad thing!) and cost them the grant which they worked their bollocks off to get.

Or something like that…

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My enthusiasm for personality tests waned most quickly when I found that the test makers usually didn’t share their own results (you want to judge me… but keep yourself hidden – why?)… but surely the test makers results are pertinent to the test and to my results…?!

Don’t we all make assumptions, judgments, etc, about others based on ourselves, on our version of… how things need to be for us to come out on top and not be buried under someone else’s ‘coming out on top’ ?

Or something like that…

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Gandhi idealI’m exhausted and buried just by reading this… that exhaustion makes me want to embrace the negative.

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Or something like that. Why is ‘or something like that’ never an option in the answer section on personality tests? The closest I can get to that is ‘Sometimes’ on those tests which allow you to answer between ‘Always’ and ‘Never’.

Something like that… That’s my most overused answer for pretty much everything, yet I can always never give that answer on tests.

Things are always never black or white, they just sometimes seem like they are, or could be, but they rarely are because… humans are complex and so much more complex than the word ‘complex’.

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When taking an online personality test… if you’re doing it to get to know yourself better, find out who you are… pay attention to the conversation inside of you as you read the questions and peruse the optional answers, especially if you have to compromise your personal and individual answer to fit the test and its generalised and impersonal answers.

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Remember… you’re the best test creator for your own personality and the results you come up with… that’s you, that is!

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life sermon

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We can also ‘cheat’ on an online personality test, once we recognise its pattern, where it is leading us with its questions and limited optional answers, once we know the limits of its results and how to get them, the one we want rather than the one which we don’t want.

We can also ‘cheat’ on the tests which other people give us offline (or online) once we know them and what they want and don’t want from us. We may fail once or twice, but the third time is the charm. Next time this particular person asks us how we are… we’ll know not to tell them how we actually are. “I’m fine,” we’ll say, “how are you?” and we’ll listen with feigned interest, feigned enough for them to believe because they need to believe it… We’re all fakers in our personality test results… a bit, if we need to be to pass a test which we think we need to pass for some reason… a reason which may relate to passing one of our own personal and individual tests.

If we think we’re empathic… faking it may prove that to us.

Or something like that…

We can also cheat on the personality tests which we give ourselves… but we know we’re cheating… and why… we just sometimes don’t want to know shit about ourselves.

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Being human… or something like that.

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Or something like that… what is that something for you?

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Genie... ?my result on the Which Mythical Creature is Hidden Inside You? test… result is subject to me just clicking on an answer.

 

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20 thoughts on “Testing Your Personality

  1. Yes … we are our judge, jury, and executioner or if we are lucky fanclub and cheerleading team … being delusional can go both ways. I LOVE personality tests, but I don’t let them take over my life. I use them as tools for reflection, but in the end I do what the hell I want. Seeking external validation is a lose-lose game – you are disconnecting from yourself in order to get approval from others, approval which may or may not come, and is NEVER consistent.

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    1. That’s an excellent point!

      Sometimes we seek so hard to win approval, do it so regularly, are encouraged to do it and keep doing it (subliminally and otherwise), that when we get it we don’t notice we’ve got it because we’re so focused on winning it that we’re locked into that mode and find it hard to switch modes.

      Someone gives us a compliment and rather than feel satisfied that we’ve achieved some sort of approval, received validation, we argue with them… perhaps because that version of approval and validation doesn’t meet our criteria for approval and validation. So we invalidate and don’t approve of the way they validated and approved of us.

      Reflection is a valuable source of understanding, of ourselves and others. A breather in between where we assess and discover what we may have missed while we were busy doing.

      Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, seeking approval usually comes from a place of doubt and insecurity and, dare I say it, a sense of worthlessness/self-hatred that we are trying to battle. And if we start to identify with these feelings we will have difficulty accepting an alternate opinion. It is really tragic, we REALLY need to be careful about what sort of beliefs shape our identity.

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        1. I agree that being aware of what beliefs shape us, influence us, is important. Being careful… by placing an emphasis on being caring towards ourselves, which then ripples out of us to others. The feelings with which we identify… are ones which others identify with too. If we’re hard on ourselves, then we’ll probably assume others are hard on us too, which then makes us hard on others even when we try not to do to them what we do to ourselves.

          Being human… is always a work in progress… progressing towards being more aware, understanding and accepting with it.

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          1. When people ask me to describe myself – I usually say I am a work in progress … but at some point maybe I will have the confidence to say a “masterpiece in progress.”

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  2. The sleep test comic made me laugh; I’ve had a few and I remember looking in the mirror and thinking I looked like I’d be Pinhead’s girlfriend lol (from the Hellraiser movies).
    As an INFJ and having started an international FB group a couple years ago for INFJ (and others interested in INFJ and Jung Typology etc) I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only ‘test junkie’ :p Most of the other INFJ I’ve met are as well and we even share new tests we find (similarminds.com has a LOT of different personality tests for anyone interested). I think we INFJ are like this because we feel like we’re ‘different’ ; like we don’t fit in very well with the world at large. Once we come across MBTI/Jung tests though, that starts to make more sense given that some research has shown us to be as few as 1% of the population. Having that sometimes life changing epiphany then leads to more tests; if one can explain something we’ve struggled with our whole lives then what else might be discovered? 😉 Since introverts are the minority, there may be some of this dynamic at play for all introvert types. SO of course I couldn’t resist the “What Mythical Creature is Hidden Inside You?” quiz you posted a link to 😀 I got Fairy (I did consider each question), which I thought was pretty awesome since I’ve been collecting them half my life and most of my kitties have been named after fey characters and creatures (as I’m pretty sure cats are indeed fey lol) 🙂
    I’ve often struggled with the choices format for personality tests as well; I’ll be thinking “Well maybe-where is it happening? With who? What mood am I in that day?!” lol. In some situations the answer might be always, and in others never…*sigh* I just end up with the middle bubble if I start thinking about it too much (an often lamented problem for us INFJ, over thinking). Would it really kill these people to add an “it depends” option?! lol.
    Oh and the cognitive dissonance thing- yeah when you’ve grown up with (and then go on to have relationships with) what you retroactively realize are narcissists (some with malignant/sociopath tendencies) um well cognitive dissonance is what’s for breakfast! And brunch, lunch, dinner…yep a steady diet of that is enough to make you question everything about yourself, even your sanity (which is, of course, exactly what they want. If you’re not busy being utterly bewildered, you might see what’s behind the curtain!! *a black hole of emptiness*).
    With the issue of people asking us how we are (and many aren’t interested in the truth of it) I sometimes will actually respond with the question “Would you like the polite answer or the truth?” and just smile 😉
    On another blog post, I’d left in my comment that I also had a 12th house moon (full in Cancer), and you mentioned that it can also represent the mother as a hidden enemy-I went and looked at my chart again (even after a couple decades with it I still seem to find new angles or insights in it!) and lo and behold what is on my 12th House cusp? Gemini! (My mother’s sun sign-mine is Sagittarius; polarities) If only I’d known astrology as a child! I wonder how much drama, angst, and pain it might have saved me? I probably should have gone back and found that post to add this but in any case I wanted to thank you for that additional insight 🙂 ❤

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    1. Haha! 😀

      Since I’m an INTP the ‘it depends’ answer would be perfect for me on pretty much every question on a personality test, because INTP’s like to perceive things from as many different angles and perspectives as possible. We love to play the Devil’s Advocate. Which can be infuriating for the INTP and others. I often piss others and myself off because of my compulsive tendency to jump from perspective to perspective. I don’t like to be pinned down and black or white, right or wrong, type of thinking drives me nuts. Yes, something can seem right if you look at it from this angle, but if you switch positions then what was right can appear wrong. A hero can be a villain, just as a villain can be a hero, and they are usually both in the same moment… but then the moment becomes another moment and things change in the blink of an eye. Sometimes they change yet stay the same.

      Have you ever observed a narcissist take a personality test? It’s very intriguing.

      Personality tests, silly or serious, astrology, pop psychology… all of these things help us to get to know ourselves better, and by getting to know ourselves better we learn how to know others better. And by getting to know others better we get to know ourselves better. Yet the more we get to know ourselves and others, the more we realise how little we know about ourselves and others… and yet how much we know.

      Life, us, others, relationships… are the proverbial puzzle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. And it’s fun to try to unwrap it, like presents 😀

      Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Brilliant! Once again i don’t fit in, as I am an insomniac who can sleep peacefully only (or almost) when i can hear a loved one breathing besides me in the darkness. Others don’t bother me, as long I can silence up my spinning thoughts..If i am aware i am being tested i give the worst of myself!

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      The internet is the home of insomniacs, in fact if you spend enough time on the internet the world becomes one which is populated by introverts who never sleep 😉

      Reality is, in many ways, whatever we make of it. Even the reality of others which others try to get us to agree to is still whatever we make of what they’re making of it.

      I do that too. When someone is testing me and I know they’re doing it… I get a perverse pleasure in failing their test (failing is sometimes a win) – I guess that’s my counter-test. It’s a bit like playing a game of strategy, poker, chess, etc. Testing the other person by calling their bluff, seeing their moves in advance and scuppering/challenging/countering them with your moves. But that can be tiresome, and not the kind of tiresome which promotes a good sleep.

      Many years ago I was in a crowded restaurant with someone who kept going on and on about how famous they were, and I was very tempted to address the other diners in the restaurant and ask them if they knew who this very famous person was… I knew they wouldn’t and that would shut this person up, but it would also crush them. I kept quiet and let them continue with their version of reality… did I fail or pass that type of test?

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  4. Nice points! I love the graphics…we do test ourselves 24/7…I occasionally do the ones like the “Genie”…if my sister and mom do them…so I can be compared to them…why? Competition….sister got “Wicked Witch of the West”…I KNOW, I must be Dorothy…wait-nope-I got “tin man”…I lose(I think). Perhaps it’s an introverted pleasure? Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by my field of education, to put value on tests-after all, I am judged by how my students do on tests (did I mention that I work with the students who, 95% of the time do poorly on tests?). Teachers are eager to send poor test takers to me.
    I wish the only tests were the ones that don’t leave us feeling worse…just…just-like someone who has just answered questions based on their own thoughts-no right or wrong….like stripping out of the work clothes and getting into some yoga pants….ahhhh-take that, world!💚

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      That’s a very good point about the passing on of judgment, and how if it is considered the norm by the tribe to which we belong then we accept it and we do it too, pass it on as it was passed onto us, a continuous chain. The buck just keeps moving.

      One of my teachers once had a rant in class, not at the students but at the curriculum. He wanted to take the time to pass on his passion for the subject to us, but he was being pressured by the school (which was being pressured by the educational system, which was being pressured by the government) to cram into our heads what we needed to know to pass tests and get good grades, so the teacher would pass his test, the school would pass its test, and the government would pass its test concerning the average intelligence of its people. He was furious because he loved teaching but the teaching system was sucking the love out of it for him, and he felt that if he no longer felt love and joy while teaching then how could his students love and enjoy learning.

      Being good at taking tests, is simply a sign of being good at taking tests, it shows a certain kind of intelligence but it’s just one of many kinds of intelligence. Unfortunately that kind of intelligence seems to be more valued than other kinds and so there are a lot of intelligent people who end up being told they are stupid, they accept it because they keep being told that they are, and no one seems to ask if perhaps it’s the tests which are stupid and not the person who doesn’t pass the test.

      But sometimes… we figure it out and do indeed strip off the work clothes and get into our yoga pants, and ahhh! 😀

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      1. I have been judged once this year using a new system. I like my administrator a lot, and when I went into her office to receive my judgement, I prefaced it with,”I want you to know that I don’t really care too much about this system. I will jump through the hoops if I must, but this judgement system is wrong -in my opinion”.
        Why don’t they ask me how many of my students have gone on to lead happy, productive lives? How many have violated boundaries and ended up in jail? How many are now loving parents who don’t abuse their children? Now THAT was my goal for the 1-3 years I was a teacher touching their lives! Many teachers I know, still find a way to share their passion…the government just keeps making it harder…yet another battle for the army of angels!

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        1. Some questions are ones others don’t want to ask us, perhaps because they don’t want to hear our answers because those answers cause ripples within them… cause us and them to ask even harder questions with harder answers to hear. It’s up to us individually to ask ourselves those questions, answer them and listen to our answers. Figure things out as we live and learn.

          As the saying goes – grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

          The hardest thing that we can’t change in life is being human… and others being human too. Accepting that puts us all to the test. ❤

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          1. I often sense a lot of unasked questions…do you? Sometimes I’m the one refraining from asking the question…I want to ask-but I don’t…maybe because the answer may reveal something about myself that I don’t want to face……Sometimes it’s just because I am tired and don’t have the energy to poke the bear or stir up the hornet nest…..I am enjoying our dialogue….your words poke at my brain and stir things up…so I know my mind has not turned into Swiss cheese at this point! Peace to you💚

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            1. That is a wonderful observation, and often a subtext in interactions – unasked questions. Part of me is almost always listening to what is not being said in a conversation, that can sometimes be louder than what is being said.

              Except when I’m tired, then I’m not listening at all, to myself or others. I quite like being tired, but it depends on the kind of tired that I am 🙂 I quite like it when others are tired too, there is a certain type of tired where a person lets all their defenses down and just says exactly what they’re thinking, and then you discover more about the fascinating universe inside of them.

              Most of the things which we fear facing… are actually not as bad as we think they are. More often than not they are really good things which we’ve come to fear, misunderstood parts of ourselves which just want to be seen and understood. Have you noticed how when you face an unfaceable part… it’s like coming home to yourself and reuniting with a very good friend. Everything is suddenly alright somehow, for a moment you’re all alright. And in those moments, everyone else seems alright too in a way… a strange way (particularly when that alrightness is extended to the narcs in our life).

              I’ve found that the more Swiss cheese my mind becomes, the better it is… there is more oxygen circulating in what was once a suffocating place 😉

              I’m enjoying our dialogue too… it’s inspiring and stimulating, my favourite kind!

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