A few nights ago I took one of those online tests that promised to reveal my personality and match me up with some like-minded celebrities. The test was an adaptation of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®. I thought I already knew a lot about my personality, so maybe I was just checking to see if I really was self-aware. My test results were compacted into a four-letter code. Perhaps we human beings are not really that complicated after all, to fit into just 16 personality types. INFP — Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving is what I am. I wonder if other people would see me like that, and if not, why not? My son who has some knowledge of this whole personality testing thought I should have been an INTP — Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving. Did I answer the questions wrong? But there was no right or wrong answer. You are who you are, but…I thought about a few of the questions that a year or two ago I might have answered differently. I have changed in these last few years. But the “I” for introvert is definitely something that will never change. I absolutely hate being the center of attention and can find it quite daunting to enter a room full of people, all the while thinking ‘please don’t watch me’. Still I am adaptable and can even seem extroverted if circumstances require that from me. I might even be too adaptable offering others what they seem to need from me and denying myself.
The next day Jacob wanted me to take the 16Personalities test when I was at his house. He urged me to take it right then on my phone. I hate doing things like that on the small screen.
“I promise to take it as soon as I get back to the apartment. I’ll call you with my report,” I said.
Did he think the test might reveal some secret about me or did he just want to confirm that he had analyzed me correctly?
“I am INFP – The Mediator,” I said when I called him. Just the day before that, my post was titled The Peacemaker; so it seemed I was self-aware. But he thought I would be INTP – The Logician. He misjudged me a little.
We compared some answers.
- Did I want my child to be smart or kind? “Kind,” I said. “No, smart,” he said.
- Highly motivated and energetic? Maybe two years ago, but not so much now.
- Worry about how my actions affect other people? Yes, but why don’t they worry about how theirs affect us?
- Emotions control me? Sometimes, but they don’t rule us.
- Contemplate the reasons for human existence? Each and every day.
The test seemed uncannily accurate, yet simplistic. But it does offer a ready excuse to explain your actions.
“It’s just my personality.”
“I yam what I yam.” (Popeye)
I Yam What I Yam. Directed by Billy Fleischer, Cartoon. Paramount Pictures, 1933.