Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's YOUR personality?

I spend a lot of time worrying about how people perceive me. I'm afraid that they read my calm, quiet exterior as aloofness, rather than what it really is - plain old garden-variety shyness and fear of being totally awkward. Friends and coworkers like to tell me that they thought I was kind of an ice queen before they got to know me, so it's not like my worries are unfounded. Sigh. The trials of an introvert.*

So I love personality quizzes, because they basically represent someone - even if that someone is a bunch of coding - "getting" me right off the bat, someone who knows and loves my strengths and foibles alike, and reflects back the images of the me that I am and the me that I could be. It feels nice to be known.

Also, as somewhat of a narcissist, I puff up like a happy pigeon around mirrors of any sort.

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I've taken the Myers-Briggs personality test dozens of times, and every time I come out an INFP (well, once I was an INFJ. Maybe I was feeling rebellious that day.). Today I discovered a new personality test, called the iPersonic. Not sure if it's as robust a test as the Myers-Briggs - it's a lot simpler and shorter - but it certainly was nifty. Turns out, I'm the "Dreamy Idealist":
Dreamy Idealists are very cautious and therefore often appear shy and reserved to others. They share their rich emotional life and their passionate convictions with very few people. But one would be very much mistaken to judge them to be cool and reserved. They have a pronounced inner system of values and clear, honourable principles for which they are willing to sacrifice a great deal.
(Tyler is the Analytical Thinker. Big surprise there, Mr. Actuary.)

Even if this or similar tests don't exactly nail your personality, they are useful for a few reasons. They remind us that we all engage with the world in different ways, and that what works well for one person - the way they learn, for example, or how they prefer to receive feedback - may not be as effective for someone else. They help you understand what makes your heart sing, and what really stresses you out, and why.

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Personality tests also may give useful relationship or career guidance. When I read the profile of an INFP, I learned that many INFPs are well-suited to counseling positions, and I felt happy that I have embarked on that path.

I definitely recommend personality tests. If nothing else, they're fun and interesting!

*INFP Problems, amirite?

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