I’m a pretty big fan of personality tests and types. Same thing with the Five Love Languages. (Which, I mean, if you’ve been around Noveltea for any length of time you’ve probably figured that out.) Today, I’m going to talk about four reasons I think they can be an incredibly useful tool in your life, as well as four things to keep an eye out for when you start studying them.
Today I’m going to give a pro and a con together, explaining how you can use, or misuse, the beauty of understanding personalities.
- Pro: Building a framework to understand people better
Con: Putting people into boxes
When you’re learning about personalities it can be incredibly fun and helpful to try and figure out the personalities of the people you’re around every day. That co-worker you never quite understood? Well, now that you understand the differences between you and Personality X, you can clearly see that all the times you were annoyed at her were simply small misunderstandings.
Yet, at the same time, if you’re not careful, you can begin boxing people in and seeing them as a personality instead of a multi-faceted human. This is something nobody appreciates.
- Pro: Discovering your strengths and weaknesses
Con: Using your personality as an excuse
When you learn more about who you are and what inspires you, frustrates you, and makes you tick, it can help you be more productive, happy, and balanced. Yet, at the same time, it’s important to guard against thoughts of Oh, this issue in life is just part of who I am. I can’t help it.
For instance, with Enneagram type threes, one of their common failings is to frame themselves as being more successful than they actually are. This is something I often find myself wanting to do, and acknowledging that it’s a personality trait, but a bad one, is helpful for me to remember not to do it.
- Pro: Having a better grasp of humanity
Con: Misusing your knowledge
There is nothing like learning about personalities to suddenly make the world around you look a little clearer. (And, if you’re reading this post with a skeptical roll of the eyes, then you might have one of those personalities that don’t like personality tests – because yes, that’s a real thing too.) It’s a fantastic feeling when you suddenly realize you can figure out how to relate to the people around you… Just, you also have to make sure you don’t cross the line from using your knowledge as a tool for everyone’s benefit to manipulating people. Because manipulation is not okay.
- Pro: The beauty of an instant conversation starter
Con: Annoying people around you
Enneagram numbers, personality types, Myers-Briggs tests, the Five Love Languages… They’re all great ways to get to know people, make small talk (that isn’t quite so small), and learn more about the people you encounter in everyday life. Yet, if you’re not careful than some people might look at you askance instead of realizing that you just opened their eyes to one of life’s greatest tools. So, be careful until you find another personality fanatic. 😉
Are you into personality tests? If so, what are your favorite ones? And, what’s your personality? If not, then you should totally look into them. 🙂