4 Pros and Cons to Personality Tests

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.

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  1. 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.
  2.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 🙂

The Reset Button {How Introverting Work}

I called it my Reset Button long before I actually knew how it worked.

It was simple really but seemed so convoluted and illogical that I wasn’t sure how to explain it. I would get into a good rhythm with going to bed on time, sleep well, and then work hard all day long. It felt glorious, but all too soon I’d feel abnormally tired and not be able to function like I should. It befuddled me.

Finally, after a week or so of this happening, I’d throw bedtimes out the window and indulge in a late night reading session. The thing that confused me most is that sometimes the book I was reading wasn’t even all that exciting – or maybe it was a re-read. So, it wasn’t the stellar story itself keeping me up, but I’d feel compelled to keep turning the pages.

Then the next day instead of feeling extra tired like I’d expect, I felt fantastic and was ready to tackle another day. Say what?

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It happened fairly often and I began to greatly look forward to the stillness of a sleeping house and dim lights where it seemed like my book and I were the only thing in existence.

Years passed and I simply referred to it as my reset button and moved on with life. Then one day a few months ago I was exhausted – like I could barely keep my eyes open exhausted. I settled in for the night, but then instead of going to sleep like would be the “smart” thing to do, I pulled out a book.

Then I lay there confused. Why? Why was I reading a book on a night like this? My sister had just gotten married and I didn’t really care about the book I held in my hands. I didn’t really care about anything at that moment, I was just bone-tired. But instead of sleeping I was going to read. And read I did, glancing at my phone every once in a while to watch the hours slide by.

Then it hit me.

My reset button worked when I was more people-tired than I was physically tired. 

I stayed up late at night reading because sleeping didn’t rejuvenate the introverted-need-to-be-alone side of my personality. And sometimes, no matter how worn out I was physically, my people-fatigue trumped all else and, for me, there’s nothing like being the only one awake for miles around and delighting in the complete stillness of the world around me, to find restoration.

Being an introvert is a gift. Being an extrovert is a gift. Being a human is a gift.

Recently I’ve been working on learning about how to manage the various aspects of my personality that make me, me. I’m learning how to use my introvertedness as a tool to help me become a better person.

And do you know what? Having a reset button helps a huge amount. 😉