Why Personality Tests Don’t Define Me
“Thought individuals,” my pal messages me on Instagram, alongside a picture entitled “Enneagram 3 the bottom line is.” “Omg, this really is me,” I type back, flattered the coffee-loving, laptop-holding career lady within the graphic is who I love to consider myself as.
Recently, the Enneagram and personality tools like Myers-Briggs and zodiac have experienced a cultural explosion. It isn’t uncommon to listen to “she’s this type of Type 9” or “they’re this type of Virgo” in casual conversations. We consume this “personality type” content, following subreddits and meme accounts, and discussing those we like most with this buddies. And every one of this really is good-until an excessive amount of a great factor can begin being a bad factor.
Area of the dependence on free online personality test culture is unsurprising: Americans especially usually have searched for self-improvement to attain our ideal, effective selves. (The cash follows: self-help book sales have nearly bending within the U.S. previously couple of years.) For Millennials, personality tests just appear so “on brand.” They’re signature towards the generation wondering and themselves, and also to make an effect.
“Americans especially usually have searched for self-improvement to attain our ideal, effective selves.”
Oftentimes, when used exclusively like a personality typing system, the Enneagram continues to be incredibly useful for understanding myself yet others. I’m an Enneagram aficionado: nine occasions from 10, I’m cheering on buddies to consider tests and seeking to assist them to uncover their figures.
Yet something relating to this feels restricting, and I must question whenever we began believing these test answers are the sum of the who we’re. Greater than a time-old critique of individuals who sign up for personality tests (given that they aren’t everyone’s bag), modern culture has emphasized fitting in to the “brand” in our personality types, especially with the content on Instagram illustrating typical behavior for the profile.
“Modern culture has emphasized fitting in to the ‘brand’ in our personality types.”
An excessive amount of focus on archetypes-like a Taurus being persistent or perhaps an Enneagram 2 always wanting to look after others-reinforces stereotypes. Even though it sounds silly to confess, I’ve even felt pangs of guilt after i don’t fit the look of my Enneagram type, questioning who I’m altogether.
At the best, personality exams are insightful and challenging. At worst, they are able to become prescriptive and highlight traits over benefits as well as an over-acceptance in our flaws. With regards to deducing the other party’s profiles or types, it’s tempting to rapidly classify someone and prevent there, much like whenever we read a news headline although not the content.
“At worst, personality tests may become prescriptive and highlight traits over benefits.”
But individuals are extremely various and unique, and taking advantage of it as being a prescription on others reduces individuals to just their exterior behaviors. Because the Enneagram Institute reminds us, “When we identify others, we’re always on thinner ice than whenever we make use of the Enneagram to deepen our very own self-understanding. It’s, obviously, appropriate to use these components to ourselves rather than type others basically we avoid searching at our very own lives.”
Too frequently, we miss the purpose of the Enneagram (along with other typing systems) whenever we reduce it to some free online personality test and frame it as being exclusively a method to understand our behaviors. Rather, we are able to begin using these tools growing our character. Among the little-known and many beautiful reasons for the Enneagram is the fact that “ultimately, the aim is perfect for everyone to ‘move around’ the Enneagram, integrating what each kind symbolizes and obtaining the healthy potentials of all of the types. The perfect is to become balanced, fully functioning individual who can use the strength of each when needed.Inches
“It is much more appropriate to use these components to ourselves rather than type others.”
– ENNEAGRAM INSTITUTE
Instead of attempting to end up being the “healthiest Type 3” (exhibiting traits of the Type 6) I’m able to change my perspective. And we all can embrace curiosity and continuous growth along with personality tests and self-discovery. How? Well, with regards to conscious living, for instance, we are able to approach existence with excellence and hold companies to ethical, high ideals just like a Type 1. Or we are able to funnel the resolution of a Scorpio within our fight for social justice. We are able to consider every side of complicated social issues just like a Type 9.
Personality is essential, but benefits that may be learned all figures and signs are crucial. Regardless of our personality type, we are able to be kind, seek justice, and do our part in taking care of people and also the Earth around us.
“We may use these power tools growing our character….and embrace curiosity and continuous growth.”
Within the era of personality tests, let’s shift the narrative and broaden our horizons. In the end, benefits are characteristics we all can shoot for, regardless of our personality.