People live differently. Some like taking the bus, others walk. Some attract attention while others shy away from it. There are those who use a daily agenda versus those who scramble to write reminders on the back of their hands. Have you ever taken the time to notice how you live in comparison to your friends and family? And have you ever wondered why?
Here, we face the controversial topic of defining personalities through a series of automated questions. How can such a feat exist, much less be accurate? With 7.5 billion people in the world, how can you possibly be thrust into one of sixteen defining categories? Let’s pause for a moment to consider some of the factors that exist between these 7.5 billion people: geographic location, race, income, mental and physical health, and many more. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves, can it be true that despite all of our situational differences, the human race can be reduced to a mere 16 types of people?
I think it can. A couple of weeks ago, in my favourite english class, we were challenged by this very theory. We paid $15 to take an online test that would decide our fate. Slightly dramatic, I know, but when you’re about to spend 3 hours of class analyzing yourself to the very core, it can be intimidating. Since childhood, I have always prided myself in being conscious of my strengths, weaknesses and quirks – but as I researched more into the topic, I realized that I might not know why I possess those qualities. Furthermore, I wondered if this knowledge might be valuable as I progress forward with my education, personal and professional aspirations. As it turned out, I was right to question my personality.
Initially, the questions seemed odd. Each one pertained to different personal preferences, ranging from subjects in school to the way you might spend a free afternoon. Annoyingly, there was no consistency that allowed the test-taker to predict which answer aligned with which personality trait. That might be part of the test’s magic – it serves as a genuine, thought-provoking analysis based on the individual’s instincts. The next week in class, we weren’t given our four letter code containing the truth about our personalities right away. Instead, we completed an experimental series of activities that introduced us to four categories: introverted-extroverted, intuition-sensing, feeling-thinking, perceiving-judging. At the end of the class, we finally received our results, each category with pages of analysis. INFP. The daunting four letter code that enhanced my outlook on my surroundings, and altered my daily actions. Again with the dramatics, I know, but it’s true. I am an introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving person. Upon reading these results, I was immediately comforted in the fact that I truly did know myself. The analysis that came with the test allowed me to understand why I possess certain characteristics, and how I should use them to my advantage. I was also able to do further research – the internet is a wonderful, fact-filled resource – that allowed me to get to know other authors, characters and celebrities that shared my same personality type. There were even lists of movies and books that people with INFP personality types usually enjoy. A personalized world opened up right in front of me, and I felt more connected to myself and everything around me than ever before.
So, although we all live vastly different lives, a lot of us are connected in some way. There are 7.5 billion people in the world, and only 16 personality categories, or so this test claims. It sounds crazy, but there is definitely comfort in feeling connected to people that you may never get to know personally. I leave you readers with a challenge: research the topic of personality tests, and maybe even find one to take yourself. You might be surprised at your results, and you also might learn a bit more about yourself, and the different ways that you can maximize your potential. You’re young and have a flood of academic, personal and professional decisions coming your way, so understanding your personality can only help…right?