Personally I love taking these little personality tests to see which archetype I categorize myself with to further psychoanalyze why I do things the way I do. Although it might seem harmless at first, if taken too seriously these personality tests can actually do more harm than good.
Limits Yourself Into Categories
Two of the most popular kinds of personality tests (excluding horoscopes) are the MBTI otherwise known as the “Myers-Brigg Type Indicator” with sixteen different types and the Enneagram test with nine different archetypes.
To figure out which “type” you are, you are subject to take a quiz and choose which one you identify yourself more with. Including questions such as:
– Do you gain energy from being on your own or with other people? To determine whether or not you are Introverted or Extroverted.
– Do you focus on small details or big ideas? To determine whether or not you are more of a Sensing or Intuition type.
– Do you make decisions based on your brain or heart? To determine whether or not you are a Thinker or Feeler.
– Do you prefer to follow rules or make your own rules? To determine whether or not you choose to Judge or Perceive.
Again, most of these tests and quizzes appear to be harmless. However, it can sometimes drive a person too extreme where they believe that the type they were identified with is the only characteristic they can act upon.
Which is wrong. Because, in truth, we as humans are always changing (for better or worse).
It might be pretty common sense to realize that these personality tests aren’t that accurate, but if you’ve ever fallen down the rabbit hole of obsessing over memes, articles, and other information regarding your specific personality type, then you probably recognize how easy it is to fall into one of those traps. That being, portraying the chosen archetype as the only way you see and view yourself.
Let’s say you got your type and it’s an ENFP. From here on out, most likely you will start reading more and more about how you are EXTRAVERTED, IDEALISTIC, EMPATHETIC, and SPONTANEOUS.
Likewise if you got ISTJ instead. You will now view yourself as INTROVERTED, REALISTIC, RATIONAL, and ORGANIZED.
Even though all of these above character traits are fairly normal, you might start excluding the other remaining four types. Which is where the real harm begins.
No one person is exactly one type or the other. In fact, realistically everyone is on a balance between them. So, let’s say you’re 80% Extraverted and 20% Introverted. Even though the higher percentage falls under “extraverted”, there is still that 20%, meaning you are still an introvert in some areas of your life, and that is completely normal.
Everyone lies on a spectrum between each type. So, it should never be seen as black and white kind of assumption but more of a greyscale, with you leaning more towards one or the other. This is also why many people can consider themselves an “Ambivert” (a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features) because they find themselves more towards the middle of the scale where Extraverts and Introverts meet.
Prevents Change and Improvement
Similarly, you might view some personality types as more “fun” and “likable”, therefore your answers to the quizzes and tests may now be biased. Thus giving a more inaccurate representation of where you currently stand.
But you know what, that is okay, too. If you see other characteristics you wish to be yourself, then by all means, feel free to change! There’s nothing wrong with being more spontaneous and fun if you wish to be. Or more reasonable and organized with your life, if that’s what you seek. No one is going to stop you, and neither should some test that diminishes your growth as a person.
This is why it is so easy for our results from these personality tests to change every year or so. Because we are always changing who we are, through new characters we find a liking to, based on the people we hang out around, the list goes.
Although I do understand the appeal of these personality tests, you should only take it for fun, and never use it as a guide on how to live your life.
Thank you so much for reading! Comment down below your thoughts and whether or not you agree with my statement that personality tests are harmful