Personality tests are helpful. They are interesting. But they are not everything, nor are they everything about a person. They give us insight to better understand how a person thinks, processes through life, responds to situations, approaches situations, and why they act a certain way in public. However, where we limit ourselves is when we think that the personality test gives us a complete understanding of why people do the things they do. They don’t. There is so much more you have to factor in, such as belief system, worldview, personal upbringing and background, current life stage, circumstances being faced with, etc…
Personality tests should not put someone in a box. (I say this because I am guilty of far too quickly thinking I understand someone because I know what their four little letters from Myers Briggs stands for, when in all actuality I am only beginning to scratch the surface at getting to know him or her). Personality tests should be used to help us get to know someone, and lead to more questions and allow you to go deeper. Not every ISTJ or ENFP is exactly the same. Not every ISTJ stays an ISTJ (I would know…once was an ISTJ and now am an INTJ/INFJ depending on the setting). Where we are in life affects the test results – there is no way around that, or at least for most of us there is no way around that, but then again maybe I am just to much of a chameleon.
I love personality tests – many of you know that. As I tend to talk about them, well far too often, or so it seems. Recently though, it seems I am not the only one talking about them, nor am I the only one who feels we may be talking about them too much in a not so helpful way. Not everyone likes personality tests, and that is okay. Not everyone has a lot of knowledge on personality tests, and that, too, is okay. So, if we find ourselves talking about them – we need to make sure that we aren’t being exclusive in conversation, especially since it is a topic that is really intended to help include everyone and better understand one another. It really can sound like a foreign language when you start throwing letters out, whether you are talking Myers Briggs or DISC test, or words like “Whoo” when referring to Strength FInders 2.0 – if you don’t explain what you are talking about you will lose people. Quickly.
I think we should get to know one another. I think personality tests aid in helping us do that. I think they help us better understnad ourselves. In fact, if you haven’t taken a Myers Briggs, I highly suggest you do and go here to take it. But don’t stop there. Let this insight to one another help you to see how we each reflect Christ in different ways. You will show me Christ in different ways than I will show you. That is the beauty of living in community. So, keep talking about personality tests, just be careful to not make them ultimate. I know I am fighting to do that, though it is hard because I find them fascinating.
By no means am I an expert on this topic or innocent in this area. These are just some of my more recent thoughts on the matter as they have been coming up and I have not spoken up to share my thoughts (guess that is the introvert in me coming out…or more making me retreat…). So, I wanted to take the time to scratch them out here. What are your thoughts on personality tests? Helpful, err no?!
Would love your input, friends.