by Shara Chabakji
(Photo taken from 16personalities.com)
If you've ever taken a personality test after applying for a job, or after speaking to a high school or college adviser, then you know that those assessments were designed to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are. But have you ever taken an assessment specifically to determine how your personality type affects your personal relationships? If you haven't, I suspect that there may be a few reasons why. Maybe you've wondered, "Will taking an assessment confine me to a box or a label?", "Is it actually accurate?", "Is there any spiritual truth to it?", or "How would it even be useful?" Maybe you haven't thought about it at all. This article will share some insights on the advantages to knowing your personality type, and will also address some of the questions above.
What Are The Lists of Personality Types?
If you're the type of person to get angry when things don't go your way, or deeply saddened when people in your life disappoint you, your personality may play a part in that. Understanding your predisposition may help you to control your reactions to life's challenges. For others who may find themselves on the delivering end of those negative experiences, you may at times wonder why your actions or words bring out certain negative reactions. According to Jordan Peterson, a notable clinical psychologist, there are five primary character traits which dictate how we view and interact with others in the world around us. The traits he discovered and believes are the best indicators of personality are: extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Then there is the famous Myers-Briggs personality assessment, which was created based on the discoveries of the late psychiatrist Carl Jung (and the most popular assessment to date), which categorizes personality types based on a total of 16 possibilities and is usually expressed as an abbreviation (ie. INFJ, or INTP, etc.). Each Myers-Briggs personality has its own unique subsets of qualities. As we dive into the more spiritual world of discoveries we learn that Rabbi Chaim Vital understood that there are 4 main elements to one's personality, which he explained were also the same elements used in the creation of the world: earth, fire, wind, and water. So which assessment is accurate?
(Myers-Briggs Personalities - Defined)
(Personality Traits by Jordan Peterson - The Big 5 )
("4 Elements" photo taken from Aish.com)
Advantages To Knowing Your Specific Personality?
Is it possible that all of the assessments listed above are accurate in some way? I'll let you decide for yourself. But, after considering the descriptions of personalities/traits and where I might stand on the spectrum, I'd have to say that I believe there is truth to all of the assessments we've touched on. What was more surprising, but helpful (hopefully also for you), was discovering that many of the people in my life, do not share my personality types. If asked to guess beforehand, I would have been certain that my closest friends and even husband would have been much more like me. So, though I did find that we shared some critical similarities, it was in fact our differences that truly complimented one another. Jordan Peterson explains, in one of his interviews entitled "How To Sell Anything To Anyone", that when it comes to business and other partnerships, those who are sometimes quite opposite of us, often provide us with the perspective and balance we need to be successful.
Knowing Yourself Is Half The Battle
Though a professional assessment can help us to get straight to the point of how our minds work, we can also discover what our gifts and areas of improvement are by independently analyzing ourselves. It may even be possible to make modifications to our character traits over time, and with discipline. However we choose to arrive at self discovery in this way, when we stop seeing the personality differences in others around us as faults, and start appreciating them as tools to help keep us in balance, we can begin to learn how to compromise and work well with others. Knowing your personality type may just be what you need to appreciate another's when you see it.
Take your free Meyers-Briggs assessment today.