NOTE from 2021: When I noticed my blog was getting hacked in February of 2020 I did some quick fixes and somehow all of my draft posts from the previous 16 years ended up assigned to that month. This is one of those posts. It was written sometimes between 2004 and 2020 but I don’t know exactly when. I deleted most of the posts but obviously I thought this one was worth keeping so I wanted to add the note to clarify any publication date confusion for future Me.
Have you ever taken those personality type tests? Like the Enneagram or Myers-Briggs or something like that? I have…tons of times. Sometimes it was mandatory…I had to do one for work once, I did one in college as part of the “career guide” program, and I have had to do one for just about every therapist I’ve visited. I’ve also done it dozens of times just for kicks and I never just quite get the hoopla because I’m always sitting there thinking: Well…I could see how I might answer this differently on a different day in a different mood with a different framework for analysis.
I have friends who wear their Enneagram number like a nametag. They identify with theirs so much they’ll post memes or articles about themselves as that number and be all…LOOK! IT ME! Same with the MTBI stuff, although it’s not as popular now. And in both cases I have never gotten the same thing twice so I can’t even remember who I am and whenever people start talking about it I have to re-take it or I have to try to look up the definitions and just guess.
I only know for sure what I’m not. On the Enneagram test I never get higher than a 50% on category 3. Never. It’s always my lowest score so the only think I ever say without a doubt is…NOT A 3. And with the MBTI I can only say…Definitely not an Extrovert. My answer always starts with an “I” no matter what combination the other letters are. So I guess if I had to pick something to identify with I would combine the two things that are always consistent and say well I’m: Introverted, Not an Achiever.
With the Enneagram think my highest numbers are almost always 4/9 but sometimes it’s a 2 but those three are always my highest and usually above 95%. So…I’m an Individualist/Giver/Peacemaker? Depending on my mood and in what way I am analyzing the test questions? And with MBTI I’m usually an IN something…but not always.
I feel like my problem with these tests relates to why I always hated multiple choice type tests growing up. My brain can justify almost EVERY ANSWER. With the Enneagram test there’s a lot of questions asking how you perceive yourself in your group like….are you different? Which….when one of your categories is “INDIVIDUALIST” I get…BUT! I always feel like that’s relative. I mean…I definitely am different than most Alabamians, but not so much Huntsvillians and even less different in my peer group. If you pluck me out of Huntsville and stick me in Denver I’m not going to stick out at all, or up in the PNW I’m totally one of the crowd.
So I over analyze every question and could sit there and debate several answers for hours if I let myself. I know you’re not supposed to do that, so I try to go on my instinct, but I know 100% my instinct for a lot of questions shifts with my mood.
I even waver with Harry Potter! I mean, I buy all of the Ravenclaw stuff but when I’m actually talking about it to fans I often say, “I’m a RavenPuff” because I feel like I identify with Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs.
How about you? How do you identify on these self-reporting type personality tests? Do you get an answer and then identify with it forever? Or do you keep taking the tests forever because you feel like it changes ever day?