Knowing your personality type can help you get to know yourself

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Kristen Harris

If you’re like me, then you’ve taken your fair share of personality quizzes. I mean, how am I supposed to live without knowing if my taste in food is more Northern or Southern?

My fascination with personality quizzes doesn’t end with silly little BuzzFeed quizzes. I’m also intrigued by the more in-depth personality tests, specificially the Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram tests.

While I don’t believe that these personality tests are the end all, be all of what makes me who I am, I do think that there’s some merit to what they have to say. By taking these personality tests, I came to know myself a little bit better.

The first time I encountered the Myers-Brigg personality inventory was in ninth grade when it was, for some reason, part of an English class assignment. The test named me an INFJ, and I still identify by that “type” today.

For me, the most important part of this result was the I. In a Myers-Brigg personality type, the first letter stands for either “introvert” or “extrovert.”

This test was the first time that I encountered the concept of introversion and extroversion. I was better able to understand why I was always the quiet kid in class. I wasn’t broken or wrong just becase I didn’t talk as much as everyone else did. I was an introvert, which simply meant that I got my energy from being alone.

I took the personality test from the Enneagram Institute more recently. While its origins are a little more “hippy dippy” in nature, what the tests results have to say can actually be pretty insightful.

The Enneagram test is based on nine distinct personality types, and I was labeled as a Type Five. Reading the type description was like being cut open. By seeing my fears laid out in front of me, I was able to face a few of them.

My results inspired me to think about how I interact with the world in a new light. Rather than disconnecting when things got stressful, I pushed myself to reach out for help and be more assertive.

My favorite thing about the Enneagram test is that it separates each type into levels, showing what you’re capable of becoming.

While I don’t believe any personality assessment is completely accurate, I do see value in their results. It’s worth finding out a little bit more about who you are. It only takes fifteen minutes, but there’s so much to learn.

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