Why We Are Obsessed with Personality Types

Fab Giovanetti

I could easily claim that is the Virgo in me, but I will be honest, I do love personality types tests.

I believe that comes from this idea that I want to understand my personality and hack myself into becoming a better person. Just like I would check my birth chart, personality tests give me an idea of who I am and some of my unique traits.

The most common personality type test you will find is the Myers-Briggs type (so much so that it now features in dating profiles alongside your zodiac sign). Yes, I am ENFJ-T, just in case you were wondering.

However, the list is incredibly long: there is Enneagram, Helen Fisher’s romantic types, David Keirsey’s temperaments and much more.

Are personality type tests just an internet phenomenon?

If you were a teenage-magazine buff like I was, you may remember some of these quizzes appeared for the most part in monthly magazines and weekly newspapers, with horoscope offerings being available daily, depending on the publication.

Before then, Greek physician Hippocrates believed that humans could be divided into four temperaments—distinct yet overlapping personality types. These temperaments, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric, and Melancholic, are based on “humours,” bodily fluids within the microcosm of the body that cause illness if imbalanced.

Nevertheless, the internet has changed the way we consume these systems in several ways.

Firstly, we now seem to use personality tests as a way to find how we can be best compatible with the people around us.

I personally got hooked on learning about different personality types to gain a better understanding of myself and also my friends and family and learn how we could all best interact – again, blaming my strong Virgo traits.

Myers-Briggs – the renowned personality type test

One of the oldest personality tests available, Myers-Briggs is a classic, dating back to the 1940s and inspired by Jung’s personality theory. The Myers-Briggs test separates people into 16 categories of personalities, providing insights into general strengths and weaknesses, desires and ambitions, communication styles, how people perceive you, and how you see the world.

DISC assessment

The DiSC assessment determines where you lie on four DiSC factors – dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance.

DiSC is one of the most popular and authoritative career assessments out there, and many companies, including HubSpot, encourage their employees to take it.

The DiSC asks you to complete a series of questions, and then provides you with a PDF report on your behaviour and personality – the report provides you with tips on how you might work better with others.

See Also

5 Love Languages

If you are looking for love, this one is for you. The 5 Love Languages profile will give you a thorough analysis of your emotional communication preference. It will single out your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect and deepen your relationships with others.

16 Personalities

This is a fantastic (and speedy) test to help you learn about your strengths and weaknesses with a simple test. The 16 Personalities include different characters – I am the protagonist, go figure – and it’s probably the most enjoyable I took in a long time.

The long quest of ‘bettering’ ourselves

Personality tests also give us a clearer idea of our strengths and weaknesses, something that empowers us more in the choices we can make and the way that we can better ourselves as humans.

In a world where it’s hard for us to find people compatible with us and our lifestyle, being able to identify other people via labels – which go beyond religion and beliefs – has proved to be a way to choose our pack and partners (in crime and life).

By understanding different personality types, we may be able to better identify our personal paths and values and avoid decision fatigue.

Whether you have been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies or you took the Big Five test, there is something to be said about what you can learn through a personality test.

Is it really the key to your destiny? I highly doubt it. Still, it can give you some fun insights about yourself that you may not expect to hear. Will they help boost your confidence, too?

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