I like taking psychometric tests. Though many regard them as pseudoscience, I’ve personally found them interesting. What I appreciate about these tests is that they get me thinking deeply about myself. So while I don’t agree with everything these tests say given how unique everyone is, they’ve been the doorway for considering different aspects of my own personality. I’ve taken many tests, but here are a few that I found useful:
Myers Briggs Type Indicator
This test classifies you into one of the 16 different personality types. Each type is a different combination of these 4 dimensions:
- Extraversion vs Introversion: are you someone who derives energy by spending time alone (introvert) or by being with people (extrovert)?
- Sensing vs Intuition: do you pay attention to the information you get through your 5 senses or experience (sensing) or do you pay more attention to the patterns or possibilities of the information you’re receiving (intuition)?
- Thinking vs Feeling: do you make decisions based on logic and reason (thinking) or people and situations (feeling)?
- Perceiving vs Judging: when it comes to structure, do you like being spontaneous (perceiving) or planned (judging)?
My type is ENFJ, although, my E and I preference is slight. I consider myself an introverted extrovert; I love hanging out with people, but I like my alone time too. I can definitely say that I like being planned and structured and am more heart than logic-driven. I like to connect the dots and ponder possibilities so I think the ‘N’ part makes sense as well. If you’re curious about your type, I’d recommend that you take the 16personalities test.
I was asked to take this at my first job; this is one of the most extensively used tests in the corporate world. It’s developed by Gallup and tells you the top 5 traits that are highly developed in you and are your strengths. It’s quite interesting and what I like is that it’s highly research-driven. Also, since it tells you the top 5 out of 34 traits, it’s more ‘unique’ to you as an individual. My top 5 traits turned out to be:
1. Empathy – being able to put myself in another’s shoes and see their perspective
2. Responsibility – taking psychological ownership of what I said I’d do
3. Futuristic – seeing possibilities for the future and being inspired by it
4. Developer – recognizing and cultivating the potential in others
5. Restorative – figuring out problems and resolving them
I immediately resonated with Empathy, Responsibility, Futuristic, and Developer. Restorative was something I wasn’t sure of but I do see some resonance from the description.
Enneagram Personality Test
This was super recent; I took it just yesterday following a friend’s suggestion. Though not the most scientific of tests, I was blown away by how eerily accurate the results were. This test tells you how much of a match you are with each of the 9 types of personalities. I was a 98% match to type 7, the ‘enthusiast’ and a 97% match to type 2, ‘the giver’. Type 7s want to experience everything good the world has to offer and seek to run from negative emotions or limitations. Type 2s are people that derive great joy in being there for others.
To give you a quick overview of what I discovered that deeply resonated, here’s an excerpt from my journal entry this morning. This is also a vulnerability challenge for me because, well, I’m sharing something right out of my journal. So here goes nothing…
My biggest self-discovery has been that I have a hyper mind. There’s something going on in there all the time and it feels too scattered…like I’m chasing too many things, want too many things at the same time. It’s crazy how my mind always wanders…even as I’m in the middle of an activity, my mind becomes agitated and wants to engage in another. So it’s like I take a bite out of several apples rather than focusing on one apple, relishing it, and finishing it. It’s too bad.
This was the other thing that came out of the enneagram test – that I’m a person who’s afraid to miss out on all the things life has to offer. I want to have choices and experience all of them. Which is not practical, of course. Here’s what the report said:
Gluttony: insatiable hunger for stimulating experiences of any kind.
Sevens are driven by the belief that they will feel satisfied when they have experienced all life has to offer. Instead of deeply digesting an experience, Sevens crave little bites of as many pleasurable experiences as possible, whether that’s food, conversation, travel or learning. Gluttony arises when they crave more and more but taste less and less, not realizing that chasing constant pleasure keeps them from deeper satisfaction.”
I think I can 100% relate to this. I can literally see this with the number of to-dos I stuff my days with. It’s ridiculous. For eg., with the whole May self-discovery thing, I’m trying to do a lot. I’m trying to straddle a course that needs you to introspect deeply and this at the same time and it’s honestly too much. And I can’t really experience the real juice of any of it since I’m spreading myself too thin.
That’s it, that’s the phrase. Spreading myself too thin.
What should my mantra really be? As soon as I woke up, I scribbled something in my diary. It was, ‘Full engagement. One task at a time’. I think I should also add, ‘Not too many things’.
I remember Tim Ferriss quoting Micael Polan in one of his podcasts, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”.
I think my mantra should be, ‘Full engagement. Not too many things. One task at a time’. I like that.
There you go…I went ahead and shared my journal entry with you. To be honest, that took extra courage because…well, I’m showing you my innermost thoughts.
The other point I want to make is that taking this test led me to do some deep introspection. That’s a definite benefit of taking psychometric tests. I encourage you to take at least a test or two just for that because I think it will help you understand yourself in a deeper way.