Phew! I have a personality.

Thank goodness for my brother-in-law.  Without him I would have no personality…..;)

Before Christmas 2010, I got caught up in trying to figure out what type of personality I have.  Understanding your own and other people’s personalities helps to see how people perceive the world and interact. I did the test and came out with the personality of Phlegmatic. Then I googled and read what a Phlegmatic is like and it was definitely not what I am like at all.  I wasn’t just being, “Huh!  I am SO not that!”, I promise!  I read the description of this personality type to my husband and he agreed with me (and he was not agreeing with me just to stay out of trouble ;)).  So I did a different test and this time I came our Sanguine and Melancholic.  I read the descriptions for both of them and I wasn’t either of those types.  My final attempt at figuring out my personality type might be came out as Choleric.  So not Choleric.  So there I was, going into Christmas with no personality.

I realise that every person has elements of different personalities and they can overlap in some ways so some people are not just one personality. I decided after all these tests that I would just sit down with the book and read each personality to try to figure it out.  I can say with absolute confidence that I was not in there. Anywhere!  Perhaps one or two points from each list of 20+, but not enough to show me where I sat in any of them.

Thankfully, my brother-in-law knows a lot about personalities types and has studied up on the subject, so I was able to tell him of my frustrations and he quizzed me.  He prefers the Myers-Briggs personality types as they are more flexible.  After a few simple questions I am now a proud Idealist.  I hopped on the net and researched what an Idealist is like, and it was pretty much spot on. Now, I understand that some people don’t like these personality tests cause they feel as though they are being put in a box.  I also do not like to be put in a box.  Here are the reasons why:

1) I read what an Idealist was like and realised that I am ‘normal’.  The reason why I do certain things that may frustrate others or leave my husband scratching his head are quite natural for my personality type.

2) That each personality is crucial for the functioning of society.  Without one, everything would crash.  Everyone contributes in their own way.

3) God gave humans different personalities types , gifts and talents for a reason (see point above).  We each represent a part of who He is and we each contribute to His plan. It is what makes us interesting.

4) There are 16 types of personalities but they fall under the headings of the following personalities – Guardian, Rationalist, Artisan and Idealist.  I like how there is room to move in those 16 personalities.

5) Relating and understanding others. For example, my husband is mainly an Artisan which explains his attention to detail, and it also explains why I don’t care about detail and sometimes get frustrated by how long he takes to do something…but I must admit that it is always done to perfection.

It is amazing how something can change the way you think, tolerate and interact with others.  You can see where others are coming from. It is also liberating to cut yourself a bit of slack in knowing why you do certain things and just because someone else doesn’t do it that way doesn’t mean that you are wrong….just that you were created by the Creator to be different and unique.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dana on January 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Hey – sounds like my personality book was not that helpful. I know that three are lots of issues with the personality types and I think you also change what you are depending on what has been happening in your life. There are lots of risks too of putting others in a box as I think it limits all that God has put in them. Glad you were able to sort out some of it all. I think the best thing is to try and understand who God says you are; the personality books and tests sometimes help you work that out but nothing replaces who God made us to be. I will alway remember a wonderful mentor of mine saying that you are not a number you are Pizza (she was refering to learning styles but I think it works for personality stuff too) meaning we are all made up of different combinations and flavours and there are some similarities but none the same.
    oops sorry I didn’t mean to write an essay….


    • Thanks for your comment Dana 🙂 We both seem to agree. We can have bits of all of them, we can move between them, and that God is the key . Learning styles can be so similar too – like how we use them in class to help understand the kids, and how we prefer to learn most of the time. Very true! 🙂


  2. Posted by Rod on January 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Here’s the Keirsey personality stuff, explains it the way I did, excellent resources on this site:

    I know it’s tempting to believe that we can switch and change throughout life but this undermines the truth about personality types.. We are created as something very particular (and unique, dispite the fact that this looks like an exercise in boxing people), while emotional damage and other internal hinderances can adjust how we might act, what drives us at our core remains constant. And this is the key to this stuff I think, it’s about drivers, motivators, what really excites you and spurs you into action (and what sort of action!). What you actually do isn’t so predictable.


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