Updated: Apr 11, 2019
I have always been fascinated with human behavior and analyzing the personalities of others. Isn't it amazing that out of the 7.7 billion people in the world, every single person is completely unique with his or her own complex genetic makeup? While there may be many people that look, think, or act the way you do--no one is exactly identical to you with the same upbringing, opinions, life experiences, or little quirks. So you truly are special! Each of us have so much to offer this world with the God-given gifts we possess and talents we develop.
I am currently 28 weeks pregnant with my third child. As I feel my son somersault and karate-chop inside me, I am filled with such an emotionally profound joy. And it just boggles my mind that I was blessed to help create human life. Yea, no big deal. Ha! I have these moments where I'm like, "holy camoly, I have a PERSON growing inside of me."
And I'll proudly observe my full-of-personality 6-year-old daughter (my "mini-me") and my sweet, 4-year-old son--and think about how each of them are literally apart of me, and apart of my husband (yet still unique!)...And that deepens my love for my husband--raising kids together. My personality is very different from my husband's--which can be both challenging and beneficial at times. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses that can compliment each other in our parenting styles.
You have probably taken a personality quiz before. They can help you get to know yourself better as you identify your positive and negative traits. Learning more about your personality and what you can improve on helps you to become a better person. It promotes personal growth. And it doesn't come all at once. We often discover little pieces of ourselves bit by bit throughout our lives.
Here's an account of when I had an "aha moment" of discovery and learned more about myself..."I remember how I felt when I first learned of my diagnosis of ADD (now technically referred to as ADHD- Predominantly Inattentive Type). August 2015....at 25 years old. Driving home from the psychiatrist's office, I smiled and cried all at once. It felt like a ton of bricks was just lifted from my shoulders. I finally had answers. Peace. My mind raced thinking of the past, as it made connections. Everything made so much more sense now. I just figured all of the symptoms I had been experiencing for so long were little quirks, flaws, or apart of my personality.
Growing up, I always felt a little different; perhaps not seemingly apparent to others, but just secretly. And exhaustingly, I tried to fit in and keep up with the facade that I'm 'normal'--to appear more confident and outgoing than I really am. Nonetheless, I have been a successful, high-functioning person, and have learned to overcompensate and mask my daily struggles. Moreover, I was a quiet, smart, and obedient student and child....and so no one could have known what was going on inside my complex and cluttered brain...." (from my blog post about ADHD, "Inside My Mind").
Although our personalities remain fairly consistent throughout our lives, we still naturally evolve and mature and can change in some ways. I personally feel that I have changed a lot in recent years (for better and worse)--especially since becoming a wife and mother. But what has really affected these changes is my battle with depression and anxiety--leading me to develop a couple personality disorders.
Personality disorders are classified as mental disorders, characterized by unhealthy thinking and behavioral patterns. While mental illness can develop early on in life, personality disorders tend to develop in the teenage years or early adulthood, due to environmental factors over time. Often times, people don't realize that they have a personality disorder, because the way they are seems so natural to them. This can cloud their judgement, making it difficult to understand another person's point of view. They are then likely to blame others for the challenges they face. Personally, I have rigid, negative thinking patterns that are so engrained in me--years of compounded self-esteem issues--that it almost feels impossible to think differently. But I try to train my mind through positive self-talk and meditation. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (talking to a psychologist for example, who helps you to understand the thoughts and feelings influencing your behaviors) is a valuable resource as well for treatment.
Types of personality disorders are grouped into three clusters, based on similar characteristics and symptoms. Many people with one personality disorder also have signs and symptoms of at least one additional personality disorder.
Cluster A: odd, eccentric thinking or behavior; Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, and Schizotypal Personality Disorder.
Cluster B: dramatic, overly emotional, or unpredictable thinking or behavior; Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, and Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Cluster C: anxious, fearful thinking or behavior; Avoidant Personality Disorder (which I was diagnosed with), Dependent Personality Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (which I was also diagnosed with; not to be confused with OCD--though I exhibit some of those symptoms as well).
The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator - Personality Test
You may have heard of the popular "Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator" test that suggest 16 different personality types. The test is made up of 4 different scales: Extroverted (E) - Introverted (I); Sensing (S) - Intuition (N); Thinking (T) - Feeling (F); and Judging (J) - Perceiving (P).
I am considered to be an INFJ. I feel like the following describes be very well (from verwellmind.com)....
"Sometimes referred to as the 'Advocate' or the 'Idealist,' people with INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging) personalities are creative, gentle, and caring. INFJs are usually reserved but highly sensitive to how others feel. They are typically idealistic with high moral standards. The INFJ type is said to be one of the rarest with just one to three percent of the population exhibiting this personality type.
While INFJs are quiet and sensitive, they can also be good leaders. Even when they don't take on overt leadership roles, they often act as quiet influencers behind the scenes. They also like to exert control by planning, organizing and making decisions as early as possible.
People with this type of personality are often described as deep and complex. They enjoy contemplating the meaning of life. INFJs may not have a huge circle of acquaintances, but their close friendships tend to be very close and long-lasting. They sometimes struggle to say no to other people's requests; they are so attuned to what other people are feeling that they fear causing disappointment or hurt feelings. After being in social situations, INFJs need time to themselves to 'recharge.'
Strong sense of intuition and emotional understanding
Sensitive to the needs of others and empathetic
Highly creative and artistic
Focused on the future
Values close, deep relationships
Can be overly sensitive; feelings hurt easily
Sometimes difficult to get to know
Can have overly high expectations
INFJs are usually high achievers and excel in academics and the workplace. They can be perfectionists at times and tend to put a great deal of effort into their work.
Popular INFJ Careers
INFJs also often feel misunderstood. I do. In person, I fear that my reserved nature and avoidant personality can come off as stuck-up or unapproachable. But please know that I'm not trying to be rude--it's just my social anxiety and low confidence getting in the way. I also tend to assume people think a certain way about me--that is, the negative aspects that I beat myself up for--when I have to realize it may not be true. This stems from having a low self-esteem--being self-conscious and worrying too much about what other people think. I fear being judged--and the feelings of rejection, criticism, failure, and disappointing others are hard to bare. But I'm working on learning to love myself and developing more positive thinking patterns.
What have you learned about yourself and your personality over the years? Make a list of all your strengths and weaknesses--and then set specific, realistic goals to become your best self. While you cannot really change your overall basic personality type--there are some aspects of your personality that you can consciously improve upon.
On the flip side...sometimes we feel pressured to change things that don't need to be fixed. You don't need to submit to how someone else thinks you should be. So stay true to yourself. Strive to develop self-respect and acceptance. Don't try to be someone you're not. And remember....you are important. You matter. You have personality traits and talents that can enrich the lives of others. There are so many little intricacies to your heart, mind, and soul that are uniquely your own. That only YOU can share.
So....I thought I'd make my own personality quiz!
Share with your friends on Facebook :)
Here is part of my results after taking the quiz (there are also 6 other types of intelligences).
And then I offer more details and information on each type. What are your results?