Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How I Passed the Personality Test

Most people have taken a personality test on more than one occasion. There’s always a few questions that you look at and wonder, “Should I answer this way or that way?” Recently, the iPersonic Personality Test has been going around. With just four questions, it can tell you something about your personality. But even with the small number of questions, I had one that caused me difficulty.

It was the first question.

  1. I often like to have a lot of people around me.
  2. I am easily distracted.
  3. I find it easy to approach other people and establish new contacts.
  4. I often make impulsive decisions.
  5. I prefer to be in the centre of things; I have lots of friends and love action and company.
  6. I like to organise my leisure time actively and together with others.
  7. I never leave others in any doubt about what I think and what my point of view is.
  8. My feelings are like me - lively and spontaneous.
  9. A club holiday or travelling with a group of good friends is just the right thing for me.
  10. I prefer to discuss problems with others.

  1. I need a lot of time alone.
  2. I can concentrate on the matter in hand.
  3. I am more the reserved type and approach new relationships carefully.
  4. I think things over intensively before I act.
  5. I am not one for large parties; I prefer a quiet evening with just a few good friends.
  6. I like to spend my spare time alone and to daydream.
  7. Very few know what I really think.
  8. I am not easily worked up.
  9. My idea of a dream holiday is more a solo trip; perhaps to a lonely island or a trekking trip in the mountains.
  10. If something weighs on my mind, I would sooner try to sort it out for myself.

In looking at these side by side, it is a mixed bag for me. On #1, I’d rather have a lot of people around than to spend a lot of time alone. On #2, I tend to be able to concentrate, maybe even a little too much. For #3, I suppose it depends on the setting. I would definitely classify myself as reserved, but I wouldn’t say I approach new relationships carefully. #9 seems very telling. My dream holiday is to go to a meeting with hundreds of people around. I don’t mind being alone, as long as I’m busy doing something, but I hate the thought of a “lonely island.” And #10 is a little strange for me. I prefer to discuss problems with others, but I spend a lot of time working out in my head how I want to discuss the problem with others.

When I answered the questions on the personality test, I first answered it one way and then the other. Along with may answers to the other questions—which I found to be clear cut—answering the question one way gave me the answer Reliable Realist while the other way gave me the answer Determined Realist. From there, I compared the two results to see which one seemed more like me.

Reliable Realists “have little need for social contacts; they therefore take great care when choosing partners and friends and limit themselves to a small but exclusive circle.” That isn’t me. I may forget to talk to people from time to time (quite frequently, actually), there’s nothing exclusive about my circle of friends.

Determined Realists, on the other hand, have a large circle of friends. For the most part, if I’ve met a person and they haven’t stabbed me in the back, I consider them my friend. It surprised me one time when I had lunch with a guy, so we could discuss something of a somewhat difficult nature. He looked at me and said, “we’ve known each other for quite a while, but I don’t know if you would consider me a friend.” Perhaps that is a shortcoming on my part, but I hadn’t realized that our friendship wasn’t as obvious to him as it was to me. Some people are closer than others, but I know very few people that I do not consider friends. And even those who aren’t, I’m working on.

But the thing that surprises so many of my friends, when I tell them my results from a personality test is one word, “Extroverted.” That is the very first adjective use to describe the Determined Realist. People don’t normally think of me as an extrovert. I think people confuse “extrovert” with “bubbly.” But when you consider that extroversion is “the state of obtaining gratification from what is outside the self,” it makes more sense. There are several ways that extroversion and introversion can manifest themselves. Even the person who is bubbly may be an introvert, if their bubbliness is what they use to protect themselves from interaction with people.

I suspect that I am fairly close to the middle of the introversion/extroversion spectrum, but I have slightly stronger leanings toward extroversion. Anytime you take one of these personality tests, you can’t assume you are one but not the other. Everyone falls somewhere in the middle. The extremes are a very bad place to be. So, if you don’t know how to answer, take a good guess, look at the results and then go back and change the answer if the results don’t match what you know yourself to be.

What results did you get from taking the personality test?