Ask anyone if they know a personality analyst and they most likely would tell you they don’t – but the truth is we all are. We don’t carry the official title with it, and we don’t really consider ourselves analysts or assessors, but we are just that whenever we deal with people.
It starts out strong when we first meet people. It is human nature to want to try and determine how to behave in certain environments around certain people and the way we do that is by assessing their personalities and making decisions on how we think they are and what we think they will find acceptable.
It is human to seek approval and to want to be liked and accepted. So we mentally assess the situation and that involves the people in it. Our interior assessment tools are constantly at work, drawing conclusions and making judgments about the people we encounter.
The encounters don’t even have to be face to face meetings. I know I have drawn conclusions about whether or not I like someone from seeing something they have written. Sometimes there isn’t even a photograph connected to a person’s writings, and I still determine whether or not I like that person.
Without putting it into words, I have drawn up a sense of that person and what I feel they are like – in other words, how I believe their personality is, and from that, I have decided whether it is thumbs up or thumbs down.
If it all sounds quite subjective, you are partially right. That is because it most certainly is subjective, but not partially so, entirely so. We base our way of dealing with people and of acting around them, on the conclusions we draw from our assessment of their personality, most of which goes on without us even being aware that it is happening.
But, there are more objective ways to analyze personality. There are people who have studied personality for years and have come up with measures that group different types of personalities in ways to categorize them.
Mostly, these tools are used in the business world where employers try to assure they are getting as accurate a read on a potential employee prior to hiring them and investing in them. But with the changing degrees of loyalty that both employees and employers demonstrate recently, the analysis doesn’t seem to matter as much as it once did.
Most of us have heard about Type A and Type B personalities and to a large degree, truth can be seen in the predominant behaviors we exhibit as to which of these two categories we fall into. But since mood tends to impact personality quite often, the degree of how deep into the category one lies, can fluctuate.
I know I am more of an outgoing type of person than introverted, however, there are many times when I don’t feel like putting myself out there. If you ever read horoscope type definitions of people who are born under certain signs of the zodiac, it is sort of the same thing. There are descriptors of the types of behaviors and personalities that you ‘should’ have if you are born under a particular sign, but the closer you get to the sign before or the next sign, the more likely you are to have milder degrees of these ‘traits.’
Yet despite the vagueness, there are people who have very strong, consistent personality traits that are solid as can be. For these individuals, there is no problem determining their personality types.
There are some free online personality tests that you may find an interesting way to get started. All it takes is a few minutes of your time and a bit of inner reflection to consider the responses prior to making your selection. I recommend the Big 5 personality test. You can include a second person to compare your traits with in this test – always something fun.
All in all, I believe anything that helps us get more in touch with who we are and furthers our self-awareness and self-knowledge is a good thing. If understanding more about personality gets us to do that, then it already has served a great purpose.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!