Thursday, May 22, 2014

Personality Quirks

I find the mass of personality quizzes on the internet absolutely fascinating.

Clearly, I'm not alone in this. Scroll down your Facebook feed and you'll likely find anywhere from one to ten posts about what Harry Potter character your friend is or who their celebrity soulmate is or ... what kind of flower they are? Anything. Anything goes, as it turns out, and the tests tend to run to the downright silly.

It's not exactly a stretch. We've been a species that tries to find its purpose for as long as ... well, at least as long as there have been written records. We're always trying to define ourselves, trying to find our place, trying to figure out how to categorize others as well. We like our boxes.

And the internet has given us the chance to do that so many times over that it's just a little frightening.

Seriously. If there's something you can be compared to, there's a quiz.

And sometimes, you find answers you weren't looking for, exactly.

I'm genuinely unsure how I feel about this one.
Sometimes, you might even feel validated.

My speech patterns indicate the Dakotas or northern California. Wait, what?

Or just plain confused.

I feel like I should crack an "Easy A" joke here.

Or ... maybe it makes more sense than you'd like.

Yeah, okay.

Or downright disappointing.

Ugh. I'm boring.
I admit: I went on a quiz binge.
Of course, these ridiculous quizzes aren't the only things floating around the web. There are plenty of more serious options just waiting to be found, ready to help you find definition.
For instance, there are multiple versions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a test that is based on Carl Jung's work on psychological functions. Essentially, a test tells you whether you're introverted or extroverted, prefer to gather information by sensing or through intuition, whether you make decisions by thinking or feeling, and whether you live those decisions out through judging or perceiving (read that as "black and white" or "more gray").
There are graphs.
I tried this one multiple times and the general conclusion for my type is INTP -- a quiet, logical person whose intuition runs deep. In other words, a Vulcan.
It wasn't surprising.
Or, if you want to see how you relate to others (or why things keep going awry between you and another person), there are multiple love language quizzes to try.
Hey. No scoffing. I saw that eye roll. Hear me out.
The idea behind the love languages (I'm wishing for a slightly different term here) is that we each express ourselves differently to and with the people around us, and that these expressions come out better in select ways. I, for one, am very firmly in the "quality time" category. I feel most connected to people if I can have solid chunks of time with them or talking to them, which means several things. For one, I need to remember to put forth effort if you're not immediately in front of me. For another, this also applies to me -- I like my quality alone time both because I'm fairly introverted and because that's how I take care of all relationships, including the one with myself.
My lowest scorer, without exception, is physical touch. This surprises no one.
This all comes into use when you have someone important in your life who sits firmly in a different language. My brother, for instance, probably scores waaaaay higher than me in words of affirmation, a fact that I've only recently started to realize. I'm not good at words of affirmation, but knowing that it's important to someone else helps me pay a bit more attention.
A good chunk of this is almost useful information -- knowing what's going on in your own head can help you figure out what's going on around you, and let's face it, we could all do a bit more of that. I'm not sure what knowing that if I were in the Harry Potter universe, I'd be Neville Longbottom has to do with that, but at least it's amusing.
Oh, and if you feel like maybe you're taking this too seriously? Try this one.

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