• Aging Well Denver

The Benefits of Knowing Your Personality Type

If you've logged on to Facebook, Buzzfeed or any other social media platform you have surely seen several fun quizzes offering to tell you what kind of Holiday Cocktail you are, or which Harry Potter character you are. While these silly quizzes are not often based in scientific theory, they are tapping into a cultural phenomenon that we have been experiencing lately. People are eager to learn more about their own personality types.

While most of them are just for fun, there are some real nuggets of truth and wisdom that can help shed light on different aspects of your behavior, preferences, and personality.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), one of the most popular personality assessments, was designed to assess psychological preferences including how people see things, how they interact with the world, and how they make decisions. This test was considered the most legitimate for several years, providing people with a short 4 letter "type" to learn more about and compare with others. Another personality test that's gaining popularity is called the Enneagram System. This test provides you with a number that is associated with a type and even assigns you a primary and secondary type (because we don't all fit in the same 9 boxes.) There are so many others that it can be hard to know which one to take!

So what can you learn by knowing your type and what are the benefits? Well, maybe a few things.

Understand your likes and dislikes more. Maybe you enjoy parties but feel exhausted when you leave? Or maybe you take a really long time to make important decisions? Have you heard people say that you're aloof and it's surprising to you? Learning where you fall on the introvert/extrovert or thinking/feeling scales can help you understand those seemingly inconsequential things about yourself more.

What's the benefit of knowing? You can set yourself up to handle those situations in a way that works better for you, or even push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone. Learning your own quirks can make you more aware of how other people perceive you and how you interact with them. This can help in the case of job interviews, parent-teacher conferences, making new friends and more.

Understand others better. In taking personality tests and learning about your own type, you become aware of the other ways that people interact and handle situations. Understanding some of your core personality traits as well as those of the people you are close to is also helpful in relationships. If, for example, you are an extrovert but your spouse is more of an introvert, you will be better able to spot the signs that your partner is getting exhausted and needs to take a break from socializing. By better knowing each other's personality traits, you can better respond to the needs of your loved ones and build stronger partnerships. This also forces you to be more aware of how many different kinds of people there are. Sometimes when we understand that other people process differently than we do, we can give them more grace or provide more patience to them. People often fall into the trap of mistakenly believing that most other people share the same views, opinions, attitudes, and traits that they do.

Sort out your strengths and weaknesses. Being extremely organized and detail oriented is considered a classic strength, but knowing your type can also help you understand when your strengths could be weaknesses. For instance, you may struggle to let someone else take the reins during a work presentation or even let your perfectionist nature take over on your child's school art project. Knowing that you have certain tendencies can help you to curb them and be more intentional with your actions and words.

Have you ever taken a personality test? Did you feel the results were accurate? Do you think that there are any benefits to taking them? Share with us below in the comments!