As we approach Mental Health Awareness week next month, I am keen to focus in on this topic for the next few weeks posts. It seems to affect so many people.
Every week 1 in 6 of us experiences mental health problems.
The tagline this year is “Surviving or Thriving?” and this seems very pertinent to those of us dealing with Chronic Illness and our families also.
Last year I came across this personality test and had a go. It only takes 10 minutes. It’s so interesting and a lot of fun. My assessment was really spot-on. I really encourage you to have a try.
However, I am not overly keen on placing labels on people and I think it’s important to remember that we are also influenced by our environment and experience. Let us not be limited by these assessments. This personality test is based on Five Factor Personality Traits (Mind, Energy, Nature, Tactics, and Identity) and a combination of a Jungian model and a Myers-Briggs test.
My personality type came out as an INFP-T or a MEDIATOR.
MIND: 59% Introverted ( vs Extroverted)
ENERGY: 61% Intuitive (vs Observant)
NATURE: 75% Feeling (vs Thinking)
TACTICS: 51% Prospecting (vs Judging)
IDENTITY: 74% Turbulent (vs Assertive)
This type of person is described as:
- a true idealist, always looking for good in people
- often may be perceived as calm, reserved or shy.
- have an inner flame that can really shine (Oh yes I like this one!)
- can be easily misunderstood.
- diplomats and tend to be guided by principles rather than logic, excitement or practicality.
- having strong personal values.
- creative and seek order and peace.
The first scale in the test, Mind, measures how we interact with our surroundings. Introverts prefer solitary activities and tend to be sensitive and extroverts prefer group situations and are energised by interaction. Introverts tend to avoid excessive stimulation and extroverts seek it out.
I wasn’t surprised to find that I was 59% introverted. I am very shy at times but I also have a social side that likes to come out to play. I find it much easier in a one-to-one situation or a small group rather than a larger group.
It is a normal characteristic of humans to take some time to get used to a new stimulus (new people, new situation) before we begin to explore the unfamiliar. The new stimulus may be something dangerous or important. Apparently, shy individuals do not accommodate to new situations easily because they sense danger where it does not exist. Their nervous system is on high alert when it doesn’t need to be. That makes sense to me and having realised that a lot of my issues over the years have come from an underlying core belief of not being safe in the world, it is all falling into place.
The second scale in the test measures Energy and determines how you see the world and what kind of information you focus on. Being intuitive means being more visionary and focused on ideas, whereas the observant is more interested in facts and observable data. I wasn’t surprised that I was 61% Intuitive as that is how I work artistically and I value intuition in life, although I do find it hard to access at times.
The third scale measures Nature and determines how we make decisions and cope with emotions. This is very interesting for me as I place great significance on how we identify and process our emotions in regard to health. People who have a thinking personality trait rather than the feeling one, are thinking with their head more than their heart. They may use logic to override their emotions and tend to hide their feelings. I tested as 75% Feeling which is a considerable amount, but again it doesn’t surprise me as I have known I was empathic for many years and am well acquainted with its’ benefits and dangers. Feeling types are sensitive, empathic and emotionally expressive. They still use logic and have strong beliefs but tend to consider everyone’s feelings in a decision.
The Tactics scale focuses on our approach to work, planning and decision-making. Judging individuals are decisive and highly organised. They prefer structure and predictability. Prospecting individuals are good at improvising and tend to be flexible and nonconformist. I came up as almost 50:50 in this one which also feels accurate to me, as I like planning and spontaneity. I like to keep my options open with some things and at other times to have thought through all possibilities.
In the last part of the test a final scale measures Identity, showing how confident you are in your abilities and decisions. You are placed on a scale from assertive to turbulent.
Assertives are self-confident, self-assured and resistant to stress. Turbulents, on the other hand, are self-conscious and sensitive to stress. They experience a wide range of emotions and tend to be success-driven, perfectionistic and eager to improve.
While the Assertive variable may seem more positive, there is a positive side to the Turbulent in that they may be more driven to succeed. Being called Turbulent is not something I ever expected as I am pretty unflappable and only my children seem to drive me to lose my temper (as only children can!). I understand now that they are using the word turbulent to mean something different.
“Constant Improvers” (Introverted with Turbulence)
Constant Improvers are apparently sensitive and contemplative individuals who enjoy having their own space and freedom. The website goes on to say that Constant Improvers have a strong drive, but it comes paired with a strong fear of failure. They invest a great deal of their identity in their successes, and even a minor misstep or embarrassment can be crushing. This is so totally me, always striving, terrified of messing up and secretly very ambitious.
The term Constant Improver reminds me of my school reports: Aoife could do better. It also makes me think of an unending hamster wheel so I am going to try to concentrate on patting myself on the back for the things I do achieve and try not to berate myself for my mistakes.
All in all, I learnt an enormous amount about myself in this test. A lot of it I was already aware of, but to have it confirmed and recognised was very helpful for me. I could read about my strengths and weaknesses, some of which were not so obvious to me but I can see that they are true.
I was also able to read about career paths that suit me and about how I tend to operate in a workplace and as a parent. I am going to elaborate on the reason why I found this test really useful and interesting in my next post.
In the meantime, I encourage you to give it a try and find out which one of the 16 personality types you are. I feel that becoming more aware of our psychological profile could help us play to our strengths and bring awareness to our weaknesses.