If you’re online dating, then you may have noticed that some people add a seemingly random number of letters to their profile. Or maybe you’ve been introduced to someone who then told you, I’m an ISFP-A, what are you? If not or if you’re wondering what the deal with that is, then I’m here to enlighten you. The odd letters are referring to personality types of the 16 Personalities test, which claims to be ‘freakishly accurate’.
The first time I heard about it must’ve been in 2013, when a very good friend told me about it. Being an egocentric instagrammer/ blogger with a weakness for all kind of personality tests, there was no question – of course I had to take it! Unfortunately, I don’t remember what the result was. But since another friend mentioned the test to me last year, I’ve been taking it once again. And then again and again, until I lost count of how many times.
My first result was Commander (ENTJ, -A/-T), which is basically the psychopath among the 16 Personalities. I think my favorite parts of the introduction were ‘ruthless level of rationality’ and ‘particular skill in calling out others’ failures with a chilling degree of insensitivity’. Sorry (fellow) Commanders!
When I took the test again, the results varied A LOT. And just for fun, I also took the test in French instead of English, which again lead to a different result. This, I found particularly interesting, btw. Because it shows that language has an impact on how we interpret things. (There was a study that showed that people were more stringent with their moral judgement when different dilemmas were presented to them in their mother tongue. Though as so often, I unfortunately don’t remember where I read about it, but I’m sure you can google it if you want to.)
Besides Commander, which is part of the “Analysts”, I also got Executive (ESTJ, -A/-T) which belongs to the “Sentinels”, Entrepreneur (ESTP, -A/-T) and Entertainer (ESFP, -A/-T), both are “Explorers”. So I guess my only invariables are the -A at the end of all personality types, meaning that I’m assertive and the E, which is funny because I never thought of myself as extroverted. Also interesting is that I never got one of the “Diplomats” personalities.
So what did I learn from all this? Nothing, honestly. Except that it’s pretty much impossible to determine someone’s personality just by asking a few questions, which by the way, are pretty vague and leave much room for interpretation. At least in my opinion. My favorite question in that regard was ‘If the room is full, you stay closer to the walls, avoiding the center.’ Like a lizard crawling along the walls? Who would do that? Also, wouldn’t that depend on the room? Like if I’m at a restaurant, the odds to be seated close to the walls are imo higher than being seated in the center. Besides, the best people watching is done if you’re not in the center of a room, except if you want to be super obvious about it. And if it’s at a party and the room is crowded, I’m standing pretty much anywhere where the flow takes aka pushes me. Why can’t these questions be more specific?? Besides, I highly doubt that you could sum up the personalities of around 7 billion people and only get 16 different types as a result.
To be honest, I largely prefer to know which Disney Princess I am (Ariel) or which Disney villain (Jafar) and into which house the Sorting Hat would put me (I’d have to choose between Ravenclaw or Slytherin and go for the latter). I also think that these tests actually reveal much more about my personality. And interestingly, all the results match the characteristics of my astrological sign and my temperament (choleric) according to the Four Temperaments. Anyways, it’s all good fun and very entertaining but also not important at all. Because right now, I have to find out which Pretty Little Liars character I am.