Have you ever taken a personality test? Do you know your personality type? Knowing my personality type is one of the best things that have ever happened to me. And I recommend that you know your personality type as well, read all about it and try to associate your personality with your feelings and behavior.
First, take this personality test (you may take it more than once for consistency and validity)
Secondly, after you know your personality type, read all about it when you can. I have a short guide to help you understand your personality type here but I recommend that you read more about it on many other blogs and articles and watch videos on it as well.
Once you understand your personality type, you will become more self-aware. Self-awareness means that you will understand your feelings, thoughts and behavior as well as emotions more clearly. You will understand why you behave the way you do and learn to manage it and live with it. What do I mean by this?
I used to wonder how come I was so uncomfortable in social gatherings. Most times, I had the feeling that I didn’t fit in. When attending a social gathering, I just wanted to go home. Of course I often questioned why I felt this way. After understanding my personality, I learned that I am an introvert and this behavior is common to most introverts. It is just how we are wired. In my family, my parents and siblings are introverts except for one brother. Often times, my parents worried about him because he was more outgoing and could bring lots of friends home when we were younger. While my elder brother and I were tucked at home reading or playing board games, he was out there playing outdoor games and bringing home puppies. For the longest time, my parents thought his character would get him in trouble since he was so different they didn’t understand him.
Today, I understand that my brother is an extrovert and that does not make him any less responsible than us introverts. If anything, he is more of a go-getter, and he is great at creating and maintaining relationships. He keeps in touch with cousins we haven’t seen for years and thankfully, he saves us the agony of constantly calling and keeping in touch, something we introverts are not good at.
The reason I am giving these examples on different personalities is because I need to insist that understanding your personality is the basis for self-awareness. You get to understand why you behave the way you do and understand the behaviors of those around you as well. As a result, this will help you in career choice, taking up roles in an organization, or even opening up to those around you.
Another example of how personality influences your self-awareness is something I lived with for a long time. I happen to be ISTP (introvert, sensing, thinking, perspective) type. In the past, some people have thought I am a cold person because of how I react in emotional situations. This is because of the T in my personality type which shows I am the thinking type (the opposite of this is the feeling type). In emotional situation, I am often thinking rather than feeling. I have written a full article about thinking type of introverts.
Being told that you’re a cold person is not a nice thing to hear. It got inside my head and may at some point questioned if there was something wrong with me. However, after understanding my personality type, I became ok with who I am and didn’t care much when others thought I was cold, simply because I don’t express emotions openly.
Understanding personality in this way can help you even in relationships. A Feeling (F) person and a thinking (T) person for example conflict a lot in a relationship since one will always feel the other is not sensitive of their feelings and the other will think that the F type feels too much and may be termed as overreacting. The same way the J and the P are not always compatible. The J people like things in a certain order and the P are not really bothered with things just being anywhere. As I am a P, while there are many other attributes that contribute to a healthy relationship, understanding of such personality differences can very much help reduce small conflicts.
Take the Myers Briggs personality test and know your personality type.