Should You Take A Personality Test? 5 Reasons Why (and Why Not)

Are you a Type 3 or a Type 8? An INTJ or an ENTP? Don’t know?
Then you probably haven’t completed an online personality test yet!
There are good reasons to do a personality self-assessment, but you should also be aware of the pitfalls…

personality tests

photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker (licence)

Online psychometric tests based on the Enneagram or the Meyers-Briggs (MBTI) are very popular. They are designed to reveal what type of person you are. Many tests are completely free and the results can be a good starting point for your Self-Improvement. Understanding your own personality can boost your self-confidence and motivation. But beware: there are hidden dangers, too!

What is personality typing?

The two most popular types of personality tests are based on the Jungian Myers-Briggs (MBTI) or the Enneagram. Both of these tests are quiz-based: you are asked a series of questions and your answers determine which of several predefined personality “types” you fall into.

The two tests are quite different. Speaking (very) broadly, the Myers-Briggs test addresses how you behave, whereas the Enneagram focuses on why you behave this way. This difference in approach means their results can often complement one another to give you a fuller picture.

Five good reasons to take a personality test

  1. Self-reflection
    Even while you are taking the tests, considering and answering questions about yourself encourages you to reflect on your actions and motivations. This can be an enlightening process.
  2. Motivation
    When you get your results, they usually come with a comprehensive description of your personality type. You will probably find yourself identifying clearly with several positive traits. Reading about your strengths can be highly motivational.
  3. Belonging
    No-one (not even the INTJ) wants to feel completely different and disconnected from everyone else. Personality typing helps you see there are plenty of other people who see life in a similar way to you. You are not alone…
  4. Self-awareness
    Your type description will help you understand more of your beliefs, standards, drives and motivations. Knowledge is power; self-knowledge is no exception.
  5. Self-Improvement
    When focusing your Self-Improvement efforts, a list of your potential strengths and weaknesses can be a great place to start.

Five warnings

Before taking a personality test, however, you might like to consider the following:

  1. You might not get the test results you want or expect. Discovering you are introverted rather than extroverted might not be what you want to hear, for example.
  2. Sometimes you just don’t quite fit the type you are given. Myers-Briggs offers only 16 distinct personality types: not everyone will fit exactly and you might be left dissatisfied or feeling like a bit of a “misfit.”
  3. The personality descriptions given with the test results can be quite complex and academic. And the further you read and research, the more complicated it becomes…
  4. As well as your strengths, you will probably find some of your weaknesses in your type description. Often, just one negative comment can outweigh any number of encouragement; you will need to actively balance your bouquets with your brickbats.
  5. When considering aspects of your personality that need improvement, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “I can’t help it, it’s just the way I am.” This is neither accurate nor helpful. It can lead to feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness.

To test or not to test?

There are definitely several Self-Improvement benefits from taking psychometric personality tests. Provided you are willing to take the results and use them to positively impact your personal development, I would definitely recommend that you give them a try. There are some free links below to get started. But do make sure you are realistic about the potential pitfalls!

NOTE: I would not recommend personality tests to anyone suffering from a mental illness. (I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have helped me back when I was suffering from depression.) 


Take action

If you decide testing is for you, here are some useful links:

Free Myers-Briggs test at 16personalities.com

Free Enneagram tests at eclecticenergies.com

You could also read these excellent books:


Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work


The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery


IMPORTANT: Please make sure you “Leave A Reply” at the foot of this page and tell me if you decided to do the test, and why (or why not.) Maybe you could tell us what personality type you came out with and how accurate you think it is? I look forward to your comments!

To our continued Self-Improvement and success!

David Hendra
The Self-Improvement Guy

FREE EBOOK!
DOWNLOAD HERE…

4 Comments

  1. Hellooo self improvement guy :)) thank you for your emails. I really appreciate it. Especially the personality test. Keep motivating people. Cheers!:)

  2. Jungian Myers-Briggs (MBTI)
    YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE IS: ARCHITECT (INTJ-A)

    Enneagram
    You are most likely a type 5.
    Taking wings into account, you seem to be a 5w6.
    Type 5 – 13
    Type 1 – 11
    Wing 5w6 – 16.7
    Wing 5w4 – 16
    Enneagram Type 5 – The Investigator
    Enneagram Type 1 – The Reformer

    I hop e my formatiing is visible on your side. I feel like these tests are accurate to my nature. I have not taken these test until now because I am generally not in interested. I feel confident about who and what I am.

    Thanks for your emails. This is the first one I have responded to, but your time and effort to reach out to others is much appreciated.

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