I had a thought lately that ended up leading me into having a very nice chat with myself about complexity. What the heck is that all about, you might be asking yourself; and before you go and deem me as someone who’s really got too much free time on her hands (and obviously talks to herself a lot) let me tell you where it all started…
You’ve probably heard of the Myers-Briggs personality assessment test: if you haven’t, you can check it out here. Also, if you have never some across this oh-so-lengthy test – congrats – you might be the only one in the world because, as it seems it is the most widely-used personality assessment tool to-date, aimed to confine you into one of the 16 possible personality types it provides general guidelines for. Having studied psychology (and attended a whole lot of job-and-not-job-related interviews) I admit I shrug every time I am faced with the option to take the test; not only because it’s too long for my ability to concentrate but also because I’ve taken it several times and, to my disbelief, I never fall into the same personality type twice. This is what led me to politely decline when I was asked to fill it out again a few days ago. Why? Because to me, tests like these have about the same accuracy as reading a horoscope (no offense to horoscopes, I read those a lot).
I have had the insane desire to tear up any test of the kind that tells you you’re “a certain type” for some time now. And the reason for this is that you cannot possibly aim to define a person by letting them answer a set of questions that are mostly at one end of the spectrum or the other. Why? Because complexity. These days we’ve evolved so much and we’ve learned and continue learning and experiencing so many different things every day that a simple 1-2-3 test cannot possibly begin to comprehend who we are. We can literally change in a matter of minutes: like, for example, if you’ve got a tough day ahead of you and your morning coffee sucks. We are versatile in more ways than we can imagine and that’s exactly what the beauty of us is: we are complex creatures, filled to the brim with battling emotions all day long.
And that’s perfect! It’s perfect because if you could just take that one test and have your entire life fall into place it would be boring. It’s perfect because most of us secretly (or not) pride ourselves in not being like everyone else; and it’s that complexity we have that makes us unique. And while it’s so popular these days to give people advice on how to know themselves better (yep, even I do it!) I think it’s also much needed to tell people that it’s OK to be surprised at our own desires and tastes every once in a while.
Because you’re not meant to like the same type of ice-cream your whole life. And you’re definitely not meant to be classified into a four-lettered “type” just because today you’re feeling fine and your anti-social part is out for the day. So, try to embrace your complexity as much as you can: don’t hide it, flaunt it! Explore what you’re feeling like every day and don’t boil it down to “an urge”: sometimes urges last for a lifetime and beautiful things come out of them. And most of the times having a notion of all the possibilities inside of you will give you a much better sense of who you are than a series of questions that a million people answer every year.