Personality Pessimism

Fair warning that I might seem like a Conflict Theorist/Symbolic Interactionist hybrid in this post. Also probably just a cynic who hates the world. Oh wait, that’s a conflict theorist.

WHAT THE HECK IS THE DEAL WITH FREAKING PERSONALITY TESTS?!?

What’s your animal personality type?” (Mine’s a Lion)

Myers Briggs (ENTJ as of 7:17pm)

Are You More Fred or George Weasley Based on Your Zodiac Sign?” (Fred)

Pottermore Sorting Hat (Slytherin)

What Kind of Toast Are You?” (Condensed Milk Toast)

Which Wonder of the World Reflects Your Personality?” (Machu Picchu)

These freaking Personality tests are all over Facebook and the world all the flipping time. Sometimes they get really annoying when everyone decides to find out who your perfect roommate is on Facebook and post it and tag you in it at the same time and then there’s the rest of the time when you are expected to know and self identify by your Hogwart’s house. I’m guilty of this too. I have a Slytherin keychain to show that I am not like the others *cough* Gryffindors *cough* and I too want to know what my spirit animal is.

So besides complaining about Personality quizzes and crap, I do have a point. Today in my Sociological Explorations class upon discussing the book by C. Wright Mills “The Sociological Imagination” my group brought up the point of personalities versus cliques. This isn’t completely applicable but it got me thinking. What’s the difference between being with one or more persons because your personalities get along well together and being in a clique? What is a personality? According to my handy dandy dictionary (totally just a bookmark to dictionary.com) its “the visible aspect of one’s character as it impresses others.” 

Personality in my opinion, is bogus. It’s a superficial label we slap on ourselves to create an illusion of individualism. I don’t think there’s a certain way that people are. You are an individual and you may lean to the side of being more extroverted than introverted during certain phases of your life but I honestly think it changes throughout a single day. Evidence of this: While I was taking the Myers Briggs test (again) tonight, the results page broke and I couldn’t see what I was until after taking the test a second time and I am sure that I gave some different answers if only slightly.

How is a test supposed to determine who you are? And why, in our society, does a test determine who you are? Why does it freaking matter?

It just bugs me so much. Your personality does not determine your shoe type, what your hair color should be, or what you should name your pet. It shouldn’t have to. You should get to decide who you are on your own.

The other thing is the quizzes that are something along the lines of a simple question like Which Female Disney Character Are You?  These quizzes give an answer like “You got Mulan: You’re a person who stands out in a crowd, and you sometimes feel you’re not good enough. You’re family oriented and very brave.” How is it that Buzzfeed can tell I’m brave by the city I choose to live in out of nine options? Maybe I prefer none of those options and the city I pick shouldn’t decide that I’m brave. I feel like most people find the answers quizzes give to be accurate simply because their descriptions are filled with things that describe the general population so surely they’ve got you right.

I could probably go on and on, but the point is, personality quizzes are just one more way the world corrupts self images.

Better swish, Jellyfish!

❤ Annee

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