How many of you have taken a personality test before? No, I don’t mean a Buzzfeed test to reveal what kind of Disney princess you are (even though they are fun). Recently I stumbled upon the NERIS Type Explorer Test at the recommendation of an online course I am taking. I had anticipated it to be fairly straightforward, offering me a general analysis of my personality that reaffirmed what I already knew. Instead, I found myself stunned by the results. It felt as though someone had looked into my brain, revealing parts of my personality that I had struggled to verbalize for my entire life. How could a 12 minute test know me better than I know myself?
My results indicated that I was a member of the Advocate personality type, which makes up less than 1% of the population. This made perfect sense as someone who has always felt a little out of place. This means that for every 100 people, only 1 will share the same personality type. Crazy, right? For years I have struggled to understand many aspects of who I am. I find that this has held me back in many relationships (romantic or otherwise). While much of the results were things I knew, what shocked me was how accurately the test was able to verbalize the facets of my personality I wasn’t completely aware of. It dives beyond the surface levels to explore not just how we act, but why we act that way.
How It Works
The test focuses in on five personality aspects: Mind, Energy, Nature, Tactics, and Identity. Together they comprise the sixteen personalities of the NERIS Type Explorer Test, which was inspired by the philosophies of Carl Gustav Jung and the mother-daughter duo of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Meyers. Through a series of questions, the test calculates your preferences and tendencies in order to define your unique personality. The results of each of your five personality aspects are identified with a letter, which are combined to create your personality type.
As an Advocate, my personality type is identified as “INFJ-T”. This stands for Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging and Turbulent. The breakdown of my personality can be seen below. Each of the five personality aspects are to be looked at as a two sided continuum, with your stronger trait receiving a greater percentage.
The top bar represents the Mind Aspect, which indicates how we interact with our surroundings. Here, I am far more Introverted than Extraverted. I tend to prefer solitary activities and can be easily exhausted by social gatherings, whereas my Extraverted counterparts gain energy from social situations.
The second bar is the Energy Aspect, which tells us how we see the world and process information. My results show that I am more Intuitive than Observant. This means that I’m highly imaginative and prefer novelty over stability. I also focus on hidden meanings and future possibilities, while Observant types are more practical and pragmatic.
The third bar is the Nature Aspect, which indicates how we make decisions and cope with emotions. I am a Feeling individual rather than a Thinking individual. Feeling individuals are sensitive and emotionally expressive, and are more empathetic than Thinking individuals who prioritize logic over emotions.
The fourth bar represents the Tactics Aspect, which is how we approach work, planning and decision making. Here I score higher on the Judging side than Prospecting, which means I am highly organized and decisive. I prefer structure and organization, whereas my Prospecting counterparts are much better an improvisation.
Last is the Identity Aspect, or how confident we are in our abilities and decisions. This is the (-T) at the end of my personality breakdown, which indicates that I am more on the Turbulent scale than the Assertive scale. I am sensitive to stress and experience a wide range of emotions. Assertive types are much more self-assured, and are often resistant to stress.
This probably sounds a bit confusing, but it actually makes total sense. Unlike horoscopes (which suggest your personality is centered around your birth date), this test takes an array of outside influences and perceptions into account. Your upbringing, the people you spend time with, job, etc. can all play a roll in who you are. No one’s personality is a fixed entity, and therein lies the beauty of this test. Using a scale means that you are not limited to one trait or the other. The results are seen as a reflection of your current personality. It can (and will) continue to grow and change as you do.
The more I began to think about the people around me, the stronger the urge was to ask people what their personality types are. I was curious, but more so eager to learn more about the types of personalities around me. It got me thinking. What if we all had a broader understanding of each of the sixteen personality types? How would our relationships with those around us improve if we all understood one another’s preferences, tendencies, and dislikes?
By taking the time to better understand my own personality, I feel more equipped to interact with others. For example, by learning the strengths and weaknesses of my personality type, I know which types of work environments to look for in order to perform at my best. The same can be said for my personal life as well. My mom’s personality is much more logical than emotional, so if I want a fact-based answer to a question I know to go to her.
The test can also tell you which personalities are considered your natural partners, or the personalities we get along best with. As an Advocate I am best matched with a Debater (ENTP) or a Campaigner (ENFP) personality. My dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a type dominated by Extroverted Intuition. Ironically my best friend of over ten years is a Campaigner, so this makes total sense!
In my mind, knowing and understanding the personalities of others would eliminate countless misunderstandings and arguments. Many of us hide parts of our personalities from others, making it difficult for them to know how to act around us. Sharing this information upfront would allow us all to become more mindful of others, and to consider the feelings of those around us before we speak or take action.
If nothing else, this is a really fun and insightful test to take on your own or share with others. It can also help you learn what your best skills and attributes are for future jobs, and how to play to your strengths and weaknesses in all areas of your life. It’s free and only takes 12 minutes, so if you’re curious he sure to check it out here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and for you to share the results of your own personality test with me below! As I said before, I have become fascinated by this test and the concept of personality, so I’d love to discuss the subject with you!