Why Personality Tests Are Ruining Us/by Elliot Reeder
Enneagram, Myers Briggs, Jung, etc. You know the names of the tests, and you have probably taken one. Maybe you took it because someone asked you during Welcome Week what your personality type was, and you immediately felt shame because you didn’t have an answer. Maybe it’s because you sat at a table in the caf full of seven people all peer pressuring you to take one. These situations and a reliance on these tests are why I think they are ruining us.
Personality can be defined by “the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.” Every person has a distinctive personality. No two people have the same one. There are currently approximately 7.53 billion people on Earth. This means that there are approximately 7.53 billion different personalities.
When we assign people to one of just a handful of personality groups, we are boxing people in and constricting our societal intellect. We don’t allow people the free range of emotions and diversities that exist in the human mind and spirit. It is impossible for just a few personality types to encompass the intricacies of every person’s mind.
Personality tests are making us weaker at reading and interacting with people. Instead of conversing and determining for oneself what our individual personality traits are, we just ask “Hey, what’s your enneagram?” and move on. We don’t dive deeper; we don’t see what’s below the surface that a personality test doesn’t tell us. We don’t take time to bother learning what makes a person tick. We just let a few letters or a number suffice.
We should be determining whether we are compatible with someone based on conversations and interactions we have had with them and not based on what some test says. So often we allow these tests to take place of simple conversation due to laziness. We have gotten so monotonous with our time that we would just rather take a test on our own time and then just ask a question when we meet people and make rash judgements instead of simply taking the time to actually get to know each other.
The students here at MC have created an environment where personality tests almost stand as a requirement and one of the gatekeepers to becoming one of the insiders of the Mississippi College culture and what is known as “being MC.” Personality tests have become as linked to Mississippi College culture as Chacos, Jeeps, indie music, laptop stickers, and leaving the football games at halftime no matter the score or opponent.
We have also let these numbers and letters become another barrier on our already divided campus. People who haven’t taken the test yet are outcasted into being nobodies, while each different personality sect puts individuals into oblivion just based on what some test, that could easily be skewed, says. Instead of being a united campus of individual students attempting to learn more about Christ, we have allowed many different things, including personality tests, to drive wedges throughout our campus.
This was not written to be some “old man yells at clouds” type of article. It was written to help us break away from a cult-like mentality when it comes to personality tests.