some thoughts on personality tests
Winter is slowly knocking on the door. The days are gray and cold. It's as if the sun doesn't get the chance to rise fully, and it's already twilight. But this makes spending time inside more pleasurable, a stark difference to summer when the sun invites outside. Moving life inward moves the thoughts inward as well, to introspection.
Emerson wrote that "the purpose of life seems to be to acquaint a man with himself," and that's what he was trying to achieve. Journaling might be the best way to do that, as opposed to personality tests like Myers-Briggs, which give shortcuts for that task, but essentially give one an inaccurate picture. And this is worse than a lack of knowledge because it gives one an illusion of knowledge that is difficult to unlearn.
I think these tests are popular because they validate someone's internal experience because people often feel they are stranger than they really are. When I first did the test, I was impressed by it. Having my personality categorized was comforting because that meant many people were internally very similar to me.
But these categorizations are limiting and can cause one to be complacent and avoid actions and activities that are not in tune with their specific personality type. An example from my experience is how I started avoiding meetings more after learning that my personality type hates meetings/video calls. Not only for practical reasons, since unnecessary meetings usually interfere with my work as a software developer, but in general. Instead of changing and considering this a flaw that might be fixable, I considered it a trait of my personality and doubled down on it. I was memed into amplifying this personality trait of mine.
The question is how to know when to double down on and accept a personality trait and when to try to change it. The answer might be the obvious one: double down on the traits you like to see in other people and try to fix the traits you hate to see in them.