I first became interested in personality types when studying for my undergraduate degree. It has helped me understand myself and the actions of others around me and since then, I have found myself analysing my friends and family and making mental notes of the personality types that they might be.
I found recently that this kind of behaviour is typical for HSPs (Highly sensitive people). This link I found is pretty much the only self test that I’ve been able to find that was on a reputable website. Of course, no personality survey should be taken at face value and it doesn’t diagnose or solve anything. I was just curious! But of course, I checked 25 out of 27. Here it is if you want to check it out: http://www.hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/
To tell the truth, the reason I stumbled across this website was because I was frustrated that I seemed to be reacting completely differently to other people when watching violent, tense or scary TV shows or movies. I tend to avoid them if I can but I don’t think it’s normal that I grit my teeth when watching Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. I know, I know, those shows aren’t THAT violent but think of how I would react to a movie like Saw. I’ve seen Saw. I don’t think I could tell you anything about the plot or characters, instead I have images of Jigsaw burned permanently into my mind. Of course I’ve lied to my friends so that they don’t think I’m a pussy but I am so so tired of keeping up this facade and I don’t know why anyone would enjoy watching someone cutting off their own leg. I mean, there are plenty of other things that I would rather watch.
I’ve always felt that my brain was wired differently to everyone else’s and some things genuinely still baffle me about other people’s behaviour. When I was a teenager, I used to regularly be moved to tears by songs. As an adult, I’m able to keep a lid on the tears but instead of crying, I will sit there and tear apart the song analysing every chord change, every instrument in the sound scape and rewind to the solo so I can listen to it over and over. I love to get lost in the detail in anything and everything that I do.
According to the website, this personality trait affects around 15-20% of the population which is too much to be a disorder but a small enough number to not be well understood by the majority. In fact, up until recently, HSP has been mislabelled as introversion, neuroticism or shyness but it has been agreed that HSPs can be both introverted and extroverted. Specifically, HSPs are more aware than others of subtleties, easily overwhelmed, sensitive to other’s moods, deeply moved by the arts or music.
As an artist / creative person, I’m thankful that I have a personality that is more sensitive to emotions and I’m glad that I am sensitive to other people’s moods. I look at other people who just don’t seem to have the ability to read the room or seem to just not care about other people’s feelings at all.
On the flip side, being an HSP personality type also means that I get upset easily and take things really personally. So whether I feel that I’m being undermined or even if I’m just having a really unlucky day, I’ll feel that the world is just 100% against me for that moment in time and I almost won’t be able to function properly unless I have a sandwich or a smoke.
The thing is with all these different personality types and quizzes is that there are all completely subjective because you could, in theory, get a different result each time you answer the questions. However, everyone knows in their heart of hearts that they fit in a certain group (ie. an extrovert couldn’t possibly think they were an introvert) – but it is also a well known fact that some people find it difficult to be honest with themselves so an accurate result in this case would be impossible.
The good thing about being aware of your personality type is that you become to understand why you think and act a certain way and once you have addressed it, you can recognise and work on areas of your personality that you aren’t proud of. Additionally, being able to recognise certain traits in others will help you understand and empathise more with them. In business, in love and in life – being able to understand the way people work will only be an advantage to you.
I’ve provided links to a few well known personality tests and websites below, if you are interested.
Leave a comment and tell me what your type is!
Official Myers Briggs website (FYI only, you have to pay!) – http://www.myersbriggs.org/
Free test based on Isabel Briggs Myers and Carl Jung – http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
HSP personality type test – http://www.hsperson.com/