Being quantifiable

This week my office did a personality test. I passed, I have a personality, but it unnerved me how close it came to who I am based on some forty random questions. What alarmed me even more was those who protested that the test got them wrong were wrong about the test getting them wrong. The test knew them better than they knew themselves. So I guess I have to conclude the bits I thought were wrong are perhaps not so wrong.

The point of it all was to get us to understand each other a bit better and help us with our team communication. I don’t know that it really will, we have been working together for a long time and pretty much had everyone pegged. It was only the outliers themselves that were surprised about their position in the group, the rest of us were always nodding.

But it got me thinking. Are we really so formulaic? Supposedly I could do this test at any time in my adult life and get approximately the same result. It is only my emotional score that could change (I was the outlier here, having the least emotion in the group. I like to think I pour all my emotion into the page and don’t waste it on the frivolities of real life).

I felt a little like a robot after the session, but clearly that didn’t upset me much as I am a bit lacking on the emotional front, but it unnerved me. While we are all being stars of our own movies, we like to think the best of everything human is secretly lurking in us somewhere and when we don’t express it that is just because of circumstance.

This test makes me wonder if maybe the truth is some of us are just assholes, some people are inherently generous, some people will always be driven and some are just passing time, and this won’t change. Is this why it takes a disaster to make some people re-evaluate their belief systems? I wonder if anyone has done one of these personality tests before and after a life-changing event?

I like to believe we can all grow into better versions of ourselves, but then again, my personality type was a bit of an idealist…

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