Personality Tests & The Zodiac – Not a Portrait, a Road Map

I’m a Sagittarius

“Ooo, that means you’re a flight risk.”

“A flight risk?” I asked.

“Yeah, Sagittarians are notoriously flighty. You’re always looking for someone, someplace, something new.”

“Well, I definitely appreciate new experiences but,”

“You’re the commitaphobe of the zodiac, clever, but you don’t stay put.”

I’m a Gryffindor

The first date this is drawn from did not yield a second date. I’m used to first dates or pre-dates involving the question “what’s your sign?” (Or “what’s your birthday” as a more roundabout way there.) I think the zodiac is fun, especially so when you catch coincidences between the stars and people.

I’m an INTJ

Having archetypes of personality whether it’s the zodiac, a personality test like Meyers-Briggs, or Enneagram type can be interesting. There’s something admittedly enlightening about answering a couple dozen questions and reading a succinct summary of your personality and tendencies.

I’m an Enneagram 1

Most recently someone pointed out to me that my zodiac star chart indicated strong emotional reactivity, which they said felt out of place because everything they’d seen of me screamed calm calculation and reason.

I answered that I was aware of my natural tendency to get lost in my emotions, and that I’d spent years understanding my mental and emotional patterns, and training up healthier ones as part of my learning to live with depression.

I’m Bipolar II

I’m not at all here to condemn personality tests/zodiac signs/etc. Far from. I think they’re all tools. Some are more useful than others, but any tool is only useful insofar as you use it productively.

giphy-1Say you’re a Gryffindor, it means you can be brave and bold, but sometimes we’re Neville Longbottom and need to rise to that occasion and grow into that. If your personality test/mental diagnosis points out something you see as a weakness, then you’ve been given a road map, how can you get better about those tendencies?

I have a tendency to be easily distracted and flighty, always looking for someone, someplace, something new. I have a tendency to suffer bouts of depression. I have a tendency for my OCD to paralyze me when I’m beset by anxiety. I have developed habits of focus and discipline, I have developed routines of self-care and healthy emotionality/accountability that keep me from drowning myself when the depression monster rears its head.

What I’m saying is: enjoy these tests, these personality badges you can wear, by all means. However, I caution anyone leaning on them as a crutch or an excuse for who we are. They’re a road map for who we can be, and we move forward.

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