Review of The Myers-Briggs Test


“Why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.” ― Malcolm X

I’m sure we’ve all wondered what our personality was and taken an online personality test. The one everyone knows about is of course, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The test proposes that there are only 16 personalities that you could have. But does that mean there are only 16 types of people in the whole world? Does that mean that every person with a certain personality type behaves exactly the same? Do they react the same to similar situations? Quite unlikely. I don’t believe that people can be categorised like that. It’s reductionist and simplistic.  And yet, it’s one of the most used personality tests in the world. There are posts on here such as “how ENFP’s cope with heartbreak”. Which I think is totally meaningless. And in the workplace it’s used to group people into teams because it is thought that they will work better together, get things done quicker with minimal conflicts. Imagine if an introvert ever worked with an extrovert? Chaos would ensue. Not. It doesn’t take into account individual differences.

I took the test a few weeks ago and I found that my personality type is ENFJ-T, which stands for extraverted (78%), intuitive (78%), feeling (58%), judging (76%), and turbulent (70%). Do you know the definition of turbulent? I googled it – characterised by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not stable or calm. Well, that’s obviously not true. Do you know what else describes ENFJ-T’s? Outgoing, communicative, imaginative, idealistic, sympathetic, organised and ambitious. Maybe those descriptions are kind of true. The test says I’m apparently the protagonist. I don’t know how I feel about that.

I am of the opinion that we can have multiple personalities in different situations. We behave differently around friends, families, lovers, pets and when we are on our own. Personality isn’t static. So categorising a person into one of 16 types isn’t valid or reliable. If you take the test once, you are categorised as one of 16, right? If you take the test again in say, 5 months, you’ll probably be categorised differently depending on what your current life situation is like. There may be something that makes you shut down completely and you’ll be categorised as an introvert, or something else will give you confidence and you’ll be categorised as an extrovert. People change and I don’t believe you can be one type of person your whole life. A lot can happen in a year.

Personality doesn’t fit into an either/or category. It’s not just black and white there are grey areas. People don’t fall into one or the other, there’s a spectrum; people fall in between. And not only that, if you’re interested in taking the test, and you get a result which says you’re introverted, psychology says you will start to behave like an introvert even if you are not, because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You want to fulfil your role as an introvert. Weird, huh? Three are loads of articles on the Myers-Briggs criticism but maybe, people just don’t read them, including companies and business, otherwise, they would have learned by now. The test has no predictive power. It can’t predict how happy you’ll be in a particular situation or even how you’ll perform at your job. The test was based on Carl June’s theories, and the types were probably based on his experiences of different people.

So, even after all of its criticism by psychologists, the test still persists. It’s fun, interesting and makes you feel happy after taking get it because whichever type you are categorised as, the descriptions are never accurate, yet you get flattering descriptions such as ‘genuine’, ‘responsible’ and ‘sincere’. You’ll never see anything like ‘mean’, ‘angry’ or ‘poor performer’. Here’s the link if you are interested in taking the test. Just know that psychologists have found better (and more reliable) ways of assessing personality, and we should probably stop using this test for serious use. It’s no more valid than your horoscope.

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Am I Addicted To The Internet?


Ok I have a lot to say about this topic so I don’t know how long this post will be, bear with ok? Sit back and listen, or… read.

“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” – Eric Schmidt

I really want to believe I’m not addicted to the internet, but I probably am. I mean, hello, Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest… the list goes on. But I don’t believe it’s damaging us as a society. It’s only sceptics who think that. They’re probably the same people who were deprived of TV when they were younger, or maybe radio. Who knows?

It’s a question people ask themselves at least once in their lives. And let me remind you, it is not just teenagers and young adults who spend all of their me on the Internet. I see adults do exactly the same thing. One of my siblings spend all their time on snapchat looking at their phone, and they don’t care if they make stupid faces when taking selfies in public. And one of my parents spend all of their time on Facebook and gets angry if we try to disturb them or ask them a question when they are using Facebook. They put their WHOLE lives on the internet, whether it’s for a self-employed job where social media is necessary, or to tell all their friends about an argument they had with a family member to try to get sympathy from their friends. I see adults AND young kids using their phones in public, not even attempting to make conversation with the people they are out and about with. They may as well stay at home.

I use the Internet a lot, of course, I wouldn’t be able to blog otherwise, but I know when to stop and communicate with people offline. My siblings and one of my parents do not know when to stop. And it can get frustrating. If you want to have a nice family day out, you want to be with your family without their phones being taken out of their pockets every 5 seconds to check snapchat or WhatsApp. But that rarely happens. I went to a family dinner the other week and 3 out of the 4 of us not including me were on our phones, and I just sat back stunned and shocked. It was only when the meal came out that the phones went away. It was for a family members birthday but we might as well have been at home. Everywhere we go, either one of my siblings without question searches for free WiFi and within seconds are saying “there’s free WiFi” or “there’s no WiFi”. The Internet does interfere with everyday life, but it’s not all bad.

I just listened to a news broadcast with this exact question being addressed. Everyone was being interviewed not just young people. Because the thing is, even though technology is a relatively modern thing, there will always be something that the previous generation will disagree with. Think about when television was first put in everyone’s homes… parents didn’t like the fact that their kids would watch it all the time. And before the television, it was radio, and telephones. These days, it’s the Internet and in the years to come it will probably be virtual reality and robots. See what I’m getting at? And my generation (20-somethings) will be saying to our kids “I remember when the Internet was invented” and “you should spend less time in that virtual reality of yours”. Our parents disagree with our technological advances and we’ll disagree of our future kid’s technological advances because we didn’t grow up with it. It’s sort of like music, which has been around forever basically. When our parents were our age they had a completely different music scene to us, and music changes, like technology. My dad was watching the news with us and when this story came on TV just now, all of us laughed because we were ALL on our devices and we just knew. It’s evolution and you have to deal with it.

According to the news story, people spend on average 25 hours a week on the internet. I, however, think it’s more than that since I’m online every day for most of the day, and I’m still not addicted to the Internet. But I know when to get offline to spend time with people. I don’t know what the Internet was originally created for, but many of us use it to connect with other people. We use it as an escape from our day to day lives and to communicate with people not in our immediate surroundings. I don’t know about you, but having to talk to the people around you over a long period of time can be exhausting, and sometimes you want to be alone. The internet allows you to talk to and seek advice and information from people all around the world. You’d never be able to do that decades ago. The Internet was created as a tool, just like a hammer, which was used to change lifestyle and culture and where would we be without it? And the hammer was never seen as an evil or life ruining tool, was it? Hammers are man-made and so is the Internet. We created it for ourselves.

While someone in the same room as you is criticising your Internet usage, telling you to “socialise”, you may be talking to 5 other people on the other side of the country. Technology allows us to interact with people more than ever, because, in the old days, it would take DAYS or weeks for letters to be sent between two people and you’d be left talking to your parents and siblings. Without the Internet or even electricity, we’d be stuck in the 1800s. No-one would want that, but I guess, we wouldn’t know any different. Don’t get me wrong, letters are a fun way of staying in touch with people, but wouldn’t you rather be able to stay in contact with your friends and family in a faster and more reliable way? If a person is on their phone talking to someone else, it’s probably because they don’t want to talk to you, or they have more to say to the person the are speaking to online than to you. TECHNOLOGY DOES NOT CAUSE SOCIAL ISOLATION. People who say that are only saying that because they don’t like the fact that the person on their phone is not talking to them.

Imagine if technology or the internet did not exist? Society would definitely not be as advanced as it is now. Without television, we wouldn’t know what dangers, disasters or scandals are going on around the world or be able to keep up with the Kardashians and without the Internet, well, I dread to think what would have happened.

When you think of addiction you think of dependency and withdrawal so much so that it becomes the centre of their lives and they can’t live without it. So in that way I guess you can be addicted to the Internet on some level but there probably needs to be more research conducted on its effects on the brain did whether it has the same effects as substance abuse on the brain’s physiology. There’s a difference though, between being addicted to the Internet and just using it a lot. For example you may drink alcohol but you don’t necessarily have to be an alcoholic. And you may feel happy and less anxious in both situations but that doesn’t mean you’re addicted. Sometimes the internet needs to be used which is different from substances which don’t need to be used. We all use the Internet for finding information; it’s what we live for. Information is one of the easiest things to find nowadays and we don’t have to go to the library to search through books that are 20 years old and haven’t been updated.

In conclusion, I don’t think I’m addicted to the Internet and chances are you probably won’t be either, you just use it a lot. There are millions of things we couldn’t do if we didn’t have the internet. And it does come with pros and cons but doesn’t everything? Now go and use the Internet without feeling guilty.

This post is based on this post by Gary Vaynerchuck.

5 Things Psychology Students Want You To Know


I’m a psychology student, going into my final year in September, and here are some things I really want non-psychology students to know. It might seem like a bit of a rant because it may end up that way. Some things just get really annoying when we hear them over and over because usually people have negative attitudes. But this isn’t meant to offend anyone so sorry in advance if it does. There are many myths and stereotypes about the subject and the students who study it, and most of us are all tired of hearing these things.

  • Stop talking about Freud. I mean, come on, is he seriously the only psychologist you know about apart from Pavlov and his dogs? Educate yourself. I mean, yes, he does have some good influential research. That’s the only time you’ll ever hear me say that by the way. Freud was basically a fraud, I wrote a whole essay on it in an exam. He never actually did experiments, it was basically case studies based on his own (kind of weird) interpretations. His WHOLE psychosexual stages research was based on one boy, Little Hans, who was having weird dreams and apparently, somehow had a sexual attraction to his mother, hence the Oedipus complex. Better psychologists are and have been around. Think Zimbardo, Bowlby,  Skinner, Piliavin, Kohlberg… ringing a bell? Pardon the pun. Psychology does not equal Freud ok. And you can’t interpret your dreams, they don’t mean anything, I did project on it. There are plenty of theories on how dreams happen and I’ve already learned a few of them. We don’t study Freud, we study how wrong he was.
  • No, we cannot read minds so stop saying “I better be careful around you”, and that also includes us writing up notes about your behaviour. Sometimes, for fun, we may actually say we can read your mind to go along with the joke because it makes you look silly. But the joke gets old, and not like a fine wine, the joke rots, like an apple. I feel like wearing a t-shirt that says “Yes I’m a psych student, no I can’t read your mind” just to emphasise the fact. Everyone I ever meet that asks me what I study says that, without an exception. There’s probably a psychological reason why everyone asks me that, maybe I should do a study on it. It’s not like we go around asking people questions to write up in our secret reports like we’re spies or something. Although we probably should, there’s some strange (non-clinical) people around. Basically I’m not psychoanalysis you and I don’t know what you’re thinking as much fun as that would be. Do you think it’s funny? Because it isn’t and it must be obvious that i think you’re an idiot from my facial expression.
  • Psychology is a science. It uses empirical data. So much data, seriously I swear lecturers can’t get enough of it. There’s even an argument that psychology is too sciency. There’s more to psychology than just the social side of it. I wish that there was less data. You try interpreting it and see how far you get. It’s not a flimsy subject. Psychology can be used pretty much in every work place so don’t deny it’s value. We didn’t choose it as the easy way out, we’re very hard working and just because it not biology, chemistry or physics, or maths does not mean it is not a hard subject. There’s lots and lots of maths involved, in fact, statistics is very important to psychology – it’s the only thing that allows us to accept or reject a hypothesis/theory. We learn about neuroscience and neurobiology… ‘proper’ science is involved in Psychology. 
  • You can’t use psychological disorders to describe yourself. You are not “so OCD” because you are really organised. I could go into this a lot more because this one particularly annoys be. Unless you have been clinically diagnosed, then you probably aren’t. They are real disorders, you can’t use them in the wrong context, having depression is different to just being upset over something. Mental illness is something you should not talk about lightly. And we can’t diagnose you. We get really defensive of people who throw around phrases like “I’m so depressed” or “I should become anorexic” because we’ve learned what it is like for sufferers to go through these things. You cannot just go on the Internet and decide to do a depression test because chances are they are very inaccurate. If you feel like you really do have depression, go see a GP and they will refer you to a therapist. But please don’t say you’re depressed if you are just temporarily sad because someone hurt your feelings. It makes me want to punch someone when you say that.
  • Not all psychology students become therapists or counsellors. A lot of us don’t actually don’t know what we want to do, because there are so many choices of psychology fields we could go into, AND because of the growing population of psychology students it is becoming ever more harder to get a job in a psychology field. You want to become a cognitive psychologist? Ha, wait a few years after you graduate and then maybe you’ll get your dream job. It’s very competitive. Sometimes, when  people bring up the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, we die a little on the inside because honestly we don’t know. But we love the subject and that’s all that matters. We may have originally wanted to go into psychology because we watched Bones, Criminal Minds or NCIS or CSI: Miami, or because we wanted to help people. But half way through our degrees some of us change our minds. There’s more to it than just forensic or clinical psychology.

    Apart from these things and a few others, I’d love to hear your questions about psychology! We are proud of our degrees, even if it has its ups and downs, and we love that you guys love talking about it. But please leave the jokes out of it, they get old even though we know you love making them. Let me know what you think down in the comments.

    What Can You Learn From A Narcissist?


    “I am constantly amazed by man’s inhumanity to man.” – Primo Levi

    I can’t stand people. Do you know why? Because people see what they want to see, believe what they want to believe and most of the time, say what they want to say without holding back. If only humans would just calm down, as a whole, and shut up. The world would be a better place, trust me.

    Narcissists are everywhere but most of them are not assessed as narcissists. It can be hard to spot a narcissist unless you work or live with them or know them. You have to learn it the hard way. They are experts at being hazards to themselves. There are narcissists in positions of power, like politics, and businesses; they are productive and successful.One percent of the population are said to be narcissists not including people who haven’t been diagnosed.

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    Love and like are not similar at all. You can love someone because it is your duty; you care about a person. But you do not have to like them. Love is unconditional, wholesome and subconscious. You have a bond with someone which can’t be broken. While liking someone is conditional, very specific and conscious. You can choose whether you like someone or not based on what they do or say. And I suppose when you love someone, it’s hard to shake that feeling. You can love a narcissist but not like them very much. Love is a commitment and like is a choice. You may not have a choice in love because it just happens, and it’s based on attachment. Like is superficial. If someone you love does something you do not like, you still love them, but you don’t like the decision they made. Love means loving every bit of the person even if they have flaws or annoy you or irritate and anger you; you find a way of getting past it and forgiving them. It can drive you mad because it’s a deep feeling. You may love someone but you don’t have to like what they do if they do something wrong or hurtful. I love plenty of people, but I don’t necessarily like them.

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    Loving people love people and hurtful people hurt people. Simple as that. You have to look at how others treat people who are equal to them, and people who are inferior to them. For example, when you’re on a date, and the guy (or girl!) is mean to a waiter, they are not a nice person, and you can tell how they may treat you in the future if you do them wrong. Stay away from these people. A good person would not treat someone else badly, whether they are equals, superiors or inferiors. A good person will not have to prove themselves to you, because they exuberate warmth and happiness when they are with you and others. Some of the most poisonous people come dressed as good people – you can’t base their character solely on how they treat you. If you do, they have wrapped you around their finger. Sometimes, when you are involved with a toxic person, they will treat you badly, and they will also treat you well. So they have you confused as to what part of their personality they will show you at any point. If you see them devalue someone else who used to be close to them, you may start to receive that same abusive treatment.

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    What you put your attention on, grows. You can literally think yourself into a bad mood. But if you can do that, imagine if what you thought about was positive! You’d think yourself into a good mood, which is so much better. What narcissists do is they become stressed about any one life stressor (there are lots), and that’s all they can think about. It blinds them. And they take it out on us when we do something wrong because it adds to the stress they are thinking about and they can’t take it anymore. Instead of admitting that they are stressed, flawed, or wrong, they project this negativity onto unsuspecting and innocent people in occasionally very nasty and hurtful ways. They never take time to relax, you think that if they took a chill pill that they would calm down, and apologise, but they never do. They are always so tense, and they blame this tension on other people instead of themselves. They would prefer that we should feel ashamed of ourselves for something they think we did to cause their stress. The world is blamed for what is wrong with them.

    So in order to counteract this, what you should do is think positively. I know it’s cliché, but the narcissits will put you in a bad mood and it will be all you can think of, wondering what you did wrong. You have to realise that you may have done nothing wrong and it is their fault. Think positively, surround yourself with good and happy people and it will be reciprocated. You become what you think about most. Narcissists think about everything that is wrong with the world, and are rarely positive, and they want to make everyone else feel the exact same way. Supply yourself with the confirmation that their abusive behaviour is the problem, not you. Do not stoop down to their level because it gives them more fuel in their engine. Supply yourself with positive vibes, you did nothing wrong.

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    Your opinions DO matter. Narcisissts will try to silence you with their entire being. These people are so stubborn in their thinking that they will not change their minds or see things from your perspective. They invalidate your opinions and dismiss your perspectives althogether, and never address the real issues at hand. You need to hold on to what you believe in and think, and do not back down – don’t let their stubborness affect your opinions. Most of the time, narcissists think illogically and cannot see fact from fiction. They are only interested in their singular experience, and their inflated sense of self, and believe that they are right even if you try to argue or persuade otherwise. By all means, I’m not suggesting that you also deny their opinions because of course they matter too, and sometimes they are right about things. But if you don’t agree on some things, that’s ok. Just beware that they will try to defend their opinion in an offensive way.

    If you liked this post, would you like me to write one on how to deal with narcissists? Or why narcissists behave like they do? Leave a suggestion!

    You might also like:

    A Regrettable Choice of Words in which I talk about anger.

    Best Left Alone where I talk about toxic people.

    20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths Use To Silence You by Thought Catalog

    xxx

    Best Left Alone


    “Man, I can assure you, is a nasty creature.”- Molière

    What you need to know is that even if you love someone with all your heart, you can also dislike them with every fiber of your being. It’s hard when you care about someone but they seem to disappoint or hurt you all the time. And it can get tiring. The thing with these people is that they are two faced. What they are good at is keeping you close; they do you wrong and never apologise for it, and then the next minute they’re nice to you again. And you’re left confused. Because you have to forgive them and if you don’t then they appear confused as to why you’re mad. To them, you’re giving them attitude. I hate it. They’re wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. Be aware of them and don’t let them get in your heads. It’s what they want. You forgive them because you don’t want to lose them, but they don’t realise that they are slowly losing you.

    These types of people always want to shut you up subconsciously. They may not even realise they are doing it. They say things and you are left dumbfounded. You can’t reply to them because they’ll take it as you talking back at them, with attitude. They find something wrong in everything you do and they never pay attention to what you do right. So you tread on eggshells. It leaves the atmosphere tense all the time, and you become quiet because you know that if you even dare speak one ‘wrong’ word, all hell will break loose. It etches into your very being and you can never express a personal opinion or feeling anymore. It can become life ruining, especially for future relationships. You will never want to tell anyone anything again because of the fear. It leaves you helpless. These people are toxic, and it’s not always easy to remove them from your life, especially if you’re related to them and spend a whole load of time with them.

    You can never have a good time with them because you know at some point they will raise their voice or shout, or in extreme cases become violent. It’s scary. They feel like they’re superior and will take every chance to try and prove it to you. They will not back down; they’re the most stubborn people in the world and you will never be able to change their views.  They’ll never change. If you try to even utter a reason why they are wrong, they will tear you down and bring up something awful you did 10 years ago at 1:46pm which they only just conveniently remembered. It’s a nightmare. They generalise one thing you do wrong into everything you have ever done wrong in your life. They will emotionally attack you every chance they get to make themselves feel better about everything wrong they have ever done.

    They will even attack you if you keep to yourself in your room away from them and their abusive words. You can never win and nothing you ever do for them will ever be good enough. You try your best to stay away from them but they always have a way with them, and you’ll never be able to stay away from them forever. They are always able to get to you, physically and emotionally, no matter what you do to try and stop it. They will never leave you alone and they will always invade your space when you dont want them to. And you vow that you will never be like them in the future, you will be the complete opposite because you don’t want people around you to go through the same thing going you had to go through. It’s like the toxic person will never be happy and you have to be OK with it. You know the person could explode at any minute, so you have to be careful. Sometimes they may realise that they are wrong, but they won’t admit it, and they will carry on arguing their case until you give in. If they go down, you go down with them.

    Some people are lucky enough to escape these people,  to be free of the toxicity. But some people are not. And what these people have to realise is that the toxic person will never change; it’s in their nature to take down everyone. But the thing is, is that they are not toxic to everyone. They behave differently when they’re with you, and when they’re with their friends or out in public. For the people who do get away, you have to pick yourself off the floor and rebuild yourself. When you’ve been around a toxic person for a long time, you tend to lose your individuality; you become an extension of them. They don’t realise what they are doing to you. You have to grow into yourself and figure out who you are out of the influence of the other person. And it may take a while but you have to do it. You can’t let someone have that much influence over you. Unfair is an understatement.

    You need to remember that it is OK to walk away from toxic people; from people who hurt you. You can terminate that relationship. You are allowed to be angry and selfish and unforgiving. You don’t owe anyone anything explanation for taking care of yourself. When people treat you like they don’t care, believe them. When people say nasty things when they are angry, they mean it; there is no filter in anger. So please, do not forgive these people when they sorry. Sorry to them is a full on apology. And often they don’t really mean it, because it happens time and time again. Do not tell them it is OK when it isn’t. They have us bending around ourselves in endless attempts to please them, and call us ungrateful for what we don’t do. And most of the time we feel like its our fault and we feel like an inconvenience to them. It’s really them being ungrateful. And you constantly have to adjust your behaviour to avoid getting hurt. They treat you horribly and expect you to love them no matter what; everything revolves around them. If they’re in a bad mood, guess what? They’re gonna share it with you and you’ll be in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

    Take care of yourselves, lovelies. Don’t let them dampen you and shrink you down to their size.

    xxx