First, I'm not here to cause problems or start fights. What I'm about to say comes from a genuine curiosity and respect. And given the obvious spirit of curiosity and adventure that I've seen through the few posts I've read, I am confident you all will see that that too: i.e. that I'm coming from as much of an inherently non-judgmental place as I consciously can (I am opinionated though and I'm definitely not always right... that would be pretty boring )
So let me jump in...
While I can see quite a few ways where this type of profiling can be extremely useful... a larger part of me feels there is an inherent limitation, a "danger" of sorts, and ultimately the possibility of squelching someone's sense of adventure, personal exploration, and out-of-the-box living.
I met someone recently who is a big believer in this kind of personality profiling. They have studied it extensively, have obviously absorbed the information to an impressive degree, use it largely without qualms, and on first glance, seem to place a lot of weight on their conclusions about a person.
Admittedly, their typing of a few people we were around was quite impressive, but despite my initial pang of doubt, it was definitely brought to the surface when this attempt to profile was turned on me (surprise surprise).
One thing was obvious: to a large degree, the profile they composed for a person became a strong indicator and guide in terms of how to respond to someone they meet. It was obvious they had not only studied the different personality types, but also had largely defined what meeting those types brought out in them. (i.e. "be wary of someone who has this combination" or "it is clear that statement/action was inspired because of this personality trait")
When it was turned on me, their first reaction was "I can't type you... I can't figure you out."
This took me aback at first.
What was the point? What was their intention? Was it an attempt to protect themselves?
But more importantly...
If they came to a conclusion, would it inherently keep them from being able to "get the most" out of me?
What would they miss?
And what would happen if I displayed a characteristic that didn't fit in the profile they had created for me?
This was all followed by another strong thought...
How had they typed themselves? And how limiting was that for them?
I think it's fair to say we all have a strong curiosity to understand ourselves... to have a sense of identity. And I also think it's fair to say that some of this comes from a need/desire for control... the safety in it... the comfort in knowing what to expect from ourselves/others.
But can we really fit ourselves in a box?
In my view, we are such incredibly dynamic beings. And to me, that's one of the most beautiful things about human nature. We inherently DON'T fit in a box!
It also goes to a question about taking responsibility for your actions: "Well, maybe I shouldn't have done this to myself/others, but I couldn't really help it, as my personality naturally lends itself to this response/action."
Would you deny that this happens from time to time?
On another level, I feel like it can profoundly limit our sense of evolution...
Part of the beauty of our dynamic nature is that it allows for infinite growth. Some of the specific conclusions I've seen drawn in some posts on this form seem to highlight contextual analysis (i.e. this person is like this NOW or HERE). But none of these traits lend themselves to be hardcoded into our mental/soulful DNA. If I were to take the personality test five years ago, it would be a dramatically different response.
And this brings me closer to describing the danger I see:
If five years ago, I had taken this test and identified with the result (in other words, I had "figured" myself out), would I be the person I am today (I've grown a lot since then)? Would I have held back on certain important decisions or realizations about myself because they immediately didn't fit in my profile?
Yes, I can imagine that there would have been a sense of comfort and confidence that came from a feeling that I knew myself. But isn't that coming ultimately for a source of fear? (I will be the first to tell you, the unknown can scare the shit out of me at times).
So to wrap it up, and engage in the spirit of discussion...
what's the ultimate point?
does it come ultimately from fear or self-protection?
does it come from a need for control or understanding?
does it risk holding us back to seeing new possibilities, new 'endings to the story?'
does it stem from existential confusion?
does it limit our capacity to grow as individuals?
does it limit what we can see, learn, and experience in another person?
do we need it?
OK, that's it for now. I look forward to reading your thoughts...