Friday, November 11, 2011

Fooling Myself

I have been reading Personality Plus for Parents. One chapter invites parents to take their quiz to determine where they fall in the personality four-square. I have taken it before, but thought I'd do it again just because I love quizzes. In this particular one, there are two sections: strengths and weaknesses. There are 20 lines in each section containing four words. You are supposed to pick which word fits you best. Definitions are included to help figure it out. The first four word options are adventurous, adaptable, animated, and analytical. I knew animated was not the best fit. I was trying to decide between the first two (I really WANT to be adventurous, but really I know that isn't the best fitting word). I decided to ask Adam his opinion and he said analytical. I responded, "Well...." Which, of course, helped me to see that I was thinking hard about each option - analyzing, you could even say. I admitted sheepishly that that was the best option.

It's interesting how the test is set up. You go through all of your strength options, which can get you feeling good about who you are. I'm persistent, controlled, self-reliant, faithful, thoughtful, perfectionist, balanced. Of course, I realize that some of these could have a downside, like perfectionist, which is made more obvious when I hit the weaknesses part. In that section I marked unenthusiastic, resentful, pessimistic, tactless, moody, critical. By the end I felt kind of bad about myself. I sounded like an awful person. But these are personality tendencies, not everyday behaviors. I had tried really hard to consider myself optimistic. Who wants to be called a pessimist? Not me, at least. But the book's definition rang true for me however much I want to deny it - while hoping for the best, generally sees the down side of a situation first.

This exercise helped me to see that I do try to deny parts of my personality. It's probably the perfectionist in me wanting me to be all good, with no faults. What about you? Are there characteristics you possess that you try to pretend aren't there?

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