No one wants to believe they’re so predictable that they can be defined by a simple typology. Fortunately, no one is so simple. You are totally unique. From your DNA, to your personal experiences, to your outlook on the world, you can’t be contained within a simple model.
You Cannot Be Put Into A Box With Your Typology
Are personality typology models trying to put you in a box? Some people do use them that way. Instead of getting stuck on how some people use typology, however, it’s helpful to understand the original purpose of personality models.
Models are designed to help us wrap our heads around very complex subjects, including one of the most complicated subjects of all: identity. Personality psychology can be a way to manage something that feels beyond understanding and to give language to things that feel beyond words.
Through countless hours of observation for over a hundred years, pioneers in the field of personality models have discovered that people develop lenses for seeing the world in a series of predictable patterns. That makes sense – sometimes you run into people who see the world a very familiar way, and other times people baffle you with how differently they view life.
Think of it this way: if your eyesight isn’t 20/20, you probably wear a pair of glasses or contact lenses. When you put on the right prescription everything becomes clearer. Some people have subtly or radically different prescriptions. If you put on their lenses, things will get blurry. If you put on the glasses of someone who shares your prescription, it’s as clear for you as it is for them.
But no matter how helpful prescription lenses are, no one would take off a pair of glasses, point to them and say, “This is who I am. These glasses define me.” Similarly, no one should point to their type and say, “This is who I am. This typology defines me.”
Once you know your type, however, it can be like ‘finding your prescription’. It helps make everything clearer. Knowing your type has a myriad of great uses, but putting you in a tidy compartment shouldn’t be one of them.