“You mentioned before that you’re an introvert” my date said. “Have you ever taken a personality test?”
“Well, I took the Myers-Briggs one once. I just remember that I was ‘I’…that’s it,” I said, laughing.
“That’s all you remember?” he responded. He was very into personality tests and was rather disappointed.
For some reason my Myers-Briggs results never stood out to me. Even the introvert thing feels questionable. I’m more of an ambivert if you ask me, though I’ve become more of a homebody over time.
I was recently listening to an episode of the Just Between Us, a podcast hosted by Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn of the Just Between Us YouTube channel, and they mentioned something called the Color Code Test. They said that it tells you what motivates you in life and gives you one of four results associated with a particular color: Power (Red), Intimacy (Blue), Peace (White) or Fun (Yellow). They also said it was free. So I paused the podcast and decided to take the test.
Before taking the test I predicted what I’d get. I knew that “power” would be out of the question. Acquiring power is almost never a factor in my decision-making process. I thought I would either be told I’m driven by intimacy or peace. I thought intimacy would make sense because I enjoy building friendships and having “deep” conversations. Peace seemed to make sense because I tend to be conflict-averse, though it depends on the situation. While I don’t like making others uncomfortable, I believe there are situations where conflict is necessary to express how I feel, and I’m working on balancing these two qualities so that I can stand up for myself and what I believe.
And so I took the test. I must admit that I took it a while ago. This would perhaps be a more detailed account of the experience if it was fresh on my mind, but I’m going to remember it to the best of my ability.
First, there was a section in which each question gave me four qualities to choose from and I had to pick which one best described me as a child. The instructions emphasized that I should try not to base my answers on the way that I wish I had been. It wasn’t too hard for me to follow that last part. If anything, I had a tendency to be self-deprecating and had to remind myself that it was okay to pick the positive answers.
What was the most tricky, however, was remembering how I acted as a child. Sometimes, a quality would stand out to me and I’d think People say that about me all the time. But then I’d realize I didn’t recall anybody saying this about me when I was a child. I’d start to think, If I’m this way now, I must have been this way when I was young. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this wasn’t true for a lot of the descriptors. One quality that’s far more true of me now than it was in my childhood is “indecisive.” Many of the qualities that I realized I’d picked up over time had to do with being cautious and reserved.
Then, there was a section which provided me with vague descriptions of situations. I had to pick the answer that would best describe my behavior in those situations, again referring to my childhood self. For some of these questions, each of the four answers was a set of three adjectives. The answers to these questions had the format of “characteristic A, characteristic B and/or characteristic C.” The use of “and/or” led me to at times debate between an answer in which all of the qualities were somewhat close to my childhood personality and an answer in which one characteristic was extremely accurate but the others weren’t. I tended to choose the latter, but had to weigh my options with each question.
My results surprised me. I ended up getting yellow, which means that I’m driven by fun. When I saw this result, I felt like I’d received a huge compliment that I wasn’t sure I deserved. For a while now, I’ve held the insecurity that I’m boring. I’ve probably only had a few people tell me this, and I’m sure I think it about myself more than others think it about me. But sometimes I get down on myself because anxiety stops me from doing what I want to do.
With the results came an explanation of my personality. It stated that friendships are important to me, an accurate description that I originally thought would mean that I’m driven by intimacy. It also mentioned that I’m easily distracted. It said that I like to playfully tease people. It said that I’m “happy, articulate, engaging of others and [I] crave adventure.” The word “adventure” was the only part that took me aback. I typically shy away from things that are deemed “adventurous,” like skydiving, camping, and hiking. This is in part because I truly don’t want to do these activities, and in part because I’m afraid of a lot of things.
I know that in some cases, personal negative experiences have led me to be this way. My anxiety increased over the years and I stopped doing certain things for fear of negative outcomes. As the list of things I avoided doing continued to grow, I became an expert at inventing negative outcomes. I am trying to work on this and some days are better than others.
The other day, I thought about what my perfect day would involve. I realized some of the activities I was listing were things I rarely, if ever, actually do. Perhaps I’ve used the idea that I’m inherently “boring” as an excuse not to follow my desires. Other times I’ve leaned into this insecurity because I’m embarrassed to admit I enjoy things that others may not find exciting.
By taking a test that was focused on the way I was when I was a child, I was able to remember who I was before I lived in fear. I was also able to find purpose behind the things I do, like performing at standup open mics, making videos, playing with makeup and grabbing brunch with friends. And that purpose is fun. In fact, I may have been drawn to this personality test more than other tests because the idea of being matched with a color sounded fun.
The Color Code Test made me realize that, as obvious as it may sound, it’s okay to do things simply because they’re fun, and that “fun” isn’t the same thing for everyone. I’ve realized that if I don’t worry about whether I’m perceived as “boring” and I continue to work on my anxiety, I can live a fulfilled life without taking into account whether or not I fit the “adventurous” mold. Essentially, this test reminded me who I am.