Monday, February 5, 2007

I Think I Love You, So What Am I So Afraid Of...

Eileen the Episcopali-fem my new fave blog friend,
has one of those neat bloggy type personality tests on her site so I took the bait and took it as well. The results I received look oddly similar to the side of the Partridge Family Bus:

I have a mild obsession with taking these online personality tests. I don’t know why… they all tell me the exact same thing: I'm a sensitive empathetic introvert who likes to plan ahead and never leaves the cap off of the toothpaste. I suspect that I like taking these tests because they give validation to traits that I feel are less valued in our society than their counterparts. It's the spontaneity-loving-extroverts who get all the kudos in this world.
When I was in high school the "sensitive introverts" were the nerds, the fringe dwellers, the ones with the targets on their backs that read "cool kids aim here."
When we sensitive types grow up we tend to gravitate towards the lesser valued, and thus lesser paid helping professions - teachers, nurses, social workers, pastors - while our extroverted cousins become CEO's, world leaders, and contestants on Survivor.

I like taking these tests because they tell me "you are normal, you are a valid personality type, you are not a socially stunted weirdo." I may still be a socially stunted weirdo but according to the internets (which means it has to be true) there are enough people out there who share these personality traits to justify making it a "type" complete with neat little color charts, acronyms, and - for the low price of $39.95 - a complete workup of your star chart and a picture of the person you are meant to marry.

My favorite part of the free online tests is the career suggestions section. My type is always matched up with "writer, counselor, clergy." YES! More validation. Why is it when I hear and feel God calling me into the ministry in a thousand subtle and not-so-subtle ways I continually ask for further verification that I'm on the right path, yet when a 20-question quiz on a website that hasn't been updated since June 1997 tells me that I was meant to be a member of the clergy I place a check in the "empirical proof" column?

I hate that I sometimes place a higher value on outside sources of validation than on my own inner sense of knowing - my internal God-o-meter. My God scanner has pegged at the 'YES' end of the ministry dial more times than I can count yet I continue to question its accuracy.
But I find comfort in the notion that this uncertainty is quite normal for those of us who are on this path. At times we stumble, at times we stride, and at times we get distracted by the shiny baubles we pass along the way and we wander off the path entirely. But we keep coming back. I keep coming back. Because God keeps calling. Through the people I meet, through the big and small events of my life, and though the pretty color charts of internet personality tests. Can I get an AMEN?!

...and now here it is, your moment of Zen:


Eileen said...


The Patridge Family!!!!

I take these stupid tests for the same reasons. On this one, I came up more extroverted then I usually do. MB, I always come up I - I think this is because I can force E, but, it's draining. I need I to recharge.

You are not defective - your introverted, sensitive, planning personhood made up that beautiful Patridge Family bus thingy, that is YOU!

Saint Pat said...

Yes, I was one of the nerds in elementary, junior high and high school, too, with a big target on my back! A life of social misery.

Perhaps that was the beginning of empathy for me.

Anyway, I took the test and came up "benevolent inventor." ???

So you're not weird, at all.

Ruby said...

a Faithful Visionary...that's what it says I am.

I trust a lot and have faith in people to do the right thing...which has gotten me burned many times.

Still I believe in inherent goodness and stay positive.

Joy said...

I enjoyed checking out your blog - found we have some elements which may or may not show up in my own blog- in common--and so-as a personality test taker too- when I get a few- I'm gonna check out this one.