Personality tests, whether the variety found on the Internet or administered by psychologists, usually force the test-taker to choose one answer or the other. There’s no room to answer, “Sometimes A, but other times B.” And because you can’t give full, accurate answers, the results are skewed. You end up thinking, “That doesn’t sound like me,” even though the test insists you are that personality type.
Where Do You Fit In?
If standard personality tests have left you feeling like you don’t fit into any category and are therefore, well, “abnormal,” there is a chance that you fit into a category not usually tested—the creative personality type.
Research on creativity conducted by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reveals that creative people—such as writers, musicians, scientists, artists, mathematicians, entrepreneurs, and inventors—have personalities that embody opposite traits. They are both introverted and extroverted, high-energy and laid back, smart and naïve, responsible and irresponsible, imaginative and pragmatic, proud and humble, or conservative and rebellious. They typically escape gender stereotypes, too, exhibiting both masculine and feminine traits.
Synthesizing All of You
With opposing personality traits comes inherent tension, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. According to psychiatrist Albert Rothenberg, most artistic masterpieces and scientific breakthroughs are the result of synthesizing contradictory ideas into a single entity. Similarly, Jungian analyst Marion Woodman has said that when we hold the tension of opposites, a new force emerges from that tension.
Whenever you’re feeling a bit scattered, involve yourself in an activity that helps you pull it all together, so to speak. Rein in the energy that emerges from your paradoxical personality and create something new with it. You can directly write about your feelings in a journal or figuratively express yourself in visual art, dance, or music. None of it has to make sense; simply enjoy the process.
Though having a creative personality might drive you—or your family and friends—crazy at times, you can learn to embrace your contradictory traits and literally paint a picture of the world that others are unable to see. While they are viewing the world as “A” or “B,” you can show them “C.”