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How Well Do You Know Yourself?

A woman wearing a patterned blue and white shirt standing against a creamy brown cement wall. She is looking up to the right in a thinking pose.

Have you ever completed a personality test online just for fun?  It may seem an amusing thing to do, but it is actually valuable to be familiar with your personality traits.  Identifying your personality traits not only improves self-awareness, it can build self-confidence.  Knowing yourself well can also help you in relationships because you can more accurately communicate who you are and what you need in a relationship.  Being familiar with the different personality traits can also be helpful for broadening your understanding of people in general.  We all have the tendency at times to believe that others think and feel like they do, which impacts their ability to empathize with others.  When we are experiencing conflict in a relationship, it may be helpful to assess if there are personality traits that you or the other person have that may be influencing the conflict. Having a conversation about your similarities and differences can be especially useful in building or repairing relationships.  

Openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion and neuroticism are five core personality traits that are considered to have a significant impact on our overall personality.  Knowing if you are low or high in these five traits will give you significant insight into your personality.  If you are a parent struggling to connect with your child, consider your and your child’s personality traits to determine if they are impacting the relationship.  If you rank high in openness and your child is low in this trait, you may get frustrated with them when they have a hard time adjusting to change or new situations.  There is an abundance of information online about personality traits and there are tests to take to identify your traits.  The link below leads to an insightful article that does a nice job of describing the “Big Five” personality traits. 

There are a lot of aspects to consider when seeking to improve your understanding of yourself.  Besides getting familiar with your personality traits, knowing if you are an internal or external (verbal)  processor can be especially helpful for your relationships.  The internal processor shares their thoughts and feelings after they have carefully thought them through and have a clear understanding of them.  An external processor, on the other hand, verbally shares their thoughts and feelings real time as they are sorting through and making sense of them.  An internal processor can sometimes come across as excessively guarded to an external processor who may feel like the internal processor is holding back and not opening up to them.  An external processor may be overwhelming to an internal processor, as the external processor tends to stream an abundance of thoughts and emotions.  Reading up on the processing styles is a great step towards better self-awareness and understanding others.


Get curious and invest some time in researching personality traits and the processing styles.  Any day is a good day to start your journey to knowing yourself better! 

Lauran Thomas, MS, LPC-S, NCC

Director and Clinical Supervisor of KS Services, LLC

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