Your friend or someone you know has gotten fired from every job they’ve ever had. Their dates always flake on them and their friends always betray them. The common theme: it’s never their fault and if you press them on it you’re the one to blame.
According to a team of psychologists in Israel, these types of people may have a toxic personality disorder called “tendency for interpersonal victimhood” (TIV), which they describe as “an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which is generalized across many kinds of relationships.”
People with TIV wholly and truly believe they are never wrong and that their victimhood is a core part of their identity.
How to tell if someone ‘plays the victim?’
Not everyone who feels victimized is toxic. Bad things do happen and it’s okay to be upset about it.
Rather, TIV occurs when someone constantly feels like a victim and they bring others down with them.
Rahav Gabay and her colleagues determined that people with TIV tend to have four dimensions:
Constantly seeking recognition
Of all the allegedly horrible things that happen to someone with TIV, people never apologize to them. Worse, they don’t even acknowledge their wrongdoing.
While apologies can be hard to come by, this only becomes an issue when the person who plays the victim is in desperate search of recognition for the supposed bad things that are done to them.
A sense of moral elitism
People with TIV are never wrong. In fact, their moral compass is better than everyone else’s and they use this assumption to manipulate others into their own perspective.
This behavior may be a defense mechanism as a way to maintain a positive self-image.
Lack of empathy for others
Everything that happens to TIV people is the absolute worst and no one else’s pain or suffering matters, or so they think. This can especially be toxic in a relationship as TIV people only care about their own problems, never others’.
The route of this behavior can be that since the person believes they have suffered so much, they don’t think anyone else deserves empathy for their suffering.
This lack of empathy can also show up in a group or national level in the form of “competitive victimhood” or an “egoism of victimhood” where members of a group cannot see things from another group’s perspective.
Rumination about past victimization
Since romantic relationships never worked out in the past for TIV people, there’s no chance they’ll work in the future. This is a fallacy as the past doesn’t dictate the future, but it’s a core belief of people who always play the victim.
Always ruminating about past grievances and thinking it reflects the future is something perpetual victims tend to do.
Why TIV is toxic
People who always play the victim are extremely difficult to deal with because they’re selfish and never wrong.
They’re also obsessed with seeking revenge for those who’ve wronged them and may punish others who had nothing to do with it just because they’ve been wronged before.
Forgiving is part of growth
We all play the victim from time to time. Sometimes bad things really do happen to us and it makes us sour.
The problem is when the victimhood because constant and when the person never learns from their mistakes. It’s also problematic when they never forgive others – you don’t know what everyone is going through and nobody’s perfect.
Ultimately, the problem with playing the victim is it doesn’t allow you to learn or grow from the past. If you don’t acknowledge your faults, how can you make adjustments for the future?
If you know someone who’s always playing a victim, it might be time to reduce your relationship with them or have a frank discussion about it. Life is too short to be surrounded by toxic people.
Have you ever labeled yourself as an introvert or an extrovert, then realize that you don’t quite fit in either of the categories?
It seems like, for a better understanding, we have the tendency of putting things, situations and people inside a box and labeling it. It’s just easier to look at things this way, even though we’ve well aware that there are a lot of grey areas in between labels.
The human behavior falls more likely in the grey area. Of course, some behaviors can be labeled — a serial killer is a psychopath, yet a psychopath isn’t necessarily a serial killer. But we’re not going to talk about extreme human behavior, but rather about some general ideas on personality types.
Introversion and Extroversion
Carl Jung first introduced his personality theory in his book Psychological Types, where he popularized the terms introversion and extroversion. Later theories (like Myers-Briggs) adapted and improved Jung’s viewpoint. However, most of them suggest everyone has both an extroverted side and an introverted side, with one being more dominant than the other.
Extroversion (sometimes spelled ‘extroversion’) means “outward-turning” and introversion means “inward-turning”. That being said, if you’re an extrovert, you’re more outgoing and you draw energy from action. You’re probably the “life of the party” and love being around people.
Introverts rebuild their energy by spending more quiet time alone and they can feel drained by too much social interaction.
Being an introvert or an extrovert has nothing to do with being more or less friendly, more or less capable, it’s just about what naturally makes you feel more comfortable.
Ambiverts – a little bit of both?
Few of us fit neatly into either of these personality types, but what if we’re right in the middle? Recent psychological studies focused on those individuals who are neither strongly extroverted, nor strongly introverted, and came up with a name for it — ambiverts.
Having an ambivert personality means exhibiting qualities of both introversion and extroversion. Think about it! Some days you do everything you can to be around people, you want to meet all your friends and you just need all the “noise”. Other days, all of this seems too much and you feel like taking a break, you need to spend some time alone and just reflect on things.
Studies show that about 70% of our personality is genetic, but the rest of it changes according to people around us and situations we find ourselves in. Basically, we adapt. Depending on the situation, sometimes we are so chatty that we forget to breathe, and sometimes we let others do the talking.
To some extent, introverts can behave as extroverts, and vice versa. However, too many high-stimulation situations can lead an introvert to burn out, while too much solitude can bum out an extrovert. An ambivert consistently moves between the two orientations, and this can be seen as an advantage in some situations.
But the ambivert is no recent “discovery.” While assessing personality traits, Carl Jung actually did identify a third personality type on the introverted-extroverted spectrum:
Later, psychologist Hans Eysenck, coined the term “ambivert,” so it appears that there was just a lack of research on the matter.
Also, there are a lot of ambiverts out there. Although more research needs to be done before we can determine a percentage, the existing studies indicate that about one third of the population is ambiverted.
One thing’s for sure: there is no right or wrong personality type. Learn as much as you can about yourself and let that be your advantage. Find the people and activities that bring out your best self and let them nourish you.
If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
However, most such opportunities for self-improvement can’t be controlled because they are usually tied to a life experience.
It’s like a sound wave bouncing around a room. We can’t see the room– ourselves– but every time the wave bounces off a surface– an experience– we gain information about that area of the room. The more things we experience, the more we learn about ourselves.
But there are other good ways to learn more about ourselves. One of the most effective is to take personality tests based on the latest scientific research, which range from IQ tests to emotional intelligence ones.
Personality is to a man what perfume is to a flower.
– Charles M. Schwab
What is the Enneagram personality test?
The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, RHETI, or simply Enneagram personality test, was created by the Enneagram Institute as a way to categorize the major personality types which are formed in children around the age of five years old (and then further developed, but never fully changed, after that).
“From one point of view, the Enneagram can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type.
It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself. This is your basic personality type,” according to Enneagraminstitute.com.
However, your own personality isn’t so simple. Every person, the institute explains, has “wings” or associated personality types:
“No one is a pure personality type: everyone is a unique mixture of his or her basic type and usually one of the two types adjacent to it on the circumference of the Enneagram. One of the two types adjacent to your basic type is called your wing.”
Personality types with similarities were designed specifically to cluster together (or cross, in some cases), so your own personality will likely be more of an “area” or shape on the Enneagram spectrum. However, we all have one dominant Enneagram personality type.
The 9 Enneagram personality types
The nine official Enneagram personality types are:
1. The Reformer
Reformers are rational idealists. They’re principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionists. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and tend to be crusaders for a cause.
Positive qualities: Wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. Can be morally heroic.
Basic Fear: Of being corrupt/evil, defective
Basic Desire: To be good, to have integrity, to be balanced
Key motivations: Want to be right, to strive higher and improve everything, to be consistent with their ideals, to justify themselves, to be beyond criticism so as not to be condemned by anyone.
Individualists are sensitive, introspective types. They’re expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental. They’re very self-aware and emotionally honest people.
Positive qualities: Inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.
Basic fear: That they have no identity or personal significance
Basic desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an identity)
Key motivations: Want to express themselves and their individuality, to create and surround themselves with beauty, to maintain certain moods and feelings, to withdraw to protect their self-image, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else.
Other Individualists: Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Frida Kahlo, Judy Garland, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Prince, Johnny Depp
5. The Investigator
Investigators are intense, focused types. They’re very perceptive, innovative, secretive, and can be isolated. They have the ability to concentrate effectively on a task and come up with creative solutions.
Positive qualities: Visionary pioneers, often ahead of their time, and able to see the world in an entirely new way.
Basic fear: Being useless, helpless, or incapable
Basic desire: To be capable and competent
Key motivations: Want to possess knowledge, to understand the environment, to have everything figured out as a way of defending the self from threats from the environment.
Loyalists are committed and security-oriented types. They’re engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious. They’re also very hardworking and responsible.
Positive qualities: Internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.
Basic fear: Of being without support and guidance
Basic desire: To have security and support
Key motivations: Want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity.
Other Loyalists: Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Malcolm X, Diana, Princess of Wales, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bruce Springsteen, Spike Lee
Enthusiasts are busy, spontaneous-types. They’re versatile, acquisitive, and can be scattered. They tend to be extroverts and are very optimistic and playful.
Positive qualities: They focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.
Basic fear: Of being deprived and in pain
Basic desire: To be satisfied and content—to have their needs fulfilled
Key motivations: Want to maintain their freedom and happiness, to avoid missing out on worthwhile experiences, to keep themselves excited and occupied, to avoid and discharge pain.
Other Enthusiasts: The 14th Dalai Lama, Galileo Galilei, W.A. Mozart, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robin Williams
8. The Challenger
Challengers are powerful, dominating types. They tend to have great self-confidence and are decisive, willful, and often confrontational. They can be very resourceful, protective, and sometimes egotistical.
Positive qualities: Self-mastering, they use their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.
Basic fear: Of being harmed or controlled by others
Basic desire: To protect themselves (to be in control of their own life and destiny)
Key motivations: Want to be self-reliant, to prove their strength and resist weakness, to be important in their world, to dominate the environment, and to stay in control of their situation.
Peacemakers are easygoing, stable, and optimistic types. They’re receptive, reassuring, agreeable, and complacent. They’re usually creative, supportive, and tend to prefer to keep the peace more than express a disagreement.
Positive qualities: Indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.
Basic fear: Of loss and separation
Basic desire: To have inner stability “peace of mind”
Key motivations: Want to create harmony in their environment, to avoid conflicts and tension, to preserve things as they are, to resist whatever would upset or disturb them.
Other Peacemakers: Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Joseph Campbell, Walt Disney
Which personality type are you?
Ready to find out your personality type and discover your own unique qualities? Go to the Enneagram Institute’s course page to take the test yourself and start your own journey of self-discovery.
If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
The whole idea behind categorizing personality types is kind of annoying. But it can also be pretty helpful.
In some ways, it’s bothersome when something, or someone, tries to categorize us because we know we’re more complex than some scientific algorithm (describing millions of other people around the world as identical to you, no less).
However, such methods of categorization help because, particularly with an effective personality test, they can tell us things about ourselves we didn’t yet know. This can be invaluable information that helps us learn, grow, and navigate our daily life more effectively.
The only thing is, our life is more complicated than personality alone. In any given moment, we might be properly, or improperly, motivated to take a particular action. We also might be going through a tough time, having a crisis of self, or countless other things that can distort those base personality traits.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve identified yourself as a Type B personality for most of your life. Type B personalities are more, well, chill and have some similarities with introverts. They tend to care less about winning and more about enjoying themselves so they tend to be happier and less stressed. They’re often artists.
However, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably also started to show other traits, or at least you’ve noticed them more over time. Because of this, you’re starting to question if you’re really a Type A personality, as you’ve become more outgoing, ambitious, proactive, or rigid in your work processes (and, as a result, also more stressed) in recent years, whether it’s because you’ve become more confident and started to express your true self more clearly or have just changed as a person.
If you’re trying to figure this out, here are a few signs to help you know if you’re really a Type A personality disguised as a Type B.
Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
– Bruce Lee
1. You play nice because you believe it’s the right thing to do, but losing frustrates you
If you make it a point to play nice when competing, including everything from wrestling for a promotion at work to playing a casual game of basketball with friends, but secretly get frustrated any time you lose, you’re probably a Type A personality.
Much of what makes us masquerade as someone we’re not is often due to societal pressure. We were taught and influenced that certain traits were desirable and others not so much, so no matter who we truly are we try to exemplify those desirable traits and shun the others.
The most common form of this is in the idea that we should be doctors and lawyers and forget any notion of becoming an artist or, really, anything other than one of half a dozen well-respected professions.
If you were told by your parents (or parent) or other strong influences that it’s important to work together with others and play nice, to the point where competing was almost discouraged, you may be suppressing your Type A tendencies and holding back one of your natural gifts– a powerful ambition.
2. You’re generally patient and well-tempered, but long for more
Type B personalities are generally considered well-tempered and relaxed and, because these qualities are quite noticeable in our regular behavior, you might have concluded long ago that you were a Type B personality.
However, not all Type A personalities have short fuses. Remember, real human beings are more complex than any personality trait system can ever fully gauge. If you’re well-tempered but ravenously ambitious, perhaps even styming that ambition at certain points in your life for the sake of politeness and personal conduct, you’re more than likely a Type A personality. Or, at the very least, a Type A with some Type B characteristics.
3. You tell yourself you’re happy with your situation, but you’re secretly not satisfied
Did you grow up with someone close to you, a parent or role model, telling you to be content with what you have and to not be greedy?
There are grounds for that belief. You should be grateful for what you have and being happy with where you’re at is critical if you want to live a happy life, otherwise, you’re always looking to the next rainbow to solve all your problems.
However, some of us are more ambitious than others and that’s not to be confused with greed. Plus, many good people live in fear of rejection, failure, and even success itself, and they project this belief off onto others.
You can be happy and lead an amazing life no matter what personality you have, but if you’re naturally ambitious and you want to set out into the world to do big things, really big things, then you’re short-changing yourself and the rest of the world from experiencing your gifts by not letting yourself fulfill that ambition.
If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Have you seen those ‘Which Disney character are you?’ quizzes floating around online? They are wildly popular, and for good reason.
We love to explore potentially new and unknown aspects of our personality. We’re fascinated with learning more about ourselves (in a good way) and we do that partly through comparisons. How do we appear different? What makes us unique?
There are now dozens of high-quality personality tests of all shapes and sizes online, all designed to tell you about a different aspect of yourself. So, we’ve gathered 10 of the best free ones to help you learn more about your character traits in order to ultimately find your life purpose.
We’ve broken the tests down into five categories, including personality type, skill assessments, intelligence, emotional intelligence, and two more at the end for some good, clean fun.
Who are you? How do you prefer to relate to the world around you? The tests below will help you take a closer look at your character traits, values and behaviors.
1. 16 Personalities
Based on Carl Gustav Jung’s original research on personality in conjunction with aspects of the Myers-Briggs personality test, 16 Personalities is one of the most comprehensive tests on this list — and my personal favorite.
Currently, people have taken the test over 26 million times, making it one of the most popular personality tests available online. And it takes only 12 minutes to complete, so you don’t feel like you’re in school taking exams all over again (like some personality tests online).
The “Who Am I?” visual DNA test is entirely different from 16 Personalities, and was included on this list because of its unicity. The quiz will show you a collection of images for each question, and you’ll be asked to select which visual fits you best based on several different topics.
Like 16 Personalities, though, it’s one of the most useful personality tests available online — and pretty fun to take.
The DISC is a short test that will help you understand the nuances that make up your personality type and behavioral style. Developed by psychologist William Moulton Marston, the assessment focuses on four areas of behavior: dominance, inducement, submission and compliance.
It will give you great insights about the way you operate in a business setting, which you can use to align your career with your personality.
A hugely important aspect of our personality, emotional intelligence can tell us a lot about ourselves. Discovering where you’re at on the EQ spectrum and use the information to help you narrow down your quest for purpose.
8. Institute for Health and Human Potential
The Institute for Health and Human Potential test (or IHHP for short) is a series of questions based on assessing how you’d react around others in various situations.
Your results will tell you what level of emotional intelligence you have as well as how to improve, if you’re interested.
The person who exposed the original Emotional Intelligence research to the world, Daniel Goleman created a test to help you discover more about this critical type of intelligence, which in recent years has gained a ton of traction with regards to career opportunities.
Easily one of the most important personality-esque tests you could ever take (half-joke), if you don’t already know which Hogwarts house you’re in, you should take a minute to experience the incredibly fun and enlightening Pottermore quizzes.
You can take tests to find out your Hogwarts house, Patronus, wand, and even your Ilvermorny house, the North American wizarding school. Yes, you are permitted to be a kid again.
Jokes aside, each aspect of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world was designed with important personality traits in mind, so the tests can tell you a bit about yourself in the process of having fun.