Knowing yourself well and understanding why you act the way you do can help you confront and overcome your weaknesses while strengthening the areas where you already excel. Today Brittany and Emma discuss ways in which you can learn to know yourself better.


Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Emma.

Emma: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: So you and I, Emma, were geeking out before we recorded one of our past episodes because we both really like what are called personality tests. And I need to give a little warning before we go into this cuz I know that there are a lot of people that do not like these tests. And I know that they think they’re silly. I heard someone call it like psychological astrology. And if you don’t know what astrology is, that’s like when people look at there, what are they called? They’re birth science. So like, I was born in November, so I’m a Scorpio and they read their horoscopes every day. And it’s really woo-woo, so to speak. Yeah. So a lot of people make fun of these tests, but I thank you. And I would both agree that they, you know, they were, they’re not a hundred percent accurate, but they were developed by actual psychologists. So there’s some science to these. They’re not, you know, obviously nothing’s going to have you pegged a hundred percent. This is not a psychic reading or anything. but, you know, I think it’s really important, and you and I were talking about this to really know who you are, right? So we thought it would be fun to have an episode about why it is important to know yourself. And sometimes there are part of our personality or part of the way we are that aren’t great, right? We need to improve these things. Maybe we have bad habits to break. And these tests can help us understand where our strengths are and where our weaknesses are. But when you understand your strengths, you can make those even better too. So to start, there are many different kinds of these tests. They come in, you know, come in all different shapes and sizes as they say, but most of them, if not all of them, are based off what psychologist Carl Yung, who I’m a huge fan of he called them the Big five. So they’re the big five personality traits that are the most significant parts of your personality that can help you figure out who you are. And Emma, I’ll have you kind of dive into these in a minute, but I’ll just list them off. So it’s openness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extroversion. Now those are very big words. So, Emma, if you wanna help us break those down a little bit and kind of talk about how there’s two sides to those. Yeah. And then we’ll dive in.

Emma: Yeah. So starting with extroversion, you may have heard of this before, maybe someone has said, I’m an extrovert, I’m an introvert. So that’s kind of what this, this is talking about. And you can either have low extroversion or high extroversion, which kind of makes it confusing. But if you have low extroversion, it basically means that you’re more of like an introverted,  withdrawn person. Maybe you’re a little more quiet or shy. And then if you have high extroversion, then you’re gonna be more, talkative and outgoing and more like seeking out interaction with other people rather than sort of seeking, like being introspective and like kind of keeping to yourself. So that’s what that one talks about. Next one up is agreeableness. So if you have a high agreeableness kind of sense, you’re warm, you’re considerate, you’re good-natured, and you’re sort of like assume the best about people. And if you have low agreeableness, you’re probably going to be a little easier irritated. You might have a bit more of a temper, it might be a little easier to rub you the wrong way. and then the next one is conscientious.

Brittany: I wanna wait, can, if I can chime in real, real quick, I wanna go ahead. One little tidbit that I thought was interesting. So with agreeableness though, you know, when we think of like, oh, maybe you’re more irritable, it almost sounds like a bad thing. But people who were lower agreeableness are the ones who are more likely to ask for a raise. So like, even though these sound like they could be negative, there’s actually really good parts. Cuz people who were very agreeable, they’re sometimes more timid. Right? Totally. So, I have high agreeableness, so like, if I need to ask for a raise or ask for something, I don’t do it and I miss out on opportunities. So just a little side note though, even though it sounds like what if I’m low agreeableness, you can use that to your advantage. It’s not always like a bad thing. So, sorry.

Emma: Totally. No, that’s a great point though. If, you have, you know, more of the ability to stand up for yourself. Yes, exactly. And more of a tendency to do that. That if you’re, in tune with yourself and you know who you are and you know how to use it for good, that can be a really good thing and a really great quality. So, good point. Brittany, a little pause here in reading through this list is like being on one end or the other doesn’t make you a good or a bad person. Yes. Good point. It means that you know now what you need to do to keep yourself in check and keep yourself moving on the right path. Exactly. That’s, kind of something to think of as we’re going through all of these different things we’re gonna talk about today. It’s not like one is better than the other. Yeah. sometimes it can sound that way, but it’s much more, you know, when you know yourself, you’re able to harness your tendencies and who you are as a person for good rather than letting it control you. So.

Brittany: Exactly. There’s one, I’m gonna be, doing.

Emma: Yeah, go for it. No, it’s ok.

Brittany: I said neuroticism in the very beginning. Sometimes that’s interchangeable with emotional stability. So you’ll get into that when you read on, but I just wanna make sure our readers didn’t get confused cuz neuroticism’s actually a very big word. I like emotional stability better. So, sorry Emma. Continue.

Emma: I agree. Emotional stability is a little more straightforward. Yes. So I’ll actually go into that one next then. if you have low emotional stability, you probably have like a wide range of moods. You might go in between them quickly. you can be tense. Sometimes this can mean that you have lower self-confidence or maybe that you’re just a very, emotional person. And then if it’s on the high emotional stability end, you might be a little more stable. Maybe you’re more confident, and maybe, your mood kind of remains stable throughout the day rather than changing a lot. And then up next is conscientiousness, which is a big word. Yes. But on the low end of that, it’s, you’re more impulsive, you’re more carefree. Maybe you kind of like to go with the flow. Do whatever’s easy. And then if you’re on the high end of that, you maybe you’re more like you need a plan, you need to set goals. You’re, like a person who works clockwork. It’s like you always know what’s going on and what the plan is. and then the last one here is openness to experience. So basically what that means is if you have a high openness to experience, you’re more curious, you are very imaginative, you’re open to new ideas. I think a lot of people who have like a high level of openness to experience are very creative. And then if you’re low on that, sort of dimension, it’s more of a narrow field of interest. You kind of like your specific things. It’s kind of the tried and true. So that’s, sort of the big five. Brittany, do you wanna sort of talk about the other tests that kind of come up around this one and how some of them are based in this?

Brittany: Yeah, so I think the most common one, and I think this is the one you and I were talking about, or one of ’em last time, is the Myers-Briggs. And the Myers Briggs gives you four letters and it’s based on this thing, it might be called different, words. So for example, well, let me back up here. So the test will ask you all sorts of questions like, are you likely to procrastinate doing an activity? And it’ll, you’ll kind of rank that. So I’m a big procrastinator. So mine is usually yes, absolutely. So it asks you questions like that. But there’s usually a lot of them, the strengths finder, which we’ll talk about later, I think has like 160 or something like that. But, so it asks you all these questions and it gives you some kind of score. And now with the Meyers Briggs, it gives you four letters. So I’m what’s called an ENFP. And what that means is I am an extrovert, if you couldn’t tell very extroverted I’m n which is intuitive now that would be like conscientiousness. Like, so they’re not the same thing, but they’re all kind of correlated. And then I’m a feeler. So on emotional stability, I’d be on the low end. So I’m, a big feeler. Everything I do has to do with emotion. And then I’m a P which is,  wait, which is that perception? That’s perception. Yes. Perception over sensory Yeah.

Emma: Or prospecting. Yeah. Depending on which, list you’re reading.

Brittany: And that would be openness. So that means that I’m kind of more open to new ideas. so, oh wait, no, cause it’s, j I did that wrong. ENT or ENFP. So P or J is like, whether you’re stuck in your ways or kind of open to new ideas and I’m more open to new ideas. So, that’s what I am, one of the ways this has really helped me is I could see like, okay, maybe I’m a little too emotional. Maybe I need to stand back and we’ve talked about this with,  logical fallacies. Maybe I need to step back and, be more logical in this area. So I think they’re really helpful because they can help you, you know, strengthen your weaknesses.

Emma: Totally. A hundred percent. I love that. And I’m, actually really interested to hear that you are, you said you’re ENFP.

Brittany: ENFP.

Emma: Yep. Because I am an ENTP. Ooh. But for me, the T versus the F, which is the thinking versus the feeling, I don’t have a super strong tendency towards either way. Like, it wasn’t super clear, cuz sometimes when you’re taking these tests yeah, yours can be really extreme one way or the other. but for mine, when I got my results when I first took this in high school, I got a totally different result. But we can talk about that later. There’s a little bit of confirmation bias when you take these sometimes. Oh yes, absolutely. Yeah. But, so mine, I’m, not super far on one side or the other because in certain parts of my life, I’m very analytical. I’m much more thinking about stuff. And then in others I am completely led by my emotions. maybe sometimes even when I don’t wanna be. So that’s, really interesting to hear that. Myers Briggs is really cool because it talks about like ways that you interact with other people. Yes. And that’s when it’s been such a cool tool for me in my life, is helping me understand and like, honestly have more, compassion and grace with other people in my life and kind of understand how they see the world, but also to explain the way I am to other people. So, it’s really cool because once you kind of figure out where you’re at, and sometimes, like I said, you’ll get different results, you know, one time when you take it versus the other. But if you’re really honest with yourself and you really, you know yourself and you’re answering honestly,  you can learn a lot about like, you know, maybe your tendencies and it’s not gonna tell you everything there is to know about you. Like, no, like Brittany said earlier, this isn’t some way to like fit every single person on earth into this like perfect category. But it can help you figure out like, here are my communication styles, and here’s how I like to work. And here I like to, how I like to approach my work. So for me as an ENTP, the nickname for that, category or type is the debater. Yep. So I love debating stuff, even if it’s not stuff that I really care about very much. Yep. And it’s sometimes I’ll get into this devil’s advocate thing where I’ll start having these debates that I, you know, I don’t even really necessarily believe when I’m saying I just, I love talking back and forth with people and kind of the sparring and, getting into like another box and arguing from another position just for fun. But not everyone likes to do that. So when I was growing up, I would do that with my parents constantly. And, I’m sure they loved that they did not understand why because I would get so passionate and they’d be like, why the heck do you care about this random thing so much? And once I grew up and I took this test and I told them that they, they were like, well, of course, that makes perfect sense and helps us take everything a lot less personally. But for me, I, you know, this helped me understand, hey, not everyone enjoys that. Like, not everyone wants to go back and forth all the time about these hypothetical issues that they don’t care about. Like, some people wanna talk about the things that they actually care about. So I’m going on and on here about this. But it’s a really great tool and it can be a really great tool to basically figure out, you know, how you look at the world outside you Yes. But also how people from the outside, how they might see you. So, I love Myers Briggs, that purpose.

Brittany: Same. And so there’s some other ones. So you talked about how this can help you, you know, kind of know yourself, know how to relate to others. Now there’s some other tests that are specifically for your career. And those are really fun too. So there’s one called the Disk Test, and that was invented by Tony Robbins, I think, and they’ve changed it over the years, which is disappointing. But that one tells you how you work and in what environments you’ll work the best. And there’s another one, and Emma, I, we can talk a little bit about, or you can talk a little about this, I know we were just talking about it, but Strengths Finder. Yeah. Which is a really good one. I’ve had to take that with two of the jobs I’ve worked for. And that’s another one where it kind of tells you what, you know, what are your best workings,  circumstances, how you work best, what your inclinations are. But Emma, I know you wanted to, you were talking about that a little earlier. Do you wanna expand on that?

Emma: Yeah. Totally. So Strengths Fighter is really cool because it is excellent for the workplace. It’s really good for figuring out like what your best strengths are within a certain team. And basically what it looks at is like how you approach,  certain problems or like how you motivate yourself and how you get yourself to like, push through obstacles and all sorts of stuff. The questions on it are really interesting because they only give you so long to think through it. Yeah. And you basically, if I’m remembering this correctly, you put it on like a scale of like, I disagree versus I strongly agree.

Brittany: I strongly, Yeah.

Emma: Yeah. And you don’t get very long to decide. So it’s very much based on just your, initial like gut reaction. and I found out some really interesting, you know, things about myself taking that test where I would’ve never thought to think, like, thought to think, I would’ve never thought that I was a futuristic-minded person. When I hear that, I think of like robots and Elon Musk, and that’s just like, not me.

Brittany: I’m thinking like, that’s me.


No, totally. But, when I actually read it, was like, well, you’re motivated by what lies in the future, not what’s in the past. Yeah. And that’s completely me. When I need to get myself to work on something I don’t wanna do, I have to envision how good it’s gonna feel to get it done, or like what goal am I working towards. So Strengths Finder is really cool in that way where it might open your eyes to certain things that maybe you didn’t look at it that way, but I, love it for that purpose.


Well, and I know, again, we kind of bounce back and forth to all these different ones and we’ll add some links in the show notes. But I think the main takeaway here that, at least I wanted to get across is, you know, there’s a lot of things that we don’t know about ourselves, or sometimes there’s things we don’t wanna admit, right? Like, I know a lot of my shortcomings or my weaknesses, but I don’t really like to point ’em out. And so when you have a test, point them out, it’s almost like a safer environment to say, yeah, okay, this is what I need to work on. This is what I, you know, this is my strength that I can make better. And so I do think these tests are really beneficial, not just in interacting with other people, but you know, when you interact with other people, you learn how to, you can become a better communicator. And that’s really important when you’re sharing ideas. And also we talk about careers and career-building a lot on this show. And I think with the Strengths Finder and the disks task that we just talked about, these are really good for telling you what kind of job is gonna be best for you. Because if you’re somebody who maybe doesn’t wanna sit in a chair all day, maybe you need to have a more active job, things like that. So, that’s my takeaway. I don’t know if you wanna wrap it up with anything else, Emma.

Emma: Yeah, totally. I think it’s really easy to, when you first hear about these tests, I, there are tons of people who, they are gonna compare it to your horoscope, which that’s completely different. There’s a huge difference between,  looking up at the stars at the day that you were born and trying to take some meaning from that in your own personal life versus your actual tendencies and traits, and personality. Those are two completely different things. And when you’re looking at who you are and you know yourself and you understand yourself, you can, first of all, build on your strengths, build on your natural abilities, and really use those to the full potential that you have. But also you can look at your weaknesses and rather than fearing them or just wishing you didn’t have them, you can learn to improve them. And we’ve talked a lot about self-improvement and good habits and all of that. But to take any steps in the right direction there, you have to know who you are as a person. So that would be my final takeaway. we’re gonna link to a few of these different tests. You can check it out or maybe take one of them or, take ’em with your family even and kind of see how you guys all stack up. But,  thanks for listening guys. Brittany, thanks for chatting with me about this. We will talk to you all again soon. Talk

Brittany: To you next time.