The Norman Transcript

Opinion

September 24, 2013

Test your true self with reality TV

NORMAN — I’ve been fascinated by personality tests ever since I abandoned those quizzes where you try to find out the shape of your face. At this point in my life, I don’t care what shape my face is — or what shape my whole head is for that matter. What am I, a professor of geometry?

Personality tests, however, always extend the promise of deep and meaningful insight into what’s been bothering you all these years. Even brief ones printed on bus panels are a catalyst for self-examination. One-panel versions in public transportation pose such questions as “Need Cash?” or “Want to Meet Local Singles?” If your ride is long enough, you can write a complex story combining an answer. Basically, those two questions inspired Flaubert to write “Madame Bovary.”

But even personality tests have their limitations. To be honest, the standard assessments have replaced organized religion for a lot of people. I have friends who treat Myers-Briggs the way others treat Warren Buffet, with a belief so profound it borders on reverence.

You’ve heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test, right? It’s the one reassuring you that you’re an introverted, feeling, intuitive perceiver. Because if you’re a judgmental extravert, then you’re kind of a jerk. I’m a judgmental extravert if there ever was one, but I don’t permit myself to mention it at parties — not since people kept excusing themselves to fetch some cocktails, then not return.

Is it just me, or has everybody you’ve met recently started referring to themselves as an introvert? If she took Myers-Briggs, Joan Rivers would probably decide she’s an introvert; Bette Midler would identify as an introvert. Miley Cyrus in the latex suit? Secretly an introvert.

Those with the biggest mouths, the most magnetism and least shame have suddenly all decided they are now introverts. They’re making a million bucks a minute by being famous, but they’re all secretly shy. There are huge best-selling books about how to love being an introvert — not only how to love it, but how to exploit it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014

  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014