If you know me, or have followed my page for any length of time, you know I’m a huge fan of the Meyers-Briggs Personality Inventory, and by extension, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Although not everyone agrees with me on the actual psychological merit behind these tests, I can say that these tests have pegged me almost dead-on, down to the percentages in which certain aspects of my personality are expressed and what personality attributes are most significant to me in terms of how I relate to others.

Although I don’t always listen, this test has never steered me wrong in telling me (or warning me) about my compatibility with friends, lovers, enemies, and acquaintances. My lifelong friends tend to be of one or two distinct personality types. The people with whom I have the most natural and interesting bonds tend to be of one or two distinct personality types. The people I’ve dated but shouldn’t have, and tried to be friends with, but just couldn’t, all have ended up being the same personality type. The people I trusted who then stabbed me in the back happened to be of a particular personality type. I don’t always follow the intuitive voice that accompanies learning someone is not Meyers-Briggs compatible with me, and that usually does not work out peacefully or end well, but I give this test credit for somehow understanding me, and who might fit into my life, and how, and why. In some cases, it sees more clearly and understands my relationships with others better than I do.

Anyhow, if you’re not familiar with Meyers-Briggs, or put my unwavering belief in it on the same level as the fact that I check my horoscope every day and have my tarot cards read, and firmly believe I am intuitively developed enough that I have “psychic dreams” and “visions”—you will not care about this post. However, if you do know your Meyers-Briggs type, you’ll be amused by this little article, breaking the 16 archetypes down into their animal equivalents.

Unsurprisingly, I am one of the most loving and peaceful of all the animals: the dolphin.

I’m just not performing on command for your entertainment, damn it. :p Unless I feel like it. Or you bribe me. Or there’s a really big audience. *laughs*

Since I’ve been told this is one of my more entertaining stories, I’m happy to report that there’s yet a new chapter to the saga of the rather imbalanced girl I’ve referred to as “G” on this blog. If you haven’t heard the first two parts to this story, you should catch up with the beginning here., and I’ll re-tell the last bit (apologies to my regular readers) in order to keep the flow of the story working well.

We figured she was gone for good, but after New Year’s Day had barely drawn to a conclusion, this message showed up in the e-mail box of The Guy I Am Currently Dating. (for some reason, she has no inclination to communicate with me.)

“I was fortunate enough to attend a New Year’s Eve party with Ron Glass, inter alia. He found the story of the pasty conceited fanboy and his fat defensive girlfriend as hilarious as the rest of the group did.”

The Guy I Am Currently Dating succinctly responded:

It is sad you are still obsessed with me.

I am never quite as succinct, and not one to mince words, or to let things go. Thus, I took the time to send a proper response:

Sweetheart, dollars to donuts (an appropriate metaphor here.) you weigh more than I do. And you’re not exactly Snooki in the paleness department, so you’re kind of opening yourself up for some unwanted attention in how you characterise others. As for me, I’ve gained 20 pounds recently due to heart medication..it takes a rather cruel person to mock someone’s physical appearance during their time of illness. Perhaps you should add that to your funny story!

Ah, and as a former actress, I know people everywhere. If you tell the story socially again, use our names, please….you might find yourself in a rather awkward situation. In fact, I worked in London for some time (I’m assuming that’s where you are.) and one of my best friends is working on assignment over there right now. Karma, my dear. Tell the story to everyone in the world, and we don’t give a shit…but karma will bite you in the ass every time.

The response:

“Yahoo has blocked this e-mail

Being the rather computer savvy individuals we are, we discovered that the e-mail was sent from a small town outside of Seattle, Washington…not nearly as far out of the country as we’d imagined. Nevertheless, we concluded perhaps she was visiting family, or her rick banker boyfriend really did exist, and was in Seattle. Either way, we sort of let the matter go, except for bringing it up at a post-dinner gathering, where another guy present that day told us she’d suggested, in the middle of dinner, that the two of them leave and go for dinner somewhere more private.

It appears that it bugs her immensely that my fat ass continues to wins more friends and admirers than her personality.

Again, since it was about a month since that interchange, we figured the communication was at an end. Of course, that wasn’t the case. And, once again, rather than responding to me directly, she chose to e-mail The Guy I Am Currently Dating. I don’t know whether it’s because she doesn’t talk to women, wants to involve him in the drama, or is just scared to hit the “Reply” button and answer my note, but she consistently goes through him.

What we got was this:

I think this rather speaks for itself. I don’t understand why she consistently mentions her fiance, who is now supposedly her husband, and how much money he has. It’s no secret that I’ve had admirers and ex-whatevers in my past that aren’t exactly broke…but what I’ve learned is that defining yourself based on how much money your significant other earns means you must think terribly little about yourself and your own accomplishments in life. We still have no idea whether or not this person is real. We’ve never met him, and her behaviour in public has always been that of a single woman rapidly exiting her 30′s and desperate for male attention. Even her photo, when she was on my Meetup, was of her in some sort of negligee, 15 years and 20 pounds thinner than the real life person. Even at that age and weight, the effect was not alluring, but sad. If she is married, it’s no wonder her husband snoops through her e-mail.

I also don’t understand why my mentioning anyone would care about my weight and health issues (and I’d hardly consider putting on another 20 pounds a “weight issue”, although it’s problematic to me, and apparently to this girl.) is taken as self-absorbed. I only pointed out that before people call others “fat”, maybe they should consider that that person is suffering through greater problems in life than food and body image issues, and the negativity is cruel. I find her lack of ability to empathise with others a bit disturbing; one of the hallmarks of both narcissistic and psychopathic personalities.

If I knew where she lived, I’d invest $10 in sending her a new dictionary, so she can spell things correctly when she’s attempting to put others in their place. Although, from what I hear, she has a husband who can afford it.

Seriously, are all people this disturbed, or just ones we meet in Atlanta?

Via a blogger friend of mine doing a study into such things, I received a free code to take a “scientific” personality quiz appearing in Psychology Today, called “How Assertive Are You?” (The overall assessment is free, but they charge you if you want to know more about your detailed report.)

The invite came via a bit of synchronicity, since last week, I blogged about my struggles with anxiety, and the fact that I wondered if much of it came from unexpressed anger and rage. Anger and rage aren’t “nice”, “ladylike” emotions, and too many women have a tendency to “let things go” that truly bother them, rather than engage in confrontation. In reality, those things are rarely “let go”, it’s just a mask created to please others. In reality, the feelings often come out in the form of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, passive-aggressive behaviour, and talking about people behind their backs rather than addressing problems directly. Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t that I don’t think men don’t do this, as well. I know plenty who do. It just seems there’s a higher incidence of women doing it, in order to keep the peace, appear loveable/amiable/easy-going, or to keep everyone else happy. Proportionally, there’s a higher incidence of women suffering from anxiety and depressive disorders rather than anger management. (I once had a therapist encourage me to punch pillows during our sessions, because “self-destructive behaviour is just anger turned inward.”)

I’m a bit of a dichotomy. I’m very nice, if you ask most people who know me well. Sometimes, too nice. But if you ask people who don’t like me, you’ll hear that I’m too aggressive, too direct. I express my feelings in a way that’s off-putting to some, especially when I get tired of pretending. In situations where I feel the need to pretend—such as in relation to smiling and putting up with hurtful criticisms of who I am as a person from the Mother Of The Guy I Am Currently Dating, or from my own mother—I can only stand it for so long before something in me explodes. The longer it takes to explode, the more anger and resentment build within me, and I often become moody and withdrawn, allowing the hurtful things that go unexpressed to become real feelings I harbour about myself, to tear me down.

So, I was very curious what the inventory on this subject would say about my level of assertiveness.

And, while my results generally identify me as a relatively average, well-adjusted human being in the department of assertiveness, it clearly identified this dichotomy. I am both more subservient than average and more outwardly aggressive than average. (Somehow, I’m S&M all rolled into one package.*laughs*) I also tend to sometimes fear confrontation with authority figures, but have no problem speaking up when it’s needed. (I suppose this explains my lifelong attraction to older and/or more powerful and accomplished men, rather than to those in my peer group.)

I often laugh when I hear that someone is afraid of me—afraid to confront me directly, afraid to talk to me about something, or only comfortable taking a passive-aggressive approach to dealing with me. I think, “Who’d be afraid of little old me?” I also could never understand why I’d work so hard to make sure everyone around me was having a good time, only to find out later that so-and-so didn’t care for me, my personality, or my attitude. If this test is to be believed, my desire to make others happy is constantly at war with a desire to defend myself from attack (or even perceived attack). Even though I’m just “little old me”, I do have certain attributes that others might find imposing or unapproachable. It’s probably because of, as the test mentions, my “being uncomfortable with vulnerability”. (that one, I freely admit to.)

All in all, it’s an interesting personality inventory. I’ve included my results below the dotted line for those who know me well enough to care, or for those with a keen interest in psychology. If you personally would like to take this test, it’s here

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Overall results (score 64)

Ability to express opinions, thoughts and wishes in a clear, direct way, even if there’s the potential for rejection or disagreement.

According to your results on the Assertiveness Test, you are doing quite well in this department. You have developed most of the necessary skills and the self-confidence to stand your ground, whether it’s with family, friends, or colleagues. You know that you deserve respect from others and the way you behave encourages others to treat you accordingly. You certainly demonstrate some leadership potential. Just be aware of your actions so that when you assert yourself, you are not overly aggressive – you don’t want to come across as hostile or bossy. As long as you show as much respect for others as you expect in return, you are on the right track.

Ability to speak for self (score 80)

Acting with confidence to voice a personal opinion.

You rarely hesitate to address the issues that concern you the most. Whether it’s noisy neighbors or a raise you feel you deserve, you’ll immediately bring it to attention. You express yourself freely, asserting your personal rights with the confidence that your request is reasonable. As a self-assured individual, you are comfortable with letting others know you disagree with them, especially when you feel you’re being treated poorly. This approach shows that you feel you deserve respect and expect others to treat you this way.

Handling assertive/strong people (score 59)

Ability to stand up to those who might be intimidating.

Your skills are average when it comes to assertively dealing with authority figures. You are sometimes able to stand up for yourself quite well, but in other situations you can be overwhelmed by feelings of insecurity. Perhaps you feel inferior or don’t think that your opinion is as important as that of others. Unfortunately, these beliefs allow your self-doubt to get in the way. Keep in mind however, that you have something worthwhile to contribute too.

Comfort with vulnerability (score 53)

The ability to take action despite the risk of rejection or embarrassment.

While you are sometimes able to put yourself on the line, you tend to hesitate when it comes to showing your vulnerable side. If there is a lot of emotional risk involved in a situation – like the potential to be rejected or embarrassed – you might choose to avoid it altogether. Perhaps you are unsure about your ability to bounce back from humiliation or you just don’t think you have the confidence to pull it off. Occasionally, you might decide that the potential benefits are worth it but that doesn’t happen too frequently. This is something you may want to start doing more often. It is essential to take gambles if you want to achieve your goals.

Subservience (score 49)

Allowing the needs of others to take precedence over own desires.

When you feel that what you want may be in conflict with the desires of others around you, you are torn between giving in to their needs and expressing your own. While you dislike being treated like a doormat, you could end up feeling like you are the victim in a situation because you don’t deal with the perceived injustice effectively. You try not to take the blame for things you are not responsible for but if you keep telling yourself that your opinion is just as valuable as anyone else’s, you’ll soon find it easy to add in your two-cents when asked.

Aggression (score 77)

Using aggressive tactics, such as intimidation, physical force or manipulation.

According to the results of this test, you often use aggressive tactics, like intimidation or swearing, to get your point across. Some would say that there is a fine line between assertiveness and aggression, but there are definite differences. Assertiveness is the ability to express opinions, thoughts and wishes in a clear, direct way, even if there’s the potential for rejection or disagreement. Aggression is unnecessarily forceful, hostile, demanding, or even manipulative. Aggression shows disrespect for other people, since it does not allow them to assert their own rights. It puts your own needs above anyone else’s and takes the focus away from the topic at hand. The use of aggressive tactics is counterproductive and should be avoided at all costs.