Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Need to Be Needed

"I'm sorry! It's just... I have an uncontrollable need to please people!"
-Monica, Friends

The variants in the human personality fascinate me. When I was a teenager, I would sprawl out on my twin-size bed, pen in hand, and spend hours filling out quizzes in magazines. "What kind of kisser are you?" "What will your career be?" "What animal are you?" "What does your handwriting say about you?" And so on.

As I grew up, I learned that those quizzes were pure garbage. Yet I still succumb to filling out a few on Facebook. I just can't help myself.

I pride myself on being very self-aware. I recognize my flaws (passive-aggression being the largest) and embrace my strengths (intuition/ability to read people). And I truly enjoy analyzing others; I love learning what makes each person unique.

As an adult, I now lean towards more accurate personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs indicator. I'm an ENFJ, and have been for ten years - so that's probably not changing anytime soon. Recently, though, I discovered another seemingly accurate personality test called the Enneagram Test (thanks to an email from my good friend Robin). My result? I'm a Type Two - Helper, with a Type Three - Achiever wing and a Social Variant.

I didn't learn anything new after reading my results, but it certainly reinforced my innate "need to be needed." I feel fulfilled when I'm helping someone else, and I have an uncontrollable urge to please people, to be needed, and to be liked. Because of this, I avoid confrontation and engage in passive aggressive behavior. And I've grown to accept this, because I cannot change it. We all have our flaws, the question is: do you embrace them, or do you deny their existance? Hopefully not the latter, as it will become difficult for you to achieve full self-awareness and self-acceptance.

So, what's your type? Are you willing to dissect your flaws?