It’s Okay to Not Fit Perfectly Into One Personality Type

Instead of collecting dolls, I collected dinosaur figurines and books as a kid. I was absolutely convinced that I was going to be a paleontologist, and could spit out facts about the Brontosaurus Excelsus like nobody’s business. However, while I had a lot of scientific aspirations from a young age, I also always thought I was going to have a second job as a book author, and art was always my favorite subject in school.

It’s been a long time since I finally gave away my dinosaur models and packed up my old watercolor sets, and yet I’m still faced with the same dilemma today; I feel like I am both a “science” right-brained person, and an “artistic” left-brained person.

The internal struggle doesn’t end there, though. Every time I’ve taken pretty much any sort of personality test—from useless Buzzfeed quizzes to elaborate Jung and Briggs Meyers typology tests—I have always stubbornly treaded the line between being an introvert and an extrovert. I know that it’s essentially irrelevant which way I test, and there is nothing wrong with being either one, but it’s always bothered me that I can’t classify myself as only one or the other. Am I really an introvert just pretending to be an extrovert? Or am I just a really reserved extrovert?

There are so much assumptions and stigmas around each personality “category” that it can be hard not to fall into the trap of trying to place yourself into one of the boxes, or even trying to emulate the personality type that seems more appealing or popular. It’s taken me a really long time to finally accept that trying to perfectly mold myself into one personality type is not only impossible, but also pretty ridiculous. When you think about it—is it really all that reasonable to divide all people into two poorly- defined groups? Like almost anything else in life, personality is a spectrum. Which means that it’s totally okay to lie anywhere between those two poles. And it’s also okay to feel more “in-tune” with one side of your personality, but then feel more in-tune with another aspect of your personality later on. A big part of growing up, and life in general, is to accept that things can change, and that includes parts of your personality.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should be changing the core of who you feel you are all the time. It just means that you have the right to give yourself enough space to grow and work on being a better and happier person overall without having to judge yourself for being both artistically and scientifically inclined, or an outgoing introvert, etc. As long as you are comfortable in your own skin, there’s no need to feel restricted by any kind of label!