How many of you are into personality tests? (this question would be so much more effective if we were in person and I could see you raising your hands).
On the chance that you aren't, it's ok. This is still a relevant post.
I love studying myself. I read my Myers-Briggs profile and a temperament assessment I have on a fairly consistent basis. I love knowing my strengths and (sometimes more so) my weaknesses and blind spots. I like to know which areas to push on and ways that I might be engaging with the world that are outside who I am.
I read about me and I think "yes, this is 100% accurate and I am empowered to go out into the world and win".
Know what doesn't work, though?
Me reading about others.
Do you know why?
Because I don't believe them.
Sometimes what's written about how others view the world is so illogical to me, it feels like I'm reading something completely made up that couldn't *actually* be how someone functions. It's the lens of knowing myself, then accidentally trying to apply what I know about myself to other people.
This was the case in Anthropology, too. When we would study cultures in college it was a skill to learn how to derive meaning from a culture that wasn't mine. It was even MORE of a skill to learn to take off your personal lens and recognize your own biases. That has stuck with me over the years and when I find someone saying the word "weird" or "that doesn't make sense", I have to step back and ask "how could this make sense to them?"
In every situation, we must be willing to ask the questions that make us realize the lenses we are wearing so we can understand where people are actually coming from, and not just where we perceive them to be coming from.