There are so many personality tests out there, some more difficult and others more easy. There are many different frameworks out there, from the Myers-Briggs (which can reveal how one perceives the world and makes decisions) to the Erotic Blueprints (an arousal map that reveals one’s primary erotic language), and it can be fun to dabble in these and see if they match up with who you think you are in the world, or to use them as friendly guides to point out areas that could use some work or development. One such personality test is the so-called Difficult Person Test, which may be useful in such a situation.
What is the Difficult Person Test?
The Difficult Person Test is an online questionnaire meant to identify whether someone is difficult to get along with, inspired by personality studies performed by clinical psychologist Chelsea Sleep. The seven personality characteristics assessed are coldness, hubris, aggression, suspicion, manipulation, dominance, and risk-taking.
IDRlabs, a website, designed the exam. Individual Differences Research (IDR) claims to develop assessments in accordance with the scientific consensus. However, they declare that they’re not linked with any particular researchers or research organizations, and Sleep has informed other media sources that she wasn’t involved in inventing the Difficult Person Test.
Even yet, due in large part to social media, the test has become more popular in recent months, expanding upon the foundation laid by Sleep and her colleagues.
Methods for Achieving a Passing Score
The only location to take the Difficult Person Test (at least, the precise one that’s gone popular) is the IDRlabs website.
The IDRlabs website is an example of a viral website.
The 7 qualities of a tough person.
In the research mentioned by the test, Sleep and her colleagues at the University of Georgia explored the structure of antagonism and critical elements that can result in someone being perceived as hostile.
According to Joshua D. Miller, Ph.D., a personality researcher and University of Georgia psychology professor who oversaw Sleep’s study and appeared in an interview with mindbodygreen, “difficult” is not how the team defines these characteristics (Sleep was not available for comment).
We call it disagreeableness, and it runs from outright hostility to complete harmony, he explains.
Given this, let’s examine the seven characteristics that were challenging in the IDRlabs exam:
Dr. Durvasula explains that someone who lacks empathy, a trait that characterises callousness, may be challenging to be around since empathy is essential for maintaining positive connections. One definition of a callous person is someone who “has little interest in the experiences of others.” “In addition, she says. “They don’t give a hoot about the feelings, pain, or suffering others are going through. They don’t make the world a better place for others.
A high grandiosity score on the Difficult Person Test may indicate that the test taker thinks highly of himself.
While the allure of a grandiose individual’s lofty aspirations is undeniable, spending time with such a person may be draining due to their constant need to prove their own importance. Dr. Durvasula warns that “grandiose individuals tend to suck the air out of the room and grab all the attention.” That “everything” should revolve around them is a core belief of theirs. Dr. Durvasula explains that this disconnect from reality may be stifling their connections with others.
Aggression is associated with hostile, violent, or dominant conduct. Those that are aggressive in their campaigns are not always looking to build bridges or find common ground with others.
As Miller aptly puts it, “with my academic job, I might dispute with people in my profession and be unpleasant without a lot of effort or costs—but if I act that way at home and in other situations in a pervasive fashion, it would be closer to something we may consider a problem.”
The term “suspicion” is used to describe the feeling that something is incorrect despite a lack of evidence or little proof. It’s important to use caution when deciding whom to trust, yet unchecked paranoia may lead to harmful outcomes like pseudoscience and conspiracies.
One is deemed manipulative if one consistently try to persuade others to act in ways that benefit themselves. Manipulation is a negative attribute when it is used to subvert logic, mislead, or coerce others into doing what the manipulator wants.
Finally, a risk-taker is someone who acts recklessly in pursuit of a goal. While taking risks may have many positive outcomes, doing so without first considering the potential consequences can quickly backfire, resulting in unnecessary harm to oneself or others.
Notably, risk-taking isn’t something Miller considers to be a desirable trait. According to his comments to mbg, “the study that this is based on does not include risk-taking in this model.” For this reason, it is published in other articles, the author says.
How Reliable is This Examination?
I’d say yes and no. Although IDRlabs’ online Difficult Person Exam is based on research that has been peer-reviewed, the study’s authors had no part in creating the test.
The goal of Sleep, Miller, and coworkers’ research was to provide a more complex picture of how personalities are put together. They analyzed 532 students from a big institution in the Southeastern United States to determine how hostility is structured by using standard measures of pathological personality characteristics. Their results showed that antagonistic traits emerge across a spectrum of granularity and severity.
Miller makes the key point that fixing antagonistic features might cause problems. He argues that a healthy personality is one that can change and adapt to new situations. “It’s desirable to be able to adapt your character to fit the needs of the situation. It’s an issue if your character can’t be molded to fit different situations. It’s possible to have a disorder if your difficulties are widespread, ongoing, and have been going on for a while regardless of the context.”
PsychPoint’s licensed mental health counselor GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC, chimes in to say that challenging individuals often demonstrate a lack of concern for the feelings of others around them. According to a statement made by Guarino to mbg, “[difficult individuals] feel it is OK to be irresponsible with other people’s limits and will frequently refuse responsibility for their acts and attempt to overwhelm others.” The ability to be completely honest with oneself and the openness to growth and development is essential in this situation.
Miller adds that there is a wide variety of non-hostile contexts in which individuals might be challenged. “For someone who requires continual reassurance, emotional dysregulation might be problematic,” he explains. “Many factors might contribute to an individual’s challenging behavior. That’s not to say they’re a jerk or anything.”
Because of this, it’s not always useful to get emotionally invested in or dogmatic about the outcomes of The Difficult Person Test. Rather, you should use the findings as a helpful guide that might shed light on aspects of your own behavior that you weren’t previously aware of or that could benefit from some tweaking.
It’s also useful to remember that, regardless of the outcome, a strategy built on adaptability and positive effort is the most powerful way to deal with problematic personality traits. But negative emotions like guilt and condemnation are counterproductive to developing oneself.
What should you do if you simply have a sneaking suspicion that you could be?
Guarino argues that despite the prevalence of dark triad characteristics in individuals who are notoriously difficult to get along with, these people typically don’t set out to be thus, or aren’t completely content with, their challenging nature. “Difficult individuals may not want to be this way but may not know how to extricate themselves out of their own cycles of difficult conduct,” she says.
Guarino advises seeing a therapist if you want to work on your problematic habits and acquire the skills necessary to do so. She notes that seeing a mental health professional may provide light on the origins and functions of problematic habits. “From there, your therapist will be able to help you adopt healthier coping skills and behaviors to employ in lieu of your challenging habits that are creating strain on yourself and your loved ones.” Plus, they may instruct you in the techniques of stress management that will lessen your tendency to respond emotionally.
Miller stresses the importance of having the drive to improve yourself first since no one else can accomplish it for you. Individuals who undertake the difficult task of altering their deeply embedded character qualities should be commended for their courage.
Miller advocates “faking it till you make it,” in addition to maybe getting help from a mental health professional, to decrease or lessen natural default tendencies. “Make an effort to express kindness or concern for others even if you don’t feel it,” he advises. Try being friendlier and less tough and see if it makes your life better, and express compassion even if you don’t feel empathy. Seeing signs of progress in one’s general well-being and relationships with others is a great way to boost one’s drive.
An Important Lesson To Be Learned
Do not be alarmed if, after completing the Difficult Person Test, you discover that you have a predisposition for some of these hostile tendencies. By taking the test, you’ve already shown an interest in learning more about yourself and making an effort to be more cooperative and kind to others around you.
In addition, with the right amount of training, awareness of one’s own mental health, and emotional acuity, some of these qualities may be directed in a selfless manner. The first step in achieving peace and stability in any form of relationship is to get familiar with one’s own character and habits.