The ‘Difficult Person Test’ – something we needed but were afraid to ask for!

I was laughing when I first read the title of the article “The ‘Difficult Person Test’ Measures 7 Key Traits—Here’s What To Know” (written by Natalie Arroyo Camacho), but very soon realized how useful it could be!

Here’s the link for the Difficult Person Test (which you can take here).

Disclaimer: “This test provides information on difficult personalities for educational purposes only. The information is provided “as-is” and should not be construed to constitute professional services or warranties of any kind. For more, please consult our terms of service.

I’m sure we all know difficult people and attribute their behavior to issues we experience with them.

On the flip side, we rarely see ourselves as the difficult parties, but it can be helpful to know where we sit on the scale!

The seven traits highlighted in the difficult person test may make someone, well, difficult because the traits come in direct opposition to what makes a relationship healthy, says licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD. “On the simplest level, all of them are traits that are likely to put a person at odds with other people,” she says.

Ramani Durvasula, PhD.
written by Natalie Arroyo Camacho

No, I don’t recommend taking the test in order to have “evidence” that we are blameless and the other person is entirely at fault! It’s easy to skew such a test in order to provide ammunition for our own arguments. “See, I told you they’re just awful! This test proves it!”

We’re rarely able to determine where our own actions or thoughts sit on a graded scale, because subconsciously we tend to minimize the effect and the appearance of what we do, while over-attributing negatives to the other person, hence I’m sure one of the reasons why the above disclaimer was put onto the test site.

If we choose to use this test to get a better gauge on the negative aspects underpinning and undermining a relationship, maybe each person could try to honestly score the other person.

I say honestly because when the emotions are running high it’s easy to attribute far more negativity to the other person. Our anger can come out as vindictiveness.

When working with a therapist, the results can provide valuable insight into how each person sees the other person, creating opportunities for further dialogue.

Since its difficult to be truly objective when taking such a test, it isn’t so much about the results, as it is the feelings each person has towards the other.

This can be a very useful tool to use for relationship therapy or for our own introspective journey.

We just need to be aware that our mood when we take the test could affect the results: feelings of super-positivity could diminish the perception of a negative situation, while depressive or angry moods could greatly exaggerate it.

So just what ARE the 7 traits?

Most of the world’s cultures have expressions that describe people who are difficult to get along with. Chelsea Sleep and her colleagues at the University of Georgia now believe they can scientifically quantify the seven elements that constitute a difficult person.

Are you difficult to get along with?


“The IDRlabs Difficult Person Test was informed by Dr. Sleep’s paper as published in Sleep, C. E., Crowe, M. L., Carter, N. T., Lynam, D. R., & Miller, J. D. (2020, October 15). Uncovering the structure of antagonism. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Advance online publication and Krauss, S. 7 Basic personality ingredients of difficult people. Psychology Today.”

What are the 7 key traits of a difficult person?

  1. Callousness
  2. Grandiosity
  3. Aggressiveness
  4. Suspicion
  5. Manipulativeness
  6. Dominance
  7. Risk-taking

Dr. Durvasula caveats that no matter your test results, you should neither feel sad or proud, because it reflects but a small part of you either way. Plus, no one is going to score zero on the test, because no one’s perfect. And with the help of some introspection, your results can highlight to you where in your life you might have room for improvement.

“At some level, knowing where you fall on that scale might actually show you some vulnerabilities,” says Dr. Durvasula. “For example, you know that there might be hotheadedness, stubbornness, or rigidity… If you learn about that and actually are willing to be vulnerable and self-reflective, you can be more careful [of that].”

The ‘Difficult Person Test’ Measures 7 Key Traits—Here’s What To Know” (written by Natalie Arroyo Camacho)

Remember, we often behave differently with different people. Those who we get along easily with vs. those who we don’t will pull different reactions from us.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we can become more self-aware, not to beat ourselves up over any faults, but simply to become aware of blind spots we may have to ourselves.

No one is perfect! Growth and change are great, and when we suspend judgment of ourselves, we can allow this to happen instead of berating ourselves.

The possibilities for change are endless, and we never “graduate” or “arrive” at a supreme or superior level! We just become better at being ourselves when we stop trying to be better than others around us!

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7 thoughts on “The ‘Difficult Person Test’ – something we needed but were afraid to ask for!

    1. Lol! That’s great! I know I can be a wee bit difficult but I hide it! My stubbornness is apparent to me because I’m aware of my thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have found Dr. Ramani’s work very impactful and helpful in undersatnding and learning of persaonlity traits – just so we are aware and accpet how certain personalities and relations would remain exactly as they are, and not have any false hopes. I agree that none of us are perfect and it is important to be vigilant and vulnerable about our own traits that are easy to point out in others. She is very kind, compassionate yet provides absolutel clarity in navigating these aspects of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! I love this outlook and the test which was created as it looks at things from a different perspective! I love seeing the flip sides of different things!

      Liked by 1 person

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