Wellness·3 min read

What is the ‘Difficult Person Test’ And Should I Take It?

woman staring at phone screen
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
March 18, 2022

Whether you’re trying to figure out which career path to choose or what your love language is, there's one thing that you can bet on: there’s probably a personality test for that. ( Even if the science on some of them is shaky.)We love personality tests because they might help us get to know us. Even if they seem to expose the more ~unsavory~ sides of our personalities. Enter: the Difficult Person Test. 

What is the Difficult Person Test?

The Difficult Person Test is an online questionnaire that claims it can tell you whether you have some (or all) of the standard characteristics that make a person, well, difficult to get along with. The test asks you to rate how much you agree or disagree with 35 statements about your behavior and thought processes. Some examples: “I don’t really care if I offend others” and “I sometimes get into dangerous situations.”

The test is from Individual Differences Research Labs. Which says that all its personality tests are based on peer-reviewed scientific research. According to IDRlabs, this particular test is based on research from Dr. Chelsea Sleep, a clinical psychologist at the Substance Use and Dependence Clinic at Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Who told Harvard Business Review that she wasn’t involved in creating the test. Sleep’s research looked to break down “antagonism” by measuring seven personality traits: callousness, grandiosity, domineeringness, manipulativeness, suspiciousness, aggressiveness, and risk-taking.

Once you’ve finished the IDRlabs test, these personality traits show up in a color-coded graph that shows how you ranked on each trait (along with an explanation). And it’ll give you a percentage for how difficult (or easy) it is to get along with you, too — or so it says. 

Should I take the Difficult Person Test? 

It depends on what you’re looking to achieve. Personality tests can be fun and help you better understand yourself or those around you.

“At some level, knowing where you fall on that scale might show you some vulnerabilities,” Dr. Ramani Durvasula, clinical psychologist, told Well+Good in February. "These are not behaviors that result in what we consider to be the core of a healthy relationship: respect, kindness, compassion, reciprocity, [and] mutuality."

The test is short and free. But fair warning: Take your results with a grain of salt. IDRlabs says it “cannot provide accurate assessments of your personality traits,” and that the test is “for educational purposes only.” 


Like many other personality tests, the Difficult Person Test claims to help you better understand yourself, your place in the world and how you can potentially improve. And while it might be helpful in some ways, it’s not meant to be the final word on your personality and how you tackle situations and relationships. So approach it with a healthy dose of skepticism. 

Subscribe to Skimm Well

Sign up here to receive our wellness newsletter filled with actionable advice, expert-vetted content, product recs, and more — delivered directly to your inbox.