The Psychometric Profile of a Thanksgiving Dinner

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, November 21, 2022
The Psychometric Profile of a Thanksgiving Dinner

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Don't talk about politics around the Thanksgiving dinner table. Also, avoid bringing up the fact that Uncle Frank refused to wear a face mask, claiming it was a hoax, yet nearly died of COVID-19 earlier in the summer. Try to ignore the fact that your 15-year old cousin, Ricky, knows absolutely everything there is to know about baseball statistics and never seems to shut up about it.

But, no matter what, don't point out how terrible Aunt Gladys's dessert is.

Thanksgiving gatherings are supposed to be a time of connection and bonding with family and friends, but it can also be a notorious time of stress and social conflict.

We've all heard the stories about crazy relatives who say inflammatory or uncomfortable things around the Thanksgiving table. And we've all heard the admonition not to talk about politics during family get-togethers.

Why is this? When we meet with our loved ones, why should it be a time of stress and social anxiety, a time when we go out of our way to avoid certain conversation topics?

Everyone is Different

Each of us is unique. Even twins that grow up together and start life biologically identical have differences in their experiences and perspectives that lead to differences in their personalities.

Psychometrically, we are unique, but we have a lot in common.

The odds of two people having the exact same psychometric profile is nearly impossible, but even if it happened, those individuals would have different experiences that would give them unique perspectives on life — even if they have the same psychometric hardwiring underneath.

These differences and our tendency to over-focus on those differences are where a lot of the stress of holiday gatherings originate. We can have 97 things in common with Uncle Frank, but if we dwell on the three things that are different, we'll be itching for the exit door once we choked down dessert (we still haven't identified what it is, exactly).

We can take the classic advice to focus on the positive. Find the common ground that unites us. This is a good idea and works in just about any and every situation, whether you're talking about daily life with a cousin you hardly see, addressing the tender topic of politics with a parent or sibling, or negotiating a nuclear peace deal with a rival superpower on the global stage.

Here's a crazy idea to consider: What if we recognize each other's differences and actually celebrate them?

According to the Core Values Index psychometric assessment, we are all uniquely hardwired. The kind of activities that make us happy are pre-determined in a certain way based on our innate nature. Our CVI psychometric profile helps us clarify and understand our emotional make-up.

Understanding why you see the world the way you do will help you understand why Uncle Frank sees the world the way he does. Learning about your own emotional profile brings clarity and acceptance about cousin Ricky's desire to memorize and recite a seemingly endless string of boring statistics. That is what makes him happy, and it will no doubt lead him to a fulfilling career where his ability to meticulously gather and share knowledge is valued and appreciated.

See also:

Although we have the ability to choose our behavior (for the most part), our starting psychology and fundamental emotional response to life is in large part governed by our psychometric profile. Our natural and instinctive reactions to situations reflect our true selves, that part of us that is innate and unchanging.

The Core Values Index psychometric assessment determines and defines what makes us happy. It reveals our true selves. My primary core value energy is Innovator, which means I enjoy solving problems more than any other activity. I can't change that about myself, nor would I want to. If I hang out with Uncle Frank, who's primary core value energy is Builder, I should recognize and honor the fact that getting things done from a position of powerful energy is what brings him the greatest joy.

I can't expect Uncle Frank to think like me, because he isn't me, and I'm not him.

What I gain by understanding the differences between myself and others is an appreciation for their perspective. They can see things in a way that I cannot, and I can learn from that. Uncle Frank can teach me a thing or two about how to stop tweaking a solution, seeking perfection that will never come, and instead call it 'good enough', mark it done, and move onto the next problem. I would get a lot more done that way.

Aunt Gladys has a heart as big as the world and loves everyone equally. She's utterly clueless in the kitchen, but she doesn't stress about it. She doesn't care if the cake or pudding or whatever that dessert is called is perfect. All she cares about is bonding the family together in a shared, emotional experience. I can learn a lot from her when I see and respect and value her core value energy of Merchant.

In many ways, I admire Ricky's love of knowledge and facts (his primary core value energy is Banker). I wish my memory was like his. Although his brain is like an encyclopedia, he has an aversion to taking decisive action. He'd rather share his knowledge and let other people make the big decisions. Perhaps he can work for someone like Uncle Frank — who coincidentally loves baseball — that can embrace Ricky's wealth of data and information and make things happen with that knowledge.

As I look around this conceptual dinner table and recognize the unique perspectives of everyone present, I have the realization that even in a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, there are no two pieces alike, yet they are all equally valuable when creating the finished picture.

Just don't bring up politics at the Thanksgiving dinner table. That's still a bad idea.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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