We’ve probably all heard from someone that “our personalities will never change” and “that’s just who I am,” at some point in our lives. But how true is it that we can and will never change? Is it just irresponsibility on our part as we easily dismiss things as part of “who we are?”
The belief that personality doesn’t change and it’s all down to nature is exemplified by the story of a pair of identical twin brothers.
They were separated after birth and raised apart. When they grew up and became adults, the two men married women with the same first names, shared similar hobbies, named their dogs the same and showed up to their reunion dressing almost identically.
This puts forth a very strong case that personalities are programmed in our genetics and are extremely powerful factors determining our personality traits.
However, there are also studies that show that external factors like upbringing and culture have an influence over our personality blueprints.
Just a personal example here, but I remember a little under two years ago where I took my first personality test and I was ‘diagnosed’ as an ESTJ type (“The Executive”). At that time it made a lot of sense to me, and I was quite fascinated at discovering more about myself.
Fast forward to a week ago, I took another test for fun and got the ISFP type (“The Adventurer”) instead! What fascinated me even more and inspired me to write this post is that I thought that this new ‘diagnosis’ was pretty accurate too. This seems especially true as I’ve been posting on Facebook recently that I’m craving for an adventure and desperately want to watch Jurassic World to get my adventure fix with some movie magic (which I did, and I enjoyed it so much although I wished for more dinosaurs… By the way, I love the film’s score! John Williams is amazing).
Okay, back to personalities before I get lost in a fantasy world.
I read a little bit about each personality type again and found that why both could possibly apply to me was because there were similarities in each traits. For example, both types are practical and down-to-earth, which are traits that I believe I have. And the differing results could have been due to changes in my outlook and beliefs in life as I grew older (and hopefully wiser).
A friend of mine likes to call himself an introverted-extrovert, while I am an extroverted-introvert. There is probably some truth to these funny-sounding terms because while our base personalities may be inclined towards one trait, we may act otherwise according to circumstances.
This also illustrates how complex personality is that there are many ways to interpret how we describe ourselves. For instance, I don’t necessarily see myself as a creative or artistic person as an ISFP, but if I look at it from a perspective of randomly throwing silly ideas around or even an interest in speaking as an art form then it may resonate more with me.
I don’t believe that our personalities will change, but I think it can with conscientious effort.
I’m not actively trying, but if you want to try changing your personality you should probably target your internal systems.
Change your beliefs. Slowly but surely, make efforts to see things in a different light and once you genuinely believe in a new way of thinking, you can also adopt a brand new attitude towards things. I’m not talking about hating the bitter taste of beer or coffee when we were young and indulging in it now, but if you view an action that you used to abhor with acceptance now then you’ve definitely changed. Your beliefs and attitudes towards things will shape your behaviour, which are projections of your personality. Change your beliefs and attitudes and your personality will have changed along with them.
As for me, I believe that my nature is probably still the same deep within me. The change in my personality type just reflects my current state of mind and how I feel about things in my current situation. If things were entirely in my control and I had absolute freedom to do whatever I desire, I’d probably revert to who I really am (of which even I’m not certain).
Well, that’s what makes humans so unpredictable and such a unique species. On a personal level, we should focus on areas that need improving to try and evolve into a more well-rounded person who is adaptable to a multitude of scenarios even with seemingly antagonistic personality types.
Written By Robin Loh
The Bulb Culture
“Motivating You one step at a time.”
Robin Loh is The Bulb Culture’s latest contributor and is best known for his weekly motivational post “Midweek Motivation” and other great content over at “Readers Digress“. Follow him on Twitter to let him know that you enjoyed this post @rlym1606
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