Change your personality

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Abstract, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #1
    Do you think there is a way to change your personality? I'm referring to significant, long term change. I mean, once the major parts of your personality are set, are they essentially set for good? I don't think it's possible, but I think people try all the time. I think that people who are essentially good people are always good. Maybe they're robbing stores or something, people with a kind heart will always have a soft heart. People who are dishonest deep down will always be like that. Ok, there are some exceptions, but generally, your fundamental personality was likely set by the time you reached high school.

    Is there anything you want to change about yourself that you'd consider to be a major change? I have a few things.
     
  2. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

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    #2
    I believe personalities can be changed by traumatic experiences or life changing events. Sure, it's possible. I just dont know if it's voluntary...

    I'd like to hear the views of others on this as well...
     
  3. w00tmaster macrumors regular

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    #3
    I think it is possible

    but very difficult. The main thing is not to keep at it. If you try to change your personality, the "old" you will invariably pop up from time to time. However, that shouldn't discourage you. Just put it behind you and keep trying to change.
     
  4. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #4
    I somewhat agree with that statement. However, simply maturing beyond those years will change your personality a bit as well. I also think you can 'try' to change traits about yourself if you recognize that you want to improve as a human being.
     
  5. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #5
    I did with God's help. I was a self centered self destructive person on the verge of extinction until I had a moment of clarity: when I became willing to change rather than die. It is work but it pays off... I am different today but like I said in my case it required Supernatural powers!:)
     
  6. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    #6
    I think to a large extent our personalitles are determined before we're even born. Then our early years with our parents cement, upset, or don't affect them. By adulthood they are set. Circumstances, I believe, do not change our personality; our personality determines how we react to circumstances. A 'good' poor person will end up in the Poor House. A 'bad' poor person will end up in gaol. (That's jail for the colonials.)
     
  7. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #7
    I agree. I think it's possible but needs something big to trigger it. Tragedy, drugs, sucess, I think they're the most obvious ones.

    Like drugs, my brother used to be a good kid. Never lied, always generous. But he got into the drugs scene and started stealing. Had no good bone in his body. He's got much better but he's still as dishonest as ever. I hope he'll change one day back to the brother I grew up with.
     
  8. eluk macrumors 6502a

    eluk

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    #8
    I don't think that it can be really changed. Although you can modify it somewhat if you're aware of the weaknesses within yourself.
     
  9. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    #9
    To stand eluk's comment on its head: regarding the drug thing, people can assume different (i.e., worse) personalities but are probably aware of their weakness. In other words, their innate personalitles haven't changed; more like their lifestyle has changed.
     
  10. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #10
    Not quite true in my experience. I'm not the kind of person at all that I was before. Everything had to change, and there is still just enough of the old me around in the shadows to remind me that I don't want to go there ever again.:eek: My personality reflects my life, not the other way around.
     
  11. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #11
    I think it's really, really difficult for someone to change their personality. It took you what, 15-20 years to cement your personality? (in many cases even more) You can't expect to change it in a noticeable amount of time
     
  12. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #12
    Well, it's great to see you're back on the right track :) I guess that little bit of the "old you" in necessary to make sure you don't fall go in that direction again, right?
     
  13. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    #13
    Good topic. I'm interested, what things would you like to change? I have a few things as well. :eek: Nothing serious or anything, but minor things that get me down/annoy me sometimes.

    Yes, I'd say by high school age the basis of personality is set. Changing after this would require a big change in circumstances, a traumatic experience, drug influence (not always good, believe me) etc.

    An old teacher of mine used to rattle on about travel being the best form of education. It's an answer to those little nagging questions you can’t quite put your finger on, be it relationships, personalities, or career; If you spend a month or two on the road somewhere, you find out what makes up your core. You get out of your comfort zone and then it's a brutally honest mirror. You may not like what you see but you learn from it.

    I didn't really catch on to it at the time but looking back, I really understand what she meant. Something to think about:) ... I know I am.

    If only I could act on it more! :rolleyes: :p
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    As a matter of interest, did you carry any friends over from one life to the other?
     
  15. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #15
    Depends what you mean by personality. Personality is really a composite of long term character traits, current mental state, and the surroundings (which will determine one's attitude). The core of one's personality, the character traits are the hardest to change (or cover up, depending on how you want to look at it).

    For example, a really outgoing person might be able to maintain a reserved attitude towards others during say a serious business meal with foreign investors who would view his/her normal "outgoing" persona as rude or unprofessional. That said, introduce a stimulus and sometimes that can easily invoke the core character trait of "outgoingness".

    I think the core characteristics of extroversion are probably the hardest to change...shy people can make the attempt to become more outgoing, but throw them in an uncomfortable situation and they are likely to revert to shyness.

    I think one's awareness of his/her weaknesses can change their attitude and slowly their traits, but there are limits...it's a tough balancing act since a lot of traits clash with others, one patient's negative view of conformity and preference for routine is another patient's positive view of conscientiousness.
     
  16. TequilaBoobs macrumors 6502a

    TequilaBoobs

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    #16
    Not too long ago the literature on personality (defined by psychologists) believed personality traits were 'enduring' and didn't change much over the course of a lifetime. hoever, the literature is changing now, and the dust hasn't settled. But I think generally speaking, you won't see drastic changes in most people.
     
  17. Quboid macrumors 6502

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    #17
    You don't just change you peersonality. It takes years to shape, and it stays that way until something drastic happens:
    death,breakups, etc.
     
  18. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #18
    Firstly, I wish I put more effort into things. I say this, because the only post I read in this thread was the original, so forgive me if I repeat something that has already been said. :eek:

    With that out of the way, I do think it is possible to change who you are, to a degree, as long as you are truly willing. I know for a fact that it won't work unless you are doing it for yourself, not because others want you to.

    My reason for believing this is because I used to be the most impatient, negative, pessimistic person you'd ever not want to meet. Always grumpy and dissatisfied. Very poor outlook on life. Then, for two horrible years, I dated a girl that put me at #2 in the list of the top most impatient, negative, pessimistic people you'd never want to meet (or date, trust me). After I while, her attitude really began to bug me. I decided then that I never wanted anyone to think of me the way people thought of her, and it wasn't long at all before I was getting comments from friends and family that my attitude has dramatically changed for the better.

    I believe a lot of people change temporarily and end up going back to their old ways, but I think if they truly wanted to change, they could.
     
  19. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #19
    I have been trying to change but am finding it very difficult indeed. My whole life i have been bullied and opressed and this is shown. I then tried to be happier but then people did really bad things to me so i have now gone back to being boring and enclosed.
     
  20. TequilaBoobs macrumors 6502a

    TequilaBoobs

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    #20
    try to think about it neurologically. emotions and personality traits are located in certain neural pathways that have been established over time. when these pathways are activated then the associated emotions and personality characteristics are also activated - thus making it difficult to act differently then how your brain/nervous system is wired.
     
  21. TequilaBoobs macrumors 6502a

    TequilaBoobs

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    #21
    there are a bunch of therapists (try a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy therapist) who can help you brush up on your interpersonal skills, whether it involves how to handle confrontations or just be more assertive. these skills can have a profound effect on your quality of life. if youre interested, call around and make sure your therapist specializes in these areas.
     
  22. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040

    gadgetgirl85

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    #22
    Couldn't have said it better :D
     
  23. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #23
    Yeah thanks. I have been offered lots of different types of therapy but i have rejected all of them. I would rather get through it with the help of my friends. I would rather not see a shrink because of the enclosed bit, i cannot open up to many people only close friends and people that i have feelings for.
     
  24. TequilaBoobs macrumors 6502a

    TequilaBoobs

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    #24
    fair enough. just another thought - most therapists are supposed to develop a rapport with their client to create a sense of trust. that trust is backed by the confidentiality laws.

    friends and therapists are similar in a lot of ways. they both listen. but a therapist doesn't tell you about his/her life like a friend does. a therapist is there just for you. and friends aren't necessarily equipped to handle life difficulties like a therapist 'should' be trained to do.

    wish u well, dave
     
  25. cait-sith macrumors regular

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    #25
    A lot of people would agree with you on that one -- there is also a lot of stigma attached to seeing a mental health professional.

    But.. they can help you the best. They have the tools and knowledge. Perhaps one of the challenges for you to change will be summing up the courage to go see one. I know it was for me, when I began to deal with problems with anxiety. (But I am so glad I found that courage..)

    With regards to the whole thread .. change is possible for most but it takes a lot of concious effort and a certain kind of innate personality to even begin changing. (This question is kind of like asking, "Can any poor person become rich through hard work?" Can they? I don't know. Depends on the person, right?)
     

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