Can one change thier personality?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #2
    Overall, I don't think so. At least not on their own.

    I think people might be able to change aspects of their personality, but they can never completely change.

    I do think that people can be changed by powerful events in their life, esp. traumatic ones.
     
  3. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #3
    Maybe if someone locked you in a cage for a few years, you'll definitely change then! Probably not for the better though.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    In my opinion, your core personality forms as a kid, and while you will change over time, you're not likely to make any sudden dramatic changes.

    I guess if you put in the effort to change, but its hard to change who you have become naturally.
     
  5. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I did. In school I used to be socially awkward. I cared a great deal how other people felt and how they perceived me, particularly girls. I bent over backward for people even if they didn't deserve it.

    One day, after something else forced me to think about it, I decided I didn't want to be like that anymore. It took a lot of time, the better part of a year, but I forced myself to not care what other people thought of me. I reevaluated who were "good" people (people that I enjoyed being around as myself, not the designated "cool kids"). It took a lot of work, but I got it in the end.

    So I'd say yes, people can change, but they have to want it.
     
  6. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #6
    That guy who had that metal rod shot through his head changed his personality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage

    Your personality changes as you grow older too. But that example above is more of an instant change.

    See above post.
     
  7. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #7
    Only if sufficiently motivated.

    Human beings are a complacent species.
     
  8. AppleMark macrumors 6502a

    AppleMark

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    #8
    Our personality is what makes us who we are at the core, we can dress however we like, act however we like, but our personality will always show through. I believe you are likely to be the same person you were when you were 4 as you will be when you are 74.

    For example, when a person takes a religious vow, they do not change their personality they suppress it, if it is not in accordance with that faith, but it is always there.

    When a repeat offender gets out of jail and is on parole and wants to stay out of jail, has he changed his personality or is he suppressing it?
     
  9. AppleMark macrumors 6502a

    AppleMark

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    #9
    Does our personality really change as we age? Or do some of us just adopt a more mature approach to life itself based on our life experiences I wonder?

    I think that is different to personality and is more like a refining of social skills.
     
  10. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #10
    I gather that your personality is pretty much fixed from about six years of age - by that stage the brain is pretty much formed.

    Behaviour, or methods of dealing with issues can change or be changed at any stage, but intrinsic personality traits don't really change much after that age (e.g. a shy child will always be shy, but may develop behaviours to overcome this. The person is still shy, but has learned to deal with it)
     
  11. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneNYC

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    #11
    I believe it's easiest not to change. However, if you want to change and work at it it is possible. Reminds of on old joke: how many shrinks does it take to change a lightbulb??? One, but the lightbulb has to WANT to be changed.
     
  12. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #12
    If the conditions are right over a long time, then yea I think so. My personality changes with the wind. As a bunch of my friends have gotten older they've also become more boring too. But I guess it just depends on how static your surroundings are and how comfortable you are in your own personality.

    I'm not so... :eek:
     
  13. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #13
    Have you seen A Clockwork Orange?
     
  14. MegaMillions macrumors regular

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    #14
    It depends on how emotionally free the person is, and on how strongly they're identifying with their thoughts.

    When thoughts arise and the ego strongly identifies with them forming a strong sense of self (i.e. this is ME. I am this and this and this. This is who I am) then it's harder to change the personality, because the person doesn't feel like the personality is something they have, rather they feel that it's something they are.

    In the case of a lot of people however, they feel like the concept of ultimately "being" a certain person or personality, is ridiculous. How can you behave a certain way and say "this is me?" Who are you anyway? What is "Me?" People that are more free from the iron grip of ego/mind, could easily just change their personality because they live in the space of awareness from which the personality is basically just a costume.
     
  15. coolwater macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Yes, I do believe it is possible. However, the change has to come from inside. You really really really must want to change your personality and make necessary efforts.

    And, younger you are easier it is, of course.
     
  16. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    #16
    It is doable. And fairly easy, as your personality drastically changes from kid-teen-adult.

    Also environment is also a large influencer.
     
  17. wadejc85 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    He didn't change his personality, the rod did by damaging his brain.

    Also, I don't believe personality changes with age. Personality traits become more pronounced. I think anyone that has ever known anyone from adulthood to elderly (or who works in a retirement home/village) knows and believes this.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #18
    I agree with you, although I didn't really try to explain myself.
     
  19. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #19
    Let's make sure we're all talking about the same thing as people often have different definitions and therefore differing views.

    According to Webster:

    Main Entry: per·son·al·i·ty
    Pronunciation: \ˌpər-sə-ˈna-lə-tē, ˌpər-ˈsna-\
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural per·son·al·i·ties
    Etymology: Middle English personalite, from Anglo-French personalité, from Late Latin personalitat-, personalitas, from personalis
    Date: 15th century

    1 a: the quality or state of being a person b: personal existence

    2 a: the condition or fact of relating to a particular person ; specifically : the condition of referring directly to or being aimed disparagingly or hostilely at an individual b: an offensively personal remark <angrily resorted to personalities>

    3 a: the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual or a nation or group ; especially : the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional characteristics b: a set of distinctive traits and characteristics <the energetic personality of the city>

    4 a: distinction or excellence of personal and social traits ; also : a person having such quality b: a person of importance, prominence, renown, or notoriety <a TV personality>

    synonyms see disposition


    Definition 3 seems to be what we are discussing here. With that in mind I would definitely say that people's personalities (behavioral and emotional characteristics) can change. Duke, in regards to your original question of origin, well, it's the old nature vs. nurture argument. The answer is both/and, not either/or. For the technology people out there think of it this way, human beings are like dynamic IP addresses, not static IP addresses. We are constantly changing as we react to what is happening on the inside and what is going on around us.

    If this wasn't true, then I would be out of a job. :eek:
     
  20. Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

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    #20
    Personality as how others perceive you, yes. Personality as the inner person, no, at least not any major overhauls, consciously. Although time and again there are experiences where certain things happen or damage a person's brain and they change a lot - even having organ transplants has effected some people quite drastically.

    That being said, it's amazing how simply changing someone's environment and associates may alter the person.
     
  21. AppleMark macrumors 6502a

    AppleMark

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    #21
    No.

    Please elaborate.
     
  22. EV0LUTION macrumors 6502

    EV0LUTION

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    #22
    I was able to, I maintained a completely different personality for 3 years, the altered personality made me much more socially acceptable around my peers. However, I have reverted back to my old personality as I find it much more comfortable.

    I do revert to my altered personality from time to time.
     
  23. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #23
    what am i doing wrong?

    i moved across the country and became even more introverted!
     
  24. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #24
    You are what your basic values were... that was the title of a college seminar I saw back in the 1970s. The idea was this: who you are is formed when you are young... both personality and enviroment. By the time you are 21 you are who you will be when you are 80. I'm 56 now and I don't think I've changed. I still like the same things and the same kind of music altho my taste in women has aged along with me. That's a good thing guys. When I was in my 20s a woman in her 30s might as well have been 100 as far as I was concerned. Now she is young enough to be my daughter, ie, to young to touch.
     
  25. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #25
    I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not but I'll say it anyways. :)

    It's about a chap who's all bad and stuff and through a scheme at prison his behaviour is modified to be good. The South Park movie's V Chip is pretty much the same thing.
    IIRC it didn't work in either.
     

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