ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Psychology & Psychiatry

Know Yourself: Can You Change Your Stripes?

Updated on January 31, 2018
parrster profile image

Among his varied other writing interests, Richard Parr aspires to creating interesting and inspiring stories about life.

Source

What makes you, you, and can you change?

Whether you like it or not, you have a personality. One that predisposes you to a certain way or method of doing things. A modus operandi of likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, cares and concerns.

Does that mean you've been pigeon holed? That you can't change?

Well, yes and no.

Experts agree that by the end of childhood, and normally long before, our personality is formed—a product of genetic inheritance and earliest influences. From that point on it will be a key determiner of those life experiences we struggle with, and those we don't.

Severe trauma seems to be the exception to this fixed-persona theory. Extreme stress, pain or difficulty frequently changes people at a core level; though not necessarily in ways they'd desire or anticipate. For example, trauma can change a predisposition of extroversion to one of extreme introversion.

However, experts also agree that personality is not character.

Personality

Personality involuntarily reacts internally to stimuli.

Personality determines how we initially get affected by any given situation or experience. It sets the response that is first felt, or first comes to mind.

For example, certain personality types respond to argument with immediate unease and want to back away. Others with affront and a desire to debate.

Character

Character voluntarily reasons through to a response.

Character, is the reasoning we adopt that decides the course of action we will take through any given situation or experience. Using the previous example, those unsettled by argument, could reason in line with their predisposition and decide to sacrifice truth on the alter of peace. Or, they could reason against their predisposition and decide to sacrifice peace instead.

Character, then, helps us determine whether our personality-prone reaction is appropriate, needs amending or is improper. For example, someone's initial –predisposed– response to danger may be to flee, however it is their character which determines whether they will warn others of the danger first.

Depths of Character

So it is our personality that predisposes us to certain strengths and weaknesses, but it is our character that will determine the level we choose to operate at.

Personality is like a pool of water. It presents at its surface a simple thoughtless reflection of what it perceives. Sometimes what it mirrors is accurate, often it is not, but it determines our initial internal response.

Young children operate at this level almost exclusively.

But there are depths to that pool, and we have opportunity as we age to plumb those depths of our nature.

Mastering Ourselves

With time and introspection we can come to recognise when our predispositions are presenting deceiving reflections, and we can learn to master them.

Full enlightenment normally takes a lifetime experience alongside a discerning mindset. But in the absence of such, it is character that will keep us from falling prey to the weaknesses of our temperaments, while making the most of its strengths.

But what is required to operate at such a depth of Character?

We'll address that question is Part 2

Our personalities can sometimes distort reality
Our personalities can sometimes distort reality

Take The Personality Test

The personality test below is taken from Des Hunts fun and easy to read personality profiling book titled, What makes people Tick.

He divides people's personalities into a unique combination of bird types; Eagle, Peacock, Owl & Dove.

Although we are a mixture of many personality traits, Hunt teaches that we have a primary and secondary type that predominates.

The test below will determine you primary personality 'bird' type. For a complete profile I highly recommend his website resources.

Your Primary Personality Type

view quiz statistics

References

On the Contextual Independence of Personality Christopher S. Nave, University of California, Riverside, Department of Psychology

Personality vs. Character Alex Lickerman, M.D. Former Director of Primary Care University of Chicago

What makes people Tick Des Hunt, International speaker, trainer, and consultant

© 2014 Richard Parr

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • parrster profile image
      Author

      Richard Parr 4 years ago from Australia

      @Frank ~ Thanks for the votes. As a writer, I think understanding this subject helps instil realism into characters. From what I've read of your stories, you have a great depth of insight into people.

      @Audrey ~ Glad you found it interesting and appreciate you sharing.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Fascinating stuff! Passing this on!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      actually I found this hub useful as well as informative.. voted up and shared

    • parrster profile image
      Author

      Richard Parr 4 years ago from Australia

      @MsDora ~ Thanks for the votes. I have always been a bit fascinated by personality, and how it influences us so dramatically in life.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Will come back for the personality test, but voting the article up and useful. Very good explanations on personality and character. Thank you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)