It’s common to think of one’s personality as something fixed, something that defines them from childhood on. New psychological studies, however, show that our personalities are more malleable than once believed. Actually, as we go through life, our personalities evolve. Life events, environmental shifts, and even our own deliberate efforts can all play a role in bringing about this transformation. Let’s go deeper into the subject of character development.
The ‘Big Five’ model is commonly used to define these aspects that make up a person’s personality: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These characteristics, contrary to common assumption, are not immutable identifiers but rather are subject to change throughout time due to their plasticity. However, it’s possible that various people and characteristics will experience change at vastly different rates.
Impact of Age and Life History
Life experiences are one of the most influential variables in shaping one’s character. Significant changes in our personalities can occur after experiencing major life events like marriage, parenthood, a work shift, or tragedy. A parent may become more cautious and less willing to try new things after having children.
Personality shifts are also linked to the ageing process. Numerous studies show that as we get older, we grow less neurotic and more amiable and conscientious. This phenomenon, also known as the “maturity principle,” proposes that as people progress through various stages of life, they inevitably change for the better and become more likeable to others.
Personality is not the only thing that may be influenced by our surroundings. Moving to a new city or nation, with its attendant social conventions and expectations, might prompt noticeable changes in one’s personality.
The workplace is another setting where people’s personalities can undergo dramatic shifts. A person may, for instance, develop greater extroversion and assertiveness in a role that calls for regular interaction with others and the exercise of leadership.
Changing One’s Character On Purpose
Personality can also be altered by one’s own efforts, independent of these environmental factors. There is accumulating evidence to support the idea that one’s personality can be altered by deliberate effort. This can be accomplished through a variety of approaches, including counselling, coaching, and self-help programmes targeted at developing positive character traits. It’s important to remember, though, that making significant improvements takes time and dedication. Click here for more information on how personality change.
Consequences of Character Alteration
The ramifications of realising that one’s personality is not a static but rather a malleable construct are enormous. The idea that people’s personalities can develop and evolve over time rather than being fixed at birth is uplifting.
Furthermore, this information can guide therapeutic psychology interventions. Therapeutic treatments can be tailored not only to alleviate symptoms but also to address the underlying personality features at the root of mental health problems, thereby promoting sustainable recovery.
Learning about the processes that cause personality shifts can also help direct your own efforts at growth. People can use the power of personality change to improve their well-being and contentment with life by, for example, becoming more assertive, more open to experiences, or less neurotic.
Finally, the concept of a fixed identity is becoming quaint. Personality can shift as a result of age, exposure to new situations, biological changes, and even conscious efforts. This new perspective on human nature emphasises the opportunities for development and change at any age. By understanding that one’s personality changes with time, people may better deal with life’s setbacks and take advantage of opportunities for growth.