Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Questions On Personal Characteristics - P.1

Can someone suddenly decide unconsciously to give up certain characteristics within his personality? There was a colleague of mine during university days. He was very friendly with everyone, always a smile on his face, and known for his good heart. Sitting with him for hours on many occasions surprised me how an emotional person he is – he used to tell me his secrets too, about his first and only love in his life to a fellow student in college who dumped him later for another guy. More than a year went by before I met him again and I was shocked: He was not the same person; I was talking to a cold-hearted man, so dried out of anything related to humanity. He did not want to listen to anything but to himself, and his “achievements”! Do I have to acknowledge that I have been deceived by that person for years till that moment after long absence which gave me the opportunity to see his real face?

How can someone who is for years famous for having certain characteristic suddenly change similar to the way I witnessed with that colleague? Personal characteristics are either inherited or acquired since childhood! I am not talking about meeting someone, get together very well and become close friends, and after sometime gradually discover certain qualities that might effect (and later ruin) that friendship. It is about real characteristics and personalities of people you used to know for years and for some reason… that’s it: for some reason they change!

The most important question related to this is: will that person be back to his old-self? Can I say that the change he has been going through is merely hype?

Do certain personal characteristics change over time? Does age has something to do with it? Maybe it is something to do with the amount of energy one has, or a person’s energy has nothing to do with it? I mean inner energy of a person to be able to do something in particular for years of being able to show certain quality for years. For example, a good listener is someone who many friends (relatives too) like to sit with, talk, trust and seek for answers. Can that good listener suddenly change his habit and becomes something else? Something else not necessarily negative, but he might have the feeling that he has no energy anymore to listen to other like he used to. Or there are other elements in life that made some kind of restrictions within that person inner self? It might be life itself when a person getting older he or she becomes more occupied with many tasks and responsibilities where time becomes more valuable. But would that also be considered a change in someone’s personal characteristics or qualities?

I thought if the above can be applied on a relationship between a man and a woman! No, I don't see it relevant at all! Maybe because of the nature of intimacy that make such an analysis of personal characteristics approached differently.

8 comments:

Gale said...

Not sure if this is what you mean, but I have a friend who told me once that if you consiously try and change your personality, that normally you can only maintain it for approximately 3 months, before you start to revert back to your 'true self'.

It is also another reason why you can be traced if you are trying to hide yourself (the discussion came up in refernce to nazi's hiding from prosicution)..that there are so many tiny things we take for granted about ourselves that we fall back on them, thus giving ourselves away..

Things like, mix's type of music, food, even gardening preferences. The books you enjoy, the type of car you may prefer, your insistance on one type of peanut butter, colour of furnishings, type of art, of walking only of an evening, of disliking Monet, of enjoying football... all little tiny things that make up Mix, you will revert to over time...So I guess these are more habits than personality...

I know drug or alcohol dependence can produce personality change, different forms of mental health issues...trauma...grief..medications,

Will they revert back, 1st question is do they want to.Do they acknowledge the change you, see as negative? Again, its possible with psychiatry, phycho analysis, counselling..

Good question Mix, you have me pondering...

MixMax said...

Hi Gale, thanks for taking the time and I am very happy to have you discussing this important issue. What you are referring to is more hibits a person change due to any circumstances, but what I was refering to is real characteristics / qualities a person gets from childhood and suddenly on a certain point in time (and sometimes in certain age, for some other) they change.

It is really a very broad issue, dear Gale, and very sensetive, sometimes dangerous becuase it dive deep into the psych of human being.

Gale said...

I think the last two paragraphs answer that..trauma (and also post traumatic stess syndrome) produce personality change....eg, rape, torture, death of parents or significant person, war, sexual abuse, domestic violence...

Personality change can be organic, and is the first used to rule out others ie, a blow to the head, accidents that produce head trauma

prolonged drug or alcohol use, (different changes depending on drug consumed)...I dont mean changes while taking the drug) I mean brain damage caused...often minor but enough to produce change and often not recognised in the individual.

different mental health issues will produce change, depression, schizophenia, drug induced psychosis. These are just a few..

Different prescribed medications can also affect personality.

Will they revert?..see previous comment...:)

Sorry to waffle on,(now i'm talking to much) but inadvertantly you have touched on what i do for a living...smile

MixMax said...

You do smile for living???

Gale said...

No,my smiling is a 'life choice'...

MixMax said...

exactly my point: this is something within inner self... it is part of you which is considered strange if suddenly transformed into something else ;)

MixMax said...

In your second comment you touched upon another aspect regarding personality and how it would be effected due to harsh circumstances! This would lead me to the conclusion that someone's personality from childhood will remain the same untoched unless one of the examples you mentioned hammer on that person's head and let him see life differently: darker, and sometimes with hatred or at least envy!

That former colleague of mine must be exposed to a similar harsh situation, in this case, which made him transform into another person!

Gale said...

I wouldnt say untouched from childhood to adulthood, as many factors play a part, environment , socialisation factors etc.

Phyhscial head trauma is only 1 of many things. So it may not be the case with your friend. So many reasons are possible...

So much can be psychological, or emotional & what devastates one human may not effect another, its very complex