Are we REALLY who we say we are?
So, as some of you may know, I had a birthday recently. April 25th. I am 23 years old.
"No one knows. No one ever know because you never tell anyone."
Can I get a whole paragraph in before you decide to interrupt?
"Well you started off this post by saying something stupid. And I just can't let that happen. Start over."
I had a birthday recently. I turned 23 on April 25th. Around this time every year I have an EPIPHANY of sorts. This sudden realization lets me know that I am a year older. Something always happens, and the way that I handle this "something" reminds me that I am older and wiser than the year before.
This year was different because no thing "triggered" this epiphany, it just came to me while having a conversation with a loved one.
I can not remember how the conversation progressed, but I remember getting on the topic of an individual's personality. First let me pose a question. If someone were to ask you to describe your personality what would you tell them? Many people would say things like "fun", "caring", "outgoing", "laid back", all those kinds of things.
There are many different methods to determine what "type" of personality a person has. There are astrological signs. I'm a Taurus, and there are a LOOOOOONG list of attributes, both negative and positive, that are associated with Taurus'. Then there is the concept of having a Type A or Type B personality. I have no clue which of these I am, but they exist nonetheless. In the Japanese culture, your blood type corresponds to personality traits. It is as common to ask blood type when getting to know someone in Japan, as it is to ask someone's birthday here. These are just a few examples.
Though all of these methods have been "accepted" and are valid in their own right, I came up with a different theory about personality and how people "fabricate" who they want to be.
To begin, I think that people choose who they want to be and the personality they would like to portray. A "nice" person is not nice because they can't help it, they are nice because they choose to be. This goes for most personality traits. There are not many traits that a person naturally has. The only traits given by nature are traits that are instinctual. Let's take the personality trait "courageous". This is a trait that is instinctual, you can not develop courage. There are people in this world who will instinctually pull an action hero move and save a baby from being hit by a bus. Being "shy" is another one of these types of traits. The bad thing is that there are not many of these instinctual traits.
On the other hand there are plenty of personality traits that people CHOOSE to exhibit. Take the most common character trait for a Taurus, "stubborn". I do not think that anyone can be born stubborn. They CHOOSE to not listen to anyone else's opinions. It's doubtful that a person can ignore someone purely off instinct. Another chosen trait is being "honest". Again, people are honest because it is the right thing to be, not because they are physically incapable of lying. (Laughing to myself. Thinking about Jim Carrey in "Liar Liar".)
What I am trying to do is to get you to think about your "personality" and assess the things that make you YOU. What are the traits that you have because you choose to have them, and what are the traits that you have that are purely instinctual?
"What kind of crap is that? You say that it is not possible to ignore someone off instinct, I ignore you all the time and don't even know that I am doing it."
That just comes from years of practice. I must say that you do a very good job of it too.
Well he is off in space somewhere.
So the next time someone asks you, "Why do you do that?" or "Why do you act like that?" Instead of responding, "I can't help it. That's just the way I am." You should respond, "That's how I CHOOSE to be."
You know it makes sense.