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Personality - What Is It?

Updated: Apr 23

Personality refers to the unique and relatively stable pattern of thoughts, feelings, behaviours and traits that make up an individual's distinctive psychological makeup. It encompasses various aspects of an individual's psychological and emotional functioning, shaping how they perceive and interact with the world around them. Here are five key characteristics of personality:

 

Consistency: Personality traits and behaviours tend to remain relatively consistent over time and across different situations. While people may adapt to specific circumstances, their core personality traits remain relatively stable.

Individuality: Personality is unique to each person. It reflects the combination of genetic, environmental, and cultural factors that shape an individual's psychological makeup.

This uniqueness is what sets one person apart from another.

Multifaceted: Personality is not a singular trait but rather a complex interplay of various traits and dimensions. Psychologists often use models like the Big Five Personality Traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) to describe and study these facets.

Influence on Behaviour: Personality has a significant influence on an individual's behaviour, choices, and reactions to different situations. For example, an extraverted person may seek out social interactions, while an introverted person may prefer solitary activities.

Development: While personality tends to be relatively stable, it can also develop and change over time, especially during significant life events or through deliberate efforts like therapy or self-improvement. Personal growth and maturation often involve shifts in personality traits.

 

Understanding personality is essential for various fields, including psychology, sociology and even business, as it can help predict behaviour, assess compatibility in relationships and inform decision-making processes. Researchers use various theories and assessments to delve deeper into the complexities of personality and gain insights into how it shapes individuals and their lives.

 

What are the different kinds of personalities we can have?

There are various approaches and theories that attempt to categorize and describe different types of personalities. One widely recognized model is the Big Five Personality Traits, which identifies five broad dimensions of personality:

 

Openness to Experience: This dimension reflects a person's openness, imagination, and willingness to try new things. People high in openness tend to be creative, curious, and open to unconventional ideas, while those low in openness may be more traditional and resistant to change.

Conscientiousness: Conscientiousness refers to the degree of organization, responsibility, and self-discipline a person possesses. High conscientious individuals are often reliable, organized, and goal-oriented, whereas low conscientiousness may result in a more spontaneous and less structured approach to life.

Extraversion: Extraversion represents the extent to which someone is outgoing, social, and assertive. Extraverts tend to seek social interactions and are energized by them, while introverts may prefer solitude or smaller, more intimate gatherings.

Agreeableness: Agreeableness measures an individual's level of compassion, cooperation and empathy. Highly agreeable people are typically kind, considerate, and accommodating, while those low in agreeableness may be more competitive or less concerned with others' needs.

Neuroticism (Emotional Stability): Neuroticism refers to the tendency to experience negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings. People high in neuroticism are more emotionally reactive and may have a lower tolerance for stress, whereas those low in neuroticism tend to be emotionally stable and resilient.

 

In addition to the Big Five, other personality theories and models exist, each with its own set of personality types or traits. Some of these include:

 

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): This model categorizes individuals into 16 personality types based on preferences for extraversion or introversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving.

 

The Inspector: Are practical, responsible, and organized individuals. They are detail-oriented, value tradition and rules, and are often dependable and diligent.

The Protector: Are nurturing, loyal, and kind-hearted. They are known for their strong sense of duty and commitment to taking care of others' needs.

The Counsellor: Are empathetic, insightful, and idealistic. They are deeply attuned to the emotions of others and often seek to make a positive impact on the world.

The Mastermind: Are analytical, strategic, and independent thinkers. They excel at long-term planning and are often highly intelligent and focused.

The Craftsman: Are adventurous, hands-on, and practical problem solvers. They thrive in challenging situations and enjoy taking risks.

The Composer: Are artistic, creative, and sensitive. They have a deep appreciation for aesthetics and enjoy expressing themselves through various forms of art.

The Healer: Are compassionate, imaginative, and introspective. They value authenticity and are driven by their ideals and values.

The Architect: Are curious, analytical, and inventive. They have a strong desire to understand the world and often excel in fields that require abstract thinking.

The Dynamo: Are action-oriented, adaptable, and charismatic. They thrive in high-energy environments and are often skilled in negotiation and persuasion.

The Performer: Are lively, outgoing, and fun-loving. They enjoy being the centre of attention and often excel in entertainment and social settings.

The Champion: Are enthusiastic, imaginative, and sociable. They are often passionate advocates for their beliefs and love exploring new possibilities.

The Visionary: Are quick-witted, inventive, and resourceful. They are natural problem solvers and enjoy debating and brainstorming.

The Supervisor: Are responsible, decisive, and practical leaders. They excel in roles that require organization and structure.

The Provider: Are social, caring and reliable. They are known for their strong sense of duty and commitment to their communities.

The Teacher: Are charismatic, empathetic and inspiring leaders. They have a natural ability to motivate and guide others toward common goals.

The Commander: Are assertive, strategic, and goal-oriented leaders. They are often seen as confident and effective in positions of authority.

 

Enneagram: The Enneagram is a system that classifies people into nine distinct personality types, each characterized by a unique set of motivations, fears and coping mechanisms.

 

The Perfectionist: Perfectionists are driven by a desire for integrity, order, and correctness. They fear making mistakes and often hold high standards for themselves and others.

The Helper: Helpers are motivated by the need to be loved and appreciated. They tend to be nurturing, generous, and self-sacrificing, but may struggle with boundary-setting.

The Achiever: Achievers seek success, admiration, and validation. They are ambitious, adaptable, and highly goal-oriented, often focusing on image and accomplishment.

The Individualist: Individualists are driven by a desire for uniqueness and authenticity. They tend to be creative, introspective, and emotionally expressive, but may also struggle with feelings of melancholy.

The Investigator: Investigators seek knowledge, competence and self-sufficiency. They are analytical, observant and often prefer solitude to conserve their mental energy.

The Loyalist: Loyalists have a strong need for security and predictability. They tend to be responsible, loyal, and anxious, often seeking guidance and support from others.

The Enthusiast: Enthusiasts are motivated by a desire for fun, adventure, and variety. They are optimistic, spontaneous and tend to avoid pain or discomfort.

The Challenger: Challengers value control, power and protection. They are assertive, strong-willed, and often seen as natural leaders but may struggle with issues related to control and anger.

The Peacemaker: Peacemakers seek harmony, comfort, and avoidance of conflict. They tend to be easy-going, agreeable, and may struggle with inertia and indecision.

 

DISC Model: The DISC model categorizes individuals into four primary personality styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness, which are used to understand behaviour in various contexts, such as the workplace.


Dominance (D):

Dominant individuals are often characterized by assertiveness and a desire for control.

They are confident, competitive and goal oriented.

They tend to be direct and results-driven, often taking charge of situations.

Influence (I):

Influential individuals are sociable and outgoing.

They are enthusiastic, persuasive, and enjoy building relationships.

They often thrive in social settings and are skilled at motivating and inspiring others.

Steadiness (S):

Steady individuals value stability and cooperation.

They are patient, reliable, and empathetic.

They prefer harmonious environments and work well in supportive roles.

Conscientiousness (C):

Conscientious individuals are detail-oriented and analytical.

They prioritize accuracy, organization, and following established procedures.

They excel in tasks that require precision and planning.


It's important to note that no single personality model or theory can fully capture the complexity of human personality. People are unique and can exhibit a blend of traits from different models. Moreover, personality can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, upbringing, culture, and life experiences. These models are valuable tools for understanding and studying personality but should be used as a framework rather than a strict categorization of individuals.


If you want to hear more about how I can help you if you think your personality are on the wrong side of things, then please book your consultation call with me: https://calendly.com/peterjulius/25min



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