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Enhance your personality

Personality means the characteristics and qualities of a person seen as a whole. It appears to be a simple definition of personality and the word is very much in vogue today. We often hear of an artistic personality, a likeable personality or a strong personality. Then there are personality traits. Most of us try to wear clothes to express our personality. Sometimes you come across women who are very beautiful but lacking in personality. You can build a personality cult when you develop an excessive admiration towards a famous person, especially a political leader.

Psychologists have been debating for years whether we inherit personality or we simply develop it through education. They have adopted both biological and evolutionary approaches to solve this problem. Researchers say that we inherit at least certain combinations of genes largely as a result of genetic contribution from our ancestors.

In a major research conducted by Auke Tellegen and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota, they found that the personality traits of twins were genetically identical although they were raised apart from each other. This raises an important issue whether a person could assume mastery and leadership roles in social situations and also follow the directions of an authority. The former known as "Social potency" is something you can acquire through education.

However, the latter known as "Traditionalism" has strong genetic components.

Theory apart, it is obvious that your personality develops during your childhood. Even infants have a particular temperament and a basic innate disposition. As a result, all babies do not behave in a particular way. Similarly, we see different types of people in our midst. Some people are very active and never seem to get tired of working. They are decent people who hardly lose their temper on trivia. On the other hand, we have hot-tempered people who are nasty and difficult to get along with. You will also find easy-going people as well as irritable men and women in society. Psychologists believe that such differences in personality occur due to specific genes.

Those who take part in cycle races and blood sports such as boxing and bull fighting are thrill seekers. They are extroverts who act on impulse.Apart from genes, the environment also plays a major role in building your personality. Very often, environmental factors will have an impact on genes. For instance, a person who has been brought up in the ghettos cannot be expected to behave decently even if he had inherited genes from a cultured ancestor.

We all like a cheerful person who will light up the environment giving us a sense of happiness. The presence of a cranky and fussy boss in a workplace can spoil the environment by making your life miserable. The problem is whether we can change such people to be pleasant personalities through education.

Although personality theorists have debated the issue for many years, they have not spoken the last word on this subject yet. As has been seen, certain personality traits have genetic components which are subject to environmental factors. If this is so, how are we to understand the personality of eminent people such as Aristotle, J. Krishnamurti, or Albert Einstein? As far as such eminent personalities are concerned, personality theorists believe that those who have adopted humanistic approaches to life are habitually good and tend to grow to higher levels of functioning.

Carl Rogers, the major proponent of the humanistic approach, suggests that such eminent people have a need for a positive regard that reflects a universal requirement to be loved and respected. When they know that they are respected in society, they make it a point to behave well. Then we come to the conclusion that they have a vibrant personality.

This brings us to another issue whether public opinion has an impact on your personality. Most of the time, you tend to depend on the opinions expressed by others. Although there are people who do not care for public opinion, if you depend on it there can be a conflict between what you think about yourself and how others think of you.

When there is a big gap between the two views, there will be inevitable conflicts.

When others praise you, you feel elated. In a way, you should have someone who could genuinely express a positive opinion of your performance or personality. This will help you develop your personality to a great extent. This kind of unconditional positive regard can come from a trusted friend, spouse or a teacher who knows everything about you.

Most of us have heard of Louis Pasteur whose name has become a household word. Pasteur worked relentlessly to bestow some of the greatest benefits that science has produced upon mankind. He discovered the existence of bacteria in fermentation and put medical science on the track of the cause of many diseases. Countless human lives have been saved and the sufferings of millions relieved through the pioneer work of that mighty chemist and simple man, Pasteur. Once he confessed that his wife scolded him for his work was affecting his health. However, Pasteur admitted later that she was an incomparable companion to him. She in fact helped him develop his personality.

The ultimate goal of personality growth is self-actualisation which is a state of self-fulfilment in which you realise your higher potential.

It is not so easy to reach this state because of many factors. For instance, if you do not have the right genes and the environmental factors, you will have a real problem in developing your personality.

Similarly, if you do not have someone to offer unconditional positive regard, you will fail to realise your ambition.

 

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