The majority of people wish to alter their personality features in some way, according to a previous study. But is it genuinely possible for someone to alter their personality only out of sheer desire?
Psychology research has demonstrated that people have a considerable amount of power to alter their personalities. Long believed to be a static and unchanging idea, personality is today recognized as a dynamic and flexible construct.
In addition to genetics, an individual’s environment, experiences, and conduct can have an impact on personality characteristics. By modifying their surroundings, seeking out new experiences, and changing their conduct, people can actively attempt to change their personality.
What are the most desirable personality traits that people aspire to?
To become more extroverted, agreeable, and conscientious are at the top of the most commonly expressed aspirations among people when it comes to altering their personalities. Extroversion is the quality of being sociable and at ease in social settings, agreeableness is the quality of being nice and cooperative, and conscientiousness is the quality of being responsible and self-disciplined.
According to the study, 87% of people wished they were more extroverted. More agreeability was desired by 89% of individuals and 97% of individuals desired to be more conscientious.
People who score high in extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness are often seen as more successful in their personal and professional lives, by societal standards. They tend to have better relationships, more satisfying careers and overall better mental health.
The study on personality change
People’s attempts to alter their personalities were put to the test in a research that appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
After asking the research subjects about their goals for improvement each week, personalities were assessed. Many wanted to be more sociable, outgoing, and responsible.
Additionally, during the 16-week study, a few people achieved marginal advancements toward their goal. However, people found it challenging when their goals were unclear.
For someone with social anxiety, it wasn’t always effective to tell oneself, “I’ll be more social,” for example. But making extremely explicit strategies for how to act in particular circumstances worked. You may tell yourself, for instance, “If I see someone I know, then I’ll walk over and say hi,” if you want to be more outgoing.
According to the study, the new, desirable behaviors caused alterations in self-concept. Their perception of themselves is then altered. Changes in self-concept then led to an increase in behaviors consistent with the anticipated personality change. This created a beneficial cycle.
Or, to put it another way, people faked it until they made it.
Self-awareness might be the key and the first step in the personality change process. Individuals may see patterns and behaviors that might be preventing them from reaching their full potential by developing a better awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. This self-awareness is essential for determining the areas that require change and the actions required to bring about those improvements.
Developing new talents and abilities is a great method to alter one’s personality. Individuals can increase their capabilities and develop new facets of their personalities by taking on new challenges and learning new things. This can entail picking up a new hobby, learning a new language, or even changing careers.
The capacity to change one’s personality at will is an intriguing process that involves self-awareness, deliberate effort, and will. Visualization, awareness, and seeking out new experiences are some methods people may use to positively mold their personalities and gain control over their life. It’s crucial to keep in mind that personality transformation is a constant process that needs consistent work and attention. But with the correct resources, people may have more rewarding lives and feel more self-empowered.
Hudson, N. W., & Fraley, R. C. (2015). Volitional personality trait change: Can people choose to change their personality traits? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(3), 490–507.