Does Your Personality Change throughout Your Life? If So, Can You Control It?

Fact: Major Changes Take Place in Personality As You Mature

Long-held theory on personality is that it is intransigent to change. It is assumed that our personalities are developed in childhood, and fixed for life. Outgoing personalities remain so, introverted personalities remain so, aggressive personalities remain so, and calm personalities remain so, and so forth. But new research from Sanjay Srivastava PhD goes counter to the grain of conventional wisdom. Extensive research was conducted on 132,515 adults between the ages of 21 and 60. Over their lifespan, the top 5 personality traits were studied. These include neuroticism, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. Quite surprisingly, there were major changes in personality as people aged. The most notable changes in personality took place with those who are disciplined, organized, and led structured lives. This aspect of personality increased with age, as people’s careers started to blossom in their personal lives developed.

Another important personality trait that showed dramatic change over the years was affability. People are generally more inclined to be kindhearted and affable after the age of 30, according to the study. This trend continued throughout later years, particularly among women, but was present in men too. Not all aspects of personality are as likely to change as others. For example, extroverted personality behavior and neurotic personality behavior showed gender discrepancies. Younger women generally scored higher than men in those departments. Over time however, that gap narrowed. Of course, the personality factors that were studied online and in person are subject to demographic, locational, cultural, and other factors.

Can You Up the Ante by Playing to Your Personality Strengths?

Interesting data has been collected over time, and there is compelling evidence to suggest that success is possible with all personality types. Nowhere is this more evident than competitive gaming. Poker remains the most glaring example of how a specific personality can succeed, regardless of the conditions. This is called playing to your personality strengths. A risk-averse player can be as successful as an aggressive player in the game of poker. A great example of this is Bruno Politano. This poker champ has always played his cards close to his chest, and he has won an incredible $1,185,614 to date. He maintains that despite the situation, every play should be deliberate and the least amount of risk should be taken. His deliberate plays are closely associated with the organized personality type. Otherwise known as The Rock, Bruno believes that variance is less important than knowledge in games of poker. This dovetails perfectly with his personality and game plan.

Can You Control Personality Changes?

All personalities have strengths and weaknesses. For many of us, it would be desirable to be able to control our personalities by being less aggressive, more assertive, extroverted or impassioned about certain things. The fact of the matter is that no single personality is best for all situations. What is preferable is the right emotions and behavior at the right time. Many folks wish for a different personality type such as an extroverted personality if they are introverted. Other folks wish that they were more organized and disciplined when they live in a haphazard laissez-faire sort of way. Can you possibly change your personality type? While personality cannot really be changed too much, if at all, our traits can be adapted to meet our life challenges. In other words, our environment directly impacts the traits and behaviors inherent in our personality. In a stressful situation, we may rely more on our organizational skills and diligence to succeed than we do on our introverted nature.

This makes us appear to be assertive when we are inherently shy. Another great example is the difference between our work lives and our social lives. At work, we may be inclined to be assiduous and detail oriented, organized and structured. Outside of work, we may enjoy cutting loose and being hedonistic. Which is the true personality type? Are they mutually exclusive? It should be pointed out that a sociable person may not necessarily be an extrovert. Somebody who is affable to others in public may not be an extrovert by nature. By contrast, an introvert who is sociable may be mistaken for an extrovert. We learn certain behaviors, and character traits from our interactions with our environment.  Consider these as your shadow traits, and careful management of them will be conducive to a happier existence.

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