Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Who are you?

Do you think it's possible to change certain fundamental aspects of your personality, or do you think you are who you are, and that while the circumstances of your life may change, you'll react more or less the same?

Based on my intrinsic coping mechanisms and observational evidence, it would take a pretty traumatic event (like a near death experience, a chronic/terminal illness) to change fundamental aspects of my personality.

This, of course, begs the question: What is a fundamental personality aspect?
I think that if you intentionally attempt to change a fundamental aspect of your being, you won't succeed. Seeing that these fundamental changes do in fact occur, however, it may be possible to alter conditions around you (physical, psychological, or spiritual) that would nurture a change and allow it to come to fruition.
Always changing, searching.
I don't think my basic personality will change. other changes have occurred, for example I am aware of errors in my thinking that lead to depression. In spite of that, I'm pretty sure that I will continue to be a depressive person.
I refer to Maxwell Maltz. "Psychocybernetics"
Trust me, you can change.

Elements of the totality of who you are can be changed to alter the overall expectations of your personality.

It's true. I did it.
This is a good question for Phineas Gage.
I once wrote a short science-fiction story (for an english examination) Based around the theory that the human mind was ultimately managed by one neuron (this is actually a real theory) and that this neuron's movements was based around euler's constant. It was interesting to write about the realization of the characters that they had no free-will. On the question at hand, I know people that have undergone big personal changes, but it's really the way you look at it, either you believe you can't change and you do, or you believe you can and it appears you do. The question is up to you.
People have to adapt in order to survive if a person chooses to stay the same even if certain behavior is not condusive to the social structure or to a healthy, balanced life then they are bound for rocky times.
Since I was in college I've gone from liberal to conservative, got married and had kids, learned some martial arts, learned that I hate myself and want to die -- so many things about me are different: how I think, how I react, what I value. I'm not the same person.
I think a person can change if they are willing to over time.
Absolutely. I was raised (read: trained) to be an abusive person by a MPD mother and a spare the rod and spoil the child father.

I am not the person they raised me to be. It was work. YEARS of work. I had to redefine basic concepts like what it meant to win and what love meant.

And I did it.

If I can do it...
I'm not the person I was 5 years ago, I hope I'm not the same person 5 years from now.
I don't know what "fundamental aspects" are, so it's hard to say, but I'm inclined to think that the fundamental aspects stay the same, while the ways in which you behave and percieve the world change.

For instance, in my family of origin everyone is a liar. I don't mean that they lie once in a while when they feel they're in some sort of trouble, I mean they lie routinely. I grew up thinking this was just the way it was done, and there wasn't any other way to live. So I lied. As I became an adult I realised that there were honest people in the world, and that it was not only possible, it was much, much better. So I stopped lying. Nothing fundamental about me changed. I was never comfortable being dishonest and I was bad at it. I was just trying to do what I thought everyone had to do in order to get by in life. By making the choice to be honest I was just being true to that fundamental aspect of myself.
People do change with time. I don't know if there was ever a person that was the same at 16 as 60.
Gross changes, however, usually require gross events.
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