We all have different personality traits. Some of them are learned, some are inherent. The traits that are learnt usually depend on the culture, environment, geographical location, and the parental attitude that one was brought up in. The traits which are inherent usually just emerge, despite social conditioning or lack of it, there of!
It is important to find out what makes you tick. You have to figure out what works for you. No matter what the others say, you are unique and no one understands you better than yourself.
There are usually 5 major personality factors which have been established by empirical research (Goldberg 1993) (Yes, I had to refer my social psychology notes for this one!! :-))
5. Openness to experience
What do these terms mean? What they mean can be explained in a few simple sentences which you can ask if they describe yourself. Once you answer them, you know the degree of that particular trait, that you have in your personality.
- I am the life of the party.
- I don't mind being the center of attention.
- I feel comfortable around people.
- I start conversations.
- I talk to a lot of different people at parties.
- I am quiet around strangers. (reversed)
- I don't like to draw attention to myself. (reversed)
- I don't talk a lot. (reversed)
- I have little to say. (reversed)
- I keep in the background. (reversed)
- I am interested in people.
- I feel others' emotions.
- I have a soft heart.
- I make people feel at ease.
- I sympathize with others' feelings.
- I take time out for others.
- I am not interested in other people's problems. (reversed)
- I am not really interested in others. (reversed)
- I feel little concern for others. (reversed)
- I insult people. (reversed)
- I am always prepared.
- I am exacting in my work.
- I follow a schedule.
- I get chores done right away.
- I like order.
- I pay attention to details.
- I leave my belongings around. (reversed)
- I make a mess of things. (reversed)
- I often forget to put things back in their proper place. (reversed)
- I am easily disturbed.
- I change my mood a lot.
- I get irritated easily.
- I get stressed out easily.
- I get upset easily.
- I have frequent mood swings.
- I often feel blue.
- I worry about things.
- I am relaxed most of the time. (reversed)
- I seldom feel blue. (reversed)
Openness to experience
- I am full of ideas.
- Iam quick to understand things.
- I have a rich vocabulary.
- I have a vivid imagination.
- I have excellent ideas.
- I spend time reflecting on things.
- I use difficult words.
- I am not interested in abstract ideas. (reversed)
- I do not have a good imagination. (reversed)
- I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas. (reversed)
Usually one or more of these traits are very dominant in you.Creative people have a high degree of nueroticism and openness. People high in Neuroticism are emotionally very reactive. They respond emotionally much more to events that wouldn’t usually affect most people.Their reactions would be very intense.Van Gogh whom I really admire,is a classic example of this.(well, he had Bi-polar disorder too—but that I shall leave for another day!)
Understanding yourself, helps you and goes a long way in understanding and accepting others.Not everybody sees things the way you do.Not everybody feels things the same way you feel.
Two people may look at the same siutation and react completely differently.The cliched example would be the optimist viewing the glass as half full while the pessimist seeing it as half empty.
The most important thing is once you understand yourself, or once you understand somebody, you just accept them as they are.Then you see a dramatic improvement in the way you relate to people.You are happier, and less affected or angry by another’s behaviour.They are they and you are you.
That what makes them tick and this is what makes you tick!!