Anything you want to make inaccessible to people at large, you surround by a myth. Not only does it keep the factor out of reach of people, but it also creates a sense of mystery. Yet, if one were to examine some myths carefully, there would perhaps, be no mystery to unravel at all!
This is true of personality as it is about anything else. When you are impressed by someone, you often exclaim, "What a personality she has!" You are suitably impressed and sufficiently envious. Yet, you do nothing about making your own personality appealing.
"What can I do about it?" you say. "Either you have it or you don't!" Most of us would, at this, nod our heads inn agreement. Yet, nothing could be far from the truth. If a majority of us believes that a good personality is the preserve of a chosen few, it is because personality means much more than we commonly understand it to mean. It means much more than a good physique, good looks, confidence, manners, sense of dress, and so on. What, really, then, is personality?
To begin with, the word "personality" comes from the Latin word "persona", which, when literally translated means "an actor's face mask." Personality can, then be likened to a mask, which we all wear - a facade, which we show to the world. To that extent we can control what others think of our personality. Looking up the dictionary, we find personality defined as "the distinctive individual qualities of a person, considered collectively."
What are these "distinctive individual qualities"? They are everything that makes a person. They include habits, values, beliefs and attitudes - i.e. everything which determines a person's behaviour in various situations.
To that extent, the emphasis is more on what kind of person you are and less on what you look like. Of course, physical appearance matters but it is of secondary importance.
With the knowledge of what personality really is, it becomes easy to see the myths surrounding it for just what they are - pure moonshine.
A good personality, unlike charisma, is not the preserve of a chosen few as some people would have us believe; neither is it a sizzling mystery waiting to be unravelled.
One of the myths is that only a blessed few "have personality. What is meant is that only a few have charismatic personalities. Even then, it is something that has been developed.
No one is born with an impressive or an unimpressive personality. Our personalities are shaped by the environment we live in and our experiences.
So, while all and sundry cannot have the charisma of celebrities, we can, each in our own right, have, at least, an impressive personality - by having the right habits and attitudes, by standing up for what we believe in and by being friendly in our dealings with people.
Remember: People judge you by what you show yourself to be. So put your best foot forward and be ready to take on the world.
Another myth about personality is that good looks, an impeccable dressing style and glib talk, make an impressive personality. As Lord Chesterfield said, "You must look into people as well as at them."
Personality is about personal attractiveness, which includes that of manner and behaviour as well as that of bearing. What happens when you meet a lady whose appearance is the envy of all but who has the habit of putting down people? You are most likely to dislike her for her nasty habit than like her for her enchanting appearance.
Remember: While you must never neglect your appearance, it is more important to be a genuinely warm and considerate person. People should like you, not just your looks.
People often lament, "I have such an unattractive personality and I am stuck with it for life." Wrong. Your personality as a 21-year-old is not something that will endure.
Personality changes, and it can be changed. It changes as a result of life's experiences and the environment you are exposed to. More importantly, you can consciously change certain aspects of your personality. Try to look at yourself as others see you . Then identify the disagreeable aspects and try to change them.
Remember: It is difficult, not impossible, to improve your personality. A pleasing personality is within your reach. Make an effort to be one, and become the envy of your friends.
(Guest post by Anju S)
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