Understanding your Personality

What is personality?

Personality is basically the character that you portray in private and in public. In your teens, your personality is still being molded by your experiences in early childhood as well as your current social surrounding.

People usually have stable personalities by the time they reach about 21 years of age.

What is included in personality?

  • Temperament – the character that you are born with
  • Intelligence
  • Beliefs and values
  • Thought pattern
  • Behavior pattern
  • Emotions

What are the different types of personality?

There are many theories on the subject of personality. Some theories say that there are 3 main types of personality, some say 5 and some say 16 or more. Whatever the number of personalities, you can still categorize people in to types according to what is more meaningful to you e.g. Cool, Nasty, High Strung, etc.

Why is personality different between individuals?

Two main reasons why individuals differ from one another:

  • Nature (Genetics)
  • Nurture (Cultural background/Upbringing)

How does nature determine individual differences?

Each human contain genetic information that are given by their mother and father. Siblings contain different genetic materials from their parents. Their parents have combined genetic materials from their parents, who in turn got combined genetic materials from their parents, and so on.

So no two people are exactly the same in genetic materials.

Differences in genetic materials are enough to create differences in personalities.

How does nurture determine individual differences?

Each of us comes from different families who have different values and upbringing style. So understandably, we have different personalities.

How do I know what personality I have?

You will find out more about yourself mainly from the feedback that you get from your parents or guardians, from your friends, teachers, and other people around you. You will also come across books, magazines, internet sites and other media that discuss about personality and where you might be categorized in.

Can I change my personality?

It is easier to change your personality as a teenager as it is usually not very stable yet. Even when your personality has stabilized, it is still possible to change.

I don’t like some personalities. What can I do about it?

It is OK to not like certain types of personalities. What is important is that you respect them for who they are. Seek out those personalities that you like and make friends with them.

Who can I go to for help?

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Spiritual teachers

Related links

Last Reviewev : 20 April 2012
Writer : Prof. Madya Dr. Alvin Ng Lai Oon
Reviewer : Pn. Shahidah Bt. Mohamed Makki