Character vs. Personality

personality-mask

I have very few friends and even fewer close friends.  As an introvert I’ve always felt that was the reason for my small circle of friends.  Recently, have been meeting lots of new people and forming many new relationships.  I began to ask myself what was it about the few people I allow in my inner circle that sets them apart from others.  Almost all of the people I’ve come into contact with have been very pleasant, but I’ve only formed meaningful and close relationships with very few.  Usually those relationships progressed very quickly and I knew almost immediately after meeting those people that I wanted them to be a significant part of my life.

I believe instinctively I was able to tell the character of those people.  What I would like to examine is how we can prevent a lot of heartache and disappointment by determining the difference between character and personality. I will first start with personality as it is the most superficial of the two. Personality can be very surface level.  You can immediately tell if a person is outgoing or withdrawn, confident or insecure, etc.  This distinctions should be judged as superficially as they are presented.  They are not the true measure of a person’s character.  A person have the best, most welcoming personality and also be a pathological liar.

Determining a person’s character takes close observation. You need to see what they value, and how they treat themselves and others.  To truly value another person, one must first value oneself.  I have found that although everyone has some level of insecurity, those who are confident and self-assured are some of the most genuine and caring people.  Extreme insecurity often manifests itself in the way those extremely insecure people treat others and themselves.  With a certain level of confidence and self-assurance comes the ability to be open and honest with others.  Being confident does not mean that you do not feel that there is room for improvement in your life, it just means that you are able to recognize and accept  the things you need to work on.  When you are honest with yourself, you can be honest with others.  There is nothing to hide or mask.  With confidence comes vulnerability and vulnerability is the foundation of any good and lasting relationship.

Those who only operate on surface-level tend to be more inclined to hide their true intentions.  These people tend to focus all their attention an efforts on creating a outward persona  and not on a true development of their character.  They are usually the ones who are wearing a mask and only concerned with how things on the outside appear.  They feel the need to overcompensate with personality to make up what they are lacking in character. They lack the vulnerability to truly allow for a meaningful relationship, thus making it impossible to allow other people to know them authentically.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Introverts Welcomed

Being different is great and it took me a long time to realize it.

introvert-pic-goldfish

I am an introvert.  This does not mean that I don’t like being around people.  It just means that I don’t need to be a part of a group to function, have a good time, or feel good about myself.  I like sitting alone and thinking and even though I enjoy being around people I look forward to alone time.  I have been misunderstood by so many people.  I have been called a snob, weird, shy, and host of other things that I’m not just because I am an introvert.  For many years I tried to conform to make everyone else comfortable.  I forced myself to mix and mingle when all I wanted to do is sit and observe, because sitting and observing makes a lot of people nervous or they feel that you are not having a good time.   Countless times I have been asked if I was bored or lonely just because I was being myself.  I didn’t want my hosts to feel like I wasn’t having a good time so I would choose to change rather than just explaining that I was having a good time even though it didn’t appear that way to most people.  Also, by not admitting that I am the type of person who can have a good time just sitting alone, I led my host to believe that I was not enjoying the function.  I was truly doing myself and my host a disservice.

Now I have learned that people appreciate learning about my introversion.  I no longer make excuses for it.  Usually I can spot other introverts in a room and I sit near them.  I have found that other introverts like myself enjoy one-on-one conversations.  Two people talking together are usually not asked if they aren’t having a good time.  This is one way I have tailor fitted a situation to fit me.  If I can’t find another chatty introvert, I simply enjoy myself and it asked if I am having a good time I tell the truth.  I will reply by saying that I am having a great time sitting and enjoying the wonderful event around me.  Telling the truth is much easier than faking something.

What I would like to challenge all of my fellow introverts to do is to own it and stop making excuses for it.  Introverts are wonderful people who enjoy life, but are capable of appreciating it alone.  We need to step away from time to time and just enjoy our thoughts.  Explain it to anyone who can’t understand it.  If that is not good enough for them, we know we can do without them.  Don’t we?