Personality Development?

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Jazzy

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Personality Development?
« on: December 09, 2017, 12:16:18 AM »
It's a struggle trying to understand all this, and move forward to heal.

A big thing I'm working on is personality. I feel like I don't have one, but I must have at least some part of one. So, I'm trying to reinforce it, and shape it in to something I'm more aware of, and is to my liking. Basically, my end goal is to be able to say "These are my personality traits, and I'm happy with them."

One problem, is "the chicken or the egg" scenario. Do I act the way I act because I have a condition from birth, or am I diagnosed as having a condition from birth because of the way I act? I keep asking myself if it really matters. I think it does though, because the methodology I use will differ depending on what I'm working with.

For example: My mother has a tendency to immediately jump to solving problems, without showing a lot of empathy. Sometimes I need empathy for a while before I can even begin to properly address the problem. A lot of times, it's not that simple to fix, or her suggested fixes are unrealistic.

As far as I can tell, I behave in a very similar manner. I'm not very good at picking up what people want, or knowing the best way to react. It seems to me though, that when someone shares that something is bothering them, that they don't want to be bothered, so the best course of action would be to suggest a way to fix, or improve the situation.

So, is this similar behaviour learned, or genetic, or a combination of both? Is it even something I need to change, or is it okay to be a problem solver? I think I feel a lot of sympathy and compassion for people, but not much empathy. I wish that were balanced out more.

I guess at the end of the day, the underlying question is an obvious one. How do you learn all the personality development skills as an adult, that you should have learned growing up? The same goes for social skills. I didn't get to go to school and play like all the other kids.

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On a more practical note, I'm concerned because it seems like I offer a lot more advice than most on this forum. I know I'm not a professional, and that I can't really fix anything. I'm pretty new to the CPTSD world. I just want others to be doing well, and the natural course of action for me is to offer advice, and share my experiences. Is this something I need to work on changing? Is it bothering anyone else?

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Rainagain

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Re: Personality Development?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 12:41:34 AM »
Relax Jazzy,

Sounds like you are doubting yourself too much today.

What I want from posting on here is to be heard, maybe replied to and for the reply to have some empathy with what I posted about.

That's it.

I need to know others understand, that they feel the same stuff as me and its not easy stuff to carry.

There is guidance about posting on here, too much direct advice is discouraged,  but explaining what helped you is being kind and sharing.

We are not professionals but sharing our lived experience helps everyone.

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Three Roses

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Re: Personality Development?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 12:52:46 AM »
:yeahthat:


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Jazzy

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Re: Personality Development?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 02:34:30 AM »
Thanks, I am having a rough time. I've been telling myself over and over I'm fine and improving but... I'm really emotional right now.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Personality Development?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 07:17:26 PM »
jazzy, we all go thru these emotionally messy times while we're plowing thru this stuff.  it's part of the process.

i remember when i was around 14 and had no friends, feeling very lonely and miserable.  i went to my folks, but they were less than helpful, and i decided then and there that i was going to be on my own for this.   i went about creating a personality for myself to help insure (so i thought) that i would never feel that bad again.

i think we can make choices about the kind of person we want to be, then decide what it takes to bring us closer to that goal, and finally implement those decisions.   what kinds of facets do you want your personality to incorporate?  kindness?  honesty?  fun?  etc., etc.  those kinds of things we can take action about.

some of our personality, tho, i do believe has a genetic underbody, some of it is learned from the examples we were given, and some of it we can add to or delete from.  it's so, well, personal.  i think that as you continue along in recovery, some of these aspects will become clearer for you, and you'll find your true 'self' and go from there.

hoping any of this makes sense.  big hug to you.

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Jazzy

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Re: Personality Development?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 07:42:04 PM »
Thanks sanmagic! :yourock: That helps a lot!

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PeTe

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Re: Personality Development?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 07:38:02 PM »
Jazzy, struggling with developing a personality is hard work. At times it feels really false to me, either because I didn't learn it early enough or it didn't emerge early enough.

I've heard empathy is someting we to a large part learn from our parents seeing what we're feeling, and telling us that and relating to those feelings. Now, it seems you didn't get that from your mother when you're in trouble (she rather goes straight into problem solving). You write that you want some empathy before someone offers up a solution. I think that goes for a lot of people, but there's never a 100 % receipe. I guess the best thing is to be able to choose a way to relate to someone, based on what you think they need and whether you feel empathy with them and want to be close to them or not. And anyways, problem solving can be really helpful, so you shouldn't stop using that skill.

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DecimalRocket

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Re: Personality Development?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 06:53:38 AM »
Well, thatís the nature vs nurture debate in psychology youíre talking about. You can google it if you want more information, but basically, whatís often the case is that thereís a mix of traits that can predispose us to certain things.

Itís less that itís impossible for us to develop our personalities somewhere at all, and more that some traits come to us easier and others come much slower. Change is not impossible, but it takes time. Iíve been more of a cold problem solver myself, but Iíve softened . . . with a pretty tiring years amount of effort.

You might want to check out sites concerning personality development such as Personality Hacker, Personality Junkie or Enneagram institute. They arenít 100% going to predict what is going to be right for you as everyone is different, but it can serve at least as a guide rather than a crystal ball. No need to take my advice if you donít want to though.

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Jazzy

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Re: Personality Development?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2017, 02:19:51 AM »
Hey, thanks DR! I'll take a look in to that stuff. I just signed up for their newsletter. I remember the Institute  was recommended to me years ago, when my first T went through a test with me.

I love a good debate as much as the next person, and my money is on nurture. I'll concede that nature is just as powerful, but that can be changed and controlled via medication, at least somewhat, and more so as time goes on.

I'm really struggling with trying to heal from this without having any hard data to go on. That's my nature problem. I can solve any puzzle eventually when all the facts are available, but this try and see approach we've been doing for years feels like trying to light water on fire.

Thanks again for the info!