• Kanika Chauhan

Do you want to change your personality?

Are you behaving in an unhealthy manner? Think about it. You may have acquired certain personality traits that have rendered you either too aggressive or too passive for your own good. As a result, you may be living a very negative and emotionally damaging lifestyle. But you are who you are, so in many regards, nobody can point out on your behavior in certain things. Especially since, oftentimes, we are the product of our environment and life experiences.

for an instance a traumatic experience in our childhood can leave us. Likewise, if we are brought up in a house marred in tension, our viewpoints on married life and relationships could become negatively slanted indefinitely. 

Contrary to popular belief, your personality is not permanently encoded into your DNA. It’s a question of time. John R. Walker, Ph.D., a Winnipeg-based clinical psychologist, echoes this sentiment, noting that “the earlier you begin treatment, the more amenable these traits are to change.”

As you will see, you have the ability, either on your own or through more unconventional means, to alter your moods and behavior so that you become a more likable and well-rounded person in society, not to mention more mentally stable.

The following is a list of five common — albeit negative — personality traits and ways you can fix them:

Anger

Symptoms: The classic behavior of an “angry” person is that they’re always lashing out at people. Everything annoys them, nothing is done right, and if you have a flaw, they will be sure to dwell on it for as long as they know you. They view the world through very cynical eyes and have a hard time finding something funny or amusing. In short, they’re ticked off, 24/7.

Solution: Chances are that an angry person is overwhelmed with stress on a daily basis and is unable to handle it in a healthy way. If you fall into this category, the best thing you can do for yourself is to cope with the day-to-day problems so that they don’t interfere with your life.

There are many ways to go about doing this, but one of the most effective is through meditation. Many have found that breathing techniques are an effective way of dispelling some of the rages before it can boil over to other people.

If you’re the type to hold a grudge, then maybe it’s about time you stopped allowing the past to interfere with your present. Don’t dwell on things that have happened; it’s time to move on.

Remember, your attitude directly affects the environment around you, so there’s no reason why everyone should feel miserable because of you.

Shyness

Symptoms: You have an inability to communicate with people. The thought of immersing yourself into a conversation with strangers sends chills down your spine. You are unable to open up and voice an opinion or feeling.

Solution: In getting over shyness, you have to crawl before you can walk. In other words, don’t throw yourself into a room full of people and hope for the best.

Start with one person — either a stranger from work or an acquaintance — and slowly try to become friendly with them. Once you’ve reached a certain comfort level with that person, do the same with another stranger, then another, and so on. Taking things slowly can have both long-lasting and positive effects in the way you approach and are approached by others. But if you’re one of many who have trouble even leaving the house, then you may want to opt for more in-depth treatment. Group therapy, in addition to medication, has been shown to be successful. “If someone comes to our clinic for help, I often recommend that they try the treatment that they prefer first, and see how far it takes them,” says Walker. “If they need additional help, they can always add another treatment.”

Paranoia

Symptoms: To be overly paranoid is to be in a constant state of worry and panic. The glass is not only half-empty, but it’s also on the verge of shattering. You are skeptical about everything and have trouble appreciating it when something good happens to you. The world is just one big conspiracy, and you are its target.

Solution: Bear in mind the physical consequences of being too paranoid. Worrying too much can lead to more serious problems including heart/panic attacks over things that can usually be considered trivial. The best way to handle this is by finding immediate solutions to whatever problems arise during your day. This way, you won’t have to worry about possible outcomes.

And remind yourself that being fearful can be contagious, and you probably wouldn’t want to upset those closest to you for nothing.

Aggressiveness

Symptoms: You have this insatiable need to be a “tough person.” You imply (on a regular basis) that you are not one to be messed with by instilling fear in others, conveying that with fear comes respect.

Beyond that tough exterior usually lies a vulnerable core. Someone who builds walls around themselves is usually trying to disguise their weaknesses. As is the case with many men, they have been brought up with the belief that showing your softer side or admitting you have a problem diminishes your masculinity. In some cases, men may be so fearful of letting someone see their weaknesses, that they will say or do anything to keep that person away.

Solution: Your best bet at getting help would be talking to a professional (a psychologist) or even a pastor; anyone who will listen to you and keep what you say in confidence. Oftentimes, letting out your feelings is the best way to deal with your hostility and treat others with kindness and respect.

Passivity

Symptoms: You have this need to be a good person. You want to make everyone happy and will, therefore, bend over backward to grant everyone’s wishes.

Either that or you’re willing to trust anyone whom you believe is really your friend because you think everyone is just as nice as you are.

Solution: Snap out of it! You don’t need any therapy or medication to realize that you’re setting yourself up to be played for a fool. Whether you choose to accept it or not, there are people out there who will have no qualms about stepping over you or using you to get what they want. From now on, question anyone who seems to be acting a little “too friendly” toward you.

Ask yourself if this person could have some ulterior motive to be nice and don’t let that person take advantage of you. If they ask you for a favor, ask yourself whether they would go out on a limb for you if the tables were turned.

Keep your eyes open, know who your real friends are, and get the respect you deserve.

Changing a huge part of your personality, one that has been with you since birth, won’t happen overnight, so don’t expect immediate results. In the meantime, be wary of the type of vibes you project to the outside world. Treating others the way you want to be treated is easy enough if you’re willing to admit you have flaws.

Medication is not the only answer; ask others for help, as they can catch you before you make another “behavioral slip-up.”

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