Deeper into Personality.
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
''And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s
In deepest consequence.''
— William Shakespeare, Macbeth
In a previous article about personality, I pointed at the fact that what is often seen as one's personality is in fact the result of his childhood experiences, a mask, a false self erected as a reaction to the pain (or neglect, abandonment etc) we have once felt, as well as defense against future pain.
We named a few examples of how a man's character may be formed, or at least influenced by many different factors; however, I feel compelled to add a few more to the list...
We spoke about the anxious, fearful man, who was once a hiding, bookish boy — but what of the man on the other side of the spectrum?
What of the man who is happy, physically fit, and ambitious — the strong, hard-charging professional who is determined to succeed, no matter the cost? No, he is not a bad man, maybe a bit too driven, a touch too uncompromising and perhaps even aggressive...but a good man...a good man. Inside that man there is a boy as well, and that boy's daddy never came to help him, to guide him, care for him, or show him how to be a man. The boy, surrounded by no pity and no man to show him the way, vowed that he would never need anyone...
This vow became his fuel; this inner rage dictated his motion through life; it powered him toward his achievements, and drove him through the lives of those that loved him most — he did not have time to stop, he was too busy.
The fierce mask of manly tension, the drive, the recklessness, the courage — it did not all come from his true heart; he had too much to prove to let the boy inside him feel...
He had too much on the line, to let the boy inside him be.
But the world applauded him, and he basked in his glory. His personality, his character, they said, was what made him what he was: according to the world, he had the 'characteristics of a winner'...
Deep down the world was envious, and many longed to be strong, ambitious and successful like him. But they did know that his spirit knew no rest; they did not see his fear: many nights he woke up in terror, and even though he was pretending to be well, to others and himself, his tired body and restless soul told a different story.
* * *
What of the fearful boy who grows up hiding his insecurity and fear of anything physical, challenging, or God forbid, confrontational (yes, you guessed right — that was once myself) and develops into a timid, passive young man — a man liked by all, apart from himself of course...
Is it not safe to suppose then, that such a man's lifestyle, beliefs, hobbies, interests, and even political views, are indeed influenced by his feelings — by the feelings of the person he has become, or in other words, his 'personality'?
And what of the boy who grows up without a father, and becomes a man who deeply distrusts and fears other men, surrounding himself with women and a few men who are more like him (and therefore not a challenge to his hidden fears)...
There is no need to continue...but there is a need to ask the reader a few questions: questions I have been asking myself for years — asking, but also looking for their answers...
What is your 'personality'?
What is the way you have become, that may perhaps not be of you, not the real, deepest you at least?
Are you 'naturally' shy and timid?
Are you always joking?
Are you always serious?
Are you aggressive, always the attacker, always the achiever who gets things done and gets irritated when others aren't doing the same?
Are you an 'introvert' or an 'extrovert'?...
Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic, or Phlegmatic?
And if you are identifying yourself, or are at least leaning towards any of these — and who isn't — can I also ask you these two things:
Number one: why? What do you think has shaped you, and made your personality what it is today?
Number two: are you truly happy with the way you are?
In all honesty — are you fully satisfied with who you are, how you express yourself; how you think, how you move and how you learn; how you relate to others, how you feel around others, how you handle their criticism or praise, how you handle their love toward you, their fear or their anger; how you parent your children, how you feel around your wife, around your boss, and around your beautiful young female colleague...
Are you happy with 'you' as you know that 'you' to be?
If you are — this is really, really good.
And if you are not, Men's Corner is a good place to be; not the only place — far from it — but one of the places where a deeper walk and a deeper search can be taken.
With great respect,