This post was inspired by my Psych 101 class.
There are many theories about personality out there. Some stem from astrology while others come from body type or skull shape. But which theory is true, if any?
If you have an external locus of control, you’ll probably buy into one of those theories, that something or someone besides yourself determines who you are and what you’ll do in your life. But if you’re like me and house an internal locus of control, you might buy into the Humanistic or Existential schools for personality development.
The Humanistic school believes that personality is derived from fulfilling one’s needs (as seen in Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs), while the Existential school credits the development of personality to a person’s quest for the meaning or purpose of his or her life.
I don’t buy into a single school. I know, I’m so indecisive. But I truly believe that personality grows as your body grows. I think that past experiences change and shape you, but the possibilities of the future forge your psyche as well. How can someone who has been through a horrific trauma be as happy or cheerful as someone who lived in B. F. Skinner’s “Baby Tender Box?” But another point is brought about by this statement: no personality is the same. Everyone is different in the ways that they think, feel, and behave. I digress.
I think that at least my personality has been shaped by many factors. The harder parts of my life have made me more resilient and mistrusting, but the love I have always been exposed to has fostered a compassionate, warm disposition. My future career plans and likely environment have extracted my extroversion and I’ve become much more sociable.
So what’s your story? Did you let someone else write it, or are you holding the pen?