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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Default Character versus Personality

    What are your thoughts?

    Which do you think affects your life, your actions more?
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  2. #2
    Member RiftsWRX's Avatar
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    What affects my life more...

    Well.. character is what we can control.. it's the image we portray, it's the consciousness we can affect onto others.

    Where, IMO, personality is subconscious.. it's also that place where our deepest and darkest fears and hurts live. For me, it's a fundamental fear of being alone, of not being loved by others. But in that basic fear comes my greatest gift within my personality. The gift of deep compassion and generosity.

    That being said. Those basic traits of my personality drive my character. If I'm in an unhealthy state, I subconsciously try and manipulate and make people "need" me and my help to continue to feed my need for love. To quell that basic fear.

    To the world, my character is outwardly selfless, giving, and altruistic. Where, in reality, it's the opposite. I'm doing things to satisfy my own superego's consistent demand to get love at any cost.

    But, when you are capable of self love (my own personal journey here), then you truly personify and exemplify the best in human nature.. Again, outwardly, my character hasn't changed... but my personalities demands (super ego) have shifted inwards, not outwards. In Enneagram speak, why I "grow" moving towards a type 4, which is more individualistic.
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  3. #3
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    What are your thoughts?

    Which do you think affects your life, your actions more?
    What do you see as the difference between the two? Is one a subset of the other, or do they intersect somehow?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #4
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    I'm reading this book about evolutionary biology and there's a section in it about why women pick bad boys over the nice guys. Evidently, women who are ovulating have a very warped perception of the bad boy and believe they can be changed.

    "When their ovulatory hormones were flowing, women deluded themselves into believing that the James Bond type would not only change diapers, cook, and happily give the baby baths but even take on more than half the parental care!" Kenrick and Griskevicius, The Rational Animal

    I believe this shows the difference between character and personality. Character is much harder to discern; personality is in your face.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiftsWRX View Post
    What affects my life more...

    Well.. character is what we can control.. it's the image we portray, it's the consciousness we can affect onto others.

    Where, IMO, personality is subconscious.. it's also that place where our deepest and darkest fears and hurts live. For me, it's a fundamental fear of being alone, of not being loved by others. But in that basic fear comes my greatest gift within my personality. The gift of deep compassion and generosity.

    That being said. Those basic traits of my personality drive my character. If I'm in an unhealthy state, I subconsciously try and manipulate and make people "need" me and my help to continue to feed my need for love. To quell that basic fear.

    To the world, my character is outwardly selfless, giving, and altruistic. Where, in reality, it's the opposite. I'm doing things to satisfy my own superego's consistent demand to get love at any cost.

    But, when you are capable of self love (my own personal journey here), then you truly personify and exemplify the best in human nature.. Again, outwardly, my character hasn't changed... but my personalities demands (super ego) have shifted inwards, not outwards. In Enneagram speak, why I "grow" moving towards a type 4, which is more individualistic.
    Thanks for discussing this with me, y'all (I'm southern, I get to use the vernacular) I like how you say character is what we control, but I'm not sure I see it as the portrayed image. I see it as the hidden roots that determine the depth of our lives.

    I imagine that personality is subconscious but it's what people first see when they meet us. For example they may be able to ascertain right away that we are outgoing or reserved, funny or dry. However, they may have to know us awhile before they can tell if we would steal them blind if given half a chance. In some ways we are saying the same things but I define character as you have defined personality. I think that maybe character helps shape personality, but there are people with engaging personalities who would betray you in a heartbeat, so in those cases a great personality wouldn't equal a great character and I know people with such abrasive personalities that others want nothing to do with them, yet their character is strong and they are really amazing people once you get past the prickles.

    @Coriolis I think that personality is the way we present ourselves in the world. For example, charming, funny, inquisitive, etc, while character is what drives our decisions. In my mind character or lack of involves things like honesty, integrity, loyalty, forgiveness, etc., while personality usually involves words like dry, funny, spontaneous and so on. I believe that it is possible for personality to mask character. I think that personality is formed and character is nurtured. They do overlap and intertwine at times, but personality doesn't always reflect character, at least not at first. Still, I am curious as to how others see it. Personally, I think it's nice to be around a person with both a well-rooted character and an enjoyable personality but if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose good character over delightful personality any time. What good does it do if a person is "nice"to you or funny or sweet if they would stab you in the back for personal gain? I'd rather be able to trust someone than like them. I would choose honest and gruff over sweet and deceptive.

    @Tellenbach thanks for the reference. I know some girls like that, but not everyone is. I like how you say that character is harder to discern because it is hidden and personality is in your face.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  6. #6
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    One of the definitions for personality at Dictionary.com is "visible aspects of one's character." (As an aside, perhaps.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    I believe that it is possible for personality to mask character. I think that personality is formed and character is nurtured. They do overlap and intertwine at times, but personality doesn't always reflect character, at least not at first. Still, I am curious as to how others see it. Personally, I think it's nice to be around a person with both a well-rooted character and an enjoyable personality but if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose good character over delightful personality any time. What good does it do if a person is "nice"to you or funny or sweet if they would stab you in the back for personal gain? I'd rather be able to trust someone than like them. I would choose honest and gruff over sweet and deceptive.
    I agree with this. Personality is something that shows almost immediately. It's what people want you to see. But character, imo, is the thing that you see only after knowing someone for a while- it's the stuff you see when someone is incredibly tired, or feeling insecure or otherwise vulnerable, etc. I agree that it's possible to mask character with personality, even to oneself (maybe especially to oneself).

    And yeah, I'll take character over personality any day of the week. Personality may make someone entertaining to be around and I may even choose to keep company with someone for their entertainment value- but I don't trust anyone without character.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    We discussed this in an American culture class once.

    Personality is your way of interfacing with the world. Character refers to inner qualities regarding your moral fiber and other traits that define you when push comes to shove.

    There was a shift in the 1920s regarding personality vs character. If you read Victorian-era literature, it emphasizes "good character" as requisite for being a worthwhile human being. During the 1920s, as advertising and big business began to take off, it became important to have a "good personality", and this persists in American culture to this day. My class seemed to feel this was a serious--and superficial--downgrading from something of a higher nature.

    Going by this definition, I'd say my personality indeed has been instrumental in much of my ability to get ahead, or not get ahead, as the case may be. My "character" was never under discussion. I guess it's deeper, more hidden, and ultimately less important in this modern world. This is a shame, because I think it's probably a better indicator of who and what we really are than the gyrations we undergo to get along with the outer world.

  8. #8
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    There was a shift in the 1920s regarding personality vs character. If you read Victorian-era literature, it emphasizes "good character" as requisite for being a worthwhile human being. During the 1920s, as advertising and big business began to take off, it became important to have a "good personality", and this persists in American culture to this day. My class seemed to feel this was a serious--and superficial--downgrading from something of a higher nature.
    Yeah, (as I understand/remember it) it's been a slow churning shift that coincides with importance being placed on 'the individual' (which started with the Renaissance, but has rather peaked in the latter half of the last century). Taking on the solid appearance of being kind, wise, etc, reaps faster and more tangible/external rewards than having these qualities for the sake of themselves- so much so that people can forget these qualities may exist for the sake of themselves and live exclusively on the rewards of personality (feeling as though they have good character primarily because they are able to convince others it's true, without really organically understanding the virtues they espouse).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  9. #9
    Member RiftsWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    We discussed this in an American culture class once.

    Personality is your way of interfacing with the world. Character refers to inner qualities regarding your moral fiber and other traits that define you when push comes to shove.

    There was a shift in the 1920s regarding personality vs character. If you read Victorian-era literature, it emphasizes "good character" as requisite for being a worthwhile human being. During the 1920s, as advertising and big business began to take off, it became important to have a "good personality", and this persists in American culture to this day. My class seemed to feel this was a serious--and superficial--downgrading from something of a higher nature.

    Going by this definition, I'd say my personality indeed has been instrumental in much of my ability to get ahead, or not get ahead, as the case may be. My "character" was never under discussion. I guess it's deeper, more hidden, and ultimately less important in this modern world. This is a shame, because I think it's probably a better indicator of who and what we really are than the gyrations we undergo to get along with the outer world.
    Wow, profound.
    @Ene <-- Yes, you were right, I got it backwards.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    We discussed this in an American culture class once.

    Personality is your way of interfacing with the world. Character refers to inner qualities regarding your moral fiber and other traits that define you when push comes to shove.

    There was a shift in the 1920s regarding personality vs character. If you read Victorian-era literature, it emphasizes "good character" as requisite for being a worthwhile human being. During the 1920s, as advertising and big business began to take off, it became important to have a "good personality", and this persists in American culture to this day. My class seemed to feel this was a serious--and superficial--downgrading from something of a higher nature.

    Going by this definition, I'd say my personality indeed has been instrumental in much of my ability to get ahead, or not get ahead, as the case may be. My "character" was never under discussion. I guess it's deeper, more hidden, and ultimately less important in this modern world. This is a shame, because I think it's probably a better indicator of who and what we really are than the gyrations we undergo to get along with the outer world.
    Thank you for this. I have made a decision that I will focus on character, no matter how odd it seems in today's societies. This has been an enlightening and beneficial conversation for me. Thank you, guys. @Z Buck McFateI loved your replies as well.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

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