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  1. #11


    I think that book is trying to sell us something. Personality profiles don't usually change, it determines what one is more likely to do and what one is more capable of. Introverts are going to be tired out from pretending to be an extrovert, even if it is their goal to become more extroverted. That much is not going to change regardless of how one sets their goals.

    Goals don't make a personality, and neither does self-help. Personality types don't necessarily limit self-betterment via goals, either. It depends on what scope this self-betterment entails, but in general, it is better to work with what one is already strong in than do something that they're ill-equipped to do. In short, it's not even a very good self-help book that takes into account the psychological needs of its customers.

    Personality traits can change even depending on time and situation, but there usually is an underlying psychological profile that makes these changes possible and even the reactions to it probable. Someone low on openness to experience on the big 5 scale is less likely to react positively to a new experience that they don't necessarily like, whereas someone high on this scale may be more likely to take things in stride or even view it positively.

    MBTI might not be the best predictor of actions, but the Big Five is a better predictor. The role of MBTI is to serve to help to understand these psychological profiles. Self-improvement can be pursued without necessarily discarding personality types.

  2. #12


    It's mostly permanent. But until you reach 30, don't be so sure. Especially men take a long time to develop.
    "Life is 10% what happens to u and 90% how you react to it." nc entj

  3. #13


    My 2 cents:

    We have to agree on what "personality" actually means. If it means, for example, if you have a long/short dopaminergic pathways, that is for sure inborn and permanent, thus some components of E/I are inborn and permanent. This has been demonstrated by science.

    However, if "personality" is the way you cope with the world, the way your life shapes who you are and who you are shape your life, the "core" or "essence" of your being, then I believe it is very malleable and changeable. It just does change over long periods of time and respond more to wide swings in the environment (e.g. trauma with PTSD). This is also demonstrated by science: going with the same example, with PTSD your amigdala grows, hence more anxiety response in the Limbic System and a different hormonal behavior. A simpler example: mood changes over the course of the year due to sunlight exposition. Just relocate to some place northwards and you'll see the effect it has on your behavior. Make it last and it will give you a permanent change.

    So, I agree there are permanent components, but, to go with a poor metaphor that's been widely used, it's like having the operating system fixed at birth or during the first year or so. You still have a wide variation according to which programs/apps you install, to the point that a Mac OS and Windows can sort of do/be the same, while to Windows PCs can look and behave widely different.

    I would choose the perspective that you find more healthy for living a good life, which is: you can change. Actually, you will change, whether you like it or not. Your 5yo, 10yo, 15yo, 20yo, 30yo, 45yo, 60yo and 80yo selves all share some commonalities, but differ so much that probably the best characterization to differentiate your 5yo self and your 80yo self is their age, not that they're both INTP or whatever.

    Two side notes from different perspectives:

    Buddhism can be distilled to the belief that you can change yourself by changing your behavior, and actually lays down a full program about how to do it in order to "cease suffering".

    Novel writer Margaret Atwood has a great quote about this: "People are what happens to them"
    Likes Vendrah, RadicalDoubt liked this post

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