Making a Better Personality for Yourself

Postby Leo Volont » Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:54 am

Hi Everybody, Something odd happened. Out wandering the Internet I found somebody who asked for help in regards to his, well, personality problems. Much of what I told him would apply to the same type of concerns we have here in Anger Management. Allow me to share it below:

Hi Mr. D____ , well, this conversation has taken a fortunate turn. Asking me for advice about "personality management" wouldn't be entirely misplaced. There is an Anger Management Forum on a set of Psych Advise Pages called Uncommon Knowledge where I am the primary advise giver. I am a student of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Schools and the Rational Emotive Bahavioral Therapy Schools (see Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis respectively). They whole idea there is to NOT do behaviors that get you into trouble. But we do those behaviors because they seem like a good idea at the time. That means our thinking is messed up. SO we need to practice evaluating our thinking and change the way we think when necessary. Most Self Help Books today are based on these two Schools and since both schools are decades old, well, there is a great deal of thought put into it that the original two doctors would have been glad to think up themselves. For instance, somewhere I picked up "The Four (or five or 6) R's": we need to Review our actions and determine whether what we have done couldn't have been done better. We need to Reflect on our thinking to determine whether it is helping us or hurting. If our thinking is getting us into trouble we need to Repair it. What's wrong and fix it. Sometimes the problem with out thinking is very basic. The very way we define our self: our goals, ambitions, self image, expectations, how we envision our role in society, well, all of that together may be the complex thing that needs repair. That is our Personality is what is getting us into trouble, or at least our Persona... what we do with the inherent traits of our personality. There we must Re-imagine ourselves. Re-cast ourselves.

This is where we get to your comment about how you hate "copycatism". Yeah, in Cognitive Behavioral Self Help Therapy you find yourself always at the same kind of turn, where if you decide that your old thoughts and behaviors are not working for you, well, okay, but what are you supposed to think and feel and do in their place?

Our Society today is inherently dysfunctional and one of the most basic causes is that none of us had a full span of Role Models while growing up. In Primitive Time Human Beings lived in groups of from 50 to 150 people and while there were shelters against the rain there were not set family dwellings. As soon as children could romp, run and play they out romping running and playing. EVERYBODY in the Community was as near a Role Model as Mom and Dad. Mom would stay close but Dad would be just another one of the adults. SO children could develop their own personalities in affinity with the Role Model that most resonated with them. Yeah, often Role Models would turn out to be relatives because "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"... personality traits are inherited. But,still, with all those Role Models to go by each child's personality could be very well filled out. Also, by measuring the respect and status each Adult in the community gets, the children can appraise each Persona Style in respect to functionality. The Camp Clown may seem fun but not if it becomes apparent that he is held in low general esteem.

Well, none of that helps us. It just gives us perspective. I have used Dream Work to get an idea about Optimum Persona Styles. You just keep asking your Higher Dream Mind to show you some optimum persona types in your dreams and soon there they are. The thing is about dreaming an optimum persona type is that IT MUST BE IN YOUR HEAD SOMEWHERE, right.

But you can also do a lot of reading of Fine Literature and do a lot of critical thinking about the Persona types presented in those books. What are they thinking. What motivates them? You can do the same with movies. There is a lady friend that I no longer take to the movies because she said once too often "I just go for the entertainment. I don't want to think about anything". So I told her "stay at home... try not thinking about that". But, yeah, part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is just practicing keeping your brain going. Review Reflect Repair and then REHEARSE. Take time to do Role Play with various personality types. I used to make my friends laugh with a trick I would do. Of course I have my distinct personality and my friends know me, but one time a friend was lacking stage confidence and he is a performing musician and so that would be a problem for him, and so I showed him The Bullfighter, that is I showed him how to role play a Bull Fighter Persona, the proud stance, the perfect head and shoulders thrown back posture, the arrogant look on my face, one arm bent at the elbow arm in front (protective) the other down straight and thrown back (taunting). It was so NOT me that it would make them laugh, but they also saw that even to do that kind of thing I would have had to get my head into what it must be like to be a Bullfighter. So, yeah, imagine different roles and take time to play them out.

Now, Conscious Personality Formation takes time. It is like picking up a totally new musical instrument and learning how to play it by ear. The first month any practice longer than an hour gives you a headache. In 3 months you begin to notice some riffing that give you hope that you are not wasting your time. After six months you realize that all you need is more practice, that you found the handle on it. We know that the Brain makes new brain cells. We also know that the Brain will repurpose sections of the brain left unused. I was studying Linguistics as a Hobby and went over to Math. Hmmmm, I also gave up Music after 40 years and so those Brain Muscles are probably being repurposed for Math. But, yes, if you decide to take the time to work on yourself each day then you will be able to greatly modify your personality. Again, just as in my case, my BEING Leo Volont is a kind of artistic endeavor with my creating Leo Volont out of a slab of White Marble like Michelangelo honing the Statue of David. You can be what you want to be, and much of the problem is figuring out who you want to be.

On that Anger Management Page (Uncommon Knowledge) I tell the story of an English Lady, a commoner from one of the Northern Coal Mining Towns. When she was young she decided she wanted more, to be part of higher society. Well, after 1880 anybody could buy cloths in London. She took work where she could observe the Posh and noted their speech and manners. She read books. She saved up and went to an Elocution School and learned the RP (Received Pronunciation... how the Posh talk). then she travels where she met the English at the Continental Watering holes, and made acquaintances and refined her language and manners. She lived to please and make friends. Finally she was ready and came to London where she created a plausible back story and found a rich well placed husband on took her role in Society. She was safe for decades and became something a matron of Society. But eventually she provoked rivals and somebody had her investigated and they traced her all the way back to her Manchester Coal Miner Daughter's roots, and they threw it in her face during some season's regalia and she just laughed and said "Her!? I haven't been that silly little hussy in 40 years!" The point is that she really did successfully remake herself.
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