Do personalities change over time?
Today at the garden bingo luncheon at church we were talking about some of the strength finders and personality tests and what we each were….it is interesting and for the record:
- I am an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs
- I am a Beaver with otter as my secondary.
- I am Earth with Water as a secondary on the 4 Elements.
- On the DISC assessment I am a strong C with S .
- In Strengthfinders I am Learner/Input/Intellection/Strategic/Adaptable (in that order)
Anyway, I left the conversation wondering what it would be like if I retook any or all of these assessments. How would I answer them now? Would I be the same? I don’t know….BUT:
Perhaps the strengths lessen in intensity. I am not sure, but I think that some of the things I tested on would probably be different, even if just a little, as I have had to take on other roles and tasks as a single person/widow and had to leave my career. The things I used to be good at naturally, I am not anymore because I have fallen out of practice. It is like speaking a foreign language. Without speaking it every day, you forget a lot of vocabulary and it becomes more “foreign”!
Perhaps it is just the age factor, and over time I have just mellowed out, gained experience and responsibility, and seen huge attitude adjustments in my life. Moreover, things that I value are different that when I was younger. I have a different perspective.
Perhaps it is the Spirit maturing me into the image of the Lord with a characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving that has become consistent over time and across situations. In other words the fruit of the Spirit is ripening. I remember learning in Psych class that personality is about 50% innate and 50% learned, so it would stand to reason that some of the traits can adapt. Some can be a conscious choice. For example, I choose joy. I want to be more optimistic. My happiness is not dependent on my circumstances. I could not have said those things when I was 20. My esteem was so low and I had been so wounded that I was afraid and angry and I never thought my life could make a difference. Yet, in spite of all that I am now in a very different place and it does impact my outlook and behavior in every setting!
I know I am still me and that I am made uniquely in the image of God to impact my niche of the world for the sake of the Kingdom, and I believe that our personalities are part of what makes us who we are, but I wonder at the ways I have changed and grown and if that is because of my personality in part or if my personality has changed and grown. Interesting food for thought anyway!