How to change your personality

This was the heading of one of the e-mails I received this morning.

Personality is not set in stone. For starters, it is part of the result of the interactions with others. I have noticed that not only am I perceived very differently in England, I feel very different here and it’s almost like I become a different person every time I leave England and return to it.

It’s hard to explain in terms of hard science and I bet that particularly physicists and mathematicians will reject this idea as nonsensical. But who we are and how we behave is also dictated by our surroundings and how the people around us treat us.

This is directly tied into otherisation and everything that stems from it including those health disparities so many people are eager to mention at the words, which, granted, probably also has something to do with the verbal attractiveness of the phrase “health disparities”. I do it too.

A podcast from the British Psychological Society. I haven’t listened to it yet.

Are our personalities set in stone, or can we choose to change them? In this bonus episode of our PsychCrunch podcast, Matthew Warren talks to former editor Christian Jarrett about his new book, “Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change”.

Christian discusses the evidence-based methods you can use to alter your personality, whether you are an introvert who wants to become the life of the party or simply wish you were a little more open to new experiences. He also explains how our personalities evolve over the course of our lifespans, even when we’re not consciously trying to change them, and ponders how they might be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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