Do You Know Your Personality?

It’s pretty safe to assume that most of us feel like we know our own personality and how we will react in everyday situations.  The idea that someone else may know you better than yourself seems intrusive, and any comment made to that affect often causes anger and retaliation.  We like to feel like we have the ultimate authority over our personality.  Nobody knows more about me than me, right?

Wrong.  It’s natural to feel like we know ourselves better than we actually do, but our view is obstructed by blind spots.  When trying to understand your own personality, you forget about biases that can be formed by hopes, wishes, fears, and unconscious motives. 

We often see ourselves as we want to be seen, not how other people actually see us as a result of our behaviors.  In order to get a true picture of yourself you have to combine your view with those of people who know you very well such as close friends and family.

People can’t see the same things about themselves that others see.  Feelings like anxiety, depression, or fear may be very easily detected internally, yet not so obvious to an outsider.  In contrast, an outsider can pick up on things that you may not realize about yourself such as your body language, choice in clothing, and sense of humor.  The way you interact in social situations can be perceived many different ways, and often not in the way that it was originally intended.

Knowing this, it would seem that the key to understanding your personality would be to simply ask your intimates to give you their view of your personality.  This combination should add up to a perfect understanding between friends and family, but there is yet another complication.  The problem here is that people are very emotional and are often driven by social cues.  Often times the people close to you will tell you what they feel will make you feel good as opposed to the truth.  Family and friends also tend to give us higher marks for our strengths than we credit ourselves with.

Even though some of the truths about you personality may be buffered by love and courtesy, listening to your friends and family is still the best way to truly get a better insight into who you really are.

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