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The Stability Of Who You Are

629 words - 3 pages

As people go through each day, they evaluate the people around them. Thoughts race through their minds as they wonder about the intentions and emotions around them. People are naturally inquisitive into the emotions of others surrounding them and often make snap assumptions about their personalities. Personalities are generally defined as characteristics of an individual that make them who they are. This includes the way that they think, feel, and act towards others. The generally accepted yet controversial theory about personality is that it is relatively stable. Individuals may exhibit signs of different personality types or say that they’ve changed, but studies have shown that a majority of the time, people don’t change.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “There is an optical illusion about every person we meet.” In saying this, Emerson implied that merely being around a person for a short time is not enough for someone to truly know their personality. Emerson also said, “The years teach much which the day can never know.” If it were true that an individual’s personality was ever-changing, then it would not reason to say that one could only know another by staying in their life for an extended amount of time. People are quick to assume that a person is a certain way because of one instance of interaction. “People tend to understand behavior and experience as the result of the immediate context, whether intrapsychic or environmental. Only by looking over time can one see the persistent effects of personality traits” (McCrae & Costa, 1994).
Despite the fact that personalities are relatively stable, people do undergo some larger changes during part of their life. During childhood and early adulthood, personalities are molded by experiences and surroundings. Around the age of thirty, personalities are stabilized and will continue to stay consistent for the rest of an individual’s life. Studies have shown that the five domains of...

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