Do you ever wonder why whenever we describe someone’s personality, we usually refer to the attitude and behavior? It is because our attitudes speak of our personality. But there is more to behavior and attitude that comprises a person’s character. Our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well-being all build up our so-called personality.
We become observant of the people around us and those we interact with and study each one’s personality. We usually describe another person’s personality as good or bad. When someone has a rude and unlikeable behavior, we say that the person possesses an undesirable personality. On the other hand, someone with a good heart and an admirable demeanor has a good personality.
When we speak of personality, we pertain to the person’s character, wholeness, or totality involving behavior, attitudes, qualities, and traits of an individual. It is, in fact, one of basic foundations of the study of psychology. There have been many definitions coined by psychologists about personality. Let us understand the general understanding of this concept and what involves it.
As earlier mentioned, personality is all about the most essential psychological aspects of a person’s life – our thoughts, feelings, motives, skills, and behaviors. The term is coined from the Latin word ‘persona’ meaning ‘mask’. This means that people put on a ‘mask’ that distinguishes them from the rest. We can choose to portray different personas which constitute to our personality but our inner selves have a greater representation of our true characters.
Every human being possesses a personality that defines our essence as individuals in every stage of development in our lives. It is what makes up a person and it is what makes us unique from each other. In other words, no two individuals have the same personalities and so you are being characterized by other people as to who you are and what you are to them based on your personality.
Fundamental Characteristics of Personality
Our personalities may be collectively characterized into four fundamental characteristics. First is that every individual’s personality manifests consistency. This means that we demonstrate a pattern of regularity or uniformity to our behaviors as recognized and identified by other people. In essence, we tend to act in similar ways and respond similarly to various situations.
Another characteristic of our personality is that it is psychological and physiological. A person’s character and identity is built up by the patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior. However, some researches would mention that biological aspect also affects or influences personality.
Our personalities are also said to be characterized by impact behaviors and actions. It causes us to take action or respond to various situations and experiences in certain ways aside from affecting how we act and react in certain situations.
The fourth characteristic of our personality is that it is demonstrated through multiple or various expressions. It is more than just a person’s attitude or behavior but also identified through patterns of thoughts, emotions, relationships, and interaction with other people.
Essential Components or Layers of Personality
Out of curious research and study of our personalities, psychologists have found out different components or layers of the human character. The first component is the persona or the external layer in which people put on a personality that they want to show to others which may not truly define their true image. We can be someone else’s personality if we want to and hide our true nature.
The second layer or component of personality is the self or ego. It is also otherwise known as the personal identity. This level is what we pertain to as our true personality. It is this level that controls our consciousness. We are aware of the experiences we encounter and the things we do and think of as our ‘self’ or ‘ego’ is tied to our memory. With this layer of our personality, we are able to take control of other mental processes and manifest or execute them.
The third component of our personality is what experts call the realm of unconsciousness which is different from our ‘persona’ and the ‘personal identity’ or our consciousness. Any activity that is not normally governed by the conscious mind belongs to our unconscious self.