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Old 03-03-2012, 03:10 PM
Location: Striving for Avalon
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I suppose it depends on each person's definition of personality. I find these questions really interesting, as they hit at our core being. Two questions that spring to mind for me are:
1) Can personality change?
2) If no, shouldn't it be a fixed constant upon which external events hinge?

That said, if my personality and "self" were no more than what they were 4 years ago, I'd be a much different and sadder person today. I am intellectually, emotionally, and physically in a very different position today than when I attended high school.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:50 PM
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,620 posts, read 12,783,261 times
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Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
I have heard this statistic. The one that says 85% of your personality and self-esteem are determined by the time you finish high school. I see it in my friends. They are just grown-up versions of what I knew in high school or college. Their responses to things, situations and crises are as predictable as when they were 18. Went to my 20-year high school reunion. No changes, except that some were a little humbled by having life kick them in the a$$.

What's your thought? Do you have any examples or opinions on this?
I am inordinately different in many ways from how I was when I finished high school. Way more self-esteem and confidence, and while I have the same sense of humor and basic, underlying, core personality, I'm much less aggressive (though more type-A), much more stable and calm... so, no, I'd say I've changed a bit more than 15%.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:09 PM
Location: Middle of the ocean
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Originally Posted by Whyte Byrd View Post
Personality is pretty much set by age 5 and locked in by age 12. Self esteem can wax and wane throughout your entire life.
Yes, and no from what I've read.

Your basic reactionary neural pathways are established by age 5. It's your knee-jerk emotional reactions to situations. You can retrain your base emotional reactions with effort and understanding.

I come from an emotional, physical and sexually abusive childhood.

I've worked very hard to establish a healthy normal. And I took a rocky road to that.

I've done pretty well in having a normal productive happy life. I'm a stubborn wench, and I won't allow my being dealt a crappy hand detract from my right to happiness, AND bringing happiness to others.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:33 PM
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For most, this might be the case. My dad died when I was 19. That had a huge impact and took me on a completely different path than I probably would have been on had he lived. I think I'm pretty different than the person I was in high school as a result of that.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:29 AM
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
688 posts, read 733,496 times
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Originally Posted by Whyte Byrd View Post
Personality is pretty much set by age 5 and locked in by age 12. Self esteem can wax and wane throughout your entire life.
Not really. I drastically changed from 12 to 13. I'm not sure what happened exactly but very quickly I went from a rambunctious, loudmouth, super outgoing kid to a quiet, thoughtful, reserved young adult. It was amazing and I wouldn't change who I am now for anything.

I am generally similar to how I was when graduating high school though, almost thirteen years later. My self-esteem has been constant throughout.
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