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Old 09-03-2011, 09:48 AM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,875,786 times
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This is a question that cannot be answered easily. There are many variables . . . I can tell you from my own personal experience that through living life, my particular personality changed from carefree and optimistic to worried and pessimistic (specifically after raising children) . . .so that is one variable . . . things can happen to you in life that can either uplift you or depress you . . .

You are going to get into the realm of beliefs here - my personal belief is that there is the true essence of the person, which will not change, and then there is the personality and ego which adapts and copes with life. There are many, many theoretical systems to help explain personality and ego states . . .

Then there is character overlayed on personality, strength of the particular person (on all levels), coping mechanisms, character defects (such as alcoholism, etc.) - it's just a really broad, complex subject with many, many variables . . .

In psychology there is a term for remaining the same in life and not developing called "foreclosing early" - it means the person would normally develop and evolve but they choose to close down for convenience - in my experience, "most" people do this, so in that sense, to answer your question, I would say that "most people remain the same" because they choose not to take the "road less traveled" and develop and evolve.

Why do you ask?
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:48 AM
 
701 posts, read 1,533,654 times
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Some change. Some don't. Some get more tolerant as they grow older. Others seem to get more self-righteous with each passing year.

For the last few years, a long-time friend has been forwarding me self-rightous, right-wing emails about people who live off the efforts of others because they are too lazy to work for a living and how support services need to be cut way back. Can't help but smile because she spent her twenties living off of others.

She and her boyfriend at the time got Salvation Army to pay for hotel rooms and gas as they traveled across country. They stayed with family members, clearing out their freezers and pantries and stealing items such as cameras from them and pawning them for travel money.

At one point, she got a two year nursing degree from a state college with govt. provided financial assistance and assistance from her parents. Then she worked for twenty years at a union nursing job, retired to a piece of property her parents gave her and now has nothing but distain for unions and people who live off the efforts of others. Go figure.

I've seen a lot of people, men especially, realize in their forties how important family is. Players and workaholics turn into great husbands and fathers.

There are some typical ages and stages that people go through. Gail Sheehy's Passages lays out the stages if you are interested.

Supposedly, one's Meyers-Briggs scores stay consistent over the years. But I've seen a fair amount of drift in E-I scores with many people becoming more introverted as the years roll by.

I've also seen war change people. I know a number who came back from Viet Nam very different than when they went over. Fun loving, easygoing, outgoing guys came back very different.

Lately, I've been noticing that more than a few men coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan are doing things that are shocking to the people who have known them forever.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
1,786 posts, read 2,381,127 times
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" i think, as we age, it may be the losses that we endure that change us most significantly"... oh so true Catsy..

Not only the loss of a loved one but the losses we endure in relationships...

How one handles these losses... When given time to grieve, I believe that it makes me stronger...
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:30 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,328 posts, read 15,380,996 times
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Most people change a bit, particularly in attitude and opinion and priorities. What seems important in your teens or twenties generally becomes less so as perspective and experience kick in.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,906 posts, read 25,364,805 times
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I have changed and continue to change. Overall, for the better. It's always easier to stay the same and usually life forces change.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,390 posts, read 10,371,940 times
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ok-now you've confused me.
what is your core personality if not your temperament, views, faith, etc? i guess I see these as an expression of your core personality; they make up who you are and how you express it.

so, ummm.. unconfuse me please. I don't understand.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:40 PM
 
6,436 posts, read 9,972,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
ok-now you've confused me.
what is your core personality if not your temperament, views, faith, etc? i guess I see these as an expression of your core personality; they make up who you are and how you express it.

so, ummm.. unconfuse me please. I don't understand.
I see now what your talking about. Your right. I don't even know why I put those together when that IS apart of your personality.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,390 posts, read 10,371,940 times
Reputation: 28641
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenk893 View Post
I see now what your talking about. Your right. I don't even know why I put those together when that IS apart of your personality.
see-you've learned (realized) something. That makes you a different person than you were 10 minutes ago.


(I'm kinda partial to symmetry)

Last edited by PAhippo; 09-03-2011 at 01:47 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:56 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,235,178 times
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It all depends what you mean by "change." I feel I am in a continual "development" process, as I believe that is what one's journey, from cradle to grave, means. We are works in progress - we grow. If you mean change in the sense of - changes in perspective, then I would say many people do change their perspectives, especially on social issues.

I don't think everyone views life as a growth process. I am convinced some people develop to a certain point and then stay at that place, emotionally and perhaps, intellectually. You might say - they found a "comfort zone" and so stayed there. This is often the case when couples divorce and say "we just drifted apart" or "we grew in different directions." One stayed in a comfort zone, one moved in new directions.

So yes, some people change . . . sometimes quite deliberately, as in the cases where folks grew up in dysfunction and when they realize they are continuing behavior patterns that were ingrained in them in early life - they seek to change that. Usually, this is a process someone will seek w/ the help of a therapist - to understand new coping skills, new ways of interacting with other people, and how to get on a new path rather than falling (unknowingly, unconsciously) into patterns of behavior and interaction that produce negative results. This would be especially true if an adult had been abused as a child.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,007,999 times
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To me, the "essence" of a person is personality, behavior, and outlook. Generally I believe this gets developed in adolescence, maybe sooner. The biggest influence in change is a role model. My wealthier friends partied it up with no worry in the world when they were young, their parents always had their back. As they aged, they got responsible and got great educations and jobs and became successful, generally from the influence/model of a parent or other. If left without role models, I doubt any of us would change. And without role models, those who want to change have a tough time of it.
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