Have you ever wondered how to improve your personality?
A lot of people tell me that they would like to improve their personality. My response is always the same. “Why?” Why would anyone want to change their personality? Now, okay, there are some bad people out there, people with genuinely terrible personalities. But I know from firsthand experience and from study that genuinely bad people don’t think they need to change themselves.
It’s like the famous Leo Tolstoy quote, “Everyone wants to change the world. No one wants to change themselves.” Except that isn’t quite true. People with genuinely crappy personalities don’t want to change themselves. They’re caught up in the delusional view that the world needs to change and that they’re perfect.
But you want to change your personality.
And that tells me that you’re a good person, because only good people consider that they might be the ones who should change.
I guess all in all that basically means you’re a great person who doesn’t realise it.
Don’t worry, I’m not about to say all those clichés “Don’t change, you’re awesome,” “Love who you are,” and so on. If you want to change your personality, then do it.
First though, we need to clarify precisely what personality is
The term personality comes from the Latin word Persona which used to refer to masks that actors would wear. Since then, personality has developed to now refer to the feelings, mannerisms, and behaviour of an individual. “Personality refers to individuals’ characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behaviour, together with the psychological mechanisms — hidden or not — behind those patterns,” Funder, D.C. (1997).
So where does your personality come from? (read that link for the answer).
The important part here is that “Personality refers to thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.” If you want to change your personality, you have to change those three things, but how?
When we say we want to improve our personality what we generally mean is that “We want to make our personality more agreeable to other people.” A person with a “Good personality” is generally considered popular.
The reason why we want to have a popular personality is because 85% of life’s successes comes down to how we interact with other people.
So let’s get this straight, when you say you want to improve your personality what you really mean is that you want your personality to be more attractive to other people because you understand the value of social interaction, right?
Okay. now we’re getting more specific and we can begin to understand precisely what we’re aiming at.
I’m going to ask you to never say “I want to improve my personality” ever again, if that’s all right with you. I mean, obviously I have no right to ask you such a thing, but I do think it’ll be for your benefit. Because an “Improved personality” is just way too vague. Comparatively, when you say, “I want my personality to be more agreeable so that I can get along with other people and thereby take advantage of the opportunities offered through positive social interaction.” Well, when you say that you know precisely what you’re aiming for. And if you think “No one understands me” (in which case read the link) then say, “I want to be more understandable”. That gives you a clear aim.
The best way how to improve your personality is to make yourself more agreeable so you get along with people better. Here is how.
1: Recognise the good in yourself
If you want to know how to improve your personality, you have to staart by recognising the good already in you.
Even though we’ve never met I feel pretty confident that you’re at least 50/60 percent decent. Because, as I said earlier, only decent people ever consider that they might need to change.
You don’t want to lose the good parts of yourself. People love you for those things, right?
So the first thing to do is this: write a list of all the great parts of your personality.
Go ahead. Do it now. If you don’t do it right now and instead say “I’ll do it later” you probably never will do it.
Go one I’ll still be here.
All right, so you’ve written your list of all the great aspects of your personality. Cherish those things. Don’t ever lose them.
2: Write a list of things you do want to change
Go ahead and write another list of all the things you want to change. Go on, do it now.
Done it? All right. So those things on your list, they’re the aspects of yourself you’re not happy with, right? They’re the things you want to change, yes? Okay. Keep that list with you.
3: Find one person that has one quality you want and compliment them for it
You’re on Facebook, right? Okay cool, that’s going to help you a lot here. I want you to find one person on your friends list that has one trait that you wish you had. Go ahead, click the link, you can LIKE our Facebook page at the same time if you want to.
Now, find someone who doesn’t do the thing you do that you don’t like (e.g one of the things from part 2) and does do something better instead. For me, for instance, I have a friend called Stacy who has the best sense of humor ever. And I really respect her for that. And I would like to develop my sense of humor (this is just an example, my sense of humor is pretty off the charts to be honest). But for an example, I’m going to do this for her in just a sec’…
Found the person? Yeah? Okay. Now go ahead and send them a message. Tell them that you think they’re great because they do that one thing that you don’t do, the one thing you wish you did do.
Go on. Do it. I promise that you’re going to feel great as soon as you do this.
Done it? Okay cool.
For more on this read my guide to Being A Better Person Using Your Social Network.
4: Wait for them to respond. And then listen to them
Okay. Here’s the deal. You now have to wait for that person to respond to the compliment you just gave them. They’re going to be really happy that you complimented them (presuming you gave a nice compliment that is). And they’re going to want to talk about it. Why? Because people love talking about things they’re good at.
And here’s the really amazing thing. That person is the number one person in your life who is capable of giving you the trait that you want. If you wish you exercised more, your pro-exercise friend is your role model for that one trait. If you wish you were socially confident, then your really sociable friend is your role model for that, and so on.
As soon as that person gets back in contact with you on Facebook, they’re going to start talking to you about the thing they do well. They will probably open up to you and tell you all sorts of thinigs about the positive trait. They’ll tell you why they’re confident or fir or hard working or whatever, they’ll tell you how they feel when they do that thing they do, they’ll tell you everything.
5: Listen to them
If you chat over Facebook then pay close attention to what they say. But it is better if you can get that person to meet up for a chat sometime. Trust me they’ll probably still talk to you about their special trait (unless they’re very humble). When they speak, listen to them. This is your personal role model (for that one trait) telling you how to do the thing you wish you could do. Listen. Their words are like pure gold.
And that’s it.
In your circle of friends you have people who are amazing at the things you wish you were amazing at. You have people with the personality traits you wish you had. Talk to them about it. And listen.
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