The Puzzle of Personality: Respecting Each Other


  • Author Lidiya Binti Mohd Yusof
  • Published April 14, 2021
  • Word count 938

Latin word persona defined as the combination of or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character. Many psychologists believe that there are five dimensions of personality which are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. All these five traits have implications on our well-being and how our life goes on. That explains why it is important to know ourselves first. When we understand our personality better, we can connect easily with others by knowing why and how people behave.

When we talk about extraversion or introversion, what will come across our minds? Extrovert, the ones who love to talk. Introvert, the lone ranger. Or ambivert, the neutral one. Which type of personality defines each of us? The early 1900s was the time where the field of psychology emerged as a separate discipline. Carl Jung (1921), a psychologist believed that extroverts direct their energy outward towards others and gain energy from them meanwhile for introverts focus their energy inwards, towards more solitary thoughtful activities.

Introversion and extraversion are complex personality constructs. Most people fall somewhere on a spectrum between these two or express traits from both. How do we differentiate both these two traits? One thing that characterizes extraversion is they speak more, love parties, meet new people, and outgoing person. This is because by nature, extroverts have lower brain activity so, they need to recharge themselves by socializing. While introverts have higher neuronal activity. Hence, they feel to spend their time alone, shielding them from external stimuli. They also enjoy personal conversations, think before speaking, and introspective.

Introverts may seem like shy people, but that is not the case. They just feel tired when they are too many people involved in a conversation so, they plan to fade away to recharge themselves. Extroverts also get misunderstood as bad listeners. They just love to engage with other people which means they love to talk and listen to, but they just spoke their minds faster than introverts do. Susan Cain (2013), an American writer, believes we are exquisitely complex individuals as our introversion or extroversion will interact with our other personality traits, personal history, and therefore the culture we grew up in. Sometimes, we are not always what we seem to be so always love ourselves and never get intimated by what people say about us because every people are special.

Two main factors shaped or influenced someone to be extrovert, introvert, or ambivert. First, the genes and hereditary factors inherited from parents. According to Eysenck (1956), concludes biological factors play a significant role in determining our personality traits. Secondly, the environmental variables such as the surrounding, education, and social relationships. Some studies had been done to determine this statement for example Siegelman (1966) reported that sons who were punished by their parents would exhibit more introverted behavior than those who were less severely disciplined.

Environmental variables can affect people’s personality for example practice social distancing and stay at home rules too because of the rising number of COVID-19 each day. Somehow this lockdown has led to psychological effects based on our personality. Introvert people might feel this lockdown does not affect their life so much. However, they may develop social phobias as current implementation promoting social distancing as they spend more time on their selves compared to socialize with other people nowadays. Though extrovert people might find it hard to adjust themselves to the situation because they are deprived of social attention and they might develop an increased level of stress due to lack of contact with another person.

COVID-19 is the era of difficult times when we are struggling to cope with our problems, such as stress due to lack of interaction or even struggling with financial problems. This journey might be hard and lonely, but always remember we are not alone. People have different worries and difficulties, but that is not the end of everything. Cope with the stress such as talking with our loved ones, connecting with our friends, and talk to a counselor about what we are facing. Focus on what we can control as not everything in this life will go with what we wish for. It may be overwhelmed, but step by step to get through to find real happiness in our life.

Some people might feel they are less worth and inferior to others just because they are different. Every person has different problems and personalities. This world is full of different types of people and that makes life interesting. Imagine ourselves with a group of people who have similar personas, does not that make life quite dull. Hence, it depends on how we face these types of personalities and it is all about respecting the differences among us. When someone has a different way of interacting with us, try to embrace why they have behaved like that and do not see them personally but objectively. Some might need time to open to other people as all of us have different stories of life. At the end note, we need to understand and take the best approach to each type of person.

In conclusion, regardless of how all of us have different types of the personality spectrum, there is no better personality. Our personality is uniquely ours; it is just the way on how we see the world with our views. If we feel like we want to be good at something, try to put our strengths to achieve the goal instead of changing our characters. Always practicing respect for each other is the important key despite differences in our persona because respect build trust in relationships. We are all different and that is special.

Lidiya is a second-year student in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.

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