If you ever need proof that personalities don't change... have children. 

Watching your children as they grow up, you recognize their fundamental characteristics remain throughout their lives.  Those traits and characteristics, typically referred to as “personalities”, formed in early youth, remain as they grow up. Imagine, for instance, a child who asks a lot of questions. S/he continues being an inquisitive individual into adulthood.  

 

Often, people remark that children who ask questions, are simply not inhibited by “social norms”. Yet it is our environment teaches us the meaning of behavior. By definition, there must be elements in the environment that are, in fact, social norms.   

 

I have two girls, each of whom is the seeming opposite of the other. At the earliest age “M” would become deeply frustrated when experiencing difficulty expressing herself regarding her needs. That same behavior occurs today, even though she is a grown woman and mother of her own children. She performs best when presented with choices.  

 

My other child, “W”, was very direct and clear in letting family and friends know exactly what she wanted. To this day, she prefers open-ended questions, instead of multiple-choice alternatives.  In her current job as a Producer, she is still good at telling people what she needs.   

 

As we reflect on managing ourselves, and others, understanding our natural inclinations makes our lives more fulfilling and successful. 

  

Consider that, even though our basic characteristics don't readily change, there is hope.  At school we get a formal education and socially interact with others. The result is that we learn to be critical thinkers, and to assess problems in various ways, all of which combines to form our thinking styles.  

 

We also learn what behaviors and coping mechanisms are acceptable by observing others, so that we can determine how best to manage our feelings and actions. In the end, our happiness derives from how naturally we fit into the situations that life presents, and that we seek out. Education and training can help us refine our behaviors and thinking processes to enhance success. Ideally, each person needs to be understood, individually; and respected for his or her unique personality.