Wow I can’t believe that 2016 is already coming to an end. Only a few weeks left and I’m not yet a billionaire hmmmm. Okay I digress. Anyway so I read an article on Bellaniaja written by someone I know and it got me thinking. Sometimes you met people and realise oh he/she is so nice. Now mistaking charm as being an indication of other characteristics and values is an example of where we tend to fall into the trap of mistaking personality for character, which clearly isn’t the same thing.
I believe that personality is all about persona and that comes down to the qualities and characteristics that we want to put across but may not always be the same as those which represent our true and consistent character. It’s about the public versus private persona.
Someone can have that ‘winning’ personality about them simply because they know how to put their best self across. Take for example people who are amazing interviewees that get almost every job they go for but yet struggle to actually do the job and deliver on what they said they could be and do. At that point you’re scratching your head and wondering where the hell that person who you met at the interview has disappeared to. A lot of us know how to act socially, especially when we don’t have to be around these people all the time.
We have to interact with people in a variety of situations which gives us a true sense of who someone is but also, once we are spending a great deal of time around them and they unfold into their true selves, that’s where you see character-the mental and moral qualities that distinguish a person.
You don’t need mental and moral qualities to be ‘funny’ – just ask some of all those dodgy people out there – neither do you need mental and moral qualities to be charming and popular – just ask some of the famous people of this world whose reputations are in stark contrast to what they do behind closed doors. At this point, I think it is also very safe to say that a person could be incredibly intelligent but lack morals. A classic mistake a good number of us make is assuming that intelligence is synonymous with morals.
We tend to get impressed by personality more so than we do character. I’m guessing this is due to the associations we have with certain qualities and characteristics that we admire. If those associations and assumptions that we’ve made off of the back of our hand lead us into a blind spot, it’s important to evaluate these beliefs and get conscious about where we’re jumping to a conclusion that’s setting us up for pain.
Some people are consistent with their personality and character so you don’t experience a rapid departure from either one whether you’re around others or one – on – one. They are also like this when there is no one around. It is a lot easier to deal with someone who is like this because you know where you stand. You know who you’re going to get from one day to the next.
People tend to chop and change what they put across to suit their audience and especially when that divergence between personality and character leaves you with a What The………Headspin, it’s incredibly disconcerting especially when there may be a harem of people out there who based on the persona this person puts across and the reputation they’ve cultivated (or have assumed by others), these people may be swearing up and down about this person’s ‘character’ although you may have first hand experience of something entirely different from them. You cannot know where you stand with such a person because they’re inconsistent. It’s important to note that your experience of them is what you need to use to determine whether or not to proceed – no one else has to take your journey and live your life you do!
Just the same way hair dye grows out and the roots starts showing, people tend to unfold and someone who is play acting at being of a certain character does gradually show signs of it if you’re listening and watching.
Character is what you get with actions, and security comes in knowing that action and words are matching. If you don’t know where you stand with a person, that’s a big damn clue right there that you’ve been mixing up personality with character. If what you’re met with is promises and intentions that don’t stack up, honey you’ve been enjoying their persona but other aspects of their character, and habits have been interfering with the delivery of those said things. Sometimes, we really do get so carried away with personality. Character on the other hand really expresses itself through vulnerability because not only do our intimate relationships require intimacy for depth but dealing with life’s inevitable such as conflict, criticism, disappointment and loss, requires us to dig deep into our character in order to respond. You get a really good sense of who a person is when you tell (or show) them No or when things don’t necessarily go their way. That’s character! Pay attention and keep your feet in reality. Don’t get swept up in the hype whether it’s coming from them, others or even you because you cannot make what may be a big life decision (deciding who to spend what may be the rest of your life with) based on what may be packaging without the contents to back it up.
When it comes to personality, there’s nothing wrong with being attracted to particular qualities but don’t assume that those things you admire are an automatic precursor to other values and that they’re telling you all that you need to know about their character.
Your thoughts? Let’s discuss.
Chantel Netimah is a HR Personnel, Makeup artist, Writer and Entrepreneur. Optimist and Food lover! Connect on Instagram @chantelmartha and beauty page @beautiluxe.ngTwitter: @mchantel
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