How can you describe one of your friends to a stranger? You tell him about some of his prevalent characteristics such as talkative, trustworthy, intelligent etc. Some of those characteristics may change over time while some may remain almost same even after a long period. Did you ever meet a childhood friend after a long time only to realize nothing has changed a lot. These long-lasting characteristics may be loosely defined as the personality traits.
I am not a professional psychologist and I do not have any formal education either. The article is just an expression of my own understanding about some aspects of psychology.
Can I change my personality traits?
This is one of the first question that comes into mind after learning about personality traits. In my opinion the short answer is “No, one can not just change one’s personality”. Granted, this is one extreme view of personality trait, as we see many counterexamples of this around us. However, the changes that we see in others and sometimes within ourselves as well are mostly changes in behaviour, mood, and our experience. As we become wiser with age we learn to behave differently in different circumstances as well as adapting our behaviours according to change in context. How we feel inside and the process of our thinking and preference do not change much though.
Another important distinction between personality and mood needs to be clarified as well. Mood is something that may change frequently whereas personality is long term characteristic. For instance a naturally talkative person may become quite reserved for a period of time after experiencing tragedy in his/her life. On this note, I want to mention that even personality traits can be significantly altered on such tragic experiences.