Your Personality defines who you are to the outside world. Each person has a mixture of different characteristics that define who they are. Maybe, you’re funny or shy. Perhaps, you're a tad eccentric, or you’re blunt. These are all attributes that make up an individual’s personality. Our personalities develop from childhood into adulthood, and people can even build personality disorders that make it difficult to distinguish who you are as an individual.
What is a Personality?
One of the things that make up personalities is whether you're introverted or extroverted. A person that’s extroverted thrives and becomes energized around people, whereas introverts need time alone to recharge. An introvert can be around others and enjoy being around people for some time, but they need time on their own to decompress as well. Being introverted is a trait that you often see in people in the arts, even people like actors. It doesn’t mean that you don’t like or also love people; being introverted means that you need that time to yourself. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, that is a trait that contributes to your personality - a part of what makes you who you are.
The ancient Greeks had particular ideas about people’s personalities. They believed that the way people were depended on their humor and that that’s what was the most dominant in their bodies. So, there were four different kinds of humors: blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. If somebody had sanguine blood, they were happy, and they were a passionate person. Someone who was phlegmagtic, or who had phlegm blood, was emotionless and dull. Someone with melancholic blood or black bile was depressed and sullen, and someone with yellow bile was a hot-tempered, angry individual. Those are the four types of personalities according to the Greeks.
Some people are different depending on who they’re around, their personality changes. They might be jovial around a particular friend, but tamer around another person. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a personality; it says that certain people bring out specific personality traits. That’s a part of being human. Your personality can mold to fit who you are around. It gets complicated when you think about who you are by yourself as opposed to who you are with others. You might say that who you are alone is your “real” self and personality. You’ve known yourself for your entire life. It’s safe to say if you’ve been in therapy for a long time, that you know who you are.
The Meyer’s Briggs Inventory (MBTI)
The Myers Briggs Inventory suggests that there are 16 personality types. Your MBTI type takes into account if you’re introverted or extroverted, but it also provides information about your other personality traits, such as being perceptive, being intuitive, if you’re more of a thinker or a "feeler." For example, one of the potential results of this test is a personality type known as INFJ. INFJ stands for “Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judgment.” The Myers Briggs Inventory is one of many sources that can tell you a little bit more about who you are as an individual. Another popular personality test is called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or MMPI. The MMPI is an extensive exam with over 500 true or false questions that tell you about who you are as a person. If you want to learn more about yourself beyond these tests, a great place to do so is therapy.
Some people have personality disorders. That means that they have trouble defining their core personality because a mental illness overpowers it. There is a treatment for personality disorders. It involves going to therapy and if necessary taking medication to treat the symptoms. Personality disorders aren’t easy to manage, but they are treatable with a good treatment team.
Learning About Your Personality In Therapy
Have you ever heard someone say that they went to a counselor to “figure themselves out?” There’s a reason for that! Therapy, including online counseling, is an excellent place to learn more about who you are and your personality type. If you’re interested in finding an online therapist, search the network of counselors and therapists at BetterHelp who are there to help you better understand yourself and your personality.