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The Basics

The term "personality" is commonly used.  For instance,

“She has a wonderful personality.”
“He’s a real personality.”
“It’s just her personality.”
“We seem to have a personality conflict.”
“He has personality plus.”
“She has her mother’s personality.”
“He has no personality.”

...but what does it actually mean?

There are many complex definitions for personality type, but the simplest is this:  Personality concerns characteristics inside people that explain why they do what they do.

In other words, personality is our own unique and individual set of characteristics, traits, and preferences, defined by our innate sense of self and influenced by our environment. It determines how and why we think, feel, and behave the way we do, and also what motivates the choices and decisions we make. It's our "psychology." 

Personality is a hypothetical construct that we use in an attempt to understand human behavior.

The term "personality" derives from the Latin word "persona," which means "mask." The study of personality may be thought of as the study of "masks" that people wear. These are the personas that people project and display, but also includes the inner parts of psychological experience which we collectively call our "self."

Every person is in certain respects—

  1. Like all other people

  2. Like some other people

  3. Like no other people

In short, the development of one's personality means fidelity to the laws of one's own being…

So how do you discover your personality?  Must we resign ourselves to contemplating our navels and and becoming philosophers who incessantly question every urge, every drive?

I don't know about you, but lots of people really wanted to help me discover myself over the years!  I wasted a lot of time reading psychology books and even pop psychology books, even though they never got me anywhere.  It wasn't until I landed on the models of psychological types that I finally made sense to myself.  And these models offered me frameworks that I could discover myself in -- and I could find other people in them too!  If there's something better out there, I haven't found it yet.  (And frankly, I haven't finished exploring these models yet -- I have a hunch they're going to last me a lifetime.)

What follows is an exploration of the models that have empowered me and given me the confidence to be who I am and to better express myself.  I believe they can do the same for you.

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