Barring a serious brain injury could you wake up tomorrow, decide to change your personality and successfully go through with it?
There was a time when I thought this was possible but with every passing year I believe more and more strongly that we might be able to change our minds about specific issues – religion, politics, the most delicious combination of pizza toppings – but no one can change his or her personality.
I have always been deeply introverted, compassionate, creative and a little shy. It would be about as easy for me to stop being an INFP as it would be to command our planet to switch to a 25-hour day.
Assuming this is true for everyone why bother to set boundaries with anyone? Because behaviours can change. Not easily, of course, and not always but if the consequences are serious enough it’s surprising to see how quickly change can occur.
Last year I very assertively set boundaries with someone who was violating my personal space. I’m generally quite laid back – sometimes to excess – so the personality switch from, “please stop,” to “back off now!” was dramatic. Did it change who this person is as an individual? No, but our relationship has shifted as they know pushing those boundaries again will get them the opposite of what they actually want.
What do you think? Can people change? Has your personality changed over the years?