How I Changed My Personality to Be a Better Person

How I Changed My Personality to Be a Better Person

There are two kinds of people in this life: people who believe personalities can change, and those who do not believe they can change. There’s also one good piece of advice: never marry the latter.

This is because personalities should change over a lifetime. Being a workaholic in your thirties represses free-spiritedness and spontaneity that you had in your youth. And when you are older, you aren’t willing to take risks as much because you realize life is short.

But sometimes, there’s another need to change your personality that isn’t related to your age. Sometimes, something just isn’t working. Either you are too needy and lack confidence, or you are too controlling and angry, or you are not dependable and too flaky to be accountable. Just because there are 16 personality types (as per Myers-Briggs) doesn’t mean all of them are equally good.

Hard to imagine now, but I used to be a very free-spirited, don’t depend on anyone but God kind of person. I was flowing with the wind, I was carefree, and I did as I pleased. This was in my mid-twenties, and I was in a relationship with a highly controlling person (and self-professed as well. He wanted to become the next Napoleon). But he really disliked my carefree attitude. That was because I was a danger to him. He didn’t like my God, because I was wild to him. I didn’t think that was so bad, until I saw it from the opposite end. I realize now that I wasn’t very reliable or trustworthy to him. And I was dangerous: I made some very poor decisions, I played around with sin, and I hurt people. It wasn’t a good place to be.

Then, upon dealing with my sin, I became needy and dependant. Not knowing who I was anymore, I needed my ex to tell me how to behave, what to think. He spoke for me on my behalf with friends. He was embarrassed of me and wouldn’t take me out in public. And he told me I needed to exercise however long it took to lose the weight I gained. It was dysfunctional, I wasn’t well, and it was all because I made stupid decisions from a carefree, no accountability-attitude.

Before I started my relationship with Andrew, I knew I had to be a better person. I reflected back on all the kinds of person I was, and I realized that I really liked the me that was in university. I was a workaholic, I was organized, productive and successful. I knew I still needed to be more loving and patient than I was in university, but I work really well when I focus on my duties and obligations and not my wants or my feelings. So even before I met Andrew, I applied to go back to school and got accepted to a Masters of Divinity program at Wilfrid Laurier. And this attitude was serving me well.

That is, until I recently noticed a problem with anger and control. Recently, I got so upset over something that I thought was important to me and I was right about it, but I couldn’t do anything about it. And not only that, but being right about it didn’t even matter. And that’s when I realized how God deals with us when we make mistakes: He gives us mercy and grace, not just justice. And He expects us to deal with others failures with mercy and grace, the godly way. Sure, I could remove every one I love in my life just because they wronged me, and I would technically be right about it. But I would be alone and miserable. Sometimes, when you are someone like me that has too high of standards at times, you have to recognize that you ARE right, but still let it be, at least for as long as you can handle it. Even if I would want everyone to be a better version of themselves, I can’t make them. I have to let them stumble and deal with their personality flaws. And that’s how I deal with mine.

When I take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, I hover around Introverted-Intuition-Feeling-Judging. I am almost 50% introverted/extroverted, so that sometimes changes. And I am usually a Feeler but sometimes, a Thinker. And sometimes I change from Judging to Prospecting. But I always seem to be Intuitive as opposed to Sensing. That is what is so hard about my lifestyle and who I am compared to what I do. I love taking care of Elizabeth, but I mostly fantasize about things I will one day be able to talk to her and teach to her about. But until then, it’s cooking, wiping, cleaning, washing, fixing her hair, wiping some more, and moving constantly/never sitting still. This is a very Sensory, the focusing-on-externals that I am not good at. But just because I am not good at it doesn’t give me a pass to have a dirty house. No. I need to balance out my personality so that I am a well-rounded human being. Do things I am not natural at so that I can do it right, even if it is hard.

Sometimes I compare myself to the “Friends” character cast and see where I am at. Right now, I am a Rachel acting like Monica but dreaming to be like Phoebe. I am Rachel because I always prize my independence and freedom and principles on love and morality, but I am acting like Monica because that is what my family needs right now, but I long for a day to be more carefree and whimsical and just do what I really feel like, no matter how crazy it sounds (like Phoebe). Maybe one day I will. Or maybe, Andrew and I will continue working hard, making good decisions, to leave a huge inheritance for Elizabeth. That would be dutiful, good, and a worthy sacrifice of a life well-lived for your loved ones. But if I do, I am definitely going to need to find a way to blow off steam and be whimsical from time to time.