hellfighter, welcome to the board, try google chrome, I see that you registered here on 12/11/2004. You have been lurking that long?
Did YOU Change In Your Personality After You Left The Organization?
Change in personality? Not much. To me, personality is the surface behaviors that the public sees. I act pretty much the same as ever, though I may be a little more outgoing toward people I used to consider as bird food.
The changes in me go far deeper than personality. I was a cold and judgmental person who believed there are NO GRAY AREAS in the world. Everything could be classified as either right or wrong, Christian or unchristian, for Jehovah or against him.
Now I know that isn't true. There are MANY gray areas and many things that are beyond my ability to classify. I found it quite disconcerting and uncomfortable at first but now I embrace it. I am mentally FREE from the Borg, not simply OUT of the Borg.
I try not to see just black and white either. We are not our brother's keeper and we are not judges.
To me, not much. I came in at 19, and I always believed in being true to myself, and my personality didn't change all that much. I did change some behaviors, like I didn't swear, but otherwise I just acted like myself. That's probably why I didn't fit into the cult-like culture amongst the JWs. It also made leaving that much easier!
NOT really ... BIG MISTAKE ... but I didn't know that my personality had been altered, masked, by my upbringing in that organization (actually my natural, normal healthy personality was never developed and had a unnatural combo personality*). These days I am very intentional with they way I see things and live my life. Taking personality tests and reading lots of self-help, self-growth, motivational stuff from Tony Robbins, FranklinCovey, Jack Canfield to Oprah ;) and dozens more even Donald Trump has helped me to live a very rich, spiritual, happy, life in addition to studying the bible on my own. I am always reading books on how to improve as a human being, personal relations, finance, work, friendships, etc.
The following are factors for developing personality masks: this was a BIG eye OPENER for me ... from the test "WIRED THAT WAY":
Personality masks are typically the result of outside forces working in a person's life to make him or her CONFORM to someone else's concept of who he or she should be, or they could be something the individual put on in childhood to survive in a difficult or dysfunctional family living situation.
Causes of Masking:
A domineering parent or one with unrealistic expectations can cause masking when he or she constantly requires the child to conform to Personality traits that are not natural to the child.
Living in a home with alcoholism, severe illness, or extreme dysfunction may cause unnatural pressures on a minor, dependend child to perform or contribute to the household, often assuming a parental role.
Strong feelings of rejection from childhood might result in masking when a child does not feel the love of one parentor both parents. The child will often try to become whatever it takes to win attention and approval.
Some forms of emotional or physical abuse may lead to the child conforming to the demands of the abusing parent in hopes of stopping the harsh treatment.
Childhood sexual interference or violation particularly when perpetrated by a parent or person in a parental role, may cause the child to adopt behaviors not natural to her/his personality.
Growing up in a single parent home might result in some form of personality masking, especially if the child is firtsborn, in which case the child may fulfill some of the roles of the absent parent.
Legalistic religious homes or those with intense regulatory standards can stifle a child's natural personality.
A domineering or overly controlling spouse/partner or someone in a position of authority in adult life can also result in personality masking as a form of coping or survival.
Adult abuse or rejection in marriage (or significant relationships) will often have some effect in distorting the natural Personality as the lonely or hurting person simply gives up.
Tests results are not set in stone, but for me was a huge help ... and I am on my way to recovery and discover my true self, I don't feel confused anymore and I know what I am good at and what I want to do with the rest of my life ...
@ LowKey ...
I was like that ... I actually now feel ashamed of myself, I have asked God to forgive me for that.
As Onthewayout once commented, I think I am now finding my non-cult personality. The real me was always there…but suppressed. I was good at making friends before becoming a JW, as JW I always struggled developing meaningful long lasting friendships, now that I’m out, I’m back at being an easy going and outgoing person.
It is because I feel more human that I will never consider going back to the Organization.
I haven't changed my personality that much, but as others have noted, my attitude and outlook have definitely changed for the better. The biggest attitude changes were toward other people and myself most of all. As Mad Sweeney said, I used to think of others people, no matter how good and upright they were, as future bird food. Their good qualities wouldn't save them once Armageddon's thunder rolled and while I regretted that, I felt I had to accept it as "the truth".
As for myself, the long darkness of self-hatred I had is over. You cannot be a gay man and stay in this organization. There is no room for men like me in it no matter how hard we try or how much we may want to remain. The assault on my self esteem was endless and looking back on it now, I marvel that I survived at all. I know others who were not as lucky as I was. This religion cost them their lives.
Being disfellowshipped was the beginning of my healing, but even then it has taken me some years to finally get to this point. For nearly five years I tried to get reinstated. I am now so grateful that never worked. It was only when I made my decision to turn my back forever on this religion that I could finally move forward. I have met other people, gay and straight, who have helped me see myself as I truly am. As long as I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I lived in a Hall of Mirrors. Every image I had of myself was a distorted one. That is why, having made good my escape, there is no way I will ever return.
The better elements of my personality are manifesting themselves again and I am very happy about that. Suppressing and denying who we are is a very dangerous thing, and this religion excels at teaching its adherents this. What it calls 'putting on the new personality' is actually an insidious form of mental and emotional suicide. But now that I am out and free, I am determined to live life to the full. As Robert Frost put it, choosing the road not taken has made all the difference to me.
FROM ILOVEBIRTHDAYS - Yes. I became a whole lot more outgoing, much more tolerant and less judgemental, and stopped being afraid of everything. I keep working on trying to not have to justify everything I do to people who don't need me to justify anything, but I haven't ditched that yet.
OMG!!! You said a mouthful!!! I'm the same way!
Also, I did change my personality. I needed to just to survive. My parents raised me to be meek and by nature I was EXTREMELY naieve, overly-humble and could NEVER see the the wrong in people. I was an ever optimist but not a realist. Being a JW really hurt me socially because I "turned the other cheek" a bit too damn much. I wasn't having problems w/worldy people. It was the crazy/insecure JWS!
Ireally had to 'grow up". It didn't happen until I turned 30. It was like walking out of the darkest room. I started "making plans" on how to live MY life. The questions I would ask my worldly workmates (politics, education, just living...) were so embarassing to me. But, I couldn't ask another JW cuz they didn't know either AND how dare I ask such questions! This System is ending I my questions were of a worldly nature and mundane!
Oh, yes! I had to change. I wanted to LIVE. Just simply live....Like get up on a Saturday morning and pour milk in my cereal and sit there and eat it and watch cartoons....at the age of 30....like a normal person, ya' know?