I just wanted to add, that I am tired, it is late, and I am going to bed, so if you have further questions, I will answer them on the morrow.
MOST PEOPLE NEVER REALLY CHANGE
larc, I would most sincerely appreciate your further thoughts on this. Myself, being relatively new to this forum, leave it to your discretion what and how much to post here.
edit for PS: Perhaps, to narrow the topic....does "fear of man" qualify as a personality trait? If so, then are those of us who are shedding that fear (and there are so many that are) thereby undergoing a fundamental personality change?
Edited by - onacruse on 4 September 2002 3:30:4
Now, who could explain this better than Larc.....geeze, I didn't even know I was that smart! lol.....When the Cowardly Lion said, " I'm afraid. I'm afraid", he was always gonna be a scaredy cat.....People can overcome a fear of heights by getting on a ladder. Everytime, even for a split second, they generally think about their fear, but they overcome it by getting on that ladder. A person can tend to be verbally abusive. He may realize that this is not a good thing, so he works on shutting his mouth. He begins to change his behaviour.Inside, he may still want to say something negative but he doesn't. His actions changed! But inside, he is still the same.
I was a JW for 35 yrs. I have been out for 2 yrs. I must admit there are things about my personality that didn't change. Why? Because I liked those things. There are many other parts of my personality and my way of thinking that did change. Just ask any of my "worldly" friends who knew me before and after. Yes, some of the behavioral chages were merely a release of my true repressed personality, but there have been some major changes in my personality in the areas of ethics/morals, work, and family.
Lets see if I understand this...
A bigot will always be a bigot, in his head... and always fight the bigotry? A woman hater will always be a woman hater? A thief always a thief?
I disagree. I dont think it is that simple. I also dont think that that what people are on this board is always what they are in real life. Many are too shy or chickenshit to say to ones face what they say here. That might show a split personality?
I could write a book on the changes in me.. yes, my personallity, in my life. Based on that, I disagree with the statement in the subject.
minimus, interesting analogies. However, imho your statement "...inside, he is still the same" is non sequitor, for the following reasons:
1) If personality IS defined and evaluated by behavior, then your examples actually PROVE that personalities can and do change;
2) If personality is NOT defined and evaluated by behavior, then your examples are not relevant to the issue.
Furthermore, your statement is rather more an assertion than a conclusion, because you make no logical connection between your hypothesis and your conclusion.
One reason I chose "fear of...." as a case in point is that phobias are recognized as one of the most fundamental compulsions of human nature, eliciting primal responses. That we can overcome such phobias is, to me, proof positive that our personalities do change.
Not to argue for its own sake, just standing my ground.
I used to kill spiders. Now, if one is in the way, i pick it up and put it in a safer place. Spiders think i have changed. However, my cat still eats spiders. Spiders don't think she will change.
Onacruse, I guess it depends on what you mean by personality and interests. I would assert from my reading of research and statistics, that core personality characterists don't change, or if they do, they change very slowly. For example, what appears to a big change for you in, for example, in your degree of extraversion, is usually seen as a pretty small change by others. Before, I proceed further, I need to find a particular research paper I have somewhere in my papers. (I have been disorganized all my life.) Something you might think about. How many New Year's resolutions are fullfilled. Precious few.
Since my last post, I got to thinking about something. There may be a reason that many here are taking exception to my point of view. I do believe that the Witness culture does suppress individual differences in people. Everyone is expected to fit the same mold. As a result of this suppression, there may be larger changes among those who leave the religion than among people who have lived a more normal life.