This whole concept of putting on the NEW personality when one becomes a JW is a lot more serious than most people realize. People truly develop a second personality. This personality is child-like and obedient. It is fearful of breaking rules and getting caught. It also has a child-like ability to believe opposite teachings. Just like a child memorizes a poem for school this personality memorizes a set of scripture and teachings that supposedly support the beliefs presented to it. Like a child it exhibits little logic. And like a child suspends reality in favor of mystery.
Most of us here have lived it. Almost all of us have seen it in action when talking to active JWs. Present them with a contradiction and they are limited to reciting scripture, a glazed stare trance-like state, getting angry or becoming fearful and escaping.
A few years ago I met a JW woman who had meant a great deal to me. I had heard that her husband died. When I ran into her in a mall I stopped her and offered my condolences. What I saw stunned me. She turned her head down and to the side, fearful that she would be caught talking to me. Quietly she whispered a thank you and stood there scared to move. I felt like I was looking at a small child who had just been caught doing something wrong. I felt so bad for her that an older woman should be reduced to such a child-like state when offered a kindness.
I have seen this also in my mother who can tell me opposite things they have been taught and not realize the contradiction. Or she just starts yelling like a child who makes no sense. But she can''t see it.
It is easy to get frustrated by this personality but I find it most helpful to connect with any JW on the emotional level. It seems to me that by connecting with them on an emotional level it takes them out of the NEW personality and back to the true self.
If you take a look at the indoctrination of JWs there is little emotional content. They encourage a srong control of the emotions. There is a purpose to this. When the emotions are disconnected from the true self it is much easier to manipulate a person. Some researchers believe that as infants and children our personalities are not integrated. This might explain why a child can be crying one minute and laughing the next. There is no connection between the various emotions. They are either in one or the other. We also know that memory is state-dependant. For example if something happens to you when you are upset you will probably remember it better when you are upset again.
JWs create a certain atmosphere at their studies and meetings that encourages one kind of learning and one mood state. The new personality needs to be in that state to be active. Get a person out of that state and you might have a better chance to get them to listen becausae you will not trigger the NEW personality. Since anger triggers a defense mood state you might not be too successful in getting a JW to listen to you. The more effective mood-state to get them into would be a caring one. It realaxes them and helps them listen
Just some rambling thoughts floating around in my head. A lot of this is based on my work with people who are multiples. It seems that many of the techniques I used to work with multiples might work with JWs too.