According to the American Psychological Association, a personality is comprised of individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. There are two main components that personality is comprised of: individual differences such as sociability or irritability, and how the various parts come together to make a whole person. Live Science, a website that provides information on technology, health, planet earth, animals, history and more, notes that while there are many ways to measure personality, there are 5 traits that are known as the “Big Five”:
- Openness: This is regarding openness to new experiences. People who rank high in this trait love adventure, art, imagination and new things. People who rank low in this trait often stick with habit, and do not like being out of their comfort zone.
- Conscientiousness: People who rank high in this trait are very organized and have a keen sense of duty. They are dependable, planners, and achievement-focused. People low in this trait may be more spontaneous and may even be careless at times.
- Extraversion: The most recognizable of the Big Five, extraverts are chatty, sociable, and draw their energy from crowds. Those who are not extroverted lean towards introversion, and are shyer, reserved, and prefer solo or small-group activities.
- Agreeable: This refers to the extent of a person’s warmth and kindness. The higher in ranking a person is on this trait, the more trustworthy, helpful, and compassionate they are. Those who are disagreeable are more likely to be suspicious of others and may be cold.
- Neuroticism: Those who rank high in this trait are excessive worriers and easily slip into anxiety and depression. Even if things are going well, neurotic individuals will find something to stress about. Those who are low in neuroticism tend to be emotionally stable and balanced.
While these are the main traits characterized within personality, a person does not have to remain limited to whatever their “personality” shows at that time. Dr. Romeo Vitelli states that personality changes can still occur throughout major events of life. As our lives change, our personalities alter to fit. For example, someone who may have been low on the conscientiousness scale may become very organized and diligent after having a child. If there are aspects of our personality that we wish to change, we can take small steps that contradict our personality to balance out the scale a little bit.
If you feel that your personality is at extremes with some of the traits listed above, you may have a personality or anxiety disorder. A disorder does not define you, and there are many tools to help you manage your symptoms. New Vista Behavioral Health has several unique, home-like treatment centers where you can receive the help you need. Call us today for more information at 866-926-1498.