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Today I would like to deal with the concept of personality. In my opinion, the personality has to do with the character of the person, and I can visualize as a mental structure, metaphorically speaking or from a psychological perspective point of view.
Therefore, I would like to start by defining what we understand in psychology by
We have two parts in this concept, one is the normal character and the other is the pathological character. Many of the transcendental questions that people ask are whether we think they are normal or abnormal. It is normal to think or feel of this or the other way? Of course, if there is an obsession in between, that feeling or that thought is not very normal. But let’s go step by step.
We begin by defining the normal character of a person by using the dictionary, and read the following: from Latin: “character”, “iron to mark”, then follows about ten different meanings to this word. We will choose to quote number eight and nine according to the diccionary (according to the María Moliner Dictionary), where it tells us that (8)”it is the way of being of a person, with reference to his attitude and reactions to life in general and his dealings with others”, (9)”is the Quality of the person who stands firm in their line of conduct and is able to lead others.” It also speaks of character to refer to a kind of energy, strength, firmness, pushiness, tenacity or will.
With respect to the term personality, it would be the tenth meaning, says the follow: (10)”set of well defined traits in the way of being or acting of someone, particularly an artist or his style.”.
Particularly the latter is not very clear to me, but on the whole the dictionary tries to define from the grammar rules what the character is, nothing is mentioned with respect to the psychology or its possible psychopathological quality.
Therefore, from psychology we could define character as a characteristic pattern of behavior, attitudes, ideas, motivations and emotions that define a person over time and through different situations, giving him some stability in his presence with himself and with others. In addition we would add that this pattern is composed of traits, which are specific ways or characteristics that describe the habitual way of behaving, thinking or feeling of someone. Therefore, we have the character of a person and their personality traits that make it up. We could also add that these traits are based on certain physical attributes, which together with the way of thinking, feeling and how we have been judged by others will give rise to personality profile.
So far, it seems to me that we have a description of the character quite finished to help us to understand well enough the complications that we will face later in this article.
Therefore we could add the following annotation within this description of normal character, character traits do not appear accidentally or are congenital (at least it is what I believe), but develop progressively, as more or less fixed and repeated patterns Of attitude and response to external and internal stimuli (I underline this word because I think it is important to emphasize it).
With respect to the internal stimuli, we refer to our impulses, desires, instincts and thought. And if he is a normal person, he will find the proper way that all this “internal” is adapted to the external or environmental reality through the activity of his personality, where synonyms such as temperament, idiosyncrasy or habitual style of
proceeding of his character. Therefore, to have a personality that is sufficiently functional or operative helps us to live our life.
In this way, it is through our character that we achieve very important functions for our life such as organization, integration, and again the adaptation of our internal world as the external reality (work, friends, familiy…) shared with our family, friends or co-workers.
So far we can understand how important the presence of character is in us, since it has goals or goals to fulfill for our lives as important as for example survival, socialization or being at ease with ourselves.
But if the mediation by our character between the internal and the external fails, because we put our mettle at the service of our passions or our instinctive impulses (is what I referred to as the internal world), and our sexual orientation already comes into play, Our tastes and hobbies … or because we mimic with the external world as if we were a biological automaton machine (over adaptation to the external world, impersonate people), we will arrive at our second definition of character that are the pathological forms of character that are not very efficient and contented, The creative capacity of the individual is imprisoned.
The pathological forms of character called by psychology Personality Disorders become a disorder when they cause a significant functional deterioration or subjective discomfort into us. In turn, there are different types of personalities with different forms of characterological reactions that establish a pathological structure of character.
With regard to personality types we refer to rare, eccentric or extravagant subjects, then there are dramatic, emotional or unstable subjects; And finally, anxious or fearful subjects. Together, these personality classes are distributed among women and men, being more frequent in women and others more frequent in men.
Finally, with respect to the different types of characterological reactions we refer to personality in three ways: passive-dependent personality, passive-aggressive personality and aggressive personality.
Then, when the character is disturbed, we can begin to speak of psychic alteration. This phenomenon is usually accompanied by anxieties of all kinds, and according to the person and its characterological constitution, this could be translated or transferred to anomalous, inharmonic, impulsive or maladaptive behavior according to the norms of family, society, moral, professional ethics or In the sexual life (with problems in the operation or in the sexual orientation.
These alterations in character, which as we have said are of a psychic nature, prevent us from functioning well in our abilities and potential dispositions in all the fields in which our life unfolds. We also think that the necessary adaptation and development that we intend for our vital pursuits, disturbed by feelings and inadequate character traits in what could generate a certain awareness of illness, and in many occasions push us to the
request of professional help, is wrong.
At this point we come to the core of the question, we will say that the alterations of character are pathological as they reflect immaturity, disharmony, lack of global integration, lack of adequate socialization, then there is also a greater complication when our character is overwhelmed by our own impulses (also sexual, with desire
or fantasy) and our own moral requirements that may have lagged behind our personality or the demands or needs of others for not being able to evolve enough (I mean to stay a bit young in our sights, also naive).
From this melting pot of our behavior distinguishes from the scientific literature three forms of personalities: Psychopathic; Drug addiction and, finally, sexual perversions. I forgot! we would also include psychosomatic problems such as anorexia or obesity.
I would like to end this article with the cover image and the words of Walt Disney. To my knowledge, he has been able to know from a very psychological perspective (although he has never studied psychology) how personality and character flow socially and in cultural creation. Character and personality interact in this creation he invented: cartoons. His drawings have been filled with personality by giving them life on the screen thanks to the fact that Walt Disney understood what is necessary to fill into “The Personality”, something that we psychologists pay close attention to it, and is a very important psycho-affective element, whether we think it from normal or abnormal behavior, and that is: A drawing is “animated” giving character to his person, but would be “something” inanimate.
A kind of anthropomorphism, isn´t? Thank you Walt!
And so far we have arrived today, greetings to you…
David Norberto Gascón Razé. Psicólogo en Madrid
Tel: 636 55 45 62
Web site: www.psicologo-davidgascon.es