What Is the difference between Personality and Character?
Personality is how the world sees you. It is your distinctive behaviour. It is how you are ‘wired’ with one of the four primary personalities you adopted in early childhood from your principle exemplars ~ the people you spent most of your formative years with.
As already explored in past BLOGs, two primary traits determine personality:
1) you learned to display or hide your feeling ~ EMOTIVENESS and,
2) you learned to get your own way by controlling or submitting to other people and situations ~ ASSERTIVENESS.
When laid vertically and horizontally bisecting each other, these two dimensions reveal four separate quadrants of primary personality which we call: COOL/TELLER; WARM/TELLER; COOL/ASKER; WARM/ASKER.
Your predominant behaviour is revealed by one of these four personalities. Though you can learn to adapt your behaviour to other personalities, your primary personality tends to remain with you throughout your life.
Character, also learned, is your social awareness and moral compass. It is your sense of rightness and wrongness. It influences your choices and may be defined as, “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”. This is your character, which may change as you desire to become 'better' or 'worse'.
Character combines two traits: honesty meaning, freedom from deceit or fraud, and integrity meaning, adherence to moral and ethical principles.
Can you be honest without possessing integrity? Yes, as you do not need a moral and ethical code to simply tell the truth.
Can you possess integrity without honesty? No, as to adhere to moral and ethical principles by necessity requires honesty.
Here are two examples:
1) you fail to mention to the checkout operator that you were given too much change, which demonstrates you lack honesty
2) you accept an invitation to a dubious venue, which demonstrates you lack integrity, which inevitably leads to having to keep your dubious ‘choice’ a secret from someone, which demonstrates you also lack honesty.
6 positive outcomes of Good Character:
- Trustworthiness ~ telling the truth even if you are disadvantaged
- Respect ~ remaining aware of another’s feelings, time and possessions
- Responsibility ~ doing what you agreed to do
- Fairness ~ striving for a win/win outcome
- Caring ~ paying attention to the physical and emotional needs of others
- Citizenship ~ striving to live by the laws of the land by maintaining social awareness
Does this sound Utopian?
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In Part 2, we shall explore more tell-tale signs of character.