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Discussion Starter #1
I just got finished reading Carl Rogers "Becoming a Person" and it was alright I guess. I'm trying to figure out what makes a person who they are and I'm continually coming up short.

I know experiences shape a person

I know MBTI will shape a person

Talents and gifts will shape a person

Family will shape a person

etc. etc.

So anyway I've been thinking about this for a long time but I feel like all of my categories are somewhat mechanical or superficial. None of those things really define or explain who I am though they certainly have an influence. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere near to the bottom of this. So what is it? What is responsible for the essence of a person? I'm comfortable with theological/spiritual explanations but not something like "well God made them that way." Okay sure but give me somethin more than that. I just feel like there is more depth than MBTI answer but not so simplistic and inscrutable as the cosmic, theological one.

All types welcome to contribute.
 

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I think the MBTI defines what personality a person has, and I think it does so with more accuracy than most other personality tests but, as you mention, there are many other things than what MBTI takes into account that makes up a person, and I think what defines you as a person is also largely experiences, I personally believe that childhood, and everything in that category has by far the largest influence on a person. For instance it has been proven that a childs relationship to his/hers caregiver will define the future of his/hers relationships(Attachment theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

Much the same way I think other early childhood experiences define a persons later development.
So its safe to say that I am leaning a bit more to the nurture side in the nature versus nurture debate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm inclined to agree but there was an INTP who grew up down the street from me who I was good friends with. We lived in the same neighborhood, had similar family experiences, went to all the same schools, had the same friends, etc. etc. but man he is a much different person than I am. That's what really prompted me to post this because I am stumped. The traditional categories are not enough.
 

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I'm inclined to agree but there was an INTP who grew up down the street from me who I was good friends with. We lived in the same neighborhood, had similar family experiences, went to all the same schools, had the same friends, etc. etc. but man he is a much different person than I am. That's what really prompted me to post this because I am stumped. The traditional categories are not enough.
Well to continue with the example from above; an individuals attachment pattern is already "locked" after just 18 months, and when it is already locked in this early, obivously you cant know how his first 18 months of life was, and I am confident that everyone has unique experiences in their childhood, therefore I think it is unjust to simply proclaim that 2 individuals will act and behave the same simply because they both came from the same place.
Likewise you dont see siblings developing the same personality simply because they are from the same family.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I like what your saying but I would put "childhood" among the other categories that just don't quite cut it. I'm trying to find something more innate and possibly somewhat mystical? Where are the INFJ/P's when I need them?
 

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Jesus, who knows?

I'll offer the following:
-genes/genetic predisposition
-IQ
-experiences, but I'm sure more trying times really have a bigger role in shaping someone
-Mental illness
-degree of self-awareness, in a "cosmic" sense
-interests

I'm going to have to go with this one poet's treatise: "People are strange".
 
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Nature/Nurture

I would also like to add, the ability to ponder on things that we see.

Take eyes away from a man then what is he?

Those already born without eyes can think about touches, smells, taste, and sounds. But cant visualize them. So they are limited.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Jesus, who knows?

I'll offer the following:
-genes/genetic predisposition
-IQ
-experiences, but I'm sure more trying times really have a bigger role in shaping someone
-Mental illness
-degree of self-awareness, in a "cosmic" sense
-interests

I'm going to have to go with this one poet's treatise: "People are strange".
I like IQ and genetics. Those can be interesting. One thing that makes different INTP's different is although they have similar cognitive preferences their intellect can be quite different. I mean some INTP's are obviously not as bright as others but you can have two INTP's who are brilliant in completely different ways.

I like that one a lot. It's more innate/intangible.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nature/Nurture

I would also like to add, the ability to ponder on things that we see.

Take eyes away from a man then what is he?

Those already born without eyes can think about touches, smells, taste, and sounds. But cant visualize them. So they are limited.
So basically how successfully they have used their intellect to grasp reality and their own self-existence. I like that one too.

Very good very good.
 

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see, this is funny. I almost posted a topic like this on how incredibly different INTPs can be from one another. In fact, they are some of the people I can't stand because we differ in some of our core beliefs. And INTPs are supposedly so damn "precise" in their reasoning. Here I will turn to my man Pascal: "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing"

I also read On Becoming a Person by Rogers. I thought it kicked ass. he is a true existentialist. we all have our core motivations man. stuff that we decided very early on that was what we wanted in life or more accurately what we would fight for. my personal view is that we all have our Will to Power. everyone looking to extend their perceived self onto the world whether they choose to be conscious of it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It was alright I thought it was a bit sappy/unrealistic. I'm glad I read it just I didn't get the specifics I was looking for.

What else have you read in regards to theory of self? Anything?
 

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Haha, three wolves one moon...

Anyway, I think you have to take emotional state into the equation...I'm sure we'll find someway to put a person down in numbers eventually, but then that would mean that andriods are possible....

I think you should read Factoring Humanity. Marvelous book, and it even had some mentions of Jung. It's pure science fiction, but wonderfully enlightening. It's one of my favorite books thus far for that reason.

Link to amazon.com for the book:
Amazon.com: Factoring Humanity (9780765309037): Robert J. Sawyer: Books
 

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Genetics and physical appearance.
As someone who is pathetically short, I can say that I used to be really aggressive as a child to compensate for it. My clothing/makeup tastes and behavior are influenced by my physical appearance, as are other aspects of my personality. While it was in my nature to lash out without thinking, I soon realized that I pose no physical threat, so I was forced to simmer silently. And gradually develop a high tolerance level. P:

Nature ("inborn" personality stuff like MBTI, I guess).

Self-awareness, self-worth, identity.

Age.

Upbringing, environment, time period and culture.

Gender. Ties in with upbringing/culture and such.

Family life and relations.

Intellect, creativity, things that deviate people from the "norm" or allow them to fit in with it.

Emotional and social intelligence.

Religious, spiritual or intellectual beliefs.

Social acceptance, exposure to love (or lack thereof).

Experiences, both good and bad, traumatizing and uplifting.

Physical and mental health. In some cases, they can be a reflection of the other.

Fears, coping mechanisms, how one deals with emotions.

Surprisingly, technology! The internet can change the way we think (not the content so much as the way we access content). I'm sure the changes it makes to our personality are minor (shorter attention spans and such), but still, they can be significant.

External factors like drugs and alcohol can alter a person, too, but I don't believe they define them...

I'm sure a bunch of these can be grouped. I'm just tossing out whatever first comes to mind. I like to develop characters of my own, and while they obviously pale in comparison to the true complexity of a real person, these are the things I keep in mind when I develop them.
 

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I just got finished reading Carl Rogers "Becoming a Person" and it was alright I guess. I'm trying to figure out what makes a person who they are and I'm continually coming up short.

I know experiences shape a person

I know MBTI will shape a person

Talents and gifts will shape a person

Family will shape a person

etc. etc.

So anyway I've been thinking about this for a long time but I feel like all of my categories are somewhat mechanical or superficial. None of those things really define or explain who I am though they certainly have an influence. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere near to the bottom of this. So what is it? What is responsible for the essence of a person? I'm comfortable with theological/spiritual explanations but not something like "well God made them that way." Okay sure but give me somethin more than that. I just feel like there is more depth than MBTI answer but not so simplistic and inscrutable as the cosmic, theological one.

All types welcome to contribute.
I have always believed that a person... is their choices. (Choice is made from want, desire, commitment and practice.)

I believe this way because I have seen people come through the most "terrible situations and environments" and be incredible human beings. I have also seen the latter... people whom become and continue old behaviors. The same effect can happen with up-bringing, money, schooling, relationships... the entire package.

It must be "choice" because that appears to be the single common factor in all these situation. And a belief that a choice can be made in the first place. :wink:
 

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I'll throw in:

Birth order

Neurochemistry / Body chemistry (testosterone, serotonin, etc)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Physical attributes are a big one. People almost always play the part they look. It's hard not to.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have always believed that a person... is their choices. (Choice is made from want, desire, commitment and practice.)

I believe this way because I have seen people come through the most "terrible situations and environments" and be incredible human beings. I have also seen the latter... people whom become and continue old behaviors. The same effect can happen with up-bringing, money, schooling, relationships... the entire package.

It must be "choice" because that appears to be the single common factor in all these situation. And a belief that a choice can be made in the first place. :wink:
I think volition has a huge part of it. I'm not a determinist by an means.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'll throw in:

Birth order

Neurochemistry / Body chemistry (testosterone, serotonin, etc)
That's pretty good. I am not a materialist however. I believe in God and I believe in a psycho-somatic world. So body chemistry to be sure but I also believe there is soul and not just matter. Not sure what that means entirely. (I'm not disagreeing with you I'm just talking.)
 
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