Personality

Personality

When we have a sense of self that allows us to interact appropriate with the world and other people we have a functional personality. Some forms of mental illness can skew the thought process so it interferes with how we deal with others. People with personality disorders may abuse drugs, may have lots of ups and downs in relationships, may have trouble making friends, may be isolated. There are many different kinds of disorders, but its important to know that it is possible to overcome them.

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    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
    On a practical level, nothing alleviates suffering like reaching out to another person who is suffering. Go and help, be of service if only in the smallest way. Each of us feels timid about reaching out to others; our society speaks of community but mostly we drift like atoms in a void. It isn't easy to reach over the walls built around our isolation, but any gesture -- whatever you feel safe to do -- is a step toward healing.

    After the Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks, thousands of citizens from all walks of life volunteered to assist in search, rescue, support, and other efforts. Hundreds of thousands responded almost instantly to the call for blood donors.

    Tragedy turned to light for some volunteers because they made a heart connection with others; a human thread now linked them to the life we all share. It is this connection we crave the most. But it is up to us to find the will to weave the first strand.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    People sometimes confuse self-esteem with self-compassion. The two are quite different. Self-esteem requires you to compare yourself to others: to feel that you're "better" than other people in some way. On the other hand, self-compassion requires no comparison to others, but rather involves being warm and understanding toward yourself even at times of failure . So self-compassion is available whether you are feeling up or down. In fact, it is often stronger when things are not going your way. Self-esteem, instead, tends to plummet when things go badly.

    Self-esteem vs. self-compassion:

    Self-esteem
    • Based on self-evaluation
    • Based on comparison with others
    • Based on feeling special, different, or above average
    • Associated with a lack of tolerance for alternate viewpoints
    • Fluctuates depending on whether you feel up or down
    Self-compassion
    • Based on feeling warm and accepting of oneself
    • Not based on comparison with others
    • Not based on feeling different from others
    • Emphasizes interconnection rather than an egocentric defensiveness
    • Exists consistently whether you feel up or down
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    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
    I realize that for many people there is a huge barrier in the form of "the other," someone outside themselves who's evil is unquestioned. Sixty years ago "the other" lived in Germany and Japan; thirty years ago it lived in the Soviet Union; today it lives in the Middle East. Such people find evil easier to explain by never losing sight of "the other" -- without an enemy, they would have to face the presence of evil inside themselves. How much more convenient it is to know in advance that you are on the side of the angels! Seeing the shadow in yourself defuses the whole notion of "the other" and brings closer the statement of the Roman poet Terence: Nothing human is foreign to me.
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    A Psychology, answered on behalf of
    Our ego can be our ally or our enemy.  When we first constructed our ego, we were doing so to protect ourselves from the sting of the message that entered us that brought the notions "we are not worthy" and "we are not responsible."

    At some point, it as if our ego tries to take over the day-to-day operation of our lives, like computerized machines that try to take over the world in some sci-fi movies.  In many cases, the ego does take over our inner world.

    But the ego is meant to serve our authentic self instead of our authentic self serving the ego.
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    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
    As long as the future remains unpredictable, every decision involves some level of risk. That's the story that seems to be universally accepted, at least. We are told that certain foods put one at risk for heart attacks and cancer, for example, and therefore the rational thing is to quantify the risk and stay on the low side of the numbers. But life itself cannot be quantified. For every study that shows a quantifiable fact about heart disease (e.g., men who drink a quart of milk a day are half as likely to suffer a severe heart attack), there is another study to show that stress raises the risk of heart disease only if you are susceptible to stress (some people actually thrive on it).

    Risk is mechanical. It implies that there is no intelligence behind the scenes, only a certain number of factors that result in a given outcome. You can go beyond risks by knowing that there is infinite intelligence at work in the hidden dimension of your life. At the level of this intelligence your choices are always supported. The point of looking at risks would be to see if your course of action is reasonable; you wouldn't rely on risk analysis to override far more important factors.

    The factors that are being weighed at the level of deeper awareness:
    • Does this choice feel right for me?
    • Am I interested in where this choice is leading?
    • Do I like the people involved?
    • Is this choice good for my whole family?
    • Does this choice make sense given my stage in life?
    • Do I feel morally justified in making this choice?
    • Will this choice help me to grow?
    • Do I have a chance to be more creative and inspired by what I am about to do?
    It's when these things go wrong that choices don't work out. The risks may be relevant, but they aren't decisive. People who can assess their choices at the deeper level of awareness are aligning themselves with infinite intelligence, and thus they have a greater chance for success than does someone who crunches the numbers.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Using positive psychology techniques can help you develop the resilience to handle difficulties more easily. If you develop the habit of counting your blessings, for example, you may be better able to appreciate the good in your life that remains even after a change in circumstances like a job loss or a death. Greater engagement in hobbies or nature and good relationships with family and friends can be sources of support in difficult times. In addition, knowing your strengths, another tenet of positive psychology, can help you develop realistic goals when your life changes. And helping others, even when you are struggling, can increase your positive feelings and help you gain perspective.
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    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
    Many people confuse pain with suffering. We have to realize, first of all, that pain is not the same as suffering. Left to itself, the body discharges pain spontaneously, letting go of it the moment that the underlying cause is healed. Suffering is pain that we hold on to. It comes from the mind's mysterious instinct to believe that pain is good, or that it cannot be escaped, or that the person deserves it. If none of these were present, suffering would not exist. It takes force of mind to create suffering, a blend of belief and perception that the one thinks one has no control over. But as inescapable as suffering may appear to be, what brings escape is not attacking the suffering itself but getting at the unreality that makes us cling to pain.
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    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
    Sanskrit's second klesha says that a person suffers because of clinging, which means clinging to anything at all. Holding on to something is a way of showing you are afraid it will be taken fromyou.

    For example, people feel violated when a purse snatcher runs away with a purse, or if they come home to find their house has been broken into. These violations don't matter because of what has been taken – these things can be replaced – and yet the sense ofpersonal injury often persists for months or years. Having a purse snatched can even make you lose your sense of personal safety entirely, because someone has stripped you of the illusion that you were untouchable.

    America's national paroxysm after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center continues to play out this drama of "us" versus "them" on a mass scale. The sense of American invulnerability was exposed as an illusion. Yet at bottom this wasn't a nation's problem. It was an individual problem felt on a huge scale.
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    Not necessarily. Extroverts demonstrate high levels of happiness, but so could introverts who have a close circle of friends, researchers say. By contrast, people who feel socially isolated are unhappier, with higher levels of stress, higher blood pressure and poor sleep patterns.

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    A , Psychology, answered

    The drive behind perfection is more complex and subtle than parental modeling and expectations. If there was a tremendous amount of dysfunction and shame-based activity in your house growing up, perfection becomes its antidote. If things look good from the outside, no one will suspect Dad’s drinking, Mom’s depression, Grandpa’s Peeping Tom episodes, or Grandma’s shoplifting excursions. If emotional, sexual, or physical abuse is occurring and it’s not getting addressed, living a cover story of perfection conceals it. Sadly, just by putting their energy into making life appear so, people can convince themselves that all’s right with the world when it isn’t.

    In this way, perfectionism is a direct reaction to being raised in a shame-based family. Then there’s the hope that if you’re a good little girl, Mommy won’t throw things and Daddy won’t stay out all night or get arrested again. We try to manage situations that are not of our making and over which we have basically no control by being good because most of us are raised to think that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Not so, not so at all. It stands to reason that if being good sometimes calms down Mom or Dad, then being good all the time (that is, perfect) will win the day. You come to believe that if only you can keep up your grades, maintain a spotless room, not fight with your siblings, and do all your chores just right, nothing bad will happen.

    When something bad does happen (and it always does), you think it’s your fault and redouble your efforts rather than understand that your impact as a child on the behavior of your parents or relatives is slim to none. That they’re triggered by their own internal impulses is beyond your ability to comprehend, especially when they blame you for their actions and make you feel responsible for their acting badly. As a child you believe they are right and you are wrong. Unfortunately, you build your life around the belief that you can fix other people and the world all by yourself if you only keep trying and trying and never give up. It’s the worst kind of rat race, the most lonely treadmill, the saddest example of a dog chasing its tail.