Is it possible to change someone’s (your) character? There is a popular opinion that once people inherit character personalities, they cannot be changed as it is in their “genes”. But that is not exactly the truth. Character is a mental and moral quality someone builds given an extended period of time.
The environment, education and experience of an individual play a vital role in determining the person’s character. Since all those are distinctive to each person, we can say every individual has a character that is unique and that cannot be exactly repeated.
But the problem is, we find people with “Good Character” and “Bad Character” and sometimes we fall among one of those. So, is there a way to change a person’s character? No, you cannot decide one night and change your character right away the next morning. But yes, you can do minor changes in the beginning so that it will eventually change your character. For that, you must understand the steps on how character is developed.
Steps in Character Development:
Perception happens when you first meet someone. The first impression is a very crucial thing that sets your perception of that person. The mental image that forms in you about that person says how well you treat that person. This judging happens quickly based on looks, clothing, age, gender, posture, communication, behaviour, etc.
A mindset is a certain belief you hold about someone or something based on your perception. Mindset is very important because it influences how you behave i.e. it influences your attitude, which is discussed in the next step.
Your perception and mindset are personal to you and no one can know that unless you express it, but your attitude, on the other hand, is something that affects others. If you have a good mindset about a person your attitude towards them will be good and vice versa. Your actions can define your attitude and it varies from person to person.
In short, the sum of all your attitude towards every individual in your life makes your character. It is a very gradual process that happens over years, which defines how you are as a human being.
If you have a negative attitude toward most of the people in your life, you will have a negative character and if you have a positive attitude toward most of the people in your life, you will have a positive character.
How to Change Your Character?
Right now, you must have understood that you cannot change the end without changing the start. Yes, start with your perception. I understand there are obnoxious people out there, but what if most of the people you come across are negative? Isn’t there a chance that the way you perceive them might be wrong? Is there a way to look at things from a different perspective? If there is a will, there is a way.
Next time you see a person, try to see the good in them, empathise with them, try to understand them. When you go that extra mile, slowly your mindset changes, so does your attitude. When you see the good in the next hundred people you come across and forgive the people who are not in your good books, you will notice there is a shift in your attitude that sums up your character. And one day, just like wine getting better with age, you will realize your character has changed for the better.
A small change in perception can bring a significant change in your character with time!
Thanks to Sasti Rayan for the insights on character development.
Written by: Ajay Prem
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