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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from cha      Home login  
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 BLonde^J^AngeL
Joined: 6/16/2015
Msg: 1
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201104/personality-vs-character

Personality vs. Character

The key to discerning personality from character is time

Alex Lickerman M.D.


I once conducted a job interview with someone I found to be passionate, energetic, intelligent, engaging, and prepared. As I asked her questions designed to produce an accurate picture of her potential future performance, I remained attuned to my emotional reactions to her demeanor, trying to hear what my inner voice was telling me about her. At the end of the interview I found myself excited about the prospect of her coming to work for me. I had to remind myself to remain cautious, however, as I reflected on just how easy it is to confuse personality with character and how critical it is to separate them.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

Personality is easy to read, and we're all experts at it. We judge people funny, extroverted, energetic, optimistic, confident—as well as overly serious, lazy, negative, and shy ...

Character, on the other hand, takes far longer to puzzle out. It includes traits that reveal themselves only in specific—and often uncommon—circumstances, traits like honesty, virtue, and kindliness. ...

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

The problem in forming judgments about a person's suitability for important roles in our lives (employee, friend, lover, spouse) is that we all have an uncanny predilection for observing attractive personality traits and manufacturing out of them the presence of positive character traits (that is, if someone is outgoing, confident, and fun we're more likely to think they're honest, moral, and kind). But it's far from clear that the one kind tracks with the other. In fact, as I recounted in Listening To Your Inner Voice, that assumption often gets us into trouble.

We unconsciously tend to connect personality to character for two main reasons: we want to like people we already like, and the most reliable way to assess a person's character is laborious and time consuming.

...I don't mean by any of the above to imply that personality isn't important. But when we're making decisions about who to let into our lives in critical roles, character must be considered equally important, if not more so, but is often readily overlooked. ...


So many threads & interactions in the forums boil down to personality VS character (IMO)

It is very easy for some people to fake "charm", but "character" is a true indicator ot who & what is real...

Have you ever allowed yourself to be duped by a charming person, only to find out that they were a fake?
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 2
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Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 7:11:32 AM
Ah yes, the essentially and intensely human urge to make sense of ourselves at it's best.

I am of the opinion that it is not possible TO learn the difference between charm and character (or whatever alternate terms one chooses), save that one gets "fooled" numerous times.

In addition, I think it's a part of developing character, for people to play at being charming in one way or another. Amusingly, many people discover and even display their true character by trying to be purposely the opposite of charming. It's actually hilarious sometimes.

As a child, I was actually repeatedly warned to watch out for charming liars. Older Hollywood movies especially, tended to be based on very simple and often repeated plot elements, wherein a charming swine or swinette, manages to fool everyone into giving them all manner of benefits and perks, until at some point at least the protagonist in the show finally sees through them, and chooses the One True Soul to match up with. The warnings didn't help, because charm is charm is charm. It's identical whether it's real, and based on the inner truth of the person, or based on the fact that they are scheming liars, or ( the most interesting) based on the fact that they really ARE good people, but fearfully put on a show of being charming cads, because it appears to be the only way to get anywhere in this crazy world.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 3
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 7:20:02 AM
Wisdom is the name we give to our mistakes.

We've all been duped by charmers.
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 4
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 7:21:50 AM
good article! We tend to see character in others, during times of stress. and who wants a stressful first date? Listening to stories from their past, however, can potentially reveal character.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 5
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 7:57:09 AM
Maybe some that promote this "first impressions" bullshiat should take some thought on this subject. I think everyone of us have been "fooled" at one time or another in our lives about a person, and their actual true "character". When people first meet me, many find me crass, loud and dare I say, obnoxious. Not the best "first impression". Yet, those that have known me for any period of time, there is a lot more to me then just that "first impression".

To get to past that "first impressions" will always be one of my biggest hurdles in dating, and ultimately finding that supposed "one", I am afraid.
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 6
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 8:03:04 AM
indeed, time wounds all heels.

some people are just so bad, they can't contain their insecurity and expose their true selves right off the bat. others believe their own lies and false selves so much, they don't reveal themselves until later--maybe when you move them from the "Acquaintance" column to "Friend" or "Lover" column. You might have to invest in a new person in stages, give them the rope to hang themselves by, so to speak. I had one back at university, I thought she was in a growth period, but when she wanted to date me so she could cheat on her bf, I realized how little growth she was doing. more on her presentation than on her.

And some just have a bad habit or two to overlook....or not, depending upon your options.
 BLonde^J^AngeL
Joined: 6/16/2015
Msg: 7
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 8:55:36 AM
TY great posts, all good advice IMO.

I'd like to add this in as well, I started another thread on this but it got deleted, I thought it ties in...

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201509/9-things-only-passive-aggressive-people-do

9 Things Only Passive-Aggressive People Do


There's a lot of hostility hiding behind a passive-aggressive person's smile.
While an occasional passive-aggressive approach to life's problems isn't unusual, for some people manipulation and indirect communication are a way of life. Passive-aggressive people often go undetected in the office and in their social circles—at least initially—because they disguise their seething hostility with a pleasant demeanor.

Here are nine things only passive-aggressive people do:

1. They Deliberately "Forget" to Do Things

Passive-aggressive people prefer to be viewed as "absentminded" rather than disagreeable. Instead of declining to work on a project, a passive-aggressive co-worker may claim he forgot about the deadline. Or a passive-aggressive friend may say she forgot to make reservations for that restaurant you'd been talking about because she didn't actually want to go.

2. They Say Yes When They Have No Intention of Following Through

In an effort to look like people-pleasers, passive-aggressive people rarely say no. They may ignore invitations altogether, only to later claim they never received the invite. They often robustly agree to face-to-face invitations—even the things they have no desire to do. To escape their obligations, they may cancel plans at the last minute by feigning an illness or emergency.

3. They Engage in Backstabbing Behavior

It's not that passive-aggressive people don't share their opinions—it's that they don't share them in an upfront manner. They're likely to complain to everyone except the person they're complaining about. Their indirect approach hurts relationships and does nothing to solve problems.

4. They Are Inefficient on Purpose

Passive-aggressive people are stubborn. When they don't want to do something, they often become as inefficient as possible to avoid getting the job done. Rather than say, "I'm having trouble with this project," a passive-aggressive person may procrastinate on purpose in the hope someone else will take over.

5. They Mask Their Resentment With a Smile

Passive-aggressive people don't express their anger or displeasure in an open manner. Many of them have years of resentment and bitterness built up, and it's often lurking just beneath a phony smile. No matter how much they disagree with what you're saying, they'll work hard to appear as though they fully support your statements.

6. They Seek Revenge

Hidden beneath their outwardly agreeable personas is a desire to punish those who have hurt them. Passive-aggressive people often go to great lengths to retaliate against individuals they believe have taken advantage of them. Their plots for revenge are often indirect—an anonymous angry email or a nasty rumor spread throughout the office are just a couple of the approaches passive-aggressive people may take.

7. They Exhibit Learned Helplessness


Passive-aggressive people don't believe they have much control over the events in their lives. Rather than take steps to solve problems, they convince themselves, "there's no use trying, because I can't do anything about it anyway." Their passive approach unnecessarily subjects them to more hardship and, unfortunately, many of their negative predictions turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.

8. They Go to Great Lengths to Avoid Confrontation

Even when they're deeply offended, passive-aggressive people avoid direct confrontation. Sometimes, they offer incongruent communication, by saying things like, "That's fine. Whatever!" or "Well, if you don't care about my feelings, then I guess you don't need to do that." They allow others to treat them poorly, and they refuse to admit their feelings are hurt.

9. They Manipulate People

Passive-aggressive people struggle to ask for what they want, and they resort to manipulative tactics to get their needs met. Instead of asking for help carrying a box, a passive-aggressive person may complain, "I'm probably going to hurt my back carrying that box upstairs all by myself." They don't mind others feeling sorry for them or taking pity on them--as long as it works to get their needs met.

Addressing Passive-Aggressive Behavior

If you're prone to taking a passive-aggressive approach to life, there are steps you can take to become more assertive. When your words are in line with your emotions and your behavior, you'll enjoy a much more authentic life.

If you spot signs of a passive-aggressive co-worker, friend, or family member, be willing to hold that person accountable. Allowing passive-aggressive people to shirk responsibility or avoid confrontation only reinforces their behavior.
 motowncowgirl
Joined: 3/24/2015
Msg: 8
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 9:10:17 AM

If you spot signs of a passive-aggressive co-worker, friend, or family member, be willing to hold that person accountable. Allowing passive-aggressive people to shirk responsibility or avoid confrontation only reinforces their behavior.

I used to work with a handful of passive-aggressive people. I always enjoyed blithely ignoring them. thinking back on it, i guess that really did reinforce their behavior, but it was totally okay with me because their heads eventually exploded. not my problem.

fun stuff.
 BLonde^J^AngeL
Joined: 6/16/2015
Msg: 9
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 9:13:03 AM

because their heads eventually exploded


LoL I hear you- I usually think the word "IMPLODE"!
 tangofish
Joined: 6/16/2015
Msg: 10
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Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 10:43:24 AM
I've never had a problem discerning the difference between personality and character. I've never been duped, though I've humored a few as ive come across the defects, if I wasn't able to ignore them. For the sake of keeping the peace and id stow my anger, otherwise I find myself losing my grip on the situation.

Reading body language, reading how they react to having to help others... How they act under stress. That is key information, and I can usually identify a person in a short amount of time.

Lately I've been tested beyond what I consider acceptable, and ive done my best to stay vigilant - but I'm getting really fatigued by my life. I feel my mind breaking under the stress, I feel like I am in a hopeless maze. No matter what I do, I'm going to be cast out.
 ThatGirlNamedAlli
Joined: 12/28/2013
Msg: 11
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 10:50:43 AM
fantastic thread blond angel...and initial article. I'm just one foot out the door to go grocery shopping but really look forward to reading the replies above and to follow.
 ClooneysMentor
Joined: 8/2/2015
Msg: 12
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 11:11:53 AM
1. When I met Lisa, she was smart, funny and the life of the party. She's outgoing and a complete extrovert. I was extremely attracted to her.

(PERSONALITY!)

2. I get so aggravated when I'm out dining with Lisa. She always gets up to use the restroom when the server fetches the check. This continues to occur over and over again, despite her knowing that I've had to work lots of overtime to cover the dining expenses.

(CHARACTER!)
 adventurejoe70
Joined: 3/1/2013
Msg: 13
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Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 11:14:58 AM
It is interesting and fresh topic. Although, I am having an aversion to thinking of a guy who's last name as "Licker" man as having a bundle of character! lol
 SassyKatniss
Joined: 7/10/2015
Msg: 14
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 11:33:06 AM
The in-genuine charmers tend to show cracks when dating or a relationship is tested. Then you wonder...what happened? They are not nice and bubbly and do not have this sweet charming aura about them anymore. Then reality hits and you realize it was all an act. Unfortunate but it happens. It is not usually done with malicious intent, they are just trying to be nice and interest you, but it is fake. I value and rely on a high level of genuineness, so being in-genuine with me will probably cause me to not be so trusting.

I do not really subscribe to grabbing a bunch of disliked traits and labeling them. It is kind of part of this 'diagnosing' trend. People behave differently, some people have problems, some people do not. That's ok but it is not ok to hurt or abuse others. If you know someone has particular behaviors or qualities you dislike you can avoid them or depending on what it is perhaps take up the issue with them. If they are very negative it's up to you again to not let yourself get brought down by it and avoid them if you can.

A person that's part of my family is very negative and I'm probably more sensitive to it than the other members in my family but it's just important in these situations to build your own skills and resilience to dealing with other people and their behavior. Recognize the behavior and try to avoid them doing the behavior if you can or defuse the situation or just your own thoughts about it.
 MaleFeasance
Joined: 3/13/2015
Msg: 15
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 11:54:18 AM
Character is easy to determine, because it's a measure of how willing someone is to do the right thing when there is nothing to gain by doing so except integrity and not needing to explain one's actions. People who rationalize and justify their actions don't have it. People who give excuses for their actions don't have it. People who don't want to accept the consequences of their actions don't have it. Just look at how often a person blames others for things that go wrong and you'll know a person's character.
 adventurejoe70
Joined: 3/1/2013
Msg: 16
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Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 12:02:49 PM

No matter what I do, I'm going to be cast out.



You can play that again sam!
 scorpioinOregon
Joined: 7/20/2014
Msg: 17
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 1:03:49 PM
This is what I was trying to explain in my thread about the flake. On the outside in groups of people, he's charming, funny, and generous. He's the life of the party.

One on one, he turns into a controlling, moody and inconsiderate person who only wants his way and doesn't want to compromise. He can only keep up his other image for so long before he starts to relax and be his real self. I guess that is his true character and the other is the true personality that he wants others to see.
 tangofish
Joined: 6/16/2015
Msg: 18
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Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 1:24:24 PM
Advjoe - there is nothing reasonable in my life... I'm really tired of playing this game.
 BLonde^J^AngeL
Joined: 6/16/2015
Msg: 19
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 2:01:21 PM
I started this thread for a specific reason...

Anyone who creates a false persona & grossly misrepresents themselves to feed their "narcissistic supply", no judgment, but is THAT good character?

In my life, I've known "charming" people who were as phony as a three dollar bill, & in my life, I've known others who may have not been "charming", but were honest & trustworthy. Their kindness was genuine & from the inside, not a charade or show or attention getting ploy.

If a person cannot discern, then their picker is off...& they will be doomed to be either alone or in dysfunctional relationship, if they have one at all.

Clooney gave a good example in this thread!
 ClooneysMentor
Joined: 8/2/2015
Msg: 20
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 2:21:06 PM
The fans of the narcissist have character flaws as well.

Just keeping it real Blonde :)
 BLonde^J^AngeL
Joined: 6/16/2015
Msg: 21
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 2:43:56 PM
^^^we all do Clooney, but most of us as OUR REAL SELVES...
 TrvstInKarma
Joined: 9/1/2015
Msg: 22
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 2:46:36 PM
The fans (rather victims) of the narcissist have character flaws - indeed they have, and I count myself. I did a lot of soul searching after I discovered I wasted years being hung up on a narcissist. As a child, I never received unconditional love from my parents. It was only given when I was "the good child" who didn't question anything, did as she was told without "back talk", lived her life according to what her parents' plans for her were. Any deviation was met with the infamous silent treatment that narcs are good at (yes my mother is a narc as well), or straight out physical punishment. That conditioned me to go for people who are also narcs - whose love I have to "earn" after I get hooked on them. It's called being a co-dependent. That is what I am - a people pleaser, who is used to walking on egg shells so as not to upset others. Yes, it has been a very, very revealing summer for me.

Back to topic tough....I fell for the personality of the narcissist. Yes, when I first met him, the first thing I noticed were his great looks. But that 's not what got me hooked. What got me hooked was his act - he wasn't arrogant or rude, he was humble, kind, funny, interested in me, sent me love poems, constant communication, telling me where had I been all his life, etc., .. AFTER I already had sex with him. I didn't now he was a narc then, so of course I felt like he was a dream come true. Up until this summer though, I never spent two weeks non-stop with him, and during those two weeks, the mask slipped. I noticed his bursts of anger that seemed to come out of nowhere. It was frightening. After I found out who he really was and started to research and it became apparent that everything about him was fake and a lie, I was amazed at his acting skills. He not only fooled me, but lots of other women who he was involved with at the same time. I ended up talking to two of them, and we compared notes, and all I can say is WOW WOW WOW. Unreal. His real character is horrible, but his incredibly sweet (false) personality and good looks totally mask the ugliness underneath.
 ThatGirlNamedAlli
Joined: 12/28/2013
Msg: 23
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 2:48:06 PM

Msg 8 - good post


I really like yours though too Vicki in #7 and Oluben's.
I really don't know what to say here, but I like the responses. Great food for thought, personality vs. character. So now I'm torn, one on hand I'm thankful to Blond for the thread, but not thankful for making me do extra thinking on a saturday. :) kidding.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 24
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 2:55:42 PM
Not sure if this fits in with what you're aiming for in this post:

I've had reason to notice the difference between pride and vanity - or at least how I see them. Someone with pride does the right thing even when no one is watching (that's also been described as character). A person with pride doesn't always have to check what other people think of them. I've noticed that people without pride often replace it with oodles of vanity. These are the guys who are obsessed with respect and getting respect. And they're the ones who really don't deserve any.
 ThatGirlNamedAlli
Joined: 12/28/2013
Msg: 25
Personality vs. Character -The key to discerning personality from character is time
Posted: 9/5/2015 3:04:12 PM

These are the guys who are obsessed with respect and getting respect. And they're the ones who really don't deserve any.


I actually have two cousins that reminds me of, my only blood related family where I am. I'm not a religious person but I was watching a sermon on tv because what he was saying was just so awesome, and I've watched him several times since then. But after that first one I just said "k, done".
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