If you’re one of the many tired of failed New Year’s Resolutions and empty promises you made under tremendous social media pressure, try working on things you can develop to improve your personality. And by extension, your lifestyle— and not just for the first fully motivated week of the year either.
What is Personality, and Why Develop it?
Personality is hard to define. Needless to say, official definitions have been churned up by psychologists with huge degrees. But, the fact remains that personality as a concept gets largely misunderstood. So why, and more importantly, how do you even develop something you don’t fully understand?
Think of it this way: Your personality is what makes you, you. Your personality largely shapes the unique individual that you are. Thus, it becomes advisable to work on things to develop to improve your personality with consistent effort. No one’s perfect, and it’s true. But with this list, you’ll get there—or nearly, at least.
Tips to Develop your Personality
1. Grooming and Personal Hygiene
Let’s start with the basics. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can develop before looking into subtler changes. That is not to say that outward appearances became the final say when it comes to personality: you may be the kind of eccentric genius that just can’t find time to clean themselves more than once a week. But, a general consensus agrees that personal hygiene can go a long way with first impressions. One must keep themselves clean, healthy and looked after. It may sound arbitrary on paper, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
2. Starting conversations… and Then Holding them
Most people are great at striking up conversations. If it’s a topic that interests you or something you seem to be particularly well-read about, you’d want to jump in and pitch your word out for the world to see. That’s the easy bit. The problem comes with holding up a conversation you’ve started. This one is the trickiest out of all the things you can develop. Especially because practicing this would require constant verbal sparring with strangers. After the practice, there comes that stage where you’re confidently answering every question shot your way, and without the ums and as too! Though there are lots of potential embarrassments, but it’ll all be worth it.
3. Talk, but Listen More
So you’ve got the conversation bit down. Or at least you think you do. Remember, the conversation goes two ways. Talking may be difficult, but listening, and attentively so, is even higher up on this metaphorical ladder. Even though taking it step by step is the perfect approach, be ready to face a barrage of people who want to talk your ear off. They’ll leave you to be the one who’ll step up and restore balance. But, don’t be this person yourself. Listen when others talk, know when to step in and take the reins, but try not to talk over people in this process. And in no time, you’ll be having conversations that would put a philosophy major to shame.
4. Leadership Skills
Speaking of taking the reins, don’t be shy to let your bossy side peek through once in a while. While it’s never cool to order people around, everyone loves a person who’s bold enough to take the wheel. However, the things you can develop when it comes to leadership qualities aren’t just limited to pure guts. You must be ready to face the consequences of mistakes you may not have made individually, shoulder more responsibility than the rest, and be handed the occasional extra work here and there. It comes with the job, and quite frankly, it can be exhilarating to be the leader, but it can get exhausting too. Once you learn how to handle the pressure with grace, it’ll be smooth sailing from thereon, with you helming the wheel, of course!
5. Democracy Goes a Long Way
You’re the designated leader now…but who do you choose to be, the Obama-Esque “cool dude” ready to charm the pants off people, or the Hitler era parody that only looked good on Chaplin? Personally, the latter is just a tad bit outdated. Authoritarianism didn’t work a century ago, and it certainly won’t work now. Drop the superiority complex than, and work on developing a real rapport with your group of people. Respect them and their opinions just as much as they have respected yours. After all, governments have been overthrown in a day, and you’re just one person.
6. Meet New People
Once the respect comes naturally, it’s time to sail uncharted waters. I’m talking about meeting new people, and not just incidentally too. A well-rounded personality would actively seek out new people to talk to because all of the learning doesn’t happen in books. If this is what you struggle with, add it to the list of things you can develop this year. Start slow with seeking out people you know you share an interest with, and show off those conversation skills you’ve just mastered. Slowly, once you’re more comfortable with seeking out strangers, move on to people absolutely different from you in terms of ideologies, backgrounds, or cultures. These kinds of connections, while tricky, are super fun to make, and you’d be learning the most out of them.
7. Open up to Learning
Speaking of learning the most, open yourself up to learning about all different kinds of things. Instead of restricting yourself to the subjects you’ve studied or the degree you have, widen your perspectives by letting yourself learn about newer and varied topics. Whether that is via watching movies and documentaries, talking to a more diverse set of people, or reading up online, there’s a lot you can do. If nothing else, it’ll certainly make a more well-rounded individual out of you.
8. Read, Read, and Read Some More
Considering the fact that you’re reading this article, instead of just watching, say, a YoutTube video on the same topic, says a lot about how you enjoy your information. In case the header didn’t make it obnoxiously clear, reading is perhaps among the most important things you can develop into a habit. Your mind will thank you, and the people around you, even more. Whether it’s an article (like this one!), a magazine, or a whole novel, make reading an everyday activity, even if you have time for just a page or two.
9. Work on Your Mental Health
The important thing most people forget when thinking about things to develop for a better personality is working on their mental health. Your psyche is a delicate thing, burdened by almost everything it encounters. Unburdening it is essential and can even become necessary to one’s overall development and survival. Take a few minutes to think over the events of each day and journal them in a small diary as a venting mechanism. Or, if you feel like that would make your thoughts spiral out of control, meditate instead. Turning the mind into a blank canvas can be tricky, but as they say, practice makes perfect, and there are tons of resources on the internet to help you out.
While this may seem obvious, smiling more often is actually something most of us need a reminder of. Let the curves on your face deepen, and show those pearly whites every once in a while. This does not mean that you smile at the oddest of things and oddest of hours. It’s more of a reminder, so you’re letting yourself go every now and then. If you’re particularly low someday, tap into the beauty of the internet and avail the plethora of dog videos you’ll find online. That should do it!
Despite this long list, remember that the only validation you need is your own. Whether your personality needs work or not is something only you can decide. If you find hostile judgments flying your way, there’s a saying and incidentally, now popular lyrics (or at least parts of it) :
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me
Let this year, and the many more to come, be yours for the taking. 2022 just got fun, and you, happier.
Also Read: While seeking encouragement and inspiration from external sources might be helpful sometimes, we need to cultivate self-confidence and self-encouragement in the long run.