How to Change Undesirable Personality Traits

Опубликовал Admin
5-04-2021, 02:50
If you have a few personal qualities that you want to change, you’re not alone – many people would like to tweak their personality a little. The good news is that your personality isn’t set in stone, and with some effort, you can change yourself for the better. However, this process will take dedication and patience, especially if you are older. You can get started by identifying which undesirable traits you want to get rid of and which positive qualities you’d like to develop to replace them. After that, you can put your new personality traits into practice until they become automatic.

Identifying Negative Traits

  1. Examine which aspects of your personality bother you. Be honest with yourself. Which of your personality traits prevent you from living the life you want?
    • Personality traits that get you into trouble, damage your relationships, or interfere with your productivity are probably worth trying to change.
    • If you want to change more than 1 or 2 of your traits, you might find it helpful to make a list. For example, you might include traits like lying, procrastinating, or self-doubt.
    • Try taking an online personality test to identify specific traits. The NEO Personality Inventory is a good option that is known for its reliability.
  2. Ask a friend or family member for their opinion. When you’re talking with someone who knows you well, ask them what they think your faults are. An outside opinion may help you see yourself more objectively. It’s possible that you’re too hard on yourself, or that other people see undesirable traits in you that you haven’t noticed.
    • Ask someone you can trust to be honest with you. For example, you might ask, “I’m trying to improve myself. Can you can help me pinpoint a few negative traits I have that need changing?
    • Only ask for another person’s opinion if you’re prepared to hear anything they have to say, positive or negative.
  3. Figure out how negative traits affect your life. Once you know which personality traits you want to change, ask yourself why you dislike them. Write down the ways your life would be better if you didn’t have these negative qualities.
    • Be specific. For instance, you could write, “Because of my impulsive spending, I had to borrow money for rent twice last year. When I get my spending under control, I’ll be able to save money and rely on myself.”
    • Save this paper and reread it if your motivation starts to wane.
    • You may even want to make a list of pros and cons for the trait you want to change. This can help you to determine how the trait is affecting your life and the lives of those around you.

Setting Personality Goals

  1. Visualize your ideal self. Ask yourself what traits your ideal self has that you don’t possess now. These are the qualities you will work on developing to replace your negative traits.
    • For instance, your ideal self might be more outgoing, punctual, and tidy than you are right now.
  2. Find people who inspire you. Ask yourself why you admire certain people. Chances are good that they have some personality traits you could cultivate in yourself.
    • Consider people you look up to in real life as well as public figures like athletes and celebrities.
    • Try reading autobiographies or watching videos about inspirational people on Youtube. This can help you to identify traits that these people possess that you admire and would like to have yourself.
  3. Ask yourself whether you can turn negatives into positives. Many traits that are often considered negative actually have some positives built into them. Look for ways to preserve the positive part of the trait while minimizing the negative part.
    • For instance, many shy people are good listeners, and many aggressive people make natural leaders.
  4. Choose just one or two traits to focus on at first. If you try to change multiple personality traits at once, you won’t be able to focus on any of them. Instead, select just one or two of the most important qualities you want to work on, and leave the others for later.
    • Choose a goal that will make your later goals easier to achieve. For instance, if one of your objectives is to stop being lazy and develop a good work ethic, it would make sense to tackle that one first over getting promoted at your job.

Changing Your Habits

  1. Create a plan. After you’ve decided on the specifics of your personality goals, figure out how you will make them happen. Brainstorm specific steps you can take to get rid of your undesirable personality traits and build your new, positive qualities.
    • For instance, if you want to conquer your shyness and become outgoing, you could commit to greeting one new person every day.
    • If you want to stop procrastinating, you might immediately break down large projects into smaller, doable parts and then take action on at least one.
  2. Focus on a goal. Having a goal in mind for making a change can help to keep you motivated. Try to focus on the larger positive aspects of making the change rather than thinking about the negatives.
    • For example, if you want to be a better public speaker, then try writing down what greater goal this will accomplish for you. Maybe being a good public speaker will allow you to become a personal coach or will be a requirement in starting your own business in the future. Write down whatever positive aspects you can think of to help motivate yourself.
  3. Be aware of your behavior. Instead of letting yourself run on autopilot, get into the habit of paying attention to your thoughts and actions. Notice which situations tend to make your unwanted personality traits come out, and develop strategies for handling these situations differently.
    • For instance, if you find yourself arguing when someone criticizes you at work, an alternate strategy might be to take a deep breath before you reply.
    • To establish the habit of self-awareness, practice it for a week or two before you start trying to change your behavior.
  4. Use affirmations. Affirmations are statements that trick your brain into thinking you’ve already achieved your desired outcome, which helps you change your habits more quickly. This is called a “fake it til you make it” approach and it is very effective. Come up with some inspiring affirmations that reflect your goals, and repeat them to yourself several times a day.
    • A couple of examples of good affirmations are “I feel confident and secure in myself” and “I accept responsibility for the things I do.”
    • Repeat your affirmations first thing in the morning, right before you go to bed, and whenever you have an idle moment during the day.
    • Make sure your affirmations are in the present tense, not the future tense. For instance, instead of saying “I will be optimistic,” say, “I am optimistic.”
  5. Look for opportunities to practice your new behaviors. To change your personality, you’ve got to perform a new behavior over and over until it seems natural. This is a long process, so don’t miss an opportunity to practice. Seek out situations that give you the opportunity to behave differently than you’re used to.
    • If you want more opportunities to practice your conversational skills, for instance, you might resolve to go to lunch with your coworkers more often.
    • You can also find support from friends, family, or even by connecting with new like-minded people. Try telling a close friend about your goals to help keep yourself accountable, or join a group such as by looking for a meetup in your area on
    • You might even consider joining a self-development organization to get help developing your new habit. For example, a very useful and well-known organization is called Landmark Education. These can be expensive, but the money may be worth it depending on the importance of the new habit.
  6. Be patient. It can take months or years for your new personality to really feel like you. This is especially true if you’re over the age of 30. Stay persistent, even if you slip up or your progress is slower than you’d like. If you stick with your goals long enough, your brain will eventually forge the new connections you want.
    • Keep in mind that developing a new habit will come with setbacks. Try to develop a plan for dealing with setbacks to help you continue to move forward and progress towards your goals.
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