People: Roles vs. Personality

Something I’ve noticed many times over the years is how some people seem to slip into different personalities when they change or assume different roles in life, work or elsewhere.

It’s as if a dial in some imaginary control room is turned, switching the person to another completely different personality.

And in most cases it doesn’t feel natural at all, it’s just an act the person is putting up, just because he thinks he should be acting in a certain new way, because of their new status.

I’ve seen this in newly married friends, colleagues who got a work promotion, people who have just had a kid, and in various other instances; and the people just change, abruptly, without warning and unbelievably.

People change. That’s a fact. But normal change is mostly done over a period of time, naturally, with people barely feeling it. It only hits them after a long period when they look back and see what a big difference there is between what that person was and what he now is.

But, the change I’m talking about here is the kind that happens almost over-night, and when asked, a lot of these people simply reply that their new responsibilites or their new status in life require a new way of doing things and handling themselves.

Is that true?
Doesn’t it mean that the person isn’t doing it because he naturally progressed to it and because he wants to, but rather because he feels that he has to?
Doesn’t it imply that he wasn’t proud of or confident in what he was?
Plus didn’t he get to the place he is now because of how he was and what he was like? So why should he change it once he got there?

It’s true that certain things in life and certain responsibilities require some changes in how a person deals with things, but I think they’re more or less small targeted changes that touch on a specific area of that person’s life depending on whether it concerns his household, work, passions & hobbies or whatever else; but not a total flip of that person’s personality.

I think it’s very important to have a balance between a person’s roles and his personality, because it can be very tiresome and troublesome to act a personality for a role, or to bend a role for a personality.

Each and every one of us is unique in his own way, that shouldn’t be lost just to fit a certain stereotype of a role, but rather used to enrich it, all the while fulfilling the new obligations of the role.

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