Which Voice in the Dark is Mine?

I had a stressful week at work, and just didn’t have the time and energy to write a post, at least not at the kind of quality I expect of myself.

The other disappointment is that I am so strapped on time/energy, that reading about the topic of personality is a challenge. I was posting every day, and although it was all based on internet sources, it was something to point you, the reader, towards in the hope of facilitating a deeper exploration.

In stressful times, I talk to myself in my head, give myself directions, sometimes scold myself for being foolish. It feels like it’s coming from the front half of my brain.

When life is calmer, perhaps when I’m still but not too tired, I’ll “hear” a voice say something very brief, in one or two words. Sometimes it’s just my first name (this occasionally happens when I’m dozing off in the day, when I have things to do), as if a gentle reminder to wake me back up. Usually that voice is a woman’s, spoken in a motherly way. Fairy godmother? This voice sounds around late-twenties or early-thirties, and she sounds like she’d be attractive. I’ll wake up for that.

Other times it’s my voice (coming from the back of my head), or a man’s voice with a somewhat deeper, older, richer tone. A little spooky. I don’t know what any of this means, but I’d love to find out.

Where does this phenomena intersect with personality? If people were more open and honest, we could start this a little better. But when you say “I hear voices”, people get a bit concerned about you, or back away out of concern for themselves, even if they themselves have the same thing going on. But that’s average people, not psychologists or other health professionals.

My guess would be that personality in this case is better revealed through what the voice or voices are saying. Without getting into the nature of the subconscious (I’d need a lot more of an education to do that), the motivation of the subconscious (supposing there is one) has already helped shape the personality, is perhaps shaped by the personality, and thus is an inseparable part of the personality.

I’m not talking about auditory hallucinations, at least not as I understand it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression of auditory hallucinations is that the person having one perceives it as though it came from one or both ears. It sounds as though it’s real, occurring externally in the environment around the person.

When I’ve heard a voice, there has only been one time when I thought I heard it with my ear. I was young, maybe thirteen or fifteen, and it was late at night. I was in the bathroom, just standing there, inspecting my face in the mirror. In my left ear, I heard the aforementioned woman’s voice say my name very calmly. The voice sounded so caring and affectionate, that I wasn’t scared or disturbed by it. If I believed in angels, she was mine.

All of the other voices I’ve heard while awake clearly come from my own mind and do not involve my ears at all.

Voices (and sound effects – Exploding Head Syndrome) that occur in half-sleep are usually louder and clearer, sometimes very loud and alarming.

I’m fortunate so far, and hope that I don’t develop any problems with this as I get older, if my mind deteriorates.

Enactors of Factors

XII. Dimensions of Personality
Eysenck’s methods of measuring personality limited the number of personality types to a relatively small number. Although many traits exist, Eysenck identified only three major types.
A. What Are the Major Personality Factors?
Eysenck’s theory revolves around only three general bipolar types: extraversion/introversion, neuroticism/stability, and psychoticism/superego function. All three have a strong genetic component. Extraverts are characterized by sociability, impulsiveness, jocularity, liveliness, optimism, and quick-wittedness, whereas introverts are quiet, passive, unsociable, careful, reserved, thoughtful, pessimistic, peaceful, sober, and controlled. Eysenck, however, believes that the principal differences between extraverts and introverts is one of cortical arousal level. Neurotic traits include anxiety, hysteria, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Both normal and abnormal individuals may score high on the neuroticism scale
of the Eysenck’s various personality inventories. People who score high on the psychoticism scale are egocentric, cold, nonconforming, aggressive, impulsive, hostile, suspicious, and antisocial. Men tend to score higher than women
on psychoticism.

via Theories of Personality | Chapter Outline

I thought Trump is psychotic, but now I know for sure that it’s true.

So is my dad. They have a lot in common, those two. My dad supported Trump, and if Trump knew about him, he’d support my dad.

Self-justified in any situation, no matter how red-handed you catch them.

Anyway…getting away from two bitter topics for me,

I used to be introverted, but over time and by desire I slowly became more extroverted. Some of the behaviors of born extroverts turn me off, so I’m not fully flipped to the other side of the spectrum. I’m something of a hybrid. Most people, I will assert from personal experience, are somewhere between the two poles.

Neuroticism vs. stability – a good summary is found here:

Neuroticism for Winning

Psychoticism vs. superego – This is, in my barely-informed impression, is a question of unrestrained (psychotic) vs. self-restrained (superego).

superego definition

Eysenck You Very Much

Source:

Cattel and Eysenck: Trait and Factor Theories

“XI. Measuring Personality
[Hans] Eysenck believed that genetic factors were far more important than environmental ones in shaping personality and that personal traits could be measured by standardized personality inventories.”

Eysenck he’s right, but I would like to read more about where he drew the line between these two factors. If a person’s intrinsic personality traits (genetics) are at odds with accepted norms of a given culture (environmental), where do we consider the resiliency of those traits against the social tide? If said person also has the trait of persistence, rebelliousness or at least stubbornness, could these traits “come to the rescue” of other traits?

It would seem to me that we end up needing to consider so many environmental factors in the shaping of personality. However, if genes are the stronger force in ultimately determining an adult personality,  then in any given culture will their be natives to that culture who feel ‘freer’ (the genetic personality is a better match to the cultural values) than ‘constrained’ (an ongoing disharmony between the genetic personality and cultural pressures to conform)?

Given that we accept Eysenck’s statement above, is it not a mystery that genetic personalities come and go, but culture remains? Culture changes, but that change is slow, and people are born and die without seeing considerable change in a culture. Is there not enough variety in possible personalities? I hope you’ll agree that is not the case. Thus the rough-and-dirty conclusion is that the average person does not seek change does not forcefully seek change in his/her culture. Why is that? Is it only to gain or maintain social acceptance?

I’m trying not to confuse ‘self-concept’ with ‘self-expression’, but I find that difficult to do, and I don’t even know if making that distinction leads to any better understanding. So for now, I’m leaving my statements as-is, but I welcome anyone to direct me to a source that could alter my views.

 

Integrity, Anyone?

As an infant scans his mother’s face he absorbs clues to who he is; as adults we continue to search for our reflections in others’ eyes. While the parent-child bond is not necessarily destiny, it does take quite a bit to alter self-concepts forged in childhood, whether good or bad. People rely on others’ impressions to nurture their views about themselves, says William Swann, professor of psychology at the University of Texas, Austin. His research shows that people with negative self-concepts goad others to evaluate them harshly, especially if they suspect the person likes them—they would rather be right than be admired.

via Metaperceptions: How Do You See Yourself? | Psychology Today

If you don’t mind, read that last sentence again for me. Does this explain assholes? I’ve been puzzling this out for years and years, and this is the best explanation I have heard. Another way to say it, without putting words in the mouth of the author, is that because people who have negative self-concepts may also value being true to themselves, “being right” and being awful is being a real person, and being admired is “selling out”. It’s a matter of pride to show resistance to mass pressure. I can understand non-assholes having a tough time understanding that someone’s idea of a better choice is to be a worser person, but that’s the topsy-turvy logic of someone who feels like their existence is not a benefit to the world, and yet still has a shred of integrity.

In order to change such a mentality, one would need to admit how wrong one got it, come back to human and face the fact that they’re not so smart after all. In effect, they’d have to take back all they’ve said and done in the name of showing their contempt for themselves and for the lack of understanding they’ve received from others. They’d have to abandon the sinister vines they’ve wholeheartedly nurtured in the garden of pride and defense.

When we talk of someone’s idea of conviction and standing their own ground, it is hard to give up and change, no matter who you are, or in which direction.

Relatability

I know individuals who are “outspoken” by voicing opinions and displaying traits that go against the “regional” average personality, crossing the line of what’s socially acceptable where they live. Let’s say that one of these individuals lived in the same town his whole life, until he takes a very extensive trip around the world, lives in various place and gets to know people in a number of different cultures. Years later he returns to the town he originally lived. He now can see the difference between his hometown’s culture and other cultures. If most of the other cultures he exposed himself to tolerated his personality easily, does he readjust his perception of himself? Does he turn a critical eye toward his hometown? I sure hope so. I wonder what Dolly Parton’s take is on this.

The way you describe your personality traits is in relation to a perceived average, how you describe the “average person”. I only say this to acknowledge it, the subjectivity of it, or better yet the subjective idea of objectivity of it. Are you following me so far?

There’s a lot I’m not accounting for here, or at least haven’t addressed yet, such as the difference or relationship between behavior and the personality, or Woody Allen. Think of going out with your girlfriend when she feels like she’s got something to prove, and the disaster she half-calculated it would be.

In my hypothetical individual and his hypothetical trip abroad, he’s living in comfort, the places he lives are in stable condition without turmoil or desperation. The economy is good, it was before the 2016 election, there was a sense of relative stability. That’s not reality now, but I need something to hold still long enough for us to look at it under a magnifying glass.

So is there an objective human personality? Some standard we can compare ourselves against? George Clooney, even? I hope that in my research I find someone who can argue that there is or isn’t such a thing, one way or the other. I don’t mind being proven wrong, as long as it’s proven in the real world, not Fox News “proven”.

Diss-claim-erz

This blog is about the subject of personality of the individual person. It is not, however, as the character Abigail Williams in The Crucible put it, “a respecter of persons”. I have some awful things to say (and jokes to make) about certain personality traits and the people who currently possess them.

If I’m going to write under a nom de plume you can be sure I’m not going to hold back.

My goal is to bring a wide range of perspectives, insights, models and tests into one place where it is all easily accessible and useful to you. If I set the tags up right, it should work.

I have an education, but it’s not in a field related to this topic, and I’m not going to pretend to sound like it is. I don’t know the lingo. I would use the correct jargon if I knew it. I suppose I’ll pick it up as I go along. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take the subject seriously or lack respect for the ideas of professionals in the field. I’m learning as I go, and will try to step carefully. I may have to go the long way around an idea, in the absence of realizing the most concise expression.

This blog isn’t about me, but it is unavoidable that my personality will be on full display in much of what I write. If you wrote this blog, wouldn’t yours?

“Personality” may mean different things to different people. It shouldn’t. Our perception of the topic is an important place to start.

Merriam-Webster says:

Personality: “3 a :  the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual or a nation or group; especially :  the totality of an individual’s behavioral and emotional characteristics b :  a set of distinctive traits and characteristics of the city” source

Again, in this blog my concentration is on the individual, not a group or location or nation. The influence of an individual’s environment on his/her personality is a topic for other posts, and hopefully there’ll be many. There’s no denying its importance, but keeping in mind that the personality people present in their environment (emphasizing certain traits, downplaying others) is not their true personality. That’s just fakery. Or at the very least, they are trained to behave a certain way, and that’s what comes out.