T Nation

Developing Personality Tips?

Any tips on how to develop a personality? Mine is about as interesting as two-day-old oatmeal. I’m sure there’s some “way” to do this.

Insight appreciated.

Well, seeing as how you’ve already accepted the fact that you think you’re dull, that takes a lot of it. If you see yourself being boring or whatever just try to force yourself to do something different, more towards the personality you’d want to be. Try the fake it 'til you make it technique, or whatever it’s called. If you force yourself to do something or act a certain way for a while you’ll eventually start to believe it and your natural self will actually be more how you’re acting. It’s worth a shot.


Make friends with someone who makes fun of you all the time… which won’t be hard to do if you have no personality… :wink:

Jack Daniels has done wonders for me.

Many psychologists believe the core personality is set in stone before you reach kindergarten. But that’s not to say social skills can’t be developed.

Don’t be afraid.


Do other stuff besides just going to work and working out.

Cut way back on watching TV.

This isn’t a challenge, but could you be more specific about which psychologists. Anyway, nephorm I don’t know about your specific circumstances, but my guess is you may be a “flatliner”, in that case try a defibrillator.
Thank you,

Well my man. First you have to decide on what type of personality you are wanting to have. IMHO Every good personality has a little humour in it.
That doesn’t mean you have to be fall down funny all day long, subtle humour is usually better in the long run.

I find self-depracating humour to be very useful, but that points to an underlying self-confidence issue.

So really, figure out what type of personality you are aiming for, find a model to emulate, add some of your own flair to it, and BAM you have a personality.

It’s kind of like Lifting, when you first start lifting you will be uncomfortable with it, but the more that you do it, the more natural it will become, and the more you act in accordance with the personality that you hope to have, the more that personality will become yours. But in my personal experience, you probably have a killer awesome personality, it just hasn’t been unlocked yet (motivational speaker Dave) as for me, I didn’t become the energetic lunatic that I am today until college.

Re-invention is what life is about, you just keep changing until you are what you want to be, or as close to it as possible.


I think nephorm does quite enough reading, judging from his posts.

Being happy helps a lot. Just smiling and being able to converse with people on a wide variety of topics goes a long way – especially listening to what they have to say, and being able to kid around with them.

Thanks for the responses. Pretty much, I noticed that I tend to complain a lot (look, here I go again!), so I figured “hey, let me stop that. It isn’t very attractive.” Unfortunately, it seems I don’t have much else to say.

I pretty much suck at smalltalk and conducting conversations that aren’t “interview-style.” I don’t smoke or drink, so that cuts down my ability to “blend-in” to some degree (or maybe that’s my excuse). Perhaps I should do toastmasters or something.

Ah, the never-ending cycle of self-improvement.

Neo, avoid political threads. I can feel my personality being sucked out me as I type…

You don’t drink or smoke!?!?!

Well, hell! There’s your problem.

I had a great personality until I stopped drinking and smoking. Now my friends are dropping like flies.

You must have a vice. If you don’t, you won’t fit in with the majority of people in this world. My vice is cigars, but I still only smoke them about once a month or less.

Again, “Don’t be afraid.” Take the time to think about those three little words.

Fear can really put a damper on your personality. With fear, you will never speak the truth to a beautiful woman that is standing in front of you. With fear, you will never be able to tell a guy to his face that he is being a jackass. With fear, you’ll never be able to take the first punch. With fear, you’ll never grow.

Don’t be afraid.

~ jackzepplin

Kfall, many of your old school psychologists believe this about personality, Freud in particular. (About half of Freud’s stuff was horseshit, granted, but the other half I feel was right on and very useful and life improving stuff.)

Also, when discussing personality, the average person isn’t necessarily talking about the same thing as those who’ve studied the subject. I think the best definition goes something like this (taken from an upcoming article of mine):

“…personality is made up of your unique behavioral traits. Your true personality is stable and consistent over a wide variety of situations.”

While I’m not so sure Freud was dead on by saying personality is set in stone by age five (or four or whatever he said), I do agree that a person’s true personality is stable and consistent. This is very tough to change, many would say impossible. But again, social skills can be learned. But can core personality be truly changed in an adult? Hmmmm…


Not to be the Devil, but I will say that a vice or two does tend to put other people more at ease around you – which, in turn, makes you seem more interesting.

In the end, people tend to find interesting those who are passionate about the same things they are and who are not annoying, or those who can talk to them. Doesn’t have to be “small talk”, but it does help to do some small talk before diving into a dissertation on the history of Greek city-state political systems… or something like that.

I really want to get Chris Shugart’s take on social skills – especially given the keen insight he supplied to me on the ladies with his Big Woof column way back when – those were some key insights into life.

But can core personality be truly changed in an adult? Hmmmm…

Chris I know what you are saying, but I’ve talked to too many people who have e.g. gone from being insecure or shy to becoming more confident and outgoing. Is that a change in personality? It may be semantics. I think there probably is a core…personality, a flavor developed early in life, but one has to learn to be comfortable with yourself for the personality to fully flower.

I basically agree with Chris, and although my knowledge of psychology ended in grade 12, I think that the core personality can be covered by insecurities and hampered by societal taboo’s.
And when that person finally understands that other peoples opinions are really meaningless, then they find their true selves that were struggling to come out during those drunken nights and sugar induced hallucinations.


Honestly dude, you cant “develop” a personality I feel. If you are boring as hell then that is just you being you, you cant change stuff like that no matter how hard you try. Even if you did it wouldn’t last very long and you would just come off being fake as hell.
I am just giving you the truth, I know this is probably what you didn’t want to hear. Just be true to yourself and who you are, mabye you will meet a girl who is boring as hell then you could both be bored together!!

Nephorm… is your question related to babes ? Would it be related to the Niceguy syndrome?

Or do you just want more overall popularity?

Maybe you`re just fishing in the wrong pool.

For example, I had some doubts about my job-related beliefs, and could not relate to the average worker that much @ work with my 2 previous employers. Yet, in my current settings, Ive been having some of the top yearly evaluations by my bosses 2 years in a row. Whats funny is that overall Im the same guy, thepool` is even bigger, but the core part of the job is the same.

Keep me informed. I have a big Nerdy side, so there`s surely I way I can help back.

I have to agree and disagree with Chris here.

I do believe that the core personality is set on a direction at a very early age, but can be changed either through a strong external event, or a will to change, and the action necessary to change.

I believe the change from a fat person to a lean muscular person is a major personality change.

I would say immerse yourself into they type of culture you would be interested in emulating. Don’t force anything, but let it become part of you.

If you want to hang out with people at bars, go ahead. You don’t have to drink. I remember a story of a person accidentally picking up Dean Martin’s drink, mistaking it for hers. She was surprised to find out it was just water. So order a Roy Rogers and don’t tell anyone.

Also try to make sure you actually don’t have a personality. If you ask around, you might find out you are more popular, and interesting then you thought. It is hard to judge yourself.

Toastmasters can possibly help. So could taking a stand up comedy class.

jeep69 is at least partly right in that you really don’t want to fake it. More likely then not you are hiding your personality rather then not having one.

Here is the biggest revelation I had about popularity. I looked at all the people I knew and respected who seemed popular, and they had one then in common. They didn’t give a damn about what others thought. They were not trying to please anyone.

So make sure you are going for what you want, and not attempting to change for others.

Oh yeah, one more thing. You said you are trying to blend in. Wouldn’t you rather stand out?