What Is Personality Change?

We’ve all wished we could be someone else, whether it’s just polishing a few dull spots in our personality or fully rewriting the story of our lives, Jay Gatsby-style. If you're a procrastinator, you may have wished you could be more productive; if you're gloomy, you may have hoped you could be more optimistic; if you're shy, you may have longed to be the life of the party. Changing your core personality traits (e.g., introversion) is difficult. But what you can change is your behavior. It's never too late to do what you want to do, and with a little sweat and a little luck, you can break out of old patterns and be just who you want to be.

Recent posts on Personality Change

The Myth of the Addictive Personality

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 11, 2016 in In Excess
The concept of 'addictive personality' is often used to explain addictive behaviour. This article argues that the concept of addictive personality is a complete myth.

What Do People Mean When They Say They're Happy?

When people tell us they’re happy, we automatically assume we know just what they mean.


A mindset is a belief that orients the way we handle situations. Our mindsets help us spot opportunities but they can trap us in self-defeating cycles.

Seven Lessons I Have Learned in Therapy with Men

What is involved in a man exploring his inner world? Hint: it looks different than a woman exploring hers.
Courtesy of Theonlynewnumber via DeviantArt

Psychedelic Drugs and the Nature of Personality Change

A recent study found increases in openness to experience following a dose of LSD. More detailed studies on psychedelics may lead to a deeper understanding of personality change.

Living a Fear-Less Life

By Mel Schwartz L.C.S.W. on April 13, 2016 in A Shift of Mind
Does excessive fear overwhelm and consume you? You can dismantle fear by changing your relationship with it.

Is “You Can’t Change People” True?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 12, 2016 in Ambigamy
"You can't change people" is self-contradictory, like saying "let me persuade you that people can't be persuaded." Like all self-contradictions it's good food for thought.

Rate Yourself on the New Motivational Pyramid

How do you differ from your friends, and coworkers in the motives behind your everyday decisions? A new scale measures individual differences in Fundamental Social Motives.

Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

Did you know that optimists are healthier, have happier relationships, get less depressed, are more successful, make more money, and are healthier than pessimists?

Epiphanies, Revelations and Transformations

Sometimes sane people give up their usual ways of life and adopt new beliefs and behaviors, leaving their families, friends and pursuits behind, inflicting pain and bafflement.

Working with Involuntary Therapy Patients

A therapist is an architect, not a carpenter.

The Paranoid Partner

By Joe Navarro M.A. on March 14, 2016 in Spycatcher
When there is more than suspicion in a relationship—the dangers of the paranoid personality in a relationship

Can Justice Scalia Still Vote?

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on February 28, 2016 in Fighting Fear
Should Justice Scalia's work on the cases now before the court count as an actual vote--despite his being dead? An examination of how his views may have changed since dying,

Paying Offenders to Obey the Law

A measure ill-conceived and born of desperation

Robert Berezin on the Psychotherapy of Character

The future of mental health interview series continues with Robert Berezin on the psychotherapy of character.

Prejudice, Not Science, Wins the Day in Toronto

When political 'correctness' gets in the way of good science, we all lose. A good example is what just happened in Toronto.

My Conversations with Sue Klebold

By Peter Langman Ph.D. on February 15, 2016 in Keeping Kids Safe
After studying Dylan Klebold for years, what was it like to speak with his mother?

Of Love and Murder

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 14, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Some people who participate in murder later claim that "love" had caused them to do bad things.

Star Wars Psychology: The Problems with Diagnosing Kylo Ren

What's wrong with Star Wars: The Force Awakens villain Kylo Ren? Borderline personality, psychopathy, intermittent explosive disorder, addiction, or Force-fueled immaturity?

Narcissism and Abuse as a Co-Created Relationship System

Labeling the other person as pathological to justify leaving them is one way to avoid intimacy. We don’t see how we repeatedly transform each other into what we don't want.

Who Wipes Who? Life After Depends

By Eliezer Sobel on February 08, 2016 in The 99th Monkey
Although I knew it wasn’t really the “right” thing to think, I was nevertheless secretly grateful to Alzheimer’s; it had allowed for the healing of my relationship with my mother.

The Appeal of Borderline Personality

Borderline individuals can be appealing, interesting people. "Don't hate me because I'm borderline!"

Can Empathy Towards Political Opponents Change Their Views?

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on January 08, 2016 in The New Resilience
Are your political views the opposite of someone you know? Research shows how you might persuade that person towards your own position.

Learn How to Make the Most of Your New Year’s Resolution!

By Rubin Khoddam on January 05, 2016 in The Addiction Connection
This is the year to become resolute about making your resolution work. Use these steps to get to where you want.

3 Signs Your Child has Learning Disabilities

Schoolwork is difficult, but it shouldn’t be torture. If you kid has a history of academic struggles, he or she may have NVLD.

Made Your New Year's Resolution? Read This

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on January 03, 2016 in Full Living
If you have been making the same resolutions year after year, read this.

Reinventing Yourself

By Jessica Grogan Ph.D. on December 30, 2015 in Encountering America
Rather than planning to change specific behaviors this new year, you might aim to change the rigid ways you think about yourself.

In 2016: "Habilitation," Not "Rehabilitation"

Let's not pour a delectable sauce over rancid meat and expect a great meal

Self Creation and Treatment

By Albert Rothenberg on December 21, 2015 in Creative Explorations
Creation of the self in the course of therapy is similar to the process of creation of all types of art. It involves the unearthing of self knowledge, new choices and alternatives.
CC0 Public Domain

7 Signs of Mental Health

When reflecting on how you are faring on the journey toward mental health, check in with yourself to see if your life is trending toward these seven core capacities.