Do you think of yourself as having no personality? Have other people said that about you? Well, even if you’ve been accused of being invisible and boring (many of us have, at one point or another), you can develop your personality by polishing your social skills. You might never be the life of the party, but you can become a welcome, positive addition to any social group!

What is personality?

personalityYour personality is a combination of behaviors, attitudes, preferences, thoughts, behaviors, emotions, reactions and mannerisms. It’s how you deal with other people, situations and stress. How you think, feel and behave is completely unique to you.

Part of your personality comes from your genetics and the rest from your upbringing and other environmental influences, including personal experiences.

Humans come in a practically infinite number of shapes and sizes. Each one of the planet’s six billion plus inhabitants has different strengths and weaknesses, preferences, perspectives, opinions, behaviors, needs and ways of communicating. For every person alive, there is a unique personality.

There’s no such thing as NO personality! There IS such a thing as poor social skills, however.

The good thing is, you can take steps to improve your social skills, accept yourself for who you are, change your expectations of others and develop a magnetic personality that attracts the kinds of people you want in your life.

Extroverts prefer large groups.

Unlike introverts, extroverts prefer large groups

Before you go about improving your personality traits, you might use a personality tool to identify them.

It’s helpful to use a personality typing tool to identify your predominant personality traits – not as an excuse for behavior or to compartmentalize you, but to enable self-discovery. According to the works of Katharine Briggs and other notable psychiatrists, two distinct types of personalities were identified:

The extrovert, and the introvert.

These are not cast in stone; rather, they are preferences as to how we interact with others, take in information, make decisions, recharge our ‘batteries’, and generally live our lives. There can be some crossover (you can have a shy extrovert and a bold introvert, for example). There are many sub-categories within the very general Extrovert/Introvert labels, but for the purposes of this post, let’s just look at the general.

Why? Because if you consider yourself to have NO personality based on popular opinion of what constitutes a “winning personality,”you may simply be an introvert!

Society prefers people who are outgoing, the life of the party, quick to make friends, enjoy the company of groups and recharge their batteries by being with other people. Think of the celebrities that are featured on TV, internet and print media – they are always the life of the party, surrounded by admirers and so forth. Look at the great, successful business leaders – always in meetings, shaking hands, making deals, networking, etc… they all seem to be very self-assured, don’t they?

While these are admirable traits, they don’t apply to everyone – introverts have some amazing strengths (like a calm, rational demeanor) that extroverts struggle with! If you:

  • prefer the company of a few close friends rather than large social gatherings;
  • are a better listener than talker
  • enjoy solitary activities
  • are calm and peaceful
  • are very creative
  • tend to hold your emotions in (don’t express your hurts)
  • tend to avoid voicing your opinions, needs and wants
  • take your time making decisions
  • become anxious about social gatherings
  • enjoy thinking and intellectual challenges
  • feel that the inner world is as important as the outer world
  • need to be alone to recharge your batteries

… you’re an introvert!

Improve your social skills to become attractive to others.

Improve your social skills to become attractive to others.

Introverts are generally misunderstood as being aloof, arrogant and even boring. But that assessment comes from extroverts! Extroverts (a slight majority of people) apply their own perceptions and practices to introverts – with terrible results.

If you possess many if not all of the traits listed above, you won’t fit into an extrovert’s perception of how people “should be.” So what? They don’t fit into yours, do they? Extroverts can come across as bossy, shallow and scattered!

With that said, you can improve your social skills, and in becoming more social, you can improve people’s perception of your personality.

 

Improving Your Personality

The best things you can do to improve your personality is to become interested in other people and learn the art of conversation. Use the Silva Method’s Three Fingers Exercise to program yourself to be calm and confident in social situations, so you can:

  • approach people in a friendly manner – not aggressively, not Labradoodle-friendly, but openly and with a genuine interest in connecting with that person
  • focus on them and listen thoughtfully to what they are interested in; ask open ended questions about their interests
  • smile more – a warm, genuine smile is very attractive!
  • share your passions with others; never put yourself or your talents down – you can speak well of yourself without being boastful or self-absorbed

Since introverts often shy away from social situations because they know they may be perceived as anti-social, boring or too quiet, you may need help in becoming socially comfortable. You don’t have to become the life of the party; just be there, be yourself, and become comfortable interacting with others.

People who are accused of having no personality are probably natural introverts who lack a few basic social skills. Make conversations interesting by:

  • Being interested in everything; there’s no shortage of fascinating topics! ASK what the other person is interested in and talk about that.
  • Adding value to the conversation by providing facts, opinions and personal stories – introverts are more likely to listen, so again, use the Three Fingers Technique to program yourself to be calm and relaxed, and put your two cents’ worth into the conversation instead of standing there mutely nodding and saying, “uh huh.
  • Broadening your interests so you always have plenty to talk about
  • Mastering something so that when people inquire about you, the conversation blossoms
  • Learning to communicate effectively
  • Approaching people with self-assurance and a willingness to connect.

Don’t let being an introvert cause people to label you as having no personality. You have one – just learn to let it shine!

 

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