Personality can be defined as the eminent characteristics that arise from within a person. It encompasses patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings that make one distinct, interesting, or popular. Personality is not a definite object but just a human-structured method of explaining how different people are from each other. It therefore helps us understand ourselves and the people around us. Personality offers a basis in understanding how and why people differ from each other. Mostly, personality deals with those noticeable elements of someone’s psychological life. This is the reason people exhibit different and mostly opposite characteristics behaviors. These include: happiness or sadness, smartness or dullness, energetic or apathetic. Evidently, the whole subject revolves around a person’s emotions, thoughts, and motives (Lecture notes, week 2).
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We study personality in order to come with guidelines that can help us understand how different and unique every person is. We also do this to gain knowledge from the interpersonal impressions exhibited in people. This knowledge of the general characteristics of people is as well able to help us predict the behaviors of these people. Finally, it should also be known that this study helps in identifying concepts that define individuality like traits and ego (Myers, 2010).
There are a number of theories that have been put forward to explain the different approaches of understanding personalities. One or more of these approaches can be used to explain a certain person’s character. For instance, Nelson Mandela, the former South African President can be described using humanist, psychodynamic, or trait approaches. However, the most suitable approach would be the humanist theory. This is due to long time that he suffered without giving up on his resolve to see apartheid done away with (Phares et al, 1997). He was very positive with life and believed that color was not a depiction of character but race. He was detained for very many years but still focused on ensuring that his people were free. Though this is strength, it could be effective if it was accompanied with the inner trait that was a bit aggressive. Mandela is soft and gentle in manner. To better understand him, there would be the need of establishing the inherited leadership from the parents since his father was a chief.
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