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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Why is Personality So Important? - November 2nd 2015, 11:08 PM

I have been wondering about this question for a few months now but I have only now had the time to post it and ask the question. Why does society place on us a requirement to be social and interact with others, and relate to others? Worse yet, why does society place on us a requirement to have some sort of passion, a burning emotion in our personality? I like being alone. I like working alone and I do not like it when people think there is something wrong with you when you react with resentment to the idea of group assignments and the, frankly, interruption of other team members in an idea and a path you have decided.

I could do a twelve week assignment in two weeks if I had my own devices.

Regardless, it is not just education, it is also in general society. I will explain this by referring to education though . So I was in Accounting class and it was the very first day, so we got an icebreaker. I personally like icebreakers and this one was well organised. We were asked to find something we were good at and then write down why, how, when we figured out we were good at it. People said gaming, footy, someone said sleeping at one point, but I volunteered to represent my sector, to begin for the group I was assigned to. Anyways, I wrote "argumentative essay writing". I am proud of my voice in essay writing, by perspective and use of language .

Regardless, when the teacher read it, she was immediately taken off guard, she thought it was weird that someone would write that. I was asked when I figured out that that was what I did well. I said "Summer 2013" because when I was at College (lower level of University in Australia), the seasons were named after the ACTUAL seasons which I thought was awesome. Then, later, when someone went in, he mockingly said he found his talent in "the Summer of 2005".

The same bloke made a presentation on social sustainability as it applies to a fictional development company, and I asked the question: "given the recent growth of the urban development, an increasing problem in these sorts of developments is the displacement of housing in areas surrounding the development. Is that an issue that you consider a responsibility (specifically in compensation) or is that a thing for the government to consider?" He didn't quite answer the question but while he was listening to it, his eyes exaggeratedly glazed over, he was trying to demonstrate that I was being boring. I should have spoken up but alas, instead I had an Aspirin .

My cousin was here last year and one day, before I knew him all that well, I was studying and he came and sat next to me and studied as well. A few minutes later, I got up and moved to some other room upstairs.

A couple of months later, he said to me "remember that incident, I sat next to you to study and you walked off soon after. I thought 'is it something I ate, I am pretty sure I put deodorant on!'" He later acknowledged, "now I know, you like to be alone" and I crucially appreciated that acknowledgement but he said "not everyone will see it that way". I will demonstrate my entire point with one more story.

The NSW Government recently launched a counter-extremism package targeted at public schools. School counsellors and teachers will now be trained on the signs of radicalisation and asked to report it. This is a government minister in a press conference:

What they'll be looking for is someone who is potentially isolated from other students, perhaps someone with a lack of friends around him. Perhaps someone who is a good soccer or basketball player and hasn't been turning up to training....

Why is personality such an important perceived factor in health and wellbeing and why is there a stigma on the want to be alone and more importantly work alone?


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Re: Why is Personality So Important? - November 3rd 2015, 01:28 AM

Short answer: Because humans are innately social beings. Part of our basic biology is that we want to be social and we need to have relationships to survive and be happy. Now, there are such things as introverts (ME) who don't like being around people 24/7 or who prefer working alone and that's fine, but you can't live life in complete isolation, it's not possible.

Why would counselors and teachers be trained to look for people with these traits? Because they want to see if a person is just shy or introverted and okay with it or if this is a sign of a more serious problem like a mental health problem or bullying situation where the person actually needs help. I think what they mean to say is that they're focusing on CHANGES in a person who is suddenly less social because that can be a sign of a problem. If this was specifically in reference to like mass shooting-type incidents it's because there is a "profile" for individuals who commit those kind of acts fit. Most are male between the ages of 15 and 30, usually mentally ill and/or isolated who demonstrate certain "odd" behaviors, tend to have few friends etc and there may be a change in their behavior before the incident. (I don't have a source for this information, it's based on what I've noticed as more of these incidents have occurred, don't quote me on those as proven facts.)

Society is structured this way because it's how people naturally function. That's part of the reason we worry about people with disorders (such as autism, but there are others) that impair social functioning because they struggle with things that are more or less required to "succeed" in society.

I don't think the person intentionally made his eyes glaze over (I'm not entirely sure that's voluntary), maybe he didn't understand the question and was confused.


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Re: Why is Personality So Important? - November 4th 2015, 04:03 AM

Personality is important since its necessary for people to have social connections. Everyone, deep down- wants acceptance and connection to other people. Some people are more social than others and I used to not really take the time to get out and try to meet people. A lot of people find "small talk" to be extremely boring - but actually desire to make friends. Its not that introverted people don't want company, its that a lot of time , chit chat feels almost unnatural. Isolation is a need as well. People need time away from other people --but introverted people require less time with people and more time away from people--and this can be misconstrued as being a loner or wanting to be alone all the time.

Just try to write and ask questions in such a way that is socially acceptable- even if you aren't giving what you feel is your deep thoughts. Its usually more to your advantage anyways to not make a negative impression on people than it is to argue an academic point. If you really think about it- unless they are included in the curriculum and tested on -how much you know about academic topics on city development is of little significance to your life.

As for the people in your class- I think they are being a bit rude and inconsiderate. But just realize that people generally aren't tolerant of anything even slightly outside of the norm. Its very frustrating though. I have social anxiety and I can be a little quiet and standoffish. I'm also introverted and don't need as much socializing to feel happy. Some people can be very perceptive of that and quickly pick up on.

As for the anti-extremism thing- I wasn't an "extremist" or "shooter type" , but was didn't really socialize in college and never went to class. I'd be pretty offended too if someone reported me as some sort of freak for doing absolutely nothing but minding my own business.
   
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Re: Why is Personality So Important? - November 5th 2015, 10:47 PM

One: history.
Two: culture.

Way back in our evolutionary history, humans had to rely on each other to survive. If we hadn't lived in groups we'd have been pretty easy prey for the more advanced predators. But, luckily for us, our ancestors banded together, learned to work together, and managed to survive. And a lot of that has stayed with us. Most people crave human connection (to some degree, at least) and it's very common to form social attachments - with your family, your classmates, and later your colleagues. In most cases it's a basic need for humans to be happy and healthy: once food, water, and shelter are taken care of, the next priority is often companionship. It's so ingrained in us that most people don't even think about it.

It's also very much a part of our culture. When people reach adulthood they're expected to be socially competent, and to desire companionship - and they're cast in a bad light if they don't. But the thing is, everyone's different. Take dogs, for example. They're innately social too, but how many dogs have you met that preferred the company of humans to the company of their own species? (And vice versa, actually - I've met plenty of people who preferred some kind of animal to humans.) There's nothing wrong with them; they just have different interests to 'the norm'. Since culture and society are so based on bonds like this, people who don't conform to it come across as weird, rude, or even dangerous.

Like Katie said, I really hope those new government initiatives are focused on changes in personality. Someone who used to love a certain sport and who recently stopped turning up to training? Yeah, that's concerning. They could be involved in some kind of terrorism-related activity, but, more likely, they could be going through something and need help. But someone who prefers their own company and seems content with it? I see nothing wrong with that. As long as they're not being actively or unnecessarily rude to other people, they should be free to go about their business.

Remember that there's also a difference between people who don't want social interaction and people who aren't sure how to get it. In your case, you're fine because you're happy with your own company. But many people probably misinterpret is as uneasiness or shyness, and endeavour to bring you out of your comfort zone and help you get used to socialising - which, in your case, would be the least helpful thing you could do. Yet people persist because they believe that everyone has the same social needs, and what works for them should work for others. I get how frustrating that can be.

I feel like this is getting off-topic a bit, so I'll wrap it up now. My point is, don't worry about what people think. It's hard for gregarious people to understand introverts, and vice versa. But if what you're doing works for you, try not to get bent out of shape by people who think you should be more social or anything like that. We all have different needs, and people should really just mind their own business.


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