Saturday, April 12, 2008

Reading a person is not like meeting the person- Personality VS Character

What truly never stops astonishing me after human emotions development is the character VS personality aspect of humans. And I can never and will never use both interchangeably.
People can have an amazing personality which you can easily feel drawn to but once the character is revealed a different impression may be created which usually over covers any impression made on personality. But the opposite is not true. What's interesting is that personality as a word is derived from "Persona" a Latin word meaning "Theatrical Mask"! Which absolutely proves my point. I would care less of a personality which is trustworthy, witty and has so much citizenship and honesty represented by a shy character which doesn’t take initiative to show that trait of citizenship or responsibility , who finds it hard to say jokes in public to reveal his/her personality in real life .
Character is a combination of social and cultural acquired acts, habits, qualities and attributes. Character is the real you, the personality traits along with how they were developed and presented by you. We often say he/ she has a character, which implies uniqueness.
Online, a personality can be easily exposed, whether a person is funny, caring, fair, and responsible or sweet is easily shown. You can read someone's blog, work virtually together online, or chat with him/her and come up with conclusions on such personality traits. A false assumption would be that you think meeting that person face to face would bring a similar judgment. In reality character is what attracts us. Character is what makes a person unique. In theater, stories or film the characterization of characters is what makes us get emotional, feel with them or be able to fully imagine the person. When reading a book, you cannot be fully involved and living the scene with full imagination if the characterization of characters is not clear and detailed. How they walk, dress, behave, act, what made them act the way they are acting. And a series of disappointments that may come out of a book made into a movie is related to how each one of us imagined the character, not the personality. Personality cannot be imagined. Personality can have flows and can be judged, but character cannot be blamed, judged or mistaken. It’s a chosen way of being!
In short, I am interested in the offline part of you. The part which I can see the reflection of your soul through your eyes. And where I can see you walk, imitating your dad. And talk imitating your mom. And speak imitating a role model you have. And dream of a character you wanna be. I am interested in this socio- cultural context that caries these personality traits and expose them in a unique character. A character which I cannot compare to another, A character that is complete by being itself, and doesn't need a check list to evaluate. A character that developed through living…. Socializing…. Crying…. Laughing….dancing….. I am interested in the real you....

5 comments:

Deena said...

i love your differentiation between personality and character ... what i still dont understand is, can one have personality but have no character? or is character shy and hidden but still always there?

suhaib said...

I am not sure I agree with you that personality and character are as distinct as you portray them to be. If someone's character is selfish or mean or ugly....inevitably it will be reflected in their personality, in their demeanor, in their physical appearance and in the lack of glow in their faces and sparkle in their eyes. Maybe I am missing the point...

Your last paragraph "In short, I am interested in the offline part of you....." is very touching and beautifully written... I love it :-)

mapless said...

DD,I dont' think anyone lacks a character. but you reminded me of yesterday, I was in class, & our prof asked about a girl, he found absent, and said remind me of her. and a girl in lecture (with a very distinguished character) answered: she has nth to distinguish her with, i cant say the funny, the veiled, the tall the short the talkative...etc! she's normal! So i think i know what you mean, I think everyone has a character, and not having anything extreme in the character to distinguish is how the character is.
Suhaib, Thanks for revealing ur identity :) I loved that paragraph too the most:) I agree that personality and Character reflect on each other, I'm talking from experience, where i was shocked of character after knowing personailty. Deena knows the story thus she was able to probably understand more what i meant. the presentation of qualities and characteristics of personality is what in my opinion makes a big difference!

Deena said...

i loved that sentance too! if the directors of u've got mail ever see this post, they would be like: we should have thought of that!!!! looool u might still find it in a movie one day... u never know!

another thought: how long can u know a person's personality without knowing his/her character? can someone fool u for a long time??

Mapless said...

Deena, I like how you suggest my expertise in this... I'm rethinking my post all over again.. mabye i should rewrite it differently now...