Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are

Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are

Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are

Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are

Synopsis

It is one of the great mysteries of human nature. Why are some people worriers, and others wanderers? Why are some people so easy-going and laid-back, while others are always looking for a fight?
Written by Daniel Nettle--author of the popular book Happiness--this brief volume takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of what modern science can tell us about human personality. Revealing that our personalities stem from our biological makeup, Nettle looks at the latest findings from genetics and brain science, and considers the evolutionary origins and consequences of different personalities. The heart of the book sheds light on the "big five": Extraversion, Neuroticism, Conscientious, Agreeableness, and Openness. Using a stimulating blend of true-life stories and scientific research, Nettle explains why we have something deep and consistent within us that determines the choices we make and situations we bring about. He addresses such questions as why members of the same family differ so markedly in their natures? What is the best personality to have--a bold one or a shy one, an aggressive one or a meek one? And are you stuck with your personality, or can you change it? Life, Nettle concludes, is partly the business of finding a niche where your personality works for you. "It is a question of choosing the right pond," he notes, "and being mindful of the dangers." There is no ideal personality to have. Every disposition brings both advantages and disadvantages.
Full of human wisdom as well as scientific insight, this book illuminates the pluses and minuses of personality, offering practical advice about living with the nature you were born with. It even includes a questionnaire so that you can assess yourself.

Excerpt

I do not plead guilty to a shallow view of human nature, when I
propose to apply, as it were, a foot-rule to its heights and depths.

Francis Galton

Lee is a successful, smart, business executive, rising 35 and rising through the ranks at the same time. He is considered effective and dynamic at work. In fact, it’s more than that. He does not suffer fools gladly, and if he thinks colleagues or suppliers are trying to pull one over on him, he is quick to speak his mind. He can be very cutting, and fly into a deep rage, during which he will tell people what he thinks of them and their behaviour without sparing their blushes. As a result, though he is good at what he does, he builds up enemies. He has moved firms a few times, or had to be moved between departments, because he gets into feuds and stand-offs. Some more conciliatory colleague will have to step in to calm the waters, or simply to ensure that Lee and his latest enemy don’t have to deal with each other.

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