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Personality Development

What is Personality Development: Definition, Stages, Description?

Written by Russ Gadzhiev, PhD


“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”  –  Abraham Maslow


“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”  – Bernice Johnson Reagon


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  – Mark Twain


We are all different. We all behave differently. We all perceive the world around us in unique ways. Nobody on this planet is the same. Your friend may like going to parties or to the cinema, while you may dislike doing both these things. 

Our preferences depend on our personality. Our personality is shaped during our childhood. It is influenced by various life experiences and situations. Other factors which contribute to the formation of our personality include the following:


  •        family background 
  •        financial conditions 
  •        genetics 
  •        environment 
  •        social status 
  •        education 
  •        cultural context 


While most of these things may not be in our control, we can still do something to develop our personality in the ways that we want. So, this is what personality development is about. In a nutshell, personality development is a process during which we develop and enhance our personality. 


When we develop our personality, we gain confidence and boost our self-esteem. In the process of developing our personality, we also improve and develop our communication skills. We improve our perception of this world. We start to see things around us in a positive light. Finally, we develop a positive attitude and optimism in the face of problems and challenges. 


Why is it important to develop one’s personality?


There are many reasons why developing your personality can help you become a better, successful, and happy individual. Let’s have a look at the two most important ones:


Developing a personality may help you reduce stress. 

Those people who engage in working on themselves and developing their personalities are often optimistic and positive. Instead of whining about problems and finding faults in people’s actions that surround them, they try to discern the positive side in every situation. Even when faced with the worst situation, they stay positive and keep their cool. And when it comes to minor issues, they are not troubled by them at all.


Developing a personality makes you a better person. 

Truth be told, those people who are working on themselves attract people around them. Other people perceive them as charismatic and respect them. While it is true that personality development helps people establish better connections and improves their social relations, it also helps individuals to grow. Personality development allows you to acquire important life skills. It helps you maintain work/life balance.


Simple steps to develop your personality


So, what are the simple steps that we can take to enhance our personality? Although personality development may sound like a big task, you don’t need to make fundamental changes to your life. At least, you don’t have to start with them.


 Stay positive and smile a lot. 

“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile”.  – Connie Stevens.


When you communicate and interact with other people, always remember to smile. Smiling to others will make people gravitate toward you and the newer friendships and social connections you make, the more chances to grow you have.


Remember to listen to others.

“To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It’s a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued”.  – Deborah Tannen, Georgetown University.


If you listen to others carefully, there are many things that you can learn about. If you listen to others, they are more willing to share information with you.


“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life”.  – Wayne Dyer.


Developing your interests not only helps you with your career but also helps you with mental health. It will help you keep your mind sharp. Other people will also be attracted to you as you will have something new to share with them. 


Learn how the art of having a good conversation with others.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others”.  – Anthony Robbins


When you have interests and hobbies and know a lot about them, you will be confident to talk about them with other people. That, in turn, means that you will be able to contribute to any conversation that you are having. And because of that, you will be able not only to share your knowledge with others. You will also be able to gain new knowledge from other people. 


Meet new people. As many as you can.

“I love new places, new people, new ideas. I love cultural differences, and I am fascinated by the truth – all the different versions of it.”  – Martin Henderson.


Always try as hard as you can to meet new people and make new friends. Being surrounded by new people enriches you as a person. It exposes you to new experiences and situations that add to your perspective and make it unique. 

When we meet new people, you are also exposed to new cultures, ideas, and worldviews – all of them will inevitably expand your mind. Most importantly, meeting people will make you an open-minded person, which is another aspect of any personality development. It will make you more accepting of others and tolerant. 


Focus on developing your interpersonal skills.

“Your career success in the workplace of today – independent of technical expertise – depends on the quality of your people skills.”  – Max Messmer.


Developing your interpersonal skills should be your top priority if you are eager to engage in developing your personality. Not only these skills are important in your professional life, but they are also vital for your personal life. Interpersonal skills include the ability to communicate, collaborate, solve problems, and negotiate with others. Interpersonal skills also include the ability to listen, which, sadly, is not something that most people are capable of these days.


Treat other people with respect. 

“Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you have got to give it”.  – R.G. Risch.


Without respecting others, it is impossible to build good and lasting relationships. If we don’t respect others, they will not respect us. When you show respect to others, they will also start reacting peacefully towards you. 

Again, respect is based on many things that you should learn how to do. One of the most important ones here is, of course, listening. Yes, as you have probably seen – listening is important in many ways. 


We all want to be heard and listened to. So, it is important to make others feel like they are listened to. This will give them a feeling of being respected and will help you build even better relations with them.


Support people around you, especially your friends and your work colleagues. 

“People appreciate and never forget that helping hand especially when times are tough”.  – Catherine Pulsifer


By supporting people around, you, you further contribute to your self-development. When you support others, you make them feel that they matter to you. One day, when you need people’s support, they will return it to you.

When you receive support from others, the levels of your well-being are higher. You develop your coping skills and, most importantly, you live a longer and healthier life. Supporting one another is something that can be potentially enriching for both sides, so it is very important to remember – the more you give, the more you receive. 

So, although by the time we reach adulthood our personalities are already solidified, there are still many things that we can do to contribute to our own personality development. In this article, we have talked about what factors shape our personality. We have also discussed why personality development is important. Finally, we have looked at some ways how we can develop our personalities. If you follow these simple steps, you will see that you are becoming a better and happier person very soon.




Russ Gadzhiev obtained his PhD in history and politics from University of Melbourne. He also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Moscow State University of International Relations, a top-ranking diplomatic school. Russ is a strong education professional with a history of working in the higher education sector of Australia and effectively communicates with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. He is enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring, writing, curriculum development, research, information management and public speaking. He is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish and Portuguese.


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Chris is from Devon, in the south of England. He has been teaching English as a foreign language for over six years and has taught in China, the UK, Hungary and Spain. He has a background in Music and studied Composition at the RSAMD in Glasgow, Trinity Laban in London and at the University of York. After finishing his master’s at York, he travelled to China to teach and fell in love with it. He has been teaching ever since.

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