What is CHARACTER ? (Part 1)

WHO AM I? my flaws or….

PREVIOUS:  Emotional Maturity

SITE: Personality Types (scroll down)


PMES = Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual

ACoAs suffer unnecessarily for many reasons
– one of which is NOT believing we have any positive qualities. All we can see are the problems created by our False Self, which was developed in reaction to our upbringing, but which we assume is the real us.
Because originally we had such distorted mirroring (seeing ourselves only thru the eyes of our dysfunctional caretakers) we deny our natural gifts.

• Yes, we have ‘character defects’, but these are extensions of our S-H & are how the WIC learned to function, rather than what our Healthy Child or ‘Unit’ are capable of. Even so, these gifts show up in many of our accomplishments throughout adulthood.
The next several posts provide some positive qualities essential for PMES maturity – to ponder, identify & then own!

EXP: Julie chased boys since she was 9 or 10, but she never caught any. By her 30s she was defeated & full of S-H. She told a therapist: “I’m such a pathetic jerk – all this time I’ve been doing the same stupid thing, with the same awful results!”
The therapist replied: “You’re not stupid, pathetic or a jerk – you’re persistent. Now you can focus that quality in a new direction – toward the goal of emotional & mental growth, as well as fulfilling your dreams!”, which Julie eventually did – successfully!
• DEF: C. is “the stable & distinctive qualities built into an individual’s life which determine his or her response, regardless of circumstances.”
• C. refers to the specific combination of aspects which make a person unique, expressed in their habits, likes, values, dislikes, behaviors….

• Psychologist Lawrence Pervin says that moral character is “a disposition (strong tendency) to express behavior in consistent patterns of functions, across a range of situations.”
• Similarly, academic Arthur S. Adams said: “Good character is the quality which makes one dependable, whether being watched or not.”

• C. is C is multi-dimensional & must be measured in ways that do justice to its breadth & complex. It’s made up of specific psychological mechanisms that express the presence or lack of virtues such as wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence.  These are expressed in our T.E.As.
EXP re. Curiosity
❖ Curiosity thoughts: “That doctor sounds like she knows what she’s talking about. I wonder if she could help me with my specific problem & if she’s taking on new patients?”
❖ Curiosity emotions:
• I want to take this risk, but I’m afraid to try
• I see new possibilities, & it excites me
• I want to ask her a question about ____, but I’m angry that she’s ignoring me
❖ Curiosity actions: I went to see the boss. I stood quietly, waiting in line. I asked the teacher questions. I expressed my interest by a smile & leaning forward…..

EXP – 2 Positive Character Qualities
FLEXIBILITY – The ability to respond easily & appropriately to new or changing emotional moods or physical conditions in our environment – by changing or modifying our actions & beliefs as needed, without flexiblegreat agitation or drama.
Willing to shift our actions to comply with the plans or ideas given by authority figures who we need to deal with.
Flexible thinking : Consider a new or different way of ‘seeing’ a person, event or chain of events (reframing).
• DO NOT = be stubborn, compromise what’s right, get upset when plans change
• DO = respect the decisions of others, look for the good in changes.

HUMOR : Laughter is an essential part of a healthy, happy life.   It helps people smile & feel relaxed by seeing the lighter side of things. It can help to manage physical &/or emotional pain, enhancing our immune system & reducing stress.  VALUE – TO:
• be an energy-giver to others   • not stay discouraged but find what’s already positive in one’s life   • see the foolishness of human self-importance   • take some time every day to laugh, be playful   • treat every job as important (POST : “Resilience & HUMOR “)

NEXT: What is Character, Part 2

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