THE HAPPY PERSONALITY
The study of personality is probably the most fascinating field in psychology. Personality is what makes each of us unique and special. It is our own, individual essence. It is comprised of many qualities, traits, and behaviors. It includes our feelings, our attitudes, our values, our preferences, our talents, and our quirks.
Personality is literally the core of our being. Though shown, to some extent, on the outside — through our behaviors and expressions — personality primarily resides within. That no two people are exactly alike is a manifest. Each of us, as our lifetime progresses, develops our own, unique individuality. Yes, each of our personalities is, above all else, the unique contribution we bring to the world. Personality is not what a person has on the outside, but what a person is on the inside. And this is what we’ll be studying in the present chapter.
In the last chapter, we looked at the happy person from the outside. It was a view from afar. From an objective distance, we saw that “happy people have it made” in straight, statistical terms. They’re more likely to be married, more likely to have high status, more likely to enjoy high incomes, etc.. But we could have discovered these things by checking available public records — or spying on these people from down the block. So far, we’ve learned about these happy people without even meeting them…
But now we get the chance to look closer!
In this chapter, we’ll come to meet the happy people more personally as we examine the research on “the happy personality.”
As in the previous chapters, the pages that follow can provide you with a variety of insights about your own personal happiness. Here are the kinds of questions you should keep in mind as you read: Do you have the traits of a happy personality? Are there qualities happy people possess that you might try developing? Do you see things in your personality that might explain why you are as happy (or unhappy) as you are? How would your friends and family rate you on these personal characteristics? Let’s look at the happy personality and see how you do.