Enjoying the Empty Nest years usually means changes, and some of them can be fun! That’s a picture of me stepping out of my “shy” personality. I can speak in front of a crowd with no problem. But when it comes to one on one speaking to a complete stranger in public, I may become a little shy. But when this guy was walking in our local Home Depot with a squirrel on a leash, well, all shyness flew to the wind. I just had to know the story about Rocky the Squirrel. My personality made a complete turn around because I had a firm desire in that moment NOT to be shy!
When it comes to your personality, you might think that you’re stuck with those parts of yourself that you wish you could change but feel trapped that can never change. However, new research has shed light on the topic and the light is good. One school of thought now supports the idea that some personality traits can be altered by the individual just by putting their mind to it.
Strategies to sway your personality traits
Apply these strategies to sway your personality traits in a direction you desire:
1. Recognize the positive effects of aging. As you grow older, the sharp edges of your personality that you may dislike tend to smooth out and become less troublesome. You become a nicer version of yourself.
2. Realize that life experiences contribute to your personality change. Interestingly, as you experience major life events such as taking on other adult responsibilities, becoming a grandparent, and becoming involved in new activities your personality morphs so you can fit into your chosen life.
Your experiences change you, usually in positive ways
To a certain extent, you grow and adjust every single day.
3. If you want to build stronger relationships, work on being more agreeable. Don’t fall into the trap of being that “crotchety, old person.” Being agreeable includes considering the needs of others before your own and stepping up to be a helpful, giving individual.
<2>It’s not all about you
Rather than make your life be solely about you, use this time to connect with others. As you become more agreeable and open to change, your relationships will bloom and prosper.
4. If you wish to be a better parent (and grandparent), focus on being more giving and accepting of others. Because being a parent requires more giving than receiving when it comes to your kids even when they are adults, it’s important to train yourself to be more giving in general.
The younger generation does things differently than the older generation
Even the Human Resource study guides will point out how one has to deal with the different generations in different ways.
* Because grandkids do things differently than adults, knowing where they are developmentally will be of tremendous help to you as a grandparent. It’s sometimes hard to remember what it was like when your kids were little.
* Someone didn’t do something exactly like you would? Recognize the work and coordination it took for them to accomplish the task. Thank them anyway and use positive words and voice tones to encourage them to finish the task.
* Be less demanding. Everyone will thank you for it. Plus, when you’re easier to please, people will please you more often!
5. The more focused and conscientious you are about changing, the more you’ll change. Set specific personal goals in the areas where you wish to grow. Use sticky notes for reminders, and reward yourself for progress made.
* Keep your desired changes in the forefront of your mind. Think about them each day and practice them.
6. Learn to be your own cheerleader. Take note of when you’re accepting of others, more understanding, and less selfish. Give yourself props for becoming the person you strive to be.
Yes, it will take some roll up the sleeves, dig in your heels, work, mindfulness, and diligence to change those parts of your personality that you’re unhappy with. However, only you have the power to turn into the human being you desire to be. Feel positive about the progress you’re making each day. You truly can change your personality!
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The ReFeathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.