My Personality Transplant

Olga Khazan, writing in The Atlantic, gave herself three months to change her personality.  

I’ve never really liked my personality, and other people don’t like it either. In grad school, a partner and I were assigned to write fake obituaries for each other by interviewing our families and friends. The nicest thing my partner could shake out of my loved ones was that I really enjoy grocery shopping.’ Recently, a friend named me maid of honor in her wedding; on the website for the event, she described me as strongly opinionated and fiercely persistent.’ Not wrong, but not what I want on my tombstone. I’ve always been bad at parties because the topics I bring up are too depressing, such as everything that’s wrong with my life, and everything that’s wrong with the world, and the futility of doing anything about either … my editors wanted me to see if I could change my personality, and I’ll try anything once. Maybe I, too, could become a friendly extrovert who doesn’t carry around emergency Xanax.

She says the results were mixed. I think she came up with a killer sentence about the whole experiment.

The key may not be in swinging permanently to the other side of the personality scale, but in balancing between extremes, or in adjusting your personality depending on the situation.

Adjusting your personality to situations sounds hard, but ultimately the right course of action.

February 10, 2022


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