Understanding the Varied Characteristics of a Healthy Personality

Characteristics of healthy personalities
Every human being has his very own unique personality. The way people react, respond, relate, and retaliate to situations is what makes up their personality. It is our personality that makes us different from others.

However, psychological health is an important aspect for complete growth. A person who is healthy on a mental and psychological level is what makes up for a healthy personality.

Studies Across the Years
Various psychological studies have been conducted over the years to understand and pinpoint exactly what a healthy personality is. These studies have resulted in a number of theories. Carl Jung’s theory of an individuated person emphasizes on higher forces of nature and their roleplay in a healthy personality. The theory of self-transcendence by Viktor Frankl talks about finding meaning in our past and our actions in order to have a healthy mental state. The importance of social adjustment is reflected in his theory by Erich Fromm. Carl Rogers, in his theory of the fully functional person, sheds light on one’s ability to take his own decisions and be spontaneous. The mature person, a theory by Gordon Allport, stresses on the fact that such a personality is developed by moving forward and not by pining on the past. He was one of his kind in an era where all other experts stressed on the past. Another important theory on self-growth and healthy personality is by Abraham Maslow. Also called the self-actualization theory, it explains how a healthy personality is developed over time.
Over the years, the development of these theories have led psychologists to sum up the human personality into five important traits. This has led to the development of the “Big Five” personality traits of psychology, also known as OCEAN. It is one of the most common and famous theories of all for personality analysis. The OCEAN theory basically comprises five main spheres: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Out of these five, the first four are positive traits. Neuroticism, in its own, is a negative trait.However, the opposite of it, i.e., emotional stability, is a trait of a healthy personality. Here we have listed for you some basic characteristics of a healthy personality with regard to the OCEAN theory.
Openness (O)
A healthy personality demands openness and eagerness towards everything in life; old or new. It covers not only new experiences, but new ideas, thoughts, letting go of older conventions and accepting the changing times. Openness also talks about creativeness and a strong imagination. A healthy personality displays an eagerness towards the new and unexplored things in life. Such a person is always up for adventures and risks.
Curiousness is also a part of their nature and they are always anxious to gain more knowledge. They do not have preconceived notions about people or situations and have an open mind towards contemporary ideas. They always aim for a higher quality in life and improve upon their own productivity, be it at home, or work. They are constantly striving to better their styles and techniques. They are not judgmental about people and are acceptable to newer concepts and lifestyles. They believe that a progressive outlook is important for personal improvement.
Conscientiousness (C)
This trait describes the characteristics of self-organization and efficiency. A healthy personality is generally goal-oriented and has a perspective of what he wants in his life. Such personalities are competent and competitive. Also, they are able to judge themselves and others with a clear and analytical mind. They do not have false notions about their capacities and they can handle failure well.
A person with a healthy personality does not over-criticize himself, yet is always striving to better his own self. Such people are committed to the work they do and are generally self-sufficient. They make the best out of the situations and themselves. They do not complain, nor do they indulge in projectile blaming. They can take acceptance of their own faults and behavior and are always working on them. They are consistent in their work and do not get bored easily. They have a high level of tolerance when it comes to pressure. They are always working hard, striving to succeed in all endeavors.
Extraversion (E)
Sometimes also spelled as extroversion, this term was advocated by the famous psychologist, Carl Jung. This personality trait sums up the general disposition of a person in a public group and his social behavior. This personality is warm and welcoming to new people in his life. Such people are at ease with making new acquaintances and are relaxed while having conversations. They are outgoing and friendly by nature and have a large group of friends.
They are comfortable with people of different interests and have a basic curiosity about others. They have an appealing and magnetic personality, which more often than not influences others. They have a positive attitude and an easygoing charm, which helps them build more contacts and keeps them in a great social environment. They tend to make others feel good and positive about themselves. They generally accept others as they are. They don’t attempt to change others to meet their requirements. They do not have high expectations.
Agreeableness (A)
Agreeableness generally refers to the level of social trust and regard that a person displays. A healthy personality, however, has a balanced outlook towards the matters of trust and intimacy. Such personalities do not trust others too easily, but they also do not doubt people for no apparent reason. They are generally helpful to others and even strangers. However, they are street smart and do not divulge personal information to unknown people.
They are modest to people in need and do not hesitate in lending money. Yet, they do judge the situation and try to understand whether the person truly needs the help asked for. They are straightforward in their communication and do not believe in beating around the bush. They are also honest in making an opinion. However, they also take care not to hurt the other person’s sentiments and are tactful in their approach. In times of conflict, they prefer to work out with calm words and avoid arguments or quarrels.
Emotional Stability (As Opposed to Neuroticism) (N)
It refers to the level of control a person has over his own emotions. A healthy personality is devoid of any unreasonable and unwanted negative emotions towards others and even oneself. Such people have a positive self-regard and a realistic self-judgment. They keep feelings of anger, jealousy, and hatred at bay and do not indulge in self-loathing or pity. They are not impulsive and take rational, well-judged decisions.
Emotional Stability
They tend to protect their health, self-esteem, and well-being despite the struggles, chaos, and problems of their life. When in face of a personal tragedy, they are able to come out of it without falling into a disabling depression. They have a healthy degree of tolerance towards stress, pressure, and pain. They do not let personal conflicts and issues take over their professional life. They are not devoid of emotions; however, they do not let their emotions take over their self. They can keep a constraint over themselves.

Note: Neuroticism, a term in itself, is a long-term disposition to negative emotions, such as distress, anger, frustration at little things, hatred, jealousy, etc. It is NOT a part of a healthy personality. A healthy personality is formed by the exact opposite of neuroticism, i.e., Emotional Stability.

People with healthy personalities are those, who are known to adjust well. They are able to function efficiently and are at peace in the world full of chaos. They enjoy a balanced level of all pleasures and adventures in life. They are blessed with a great presence of mind and self-confidence.
Sidney Jourard (1926-74), a leading personality in psychological studies and psychotherapy, said:
Healthy personality is manifested by individuals who have been able to gratify their basic needs through acceptable behavior such that their own personality is no longer a problem to their self. They can take their self more or less for granted and devote energies and thoughts to socially meaningful interests and problems beyond security, or lovability, or status.”

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