Has Your Personality Changed Dramatically as You Have Aged?

Me In Time

Article by Wendy McCance

I have been pondering what type of person I was growing up and what type of person I am now.  These questions have flooded my mind since I have expanded my Facebook connections to include some people I have grown up with.

I have always been fascinated by the people who have held onto the same group of friends through all the school years and well into their adult life.  I have watched my own children navigate the world of growing up and the switches they have made in friendships as they have grown and changed.  I am curious to know how some people can hang on to the same core group of friends through a lifetime.

I have to admit, I am a bit envious of these people.  They have friends that have weathered enough ups and downs over the years that they should truly be called family.  Maybe for me it was easier to jump in and out of friendships because I didn’t see any event as life long.  I grew up in a family that moved around the country several times while I was very young.  I got the travel bug and longed for adventure.  I would get bored quickly and hope that we would move again just to stir things up and keep life exciting.

I would have to say that my early experiences with moving from state to state enhanced my ability to cut ties easily and move on to the next great thing.  I didn’t learn about the power of endurance in friendships until well into my adult years.  Even now, it isn’t an area I excel in.

Back to my original thoughts, I have wondered if the people who grew up with me would recognize my personality today.  Would they see the smaller version of myself, or would they be thrown by the way I act as an adult?

I have gone through some incredibly tough times in my life as an adult.  Yes, everyone has their share of stories and life altering moments.  For me, it took hitting bottom, hard, to get to the heart of who I was and what I wanted my life to be.

Out of the wreckage of failed relationships, shaky family issues, health problems and money stresses a peacefulness bloomed.  I had gone through enough moments that I could barely breathe through, let alone feel that I would survive in one piece that a new respect emerged.

The young me was insecure while acting confident and annoyingly cocky.  I was good at looking down on others instead of working on myself.  My love for others was shallow and easily dismissed because I felt forever was an illusion.  I picked people to surround me that felt little love for me, and made it easy for me to feel little for them.  Drama is something I grew up with and continued to seek as it felt comfortable to me.  Of course back in the day, I didn’t see or understand any of this.

The most exact moment when my life would change in the most dramatic way was when I had children.  I loved these kids so much and it became a real turning point in my life.  These days if I was to look at who I am, it is with great pride that I can say I have been humbled to the point of extinguishing the cocky, superior self I once put on display.

These days you will find a soft-spoken woman who cares intensely for those around her.  Her heart breaks easily for those struggling or treated unkindly.  Peace is what she seeks and drama is not allowed into her world.  Happiness is something that surrounds her even when faced with the basic struggles of life.  She loves completely and is loved back equally well.  Laughter invades her day-to-day life.  Closeness with her children is unlike anything she had ever experienced in her lifetime.  That closeness has now spilled over into the best relationship she has ever had with a man, the best friend she married.

Have you gone through dramatic changes in your life?  Do you feel like just an older version of your younger self?  I’m curious, let me know what life has been like for you.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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31 thoughts on “Has Your Personality Changed Dramatically as You Have Aged?

  1. I’m feeling like I get more cranky as I get older! Like I’m turning into one of those grumpy old ladies. I also envy people who have long term friendships. Thanks for writing on this topic.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I envy the long term friendships too, but realized that I have changed too much over the years. As I’ve changed, my taste in who I wanted to be around has changed too which looking back is overall a good thing.

  2. I’ve become assertive, more direct, less afraid, and more confident over the past 25 years. Aging and learning tough lessons from way too many tough years makes the difference.

  3. As Leo Szillard said: Go somewhere for seven years so that your friends, remembering who you were, will not prevent you from becoming what you are.

    Along those lines, any encumbrances caused by perceptions of yourself by others, can, and do impede your personal evolution.

    For instance, reunions: You remain in the mind’s eye of classmates who you were at a particular stage of development, and those who knew you then, cannot possibly be aware of what you’ve become. Consequently you fall into patterns of behavior, speech, dialect, refreshing that old persona.

    Okay. So you were wondering what sort of person you were in the past, see Facebook paces of idealize selves, and wonder the dynamic of relationships that outlive life’s challenges. Understanding that most of the contrivances on Facebook are superficial, you’re own recollections as seen by you rather than the eyes of others will prove a much better resource.

    We all go through many things, some not at all pleasant. Our bodies age, thought processes will change not just socially, but biologically as different preprogrammed events occur physiologically. Despite these events a certain thread of self manifests itself throughout-the essence of personality. There will be disease states however, that manifest as a change in personality ranging from mild dysphoria, to extreme depression, and states of mania as well. Some endocrine anomalies present with mood symptoms as well as far too many to mention in a post.

    If you notice a dramatic “change” in personality, or mood, it is imperative to have yourself checked out by a medical doctor, MD, or DO qualified in psychiatry, psychopharmacology, or neurology. The non-medical providers are not equipped to pick up the nuance of some disease process that may be behind a less than pleasant shift.

    If it all checks out, remember this: There ain’t no future in the past.

    Disclaimer: this is not to be considered as medical advice and you should consult with your physician for any issues regarding your health.

  4. Loved your post. Now I have to say I was born dead and things only got worse. I believe we re-invent ourselves with every major happening in our lives, friends come and go for a variety of reasons and where we are right now is the place to be. I know, it sounds like a fortune cookie but to me, that’s how it is. I have no friends from my childhood, we moved house far too much to keep up. I changed careers a few times and moved on, I do have a couple of good friends from my army days and value them. People come and go through our lives for a variety of reasons and I make the most of it.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

  5. Wendy, are you sure we’re not twins?! It seems we have had very similar experiences and lessons and even ultimate outcomes! And on opposite sides of the world too. There are many benefits to a life full of challenge and a “cocky” personality is necessary I think to survive it. Flexibility, resilience, a talent for moving on and not shrinking from change and challenge are just some valuable bi-products. And of course the ability to pass this high-energy motivation on if you are in the training field. I learned however that like all things after their sell-by date these default programs can be damaging too – but they were invaluable survival tools at the time. My personality is light years away from what it used to be on every level, to the point where I sometimes feel I have lived many lifetimes in one. Thanks for a thought provoking subject.

  6. I’m definitely a different – and I hope, better – person from who I was when I was younger. Less naive, of course, less needy (of acceptance, approval), more confident (about who I am and what I’m capable of), more content (kids are grown and doing okay, great [second] marriage to a wonderful man, early retirement allows me to do what I want to do when I want to do it), and better able to navigate life’s ups and downs (which jostle you about no matter how well you think you’re prepared). I think I’m more ‘settled’ than I’d ever expected to be. I’ve always feared ‘getting old’; it’s not as bad as I thought it would be (so far, anyway).

  7. Great post, Wendy. I also wanted to let you know that I followed up on the Seven Things About Me award you gave me a couple of weeks back–I couldn’t remember what the name of the award was or even who it was from and couldn’t find your blog notice (that I get because I follow you), so I ended up writing a post about not being able to do my part and hoped the person who nominated me would let me know…then this morning I received a Google Alert with your original post where you listed your seven nominations, and voila! Today I wrote the blog post and included seven things about me plus nominated seven other bloggers! Whew…I’m exhausted and need to go for a nap. Bye for now.
    Sylvia

  8. Another good question. I think only people who have led a very sheltered life retain their personalities. If you have to go out into the big cruel world you inevitably get knocked about a bit and it does change you, whether that change is for the better on not is another thing. I know that I am a much tougher and harder person than I was when I was younger and a LOT less tolerant as you’ve maybe noticed. Still have a sense of humor though 😉

    • I’m just curious who was able to truly have that sheltered life. I wonder if a life like that makes someone happier or not. Or I guess a better way to phrase it is to wonder which is more beneficial to a person’s happiness, the illusion of a happy easy world or the stark truth of what the world is really like.

  9. I had a lot to overcome in my life, namely emotional and sexual abuse when I was growing up. I was also bullied during my school years, so my self-esteem was zilch. It took a lot of growing and self-discovery to overcome those issues. Although I am in many ways not the person I was during the first 25 years of my life, at the core I am the same — I refused to give up or give in to the negative experiences. I hope that I am essentially the same but better and continuing to get better with each passing year.

    Interesting question — thank you for posing it!

  10. At the core of it, I am still the same person. My presentation of “me” is different. I used to be extremely shy and over the years I have shed those shy leaves one at a time. I feel comfortable with who I am (for the most part). Having kids did change me in the sense that I am always encouraging my children to learn new things so I am letting that encouragement spill over into my life. My grandfather used to say it’s only too late (to do something) when you’re dead. Great post. Thank you, Karina.

  11. I have to admit I am nothing like my younger self. I also don’t have “lifelong” friends, but probably because I have moved too much and now live in another country. (I live in Canada but am from the USA). I don’t have kids either so that factors in. When I was younger I was painfully shy. Now not even a bit. 😉 I used to take a lot of gaff from people, now I stand up for myself. I have gone through some hardships myself and that has to change people. I believe it did me.

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