Veneer of Personality

People generally reveal themselves over time. That said, the time it takes to get to know someone can be greatly shortened given the right mix of circumstances. Emergency situations, times of high pressure and even particularly intense games or sports can demand enough conscious energy and focus to let you see what is under the veneers of personality that many paint over the surface of both their hidden faults and their true and eternal identity.

Personality itself can be manufactured and as such, may not reflect the true identity of a person. Like clothing, personality either accentuates or hides that which it covers, so it has the potential to divide or connect the inner you to the outer you.

When someone says about another: “He revealed his true colors,” the implication is typically negative. That said, negative qualities of character never relate to a person’s true identity. They are nothing more than another layer of self-created personality which is obfuscating the truth of the individual.

Pressure has a way of bringing the deeper or hidden faults – those elements which have not yet been filled with the light of true identity – quickly to the surface. Pressure also reveals where there is integrity and transparency from the outermost levels of personality straight back, or “up” as it were, to the true identity of the individual. Judgment, therefore, is absolutely unnecessary. People reveal themselves.

As someone who is interested in moving through the refiner’s fire so that the truth of you alone is magnified into the world around you through every layer and facet of your personality, you are wise to embrace times of pressure rather than run from or dread them. They help to set the conditions in which you can refine quickly. So don’t waste them!

8 thoughts on “Veneer of Personality

  1. Coco

    Thanks for the timely reminder to “make hay while the sun shines”. Allowing myself to refine is a process and pressure is a bit of a Divine shortcut.


  2. Steve Ventola

    It is good to see those things that have been kept hidden when the pressure comes on. Here there is a tendency to isolate oneself rather than see what it takes to let those areas be filled as you say with the light of true identity. Just these words alone are a gift as there is a sensing of the light that they contain. Your words are an urging to rise up and to shed light on those “want to be hidden areas.” The light of day is dawning for the beauty of truth to have its way.


  3. Kai Newell

    So true!! In an emergency situation it is amazing what is revealed not just about the core of a person’s character, but about their ingenuity and training. It is exciting to see what unfolds in times of pressure, and to evaluate strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments to keep moving (as you say) onward and upward!


  4. Kolya

    I can already see some areas where I need to refine when the pressure comes on! I appreciate your advice not to waste these opportunities, for we can either squander them or use them to full advantage.


  5. Ricardo B.

    Personalities are interesting things. The conditions around the individual help shape them, what those conditions are during all phases of the person’s development. The country, era, political climate, parents, relatives – all have personalities for better or worse which create the experiences around which you “grow up”. Now we all bring something unique to this scenario, something intrinsic to our birth, and the mix of the two could be seen as our personality.
    This reminds me of the classic nature vs. nurture debate in science. Which has the most influence on the development of an organism? Well, they both are important.
    At the risk of this analogy falling short, if there is sufficient, proper nurture then nature can bloom to the fullest of potential into something great, marvelous, beautiful. If nurture constrains, the potential cannot fully be achieved.
    I can’t help but to think this is what is happening today. The nurture of today, which includes our educational system, politics, diet, etc. is falling a bit short and creating personalities which replicate the same world we wish would change somehow.
    The answer? We can only work to forge a new identity, and this is where pressure moments the kind you describe are our friends. However we’ve come to be who we are all can change if we’re willing to forego ‘creature comforts’ to the degree that they distract us from allowing us to change. Pressure moments can help expel the toxic parts of our personalities much like a boil or cyst on the skin, if we simply have the right attitude towards them.
    The question then becomes, as the toxic material comes out, do we help in its purification or become so grossed out that we try to quickly cover up the mess, push it back so no one can see it? These are some of the lessons I’ve learned to work with in helping to forge a new personality so that I can more fully contribute to helping create a better world.


  6. Colin

    Sometimes what comes out in a pressurized situation can even surprise yourself! I have had the experience of not liking how I acted during certain times of pressure. I took the opportunity to make the change that ensured it would not happen again.
    Times where there are pressure are useful to see where other people have progressed in their maturity. This information can be used to get a general idea of what actions a person will take the next time that pressure arrives. It’s use is limited, however, as you must always give room in your views for a person to change. The real value of pressure is the information we glean about ourselves. It highlights those things that most of us are very good at keeping hidden from even ourselves.


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