I don’t know the term to define when you come to believe something you learn as a child and never doubt it. An example is religion. It is pumped into your head so much, so often at a young age that you actually believe in a Virgin birth and a resurrection. How naïve I was.
Then one day you read something that suggests you need to investigate your core beliefs. A simple run through the internet leaves you looking at yourself and wondering why it took so long to figure out the myth. Then you look back at all the stupid ways you defended this ridiculous belief.
I believed that a person never really changed their personality; always accepted that as fact. Then I challenged the word personality and somehow I figured the term was not personality but rather “basic” personality that doesn’t change. I found no studies that supported this belief that did not have a poorly defined concept of basic.
Every serial killer can back track to drinking milk and having a poor upbringing. But so can many well adjusted people. The point being there are some things basic to all humans and you can look back and validate that your obsessing over your homework in third grade was and remains part of your compulsive study of Chinese at age 74.
Although I don’t see people changing their core personality, I believe that some do. I believe that the change is evolutionary. A genetic characteristic that is allowed to flourish and its sole purpose is change.
My change in my beliefs came as a form of adaptation. I once had money, spent it foolishly, and did not develop long lasting relationships that helped define a character of giving. The loss of funds and security led me to change, to adapt if you will.
I believe that if I had money now, I would return to that person and validate that people don’t change at their core, but right now I need to stay comfortable in my newly adapted self. Then I think I might never return to that self centered person. And if I did return to that old personality that would mean that my basic personality did not change. And if I remained the same person I adapted into, only now with money, then people would say this behavior was the basic personality.
I used to want to win arguments, to be right, to show others I knew more about something than they did. Now I listen, I bite my tongue and listen to people say and defend things I see as indefensible. I still have the basic personality to be right and knowledgeable only I changed my desire to prove it. Now when I ask quiet, thoughtful questions others see me as arrogant – and I am told that was always my basic personality.
I believe your basic personality does not change. You learn, gain experience and adapt. Sometimes you run out of energy or time. The proof: I still am naïve