Most people are shocked when I explain that a personality is a defense mechanism.
We develop our personalities to protect ourselves against a pain we felt when we were younger.
For example, imagine a 12-year-old boy whispering to his best friend, “I really like Caitlin, but don’t tell anyone… promise?” To which the friend promises. 30 minutes later, the whole school knows about it and is singing songs of K-I-S-S-I-N-G in the tree. This poor boy has now felt tremendous pain due to trusting someone and he now learns that trusting people is bad. This drives him to become skeptical about future relationships and trust.
Each personality is created because of a pain felt when they were younger and with that painful association they have decided to avoid what made them hurt (this is known as their area of avoidance).
Using the Enneagram framework (which is the preferred personality framework used in many corporates) we know that there are 9 different personality groups. Each one is defined in more detail in this video.
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