- Studying how a personality works might give us insights into how to act appropriately when faced with scarcity, disease, or social isolation.
- The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it three things that could trigger various aspects of personality: anxiety, social isolation, and micro public disorder.
- For those who are more on the volatile aspect of neuroticism, panic in the surrounding could trigger your defense system and overwhelm your thought process.
Coronavirus has had different effects on everyone. Some people rushed to the shopping malls and departmental stores to buy stuff they might never use, while others thought of it as a chance to lay back and relax in their homes. But why do different people act differently in the face of a pandemic that treats everyone the same (more or less)?
The answer is how we act in the world stems from many factors, including change of context, habits, and the most important of it all– personality.
Everyone has a personality that is mostly stable across time and context. However, studying how a personality works might give us insights into how to act appropriately when faced with scarcity, disease, or social isolation. Even the Experienced personal stylist will have to pass through a tough time.
The Five Big Traits
The big five traits of personality are commonly known by the acronym OCEAN. The term stands for openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Each of these traits is a scale with opposite sides of the same trait. For example, on the extraversion trait scale, extraversion is at one end and introversion at the other.
Each trait is made up of two aspects:
- Openness is made up of openness to experience and intelligence, and desire for abstract thinking.
- Conscientiousness is comprised of industriousness or orderliness.
- Extraversion comprises enthusiasm or assertiveness.
- Agreeableness is made up of politeness and compassion.
- Neuroticism consists of withdrawal and volatility, with the latter being a kind of defensive aggression.
What Does it Say About How We Respond?
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it three things that could trigger various aspects of personality: anxiety, social isolation, and micro public disorder.
If you are high in neuroticism, anxiety is going to be a large part of your day to day life, especially during times like these. The withdrawal aspect of neuroticism suggests psychological withdrawal rather than a physical one; nevertheless, the social distancing norm will go easy on you if withdrawal is an essential aspect of your personality.and even the personality development program is not gonna work very well with you.
For those who are more on the volatile aspect of neuroticism, panic in the surrounding could trigger your defense system and overwhelm your thought process.
Another change that is slowly becoming a norm is social distancing.
Those who are low on extraversion could see the whole social distancing norm as a boon in disguise. Being advised by the government and authorities to stay at home is nothing less than a dream come true for introverts.
Conscientious and high on orderliness, people would also take the situation as a chance to improve upon their appearance and surroundings. Orderly, people might engage in color coordinating their wardrobe, putting the pantry in alphabetical order, and other orderly stuff.
If you are high on extraversion, chances are you feel a desire for scarce things. Naturally, you are after the excitement, and the situation failing to provide such an opportunity might make you feel insufficient.
Lastly, there are micro public disorders that show the cracks in civilization and reveal the ugly truth lying underneath.
Highly conscientious people feel the mess around them as a threat to their own orderliness. They might want to prepare for the worst-case scenario, and the panic around would only add to their sense of vulnerability. Ultimately, conscientious people would find themselves wanting to hoard and cut themselves off of society.
People low on agreeableness would want to be engaged in one-upmanship.
Self Awareness Will Help
When faced with a difficult situation, one must take a step back and analyze their behavioral cues before going into the eye of the storm. You might not be able to change your personality, but at least you will be aware of your behavior and train of thought so you can make better decisions.