Reports from the broad scientific literature about personality change are positive. People are adaptive – for example, people’s good faith tends to increase when they take on a demanding role and their traits are reproduced positively after leaving a difficult relationship, suggesting that we will find a way to cope with what the future holds.
Schiner warns, although introverts like me may find this a special challenge, at least at first. “Being behind closed doors, introverts have been able to avoid the social pressures for interaction that are so prevalent in places like the United States, and this can make it difficult to re-enter,” she said. Her advice is to spend time with “more familiar friends one on one or in very small groups ̵1; which is certainly more compatible with social distancing in any case when they re-enter.”
Damian is experiencing our collective ability to adapt during the lifting of blocking measures. “I don’t think people need to worry about changing their traits before the previous blockade,” she said. “I expect that change will happen gradually and naturally for most people as soon as environmental pressures change. It just takes time. “
If anything, her advice is that we should not rush to the old ways. In Texas, where Damian is based, hospitals are equipped after a surge of new infections after disabling. “I think people have adjusted their behavior too quickly before closing, so I wouldn’t recommend the rest of the world to follow suit now,” she said.
* Dr. Christian Jarrett is a senior editor at Aeon + Psyche. His next book on personality change will be published in 2021.
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