Personality versus Character


One of my young talented and aspiring colleague once asked me as to “how do we build our social image” ?  He requested me to write about it.  I was wondering where to begin and where to end.  But thanks to the social media today, I got a forward of a beautiful quote, which reads as ” Personality is what we do when everyone is watching” and “Character is what we do when nobody is watching”.  This gave me an insight to write on this subject.

All of us have two faces in life.  We have an external face, which we show to the world and we have an inner face, which we guard inside us.  We try our best to guard the internal face so that it is visible only to our near and dear ones. The external face is public and can be seen by the world.  This duality in our life defines our personality.  So, our personality is something which everyone watches and our character is something, which is intrinsic. It manifests itself during adversities in our life.

Let us start from school.  We want to be seen as the best behaved student, good in academics and sports.  We want to be the best behaved child in front of our teachers and our parents.  We want the world to talk about us all the time.  But, how do we behave when nobody watches us.  If we face a tempting situation do we fall prey to the temptation.  Many of us may have stolen cash from our parents wallet to fulfill our unfulfilled desires due to lack of adequate pocket money.  Would we do it in front of our parents.  

This nature continues in our college days.  We grow up in age but less in maturity.  We continue to impress the people whom we want to in our life.  But our inner self is always a bit different than our outer self.  We zealously guard our inner image to ourselves.  We do not want the world to look down upon us as a cheat or a person, who betrays someone’s trust.

Then we get into a job.  We gradually mature.  We still want create the best first impressions.   The two faces of our personality continues although may be less conspicuous.  We gradually try to bridge the gap but our social image is far more important than our actual image as we realise it.  We are different at home and at work or at least try to be.  Although difficult, our facards continue in adequate display at work.  Our image with team members, peers and bosses are different.

It is this struggle all of us go through in life and it is real.  We need to accept this reality as inevitable.  We could try to bridge this gap between “Personality” and “Character” – the outer and inner image of ourselves.  The only way I have learnt to bridge this gap is to reduce the gap between what we say and what we do.  It is difficult but not impossible to achieve.  Some of us may take longer than other to bridge this gap.  But it is attainable.  The earlier we realise this the better for our personal growth.

It is like in the photo above the personality of the person is like the mask worn by the person and the character is the face behind the mask not visible to us. 

All of us are human and hence there is nothing wrong to realise that all of us have a gap.  The margins may differ but none of us are perfect.  The good news is that it is possible to bridge the gap if we try to do so.

Can we start the journey today ?
S Ramesh Shankar

8 thoughts on “Personality versus Character

  1. Nicely explained. Bridging this gap between “Personality” and “Character” is a part of our journey ongoing ( including day to day life ). Focus is to… how to improve further.

    Liked by 1 person

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