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Article/You Can Be a Different Person After the Pandemic

Author:: Olga Khazan

Full Title:: You Can Be a Different Person After the Pandemic


After neuroticism, introversion was the most-changeable personality trait, according to this research. As it happens, neuroticism and introversion are the two factors that play a major role in social anxiety. Change those two elements of personality, and you can extinguish much of your self-doubt.

if you’re someone who typically reacted with suspicion and anger when an acquaintance canceled plans, you could try to be more agreeable, or forgiving of minor social slights.

For those who want to renew connections that have atrophied, solidify friendships that have migrated to Zoom, or otherwise live differently, it’s very possible to do so. Remember that your personality is more like a sand dune than a stone.

Changing a trait requires acting in ways that embody that trait, rather than simply thinking about it.

Researchers have found that adults can change the five traits that make up personality — extroversion, openness to experience, emotional stability, agreeableness and conscientiousness — within just a few months. Much as in Dr. Steffel’s case, the traits are connected, so changing one might lead to changes in another.