List of Topics

SfC Home > Behavior > Character >

 

How Adults Change Their Character

by Ron Kurtus (8 April 2013)

People typically learn the rules of character from their parents, friends, and teachers. By the time a person is an adult, he or she will seldom listen to others who tell the "right way" to act.

But adults can change their character if they see that the present way they conduct themselves holds them back or causes them losses or harm. They may be motivated to change their beliefs to a new way of thinking.

Events in a person's life and special influence from others can cause a person to change his or her attitudes and character traits. However, there are still others who will never change.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Events in life can cause change

You reach adulthood with a set of character rules that define how you behave or conduct yourself. However, a traumatic set of events can cause you to change beliefs and your character.

From negative to positive character

A person may have learned to have negative character traits as a child or teen but then realizes that type of character does not pay. He or she then changes to positive character traits.

Janice was always sarcastic and insulting to others. It made her feel good to put people down. But then she noticed that her fellow workers would avoid her and never invited her to join then in lunch. She realized it was her attitude and vowed not to insult others anymore. Her new character trait resulted in better relationships at work.

Another example of changing to positive character traits involves Chuck Colson, one the instigators in the Watergate break-in of the Democratic party headquarters, during the Nixon presidential administration.

While working for President Nixon, Colson was involved in "dirty tricks" to get Nixon re-elected.

After Colson was sent to prison for his role in the Watergate break-in, he realized that he had not been a very good person, and decided to change his ways. He became religious and started a ministry to help reform prison inmates.

From positive to negative traits

Something bad can happen in a person's life that makes him or her decide to change beliefs.

Andy was extremely conscientious at work. But then he was reprimanded for fixing something that was not his job to do. He then vowed to let things go and not to be conscientious any more. He said to himself, "It just doesn't pay."

Misfortunes can also cause a change in character.

Andrew had grown up with a religious background. However, he had a series of misfortunes, including losing his farm and having his precious daughter suddenly die. The formerly cheerful man became bitter. He also completely abandoned religion.

Influence from others

Although adults resist being told right from wrong, they still can be influenced and change their character from the words or actions of other people.

Good to bad

People who have learned positive character rules from their parents can be influenced or swayed by others who are very convincing.

Good people in Germany during the 1930s were influenced by the words of Hitler to follow his evil philosophy.

Fellow workers can change a person's work attitudes:

When Bob started working for the U.S. Post Office, he found he could easily finish his delivery route in 5 hours. Shortly afterwards, several other postal workers approached him and said he was making them look bad. They threatened that he had better just barely finish his route in 8 hours, or there would be trouble.

Bob was influenced by their threats and had a different attitude toward his work.

Bad to good

Sometimes the good work attitude of others can influence a slacker.

A careless worker may get caught up in the spirit of producing quality goods from the attitudes of his fellow workers.

Some people listen to motivational lectures or read books on peak performance.

Workers may attend workshops that promote positive character traits in the workplace.

Some are inspired by a leader with positive character and seek to emulate the person.

Refuses to change

There are some people who simply refuse to change their character, even though they see the negative consequences of their actions. These are people who never seem to learn lessons.

Won't change from negative

Some people may have poor character traits that result in negative consequences. For some reason, they do not learn from the punishment they get and continue to maintain their negative traits.

Johnny had been arrested for stealing a number of times, often resulting in having to serve time in prison. However, he didn't learn the lesson that "crime does not pay" and continued to steal, as soon as he was released from prison.

Won't change from positive

Other people have learned the rules and benefits of positive character traits and will not change those beliefs despite pressure from peers.

Summary

Adults can change their character if they see that the present way they conduct themselves holds them back or causes them losses or harm. They may be motivated to change their beliefs to a new way of thinking.

Events in a person's life and special influence from others can cause a person to change his or her attitudes and character traits. However, there are still others who will never change.


Change to be better


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

Character Resources

Books

Top-rated books on Character


Questions and comments

If you have questions, comments, or opinions on this subject, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


Share this page

Click on a button to bookmark or share this page through Twitter, Facebook, email, or other services:

 

Students and researchers

The Web address of this page is:
www.school-for-champions.com/character/
how_adults_change_character.htm
.

Please include it as a link on your website or as a reference in your report, document, or thesis.

Copyright © Restrictions


Where are you now?

School for Champions

Character topics

How Adults Change Their Character




Character topics

Character is important

In business

In life

Understanding character

Character is learned

How others learned character

How people change character

Judging character

Classification of traits

General features

Personal traits

Social traits

Cultural traits

Leading others

Book summaries

Also see



Let's make the world a better place

Be the best that you can be.

Use your knowledge and skills to help others succeed.

Don't be wasteful; protect our environment.

You CAN influence the world.





Live Your Life as a Champion:

Take care of your health

Seek knowledge and gain skills

Do excellent work

Be valuable to others

Have utmost character

Be a Champion!



The School for Champions helps you become the type of person can be called a Champion.