RE: What is the difference between ‘individuality’ and ‘personality’?
By definition, according to Meriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘individual’ is being regarded as ‘obsolete’ (i.e something inseparable) – ‘a particular being or thing as distinguished from a class, species, or collection’. On the other hand, the same dictionary defines ‘personal’ as ‘relating to or affecting a particular person’. As a noun, it sees it as ‘a short newspaper paragraph relating to the activities of a person or a group or to personal matters’.
From the definitions above, a close study will point out two important and relevant points;
Individuality is distinguishing. It is the inseparable nature of man (it is the ‘who that we are’ which makes us different from another).
Personality is the expressed action or activities of the ‘who’ that we are displayed via characters. Simply put, personality is the way we express our individualism.
Therefore, it will be right psychologically to say that ‘MAN’ is an embodimic structure comprising of the individual and his personality. The interaction between the two concepts goes a long way in determining who a man is in life. Moreso, the individual as the internal ‘you’ influences the activities of the external ‘you’ (personality). But in essence, people will judge you via what they see or hear you say.
Practically, I like to view the ‘individual’ as the ‘I’ and the ‘personality’ as the ‘Me’. Both are referring to the same entity – the fist person personal pronoun- but in different forms. The former is as the subject while the latter is as the object. The former is the one you are referring to when you beat your chest and say ‘I want it’. The latter is the one they are referring to when they look at you and say ‘we like you’. Which syntactically and semantically still means ‘they like me’.
Take a look at this chart below;
Individual «» MIND «» person/body
Psychophilosophically, every individual is a saint; obviously every individual has been endowed with the ability to distinguish rights from wrong. Moreover, the translation of the sainthood into the society is a function of the personality. Like a servant waiting for the boss’ order, the individual receives the message of what is going on in the environment like an input. It then processes it to figure out the rights and then sends it back to the mind to relate the refined message to the person or body which eventually carries out the deed or action. This seems to be the chain of action.
One will want to wonder why man still carry out some bad acts since we say the individual is always a ‘saint’. It is the external influence of the environment that makes man commit. Of the three (individual, mind and personality), the personality is the closest to the environment thus makes it vulnerable. Moreso, the personality is a flexible one and can be easily influenced or convinced either by the individual or by the environment. The side with the strongest will power at that moment owns the control; and in most cases, the outer part conquers. Not because the inner part (individual) is weak, but because its power at that point in time might have been suppressed. Some harmful intakes like alcohol, cigarette, caffeine etc and even oscene and pornographic views can weaken the individual’s power against the force of the environment. Feelings can also be a suppressant; joy, happiness, sadness, love and even pain.
Therefore, at that point when the power of the individual is suppressed, the chain for good thought and action breaks and the personnel in charge does as the environment wishes. The incoming messages will no longer meet honest replies and so the person misbehaves. This is the state where we say (in pidgin English) ‘no be him dey talk again. In don high’. Until after sometime, when the individual recovers, the person will then regain his consciousness and probably begin to feel guilt. This is the state of ‘in eye don clear’. lol
In summary, man (as an entity) is an embodiment of an individual trait (which is always right) and his personality. A systematic dichotomy of the two concept is that the individual is the internal ‘you’ while the personality is the external ‘you’. The internal ‘you’ is the ‘real you’ which the external you is trying to project. If the external you fails to project positively the real you, then the society sees you to be of a bad personality and vce versa.
Worthy of note is the fact that your external you is a flexible one which can get corrupted, at the point of service, by the environment. So it is advisable for the real you to fortify and protect itself from the evils of the environment. In this plight, I will advice you make good use of your sense organs (sight, hearing, freeling, smelling and tasting). Remember God said: ‘every individual will be held accountable for his deeds on earth’.
»Lower your gaze
»Be mindful of what you drink and eat (especially alcohol)
»Don’t listen to things that will corrupt your person
»Guard your feelings
Ola-lawal Muzzamil Oladayo is a freelance (creative) writer who believes in the power of the ink. He uses his works not only to correct wrongs in society but also to inspire creativity and productivity in humanity. He is a graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ilorin.
C.E.O; Muzzammilwrites concept.