Application of Theories

Application of Theories of Personality in Personal Development Experiences

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Application of Theories of Personality in Personal Development Experiences


Personality is defined as the characteristic patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings that make a person unique. Personality is what makes a person. Psychologists are yet to agree on what a single definition of personality should constitute. Research has found that while external factors influence the way certain traits manifest, personality emanates from the individual. Notably, various personality aspects tend to change as people grow older, while some remain to be fairly consistent throughout the individual’s life. Studying personality is important as it plays a significant role in determining human behavior. Personality psychologists are interested in people’s unique characteristics and their similarities with other people. On the other hand, mental health has to do with people’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Mental health affects how a person feels, thinks, and acts. Additionally, mental health determines people’s ability to make decisions, handle stress, and relate to one another. Mental health is significant in all stages of life, starting with childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Growing up, I have gone through many life experiences. Some experiences have been positive while others negative. I have encountered many experiences that have either motivated me or stressed me up to this point in my life. This essay chronologically explains significant events or experiences that affected me consciously or unconsciously in one way or another. Additionally, the text analyzes my life experiences thus far by applying theories of psychology and personality concepts discussed in class.

Infancy Stage; Birth and Family Background Information

The first stage of development is known as the infancy stage and starts from when a child is born to when they are one year old. I was born in Cambridge, Boston, to my parents twenty years ago. I am the second child in my family. I have an elder sister and a younger brother. My mother was a nurse and my dad worked as an accountant. I may not remember most of the details about my life at this point as I was still very young, but one thing is for sure; I had a good childhood. My parents were always both present in my life and they were actively involved in raising and taking care of me. My parents provided me with everything that I needed. I cannot say that there was a time when I lacked basic needs. I have a good relationship with both of my parents. I especially feel a special connection with my mother. My personality turned out to be exactly like her’s. She was a strict mother who instilled in me values of discipline, integrity, and hard work from an early age. As I mentioned, my mother was a nurse, but despite her demanding career and work schedule, she ensured she created time for me and made sure that I had everything I needed. My mother was my primary caregiver. To date, my mother and I share a strong bond. My mother is my best friend and I am comfortable sharing anything with her. My mother and I share a strong bond because of the connection that was formed in the first years of my life. Psychologists point out that some socio-emotional development is expected in children in the first year of development. This is the case because it becomes important for infants at this stage to form an attachment, particularly with their caregivers. Worth noting, relationships, life functioning and personality are often shaped by a lack of or quality of emotional attachment that a child forms in the first year of their life. Because my mother was my primary giver and was invested in my upbringing, this explains the stable relationship that I share with her and my bubbly personality, which she also possesses.

Experiences during the Toddler Stage

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines a toddler as a child between one and three years. A child automatically becomes a toddler after their first birthday. One of the experiences that define my years as a toddler is that I was a shy child. Unlike most children, I was overly quiet and thoughtful. My parents were worried that something was wrong with me at some point. I was not as active as other children my age. Toddlers are known for being naughty and high-spirited, but this was not my case. My mother tells me that whenever she took me out for play dates with other children, I would hesitate to play and interact with them. Most of the time, she would find me playing by myself or sitting in a corner. It also took a long before I could speak. By the time I turned one year, I had not started babbling words. I spoke my first words at nearly twenty-four months. My parents were worried about me and when they consulted with a doctor they were reassured that nothing was wrong with me. They said that the growing experiences of every child are unique and that children hit milestones differently. While some children are sharp, some take long to even achieve one milestone. As a toddler, I had a shy personality type because of my upbringing. I have a six-year gap between my elder sister and me and a two-year age gap with my younger brother. This means that majority of the time. My older sister was always in school and when she was at home she did not enjoy playing with me. By the time I was two years she was already nine years old and had outgrown toddler games. According to statistics, approximately 15% of toddlers are cautious, shy, and slow to warm up (Degotardi, 2017). Shy children have slow adaptability, low reaction intensity, and low activity level. Shy children react negatively to new changes and situations in their schedule. When pressured into adapting to new schedules, such toddlers become withdrawn. Such toddlers must be protected from ridicule, harsh criticism, and excessive pressures as they can develop a fear that affects them for the rest of their lives. Some traits of shy toddlers are that they enjoy quiet play, are happy but get easily frightened, anxious, have strong emotions, and are hesitant to meet new people.

Experiences during Early Childhood

Early childhood is between three and eight years when a child attends pre-school and begins to go through experiences for the first time. One of the most unforgettable experiences that I went through at this stage was refusing to attend school. The first day my mother took me to school, I was so sad. I cried the entire journey to school and I was pleading with her to let me stay home a while longer. Unlike other children, I was not excited to be attending school for the first time. My mother figured a way to bribe me into remaining in school on the first day. She knew how much I loved toys, and she promised to get me more toys if I remained in school. She even said that she would be waiting for me by the gate the entire day-which was a lie-so that I could agree to stay in school. The explanation for my behavior is that I was not prepared to interact with so many children at school, given I was a shy and quiet child. Because I was always alone at school, I could not fathom being around crowds. According to research, some of the common behavior concerns for preschoolers are anxiety, lying, tantrums, and habits. They also note that preschoolers tend to be keen on independence, curious, and get easily distracted. With time, I learned how to get along with other children and follow the rules given by the teachers.

Experiences during Middle Childhood

Middle childhood starts when a child is nine years to when they are 11 years. Some of my experiences included lying to my parents, truancy and occasionally showing up for dinner late, and stealing money from my mother’s purse. At this point in my life, I was starting to become self-aware and is reflected in the things that would interest me. I started becoming hard-headed and my mother would constantly complain about my behavior. My friends and I liked to play games at the mall and that is why I would steal my mother’s money at times. I would miss school and get home late because of the escapades I used to have with my friends. The explanation is that I had begun to move away from the home environment and expanded my roles. I had become more self-aware and I had started to get a sense of the direction I wanted to take in life. I was about to enter adolescence, a stage that comes with increased emotions on the part of the child.

Experiences during Teenage Years/Adolescence

Adolescence starts when a child is twelve years old to when they turn eighteen. My experience during this age was not pleasant. I got into trouble with my parents for my dress code and friendships. As a teenager, I preferred wearing certain clothes that my parents were uncomfortable with. My father especially said that my skirts were too short. When I was thirteen, I switched my entire dress code. I stopped wearing the clothes that my mother had bought for me. Most of the time, I would insist on going shopping by myself. My mother also complained that I was not keeping good company. She insisted that my behavior changed as soon as I started hanging out with a certain group of friends that I did not have before. She insisted that peer pressure had caught up with me. She tried as much as possible to keep an eye on me, but I would not let her. I was hard-headed and longed for freedom. According to research, teenagers have a reputation of being moody, uncommunicative, argumentative, surly, and flippant (Rogers, Obst, Teague, Rossen, Spry, Macdonald, & Hutchinson, 2020). This explains why I was being difficult to my parents at the time. Many changes occur in the body during puberty, including sexual maturation and biological and cognitive changes. Social changes become especially pronounced as teenagers become autonomous from parents, spending more time with friends and exploring sexuality and romantic relationships.


In closing, I have encountered both positive and negative experiences growing up. These experiences have played a critical role in shaping my personality. I turned out the way I did because of m experiences. As a toddler, I was shy and inactive. I enjoyed keeping my own company and was hesitant to play with other children during playmates. Moreover, the first time I was taken to school, I cried and insisted on going home. I was not comfortable with the idea of being among many people because I was a shy child. I delayed speaking by a few months. I did not learn how to speak until I turned two years. I started displaying truancy during early childhood when I would miss school and steal a few dollars from my mother’s purse. During adolescence, the behavior continued. I was a moody and uncommunicative adolescent. My teenage years were the most challenging times of my life.


Degotardi, S. (2017). Joint attention in infant-toddler early childhood programs: Its dynamics and potential for collaborative learning. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 18(4), 409-421.

Rogers, A., Obst, S., Teague, S. J., Rossen, L., Spry, E. A., Macdonald, J. A., & Hutchinson, D. (2020). Association between maternal perinatal depression and anxiety and child and adolescent development: a meta-analysis. JAMA pediatrics, 174(11), 1082-1092.