Website owner:  James Miller

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Open and closed personalities

   We just had a Reagan-Gorbachev summit.  Gorbachev made a big 
   impression.  Everyone seems to like him.  Everyone is talking 
   highly of him.  Reagan, congressmen, people on the street, 
   world leaders such as Margaret Thacher, everyone.  Some 
   congressmen made the comment that he seemed more American than 
   Americans.  And if he were over here in American politics 
   running for president no one else would have a chance.  He 
   would take the election with ease.  People were really 
   impressed with him.  Why do people like him so well?  What 
   personality traits does he have that causes people to like him?  
   I will list some of them:  He is intelligent, thoughtful, 
   reasonable, friendly, courteous, warm, confident, relaxed, 
   open.  I mention this because all of these traits are part of a 
   particular personality pattern.  They all tend to be found 
   together.  They reinforce each other, they fit together well.  
   Ability, intelligence and success in one's pursuits builds 
   confidence and a relaxed outlook on life.  Confidence and a 
   relaxed attitude towards life breeds generosity in our feelings 
   toward other people, warmth, friendliness, courtesy and 
   openness.  (Openness is an important word here.  It is a trait 
   very important to happiness and mental health.)  There is an 
   opposite personality pattern.  What is it?  What are its 
   characteristics?  Personal inabilities and handicaps; lack of 
   confidence; defensiveness; emotional problems; being worried, 
   tense and uptight; unfriendliness; closedness; 
   uncommunicativeness; anger at people and society; mistrust of 
   others; fear; insecurity; dissatisfaction with one's self; 

   Why is all of this of interest to me?  Because for years I was 
   a captive of the later personality pattern: the one of anger, 
   fear and closedness.  Then about 10 or 15 years ago I did some 
   sort of mental flip and instantly went into the other 
   personality pattern --- the one of confidence, friendliness and 

   Dec 1987

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