People often talk about “personality”, the collection of traits that defines us, but I often wonder if I have any personality at all. I have interests and hobbies, and I can talk about the actions that make up my daily life, but beyond that, I’m not sure. If tasked with defining myself not by what I do, but by who I am, I feel I would almost certainly fall short. To those who meet me, however, I imagine I come off as having some personality; in truth, that is simply an emulation of the kind of person I think they would want to be around. Perhaps I am simply a blank slate, molding to those around me as I see fit. A better analogy might be that of a mirror, which reflects back a complementary personality to whomever looks into it. If so, when I’m alone and the facade drops, who am I? What does the mirror see when it reflects against itself?

If there is one thing that I do know about whatever personality that exists within me, it’s that it is a collection of contradictions. Then again, perhaps most people are on some level. An introvert who, when alone, suddenly feels an intense desire to be around people. A constant overthinker for unimportant details, yet prone to extremely impulsive behaviour when it comes to life-changing decisions. A humble narcissist who, hiding behind so many layers of irony, himself can not even tell if he really believes in his own excellence.

There is one benefit to this condition, though, which is that I find personality plays remarkably little role in whether I am able to get along with people. While that is not to say that I can get along with anyone, I can with most, and in the cases I can’t, it is far more often an issue of behaviour rather than personality (although I will admit it is hard to say where to draw the line between what belongs to which category).