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Do You Feel Like You’ve Changed A Lot This Year?

Pinays share the biggest changes they've noticed about themselves.
personality change during the pandemic

If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I’d be the kind of person who’d ~yearn~ for human interaction in the coming months, I would’ve never believed you. An introvert and somewhat of a loner, I value the time I spend away from people. This means, when it’s not a pressing matter, I typically don’t respond to messages or I find a way to cut a conversation short—especially after a long day at the office. But this year, amid a global health crisis, I’ve noticed a slight difference in the way I react to social interactions. I feel like I welcome random conversations more and are less annoyed when people talk to me beyond what I’m normally used to. Even if I can’t particularly relate to a topic, I reply anyway—aware that this person might just be feeling a little lonely. I also noticed that I’ve been talking to people I’m not that close to, cheering them on for their small wins. And they have been doing the same for me.

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Another change in my routine is that, while I still wake up really, really early, I remind myself to slow down and sit still at specific times during a work day. I get up and usually stand in our yard—a privilege not a lot of people have, I know—or I sit next to my dog and pat her head. This is not something I did pre-pandemic; my life felt much faster then, but that also means I probably missed out on a lot of things that could’ve benefited my mental health.

These changes aren’t drastic but still surprising to me. While I can’t say my personality is completely different, I do think that it shifted a bit as a response to the pandemic. According to Mirjam Stieger of the Lifespan Developmental Psychology Laboratory at Brandeis University, “It’s likely that these unprecedented times shaped people’s personality traits to a certain degree as people were forced to leave their comfort zone and their daily routine.”

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The pandemic brought on feelings of sadness and anxiety, but with social media, people were able to stay connected; and for many of us, it proved that solitude didn’t always have to feel lonely. Wiebke Bleidorn, who works at Personality Change Laboratory at the University of California, Davis, said, “Most people seem to be pretty good at finding environments that fit their extraversion or can dial it up or down when asked to.”

There’s also the harsh reality that plenty of people suffered a lot this year in terms of losing their jobs, sources of income, and unfortunately, even loved ones. These also have big effects on someone’s personality. Rodica Damian, from the Personality Development and Success Laboratory at the University of Houston, noted, “Job loss has been associated with decreased conscientiousness. Illness has been associated with increased conscientiousness and neuroticism and lower extraversion.” Long-term data still needs to be collected and analyzed for us to fully understand the effects of the pandemic on our personalities.

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We turned to the women in our Cosmo Community to find out the biggest changes in their lives or routines this year:

  • “Skincare habits! I don’t just buy skincare products just because it’s hyped or effective, etc. I am now more into minimalist skincare routine. Even with my makeup habits. I decided to be foundation-free. And lastly, financial investments. With my huge savings, I decided to invest and learn more about money savings for future plans.” –Sandra
  • “Getting six to eight hours of sleep every night has been life-changing.” –Jasper
  • “Quality of life improved because of K-dramas and BTS, like legit no joke, life feels a lot lighter.” –Gia
  • “I got to know who my real friends are! I’ve made and lost a couple of friends this year, and honestly, it’s been a huge learning experience.” –Sophia
  • “Unconsciously learning to limit myself [from] posting things/opinions online. It brought me peace of mind and the ability to not mind stressful matters because I need to choose [my] battles. My peace of mind is my number one priority.” –Chamie
  • “Psychological growth and healing. I had 10 months of therapy this year, fell in love, and went through a breakup, found myself over and over.” –Michelle
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Source: BBC


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