The statement “That’s the way I am. It’s my character” implies that a person’s behavior or traits are built-in or ingrained to their character, so therefore they are not easily changed. The implication is that one’s actions, attitudes and personality are so deeply rooted that they’ve become “one” with the individual’s personality over time.
But could it be lack of character that allows one to claim: “That’s the way I am.”?
To explore this deeply, it’s important to share my general understanding as to the concept of character. Character refers to the moral & ethical qualities that define an individual’s behavior & personality. It encompasses traits such as honesty, integrity, empathy & responsibility. Character is often seen as a reflection of one’s values & the choices they make in life.
When someone says, “That’s the way I am. It’s my character,” they may be suggesting that their behavior & actions are consistent with their inner nature: That they are being true to themselves. Though, it could be interpreted as a justification in defense of certain behavior.
So, I wonder: Is there a possibility that such a definite statement about one’s supposed character is an excuse for not addressing what might be a behavior that would benefit from a “behavioral review”? Could the statement imply that their actions might be learned (or maybe even out-lived) vs. an inherent part of their character?
Determining whether it is indeed character or possibly a lack of moral character might depend on the specific behavior or traits in question. Like if the behavior is harmful, unethical, or inconsistent with widely accepted moral standards, it could be a moral character issue: Like lies, cheating, or mistreatment of others with justification that it’s “that’s the way I am.”
On the other hand, if the behavior is just a reflection of personal preferences, quirks, or harmless idiosyncrasies, it may not indicate a lack of character at all. Certainly we all holds unique traits & preferences, that contribute to our personalities. Assuming they cause no harm to others, I’d ask: What’s the harm?
What do you think? Tell me your thoughts!
I’m Dian Griesel aka @SilverDisobedience
© Silver Disobedience Inc. 2023