Be Who You Want tells the story of how our personalities are formed but shows that they are not fixed - they are malleable and voluntary. Christian Jarrett gives us the tools to shape our traits in the ways that will benefit us most.
'There are enough plums, cherries, raisins and sultanas in this delightful cake to inspire, surprise, motivate and enthuse anyone. Warmly recommended' - Stephen Fry
Today, more than ever, we are aware of the power of personality. Are we introverts, extroverts, neurotic, open-minded? Psychology has always taught that there are personality types, some advantageous, some often seen as less so, and the common perception is that we're stuck with what we're given. The introvert will never break out of their shell, the narcissist will be forever trapped gazing into the mirror (or endlessly tweeting about perceived attacks on their brilliance).
Be Who You Want argues that contrary to the old adage, not only can the leopard change his spots, he can swap them for stripes, and that he can do so to his own advantage. In psychological terms, although our initial personality type is moulded by a combination of genetic influences and early experiences, it is not fixed. It's malleable, voluntary even. This book will tell the story of how our personalities are formed and gives us the tools to shape them in the ways which we desire and which will benefit us most. Drawing on the latest psychological theories and methods, interviews with leading experts, as well as personal anecdote, Christian Jarrett shows us that we can shape ourselves in ways that make our lives better.
The book provides evidence-based ways to change each of the main five personality traits, including how to become more emotionally stable, extrovert and open-minded. It also delves into the upsides of the so-called Dark Triad of personality traits - narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy - and how we might exploit their advantages without ourselves going over to the dark side.
'I'm not much of a lover of life coaching and personal growth books. But I found myself consuming Christian Jarrett's Be Who You Want with gradually increasing fascination and conviction. This is not snake-oil huckstering, or silly salesmanship but plausible and very convincing science. There are enough plums, cherries, raisins and sultanas in this delightful cake to inspire, surprise, motivate and enthuse anyone. Warmly recommended' - Stephen Fry
'In this inspiring yet bracingly down-to-earth book, Christian Jarrett shows that positive personality change lies within reach. And since your beliefs about what's possible are central to what's actually possible, just reading Be Who You Want should get the improvements started' - Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
'Not many people realize the pervasiveness of personality, not only for your success at school and work, but also for your mental and physical health and even your longevity. In this insightful book, Christian Jarrett shows us how to disrupt old strategies and habits and shape our character for the better. A timely and empowering book, you'll never think about your personality in the same way again' - Scott Barry Kaufman, Humanistic Psychologist, host of The Psychology Podcast and author of Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization
'There is no better guide to the psychology of personality than Christian Jarrett. Be Who You Want is fascinating and revelatory, identifying the many forces that have shaped us - and the practical ways to become a new person. Filled with compassion, wisdom, and optimism, it is essential reading for anyone interested in the science of self-transformation' - David Robson, author of The Intelligence Trap
'It's not an exaggeration to say this book will change your life. Be Who You Want perfectly combines fascinating research, surprising stories, and personal anecdotes to explore how picking your personality can change your daily and long-term outlook. This book is a must-read!' - Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Indistractable
'In this deeply researched and insightful book, Christian Jarrett shows that we are not, in fact, stuck with ourselves. Jarrett argues convincingly that we can and do change - indeed, whether we notice it in ourselves or not, we already are changing. The hopeful message of the book is that it's possible to change ourselves in positive ways, in ways that align with our core values, in ways that allow us, as he writes, to be who we want' - Melissa Dahl, author of Cringeworthy, and Executive Editor of The Cut