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Be Who You Want

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472141019

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 20th May 2021

Genre: Society & Social Sciences

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Winner of the 2022 Book Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology

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.

What's Inside

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'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
'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
'Jarrett makes a persuasive case that personality types are more malleable than we might think' - Tim Harford, Financial Times
'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
'Dr. Jarrett's engaging writing style educates and entertains, even if you're someone who is mostly happy with who you already are. In Be Who You Want, he offers exercises, and insight, to give readers the power to build new habits and change in positive ways' - Elizabeth Loftus, Past President of the Association for Psychological Science
'Jarrett's passion and encouragement will give readers the confidence they need to switch things up' - Publishers Weekly
'Christian Jarrett has written a lucid, balanced, engaging and authoritative account of the promise of positive personality change. Richly researched and evocatively written, Be Who You Want provides a hopeful and nuanced message. This is essential reading for a general audience who may be puzzled and perplexed about their own personalities and those of people they care about' - Professor Brian R. Little, author of Me, Myself and Us
'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
'Who among us hasn't wanted to make a change in our personality at some point in our lives? Be Who You Want gives us hope that we can upgrade ourselves and lays out a step-by-step plan to get us from here to there. In my more than 30 years as a psychotherapist, I have not found a more plain-spoken and instructive book on transformation' - New York Journal of Books
'As a psychologist, it's rare that I come across a book that communicates the complexities of personality and behaviour change in a way that's both accessible and substantive. Be Who You Want does so in spades-with plenty of wit and warmth to boot! An intellectually thrilling and genuinely practical book that will show you how to harness the science of personality to change yourself for the better' - Nick Wignall, clinical psychologist and blogger
'The good news is that personality is a skill, and like all skills, we can improve. In this optimistic book, you'll discover what's possible - if we care enough to change' - Seth Godin, author, The Practice
'Personality is hard to change, but recent advances in science have shown that with the right tools and strategies it is possible to become a better version of ourselves. This wonderful new book will show you how' - Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Professor of Business Psychology at University College London and Columbia University