The Rebel Personality

The Rebel Personality

I have been writing a personality column for Natural Health, where each month I provide some insight into different personalities. Here is some insight into The RebelDoes this sound like anyone you know?

 

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Everyone has a bit of the Rebel personality within themselves – that part that wants to (and sometimes does) go against the grain and break established rules. Rebel personalities, however, almost always disregard the reasons for rules, even though the outcomes are likely to be painful or of disadvantage to them. Sometimes they do this as a way of asserting a sense of power and control over others, or to try and compensate for real or imagined inner weakness. True rebels are not simply against rules or what others say just for the sake of being different; for example, they will protest wars because they believe in a particular cause, and can articulate it with conviction. In other words, there is method to the rebel’s apparent madness.

Adult rebels can be like obstinate children – no amount of punishment or scolding is going to decrease their rebelliousness, but instead is likely to intensify defiant behavior. Some other identifying characteristics are that the Rebel:

 

  • Prefers being independent and does not like being told what to do; they would rather give the orders.

  • Don’t require a situation be to ‘wrong’ or ‘boring’ to choose another option or viewpoint; they do so because they feel like it, even if the current situation appears ‘perfect’ to others.

  • Hates to be restrained in any way.

  • Dislikes that people bow to authority so easily or accept the status quo without question.

 

Positives

Rebels are generally well-meaning and intelligent, besides being very passionate, compassionate, and determined individuals. In addition:

 

  • They have great potential to explore and lead others through uncharted waters.

  • It can be exciting to be around colourful characters like rebels.

  • They are original thinkers and show courage in the face of overwhelming opposition.

  • The enthusiasm of the rebel is admirable, whether or not you agree with their convictions.

 

Negatives

Rebels habitually challenge authority wherever it exists, which can have a number of negative consequences:

 

  • It can aggravate relationships with work colleagues.

  • Their creativity can be embarrassing for others, such as when it comes to defending or showcasing unconventional ideas (i.e. wearing outrageous clothes or hairstyles to work just to make a point).

  • Don’t expect a rebel to be on friendly terms with you if you are the kind of person who accepts the status quo.

  • In the extreme, rebellious personalities can be undiplomatic and disruptive.

 

How do I deal with a Rebel?

When dealing with rebels at work, home, or in your social circle, understand that these people – like everyone – have a long history that shaped their personalities; their rebelliousness is not impulsive, nor is it designed to give others a hard time just because it’s fun to do so. Remember that:

 

  • Many, if not all, rebels are psychologically driven by a false sense of superiority and wounded sense of powerlessness stemming from early childhood experiences. Their rebelliousness can be seen as a compensatory mechanism. If you understand this, it can help you feel compassion for the rebel.

  • If you think you can sway a rebel easily with logical arguments, you need to think again; hardcore rebels thrive off intellectual challenges, and often have the most convincing viewpoints.

  • Show the rebel that you respect their views, even if you don’t agree with them. This way you will help defuse, rather than intensify any defiant stance.

  • When working with a rebel give them space to express their own ideas and use concrete outcomes to show the rebel whether their ideas were good ones or not.

 

Are you a Rebel?

You know you are a true rebel if you:

 

  • Find the mere thought of accepting authority spine-tingling.

  • Have a strong preference for doing things your way.

  • Find yourself automatically nominated for leadership positions in group settings.

  • Stick to your convictions, even if they go against the grain and get you into trouble.

  • Are prepared to live and die alone rather than have your freedom to think for yourself restrained by the needs or desires of a partner.

 

How can I curb my Rebelliousness?

 

  • Since you value independent thinking and can be persuaded by logic, reflect on the fact that independence and a sense of freedom are not necessarily cancelled out by cooperation and acceptance – neither is cooperation inferior to independence.

  • Rebelliousness doesn’t mean being irresponsible. You know this, but not everyone sees it that way. Keep this in mind when you express your views.

  • Living a balanced life is key – learn to strike a balance between compromise, cooperation and independence.



Categories: Psychology

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