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Publisher's Summary

From cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Christian Jarrett, a fascinating book exploring the science of personality and how we can change ourselves for the better.

What if you could exploit the plasticity of personality to change yourself in specific ways?

Would you choose to become less neurotic? More self-disciplined? Less shy?

Until now, we’ve been told that we’re stuck with the personality we were born with: The introvert will never break out of their shell, the narcissist will be forever trapped gazing into the mirror. 

In Be Who You Want, Dr. Christian Jarrett takes us on a thrilling journey, as he not only explores the ways that life changes us, but shows how we can deliberately shape our personalities to influence the course of our lives. 

Dr. Jarrett draws on the latest research to provide evidence-based ways to change each of the main five personality traits, including how to become more emotionally stable, extraverted, and open-minded. Dr. Jarrett features compelling stories of people who have achieved profound personality change such as a gang-leader turned youth role model, a drug addict turned ultra-runner, and a cripplingly shy teenager turned Hollywood mega-star. He 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. 

Filled with quizzes and interactive exercises to help us better understand the various aspects of our personalities, life stories, and passions, Be Who You Want will appeal to anyone who has ever felt constrained by how they've been characterized and wants to pursue lasting change.

©2021 Christian Jarrett. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK. All rights reserved.

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  • Zeek
  • 2021-11-03

Hard to listen

I love listening British authors reading their work but I couldn’t listen to this one. If also recycled things I read in many books before this. So it wasn’t for me.

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  • chris boutte
  • 2021-05-24

Great book on how to change

As someone who loves reading books on psychology, I’ve read quite a few books on personality change, and this is one of the best. Sometimes, I worry that books like these will just be filled with a bunch of pseudoscience and disproven studies, but throughout the book, Jarrett debunks a ton of myths about personality such as how birth order affects personality. And when there isn’t extremely strong evidence in a study that Jarrett discusses, he’s very clear that the jury might still be out. But at the end of the day, this book is written for people who want to change and don’t think they can. This type of mission is important to me because I’m 9 years sober from drugs and alcohol, and in my addiction, I thought I was doomed to be who I was, but I’m a completely different person today.

Christian organizes this book in a fantastic way, and he starts out by explaining the various factors that are involved with our personalities from nature to nurture. What’s great about this book as well is that each chapter ends with some practicable tips to help you develop habits to move closer to being the person you want to be. He also dives into some social issues such as how the criminal justice system is doing a poor job rehabilitating people by assisting them to change who they are.

I highly recommend this book, and there’s so much more that I wasn’t able to cover in this review such as his chapter pathological causes of personality change. I finished it in just a couple of days because it has just about everything I want in non-fiction.