When the word malleable is mentioned, what comes to mind are metals or elements that are frequently associated with scientific study. However, the richness of the English language allowed for the word to evolve in usage through time. Taking from its scientific definition, the word malleable is now applied to a personality type, that of either being “capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences” (“Malleable” def. 2a) or “having a capacity for adaptive change” (“Malleable” def. 2b).
These two definitions give two distinct uses for the word, in direct contrast with each other, which just shows how rich the English language has developed. This paper would be taking these two meanings and apply them to real-life situations where the term malleable is the appropriate description for how I reacted to that particular circumstance. The first meaning of malleable abovementioned can be elaborated as having a weak personality. Thus, a person with a malleable personality is easily swayed or influenced by others and/or does not have his/her own opinions.
It is somewhat detrimental for an adult, because as adults, we are expected to have our own mind, able to decide for ourselves and not simply say yes to everything that other people say. But it would be noteworthy to point out that children have naturally malleable personalities. They are in fact, described as being great sponges, ready to absorb anything that they learn as they grow up. This is inevitable, since everyone goes through this, and no one is spared from going through this stage.
It is how we come to be what we are now, by absorbing and retaining everything from people who surround us the time we were growing up. As children, we absorb everything that happens around us, and what we experience shapes our beliefs as well as our behavior. Taking the second definition of being competent with respect to adapting to change can only be construed as a positive trait for anyone who possesses it. Being malleable this way indicates that a person can readily adjust to transformations or modifications of present situations, no matter how unexpected or sudden the shift to something new may be.
The good thing about this personality type is that it can be acquired over time; it is not something exclusive to some people only. This trait can be especially useful nowadays, as the pace of today’s world necessitates the need for one to be capable of adapting to the ethos, customs, and usages of whatever group one attaches to, whether school, work or other social groups. Being malleable in the latter sense aforementioned has been a good thing, at the very least in my case.
Growing up, I was always capable of making rapid adjustments, adaptable and supple, not a single trait, but a general condition of malleability; and this is the condition that appears to have been at premium in practically all social groups that I have belonged to. Possessing the capability to change internally in reaction to outside conditions is a cultural attribute that has always been optimistically connected to efficacy. I had to transfer several times to different schools, and each time, I can assert that being malleable enabled me to gain me friends quickly enough, and it helped me a lot in boosting my self-confidence.
It is also a very helpful trait to have because as a person, I can easily adopt different assumptions to position myself flexibly in relation to other people, more often to further my good relationship with them. Malleability when applied to a personality type, as aforesaid, can be one of two things: either being impressionable or improvable. I’d like to think I belong in the latter category, although being easily influenced is not such a bad thing, given that the influencer is veering an individual to become a better person.
As with all things, this personality type is advantageous or damaging to a person, depending on the circumstance that he/she is facing and the degree with which malleability is practiced. I have always believed that too much of anything is bad, and being malleable is no exception to the rule. As such, there is a need for sound judgment on an individual’s part whether to be malleable or not in any given life situation.
WORK CITED “Malleable. ” Def. 2a & b. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 11th Ed. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster Incorporated, 2003.