Eli5 What exactly is “building character”?


Eli5 What exactly is “building character”?

In: 2

Every experience you have in your life has an impact on how you think, act, and generally see the world. Having a broad range of experiences under your belt tends to make people more relaxed, more confident and more open minded, because you know you can handle yourself in a variety of situations, and you understand that there are many different views on what’s “normal”. That’s why some people say that traveling “builds character”, but traveling is not the only way to do so.

Struggling through enough difficulty, enough times, so your personality is effected by it. My father always used to laugh when he dished out unsavory chores and tell me, when I complained, it built character.

He had to be right because eventually I stopped complaining because I was tired of hearing it.

“Character” in this context refers to virtues: courage, patience, diligence, etc.

A lot of these virtues can be acquired through practice. Something that’s scary/frustrating/difficult/etc. the first time you do it will be less scary/etc. future times you do it.

So an experience that “builds character” is one that gives you practice exercising virtues, making you a better person. Theoretically.

Kind of a “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” idea, except for emotions rather than muscles.