can the weather affect your personality

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The connection between emotions and personality

Many studies have shown that certain weather conditions affect people's emotions and change their moods but if the change in emotions is only temporarily then how come can weather affect someone's personality?

When you experience a certain emotion more often your mind starts to become wired to experience it again. For example If you started worrying about your health then you might end up worrying about your work or anything else just because your mind became more tuned to the worrying frequency.

In other words the weather can change your personality indirectly as a result of forcing you to experience certain emotions over and over. (see also Getting rid of bad emotions)

Add to this the change in beliefs that can happen as a result of prolonged exposure to certain emotions and you will understand the impact weather can have on your personality.

If certain weather conditions forced you to become pessimistic then as you keep experiencing that same state over and over you will form negative beliefs about life and you will become a pessimistic person.

How the weather affects your personality

When it becomes colder people feel less energetic and stay more at home. Now if this cold weather persisted then people might become more introverted and withdrawn. In addition prolonged social isolation can impair social skills and make people less friendly. (see also Introversion and depression)

Sunlight was also found to affect optimism. The more hours people spent in the sun the more optimistic they were found to be. Serotonin a hormone that reduces depression is produced in the presence of sunlight. This is why some people become more depressed in winter and less depressed in summer.

Sunlight was also found to have a positive impact on memory functions. Cold weather on the other hand impairs memory functions to a certain extent. Because of all of the previous factors people who live in cold areas may be less optimistic and are more likley to feel down or depressed.

Its important to note that the weather sometimes acts as a multiplier to your already existing emotions. Depressed people for example might feel more depressed in winter and less depressed in summer. In such a case the weather only amplified those people's moods.

Why the weather affects people differently

Its extremely important to understand that the environment doesn't affect the personality directly but instead its the interaction between your own thoughts and your environment that results in such changes. (see also How your beliefs affect your behavior)

That's also the reason why two different people can live in the same weather yet develop different personalities. (provided that all other factors are constant)

In my article why some people prefer cold weather i explained how cold weather can make some people feel better because of many reasons such as being satisfied with their body shape. In summer people put light clothes and as a result expose the body parts they are not satisfied with.

That's why people can be affected by the weather differently. A person's unique beliefs about life interacts with the weather and determine the final mood he will experience as a result of getting exposed to that weather.

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