The Benefits of a Bilingual Personality

Diversity quiltSince living in Brazil and regularly writing and speaking in Portuguese, I’ve noticed my English speaking and writing personality (the one I’ve had my whole life) isn’t the same as my Portuguese personality (currently in the terrible two stage). I started looking into this more and actually discovered that this is super common for multilingual people.

I’ll share with you my experience having dual personalities and tell you why I think speaking 2 + languages is good for the soul!  Plus, it’s just plain cool to have more than one personality and not be hangin’ out in a psychiatric hospital!

  • You connect with others from the heart

I love using words to connect with others, but it’s nice and refreshing when the connection is based from a place of oneness. When you’re speaking your non-native language people focus more on the energy you give rather than the actual words you use. I think this is cool and it shows that while our minds are amazing tools that allow us to do so many great things (like your ability to read this right now), it’s great to just connect on a heart to heart level. The words, phrase structure, and exact understanding is secondary.

  • You face constant vulnerability, but discover refreshing freedom

Letting go of the need to control that you’re saying what you mean to say (in the way you hope to say it) makes you vulnerable. There is a huge opening for miscommunications (both small and large – and sometimes funny). But at the same time, you gain an exhilarating sense of freedom. My analytical English personality goes out the window. The most important thing to me, in that moment, is having a conversation and connecting with another person. What the person I’m talking to or someone around us thinks about me (based off my word choice, comprehension, or strong American accent) is none of my business.

When you 100% believe that , you easily see that the same principle translates into any language and any person you talk to in your life. That’s freedom baby! This reminds me of a popular affirmation, “The good or bad opinion of others doesn’t affect me”. Speaking another language can help you grasp this idea so much better – and as a result, you’ll be so much happier, at peace, and love yourself unconditionally!

  • You become more direct

I didn’t realize how non-direct I can be in English until Portuguese came into my life. I don’t play word games (not really sure how) or beat around the bush in Portuguese.  I say what I’m thinking and don’t hide behind being appropriate or polite (of course I’m never rude and my body language supports that), and I don’t phrase my words in a sly attempt at achieving the result I secretly hope for (come on, we all can be a little manipulative sometimes). I’ve discovered that I love being direct and it’s translating to my English personality too!

The real you has nothing to do with your job, language skills, where you live, how much money you have in the bank, what type of car you drive (or if you drive), or any other material and ego centered status. Your second language personality helps you see this more clearly. You realize that who you are truly is something beyond what you typically spend you days worrying or thinking about. The real you simply hangs out inside you, waiting for you to connect with its awesomeness.  It doesn’t have any problems, complaints, concerns, or worries. Connecting to the “real” you allows you to experience a more peaceful and rewarding time in the material world – regardless of your circumstances.

  • You have another avenue of self expression

After you realize that your personalities are not the real you (the real you is spirit and is innately connected to everyone and everything in the whole universe), you can choose to use your ability to communicate in more than one language as another avenue of self expression. This allows you to connect with more people, express yourself in different ways according to languages and cultures, and simply learn more about the depth of life.

Do you have multiple language personalities?  Can you relate to my experience? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  

photo by: OregonDOT