Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you high strung or laid back? Do you like new experiences or do you shy away from change? These are all questions that help us decipher our personalities, or the traits that identify what fundamentally makes us, us. Scientists have long believed that personality traits were fixed, stemming from a complex mix of biological factors, genetics, and the environments in which we were raised to create all of our distinct behaviors. In fact, Psychology Today reports that personality is often seen as, for the most part, unchangeable. Only something that deeply affected the brain’s biology would be able to change our personality, and it needs to be momentous in order for it to have a lasting effect.

So, can experiences change our personality? It’s absolutely possible. Depending on the impact of what occurred, and how the event reacted with our body’s chemistry, there is a very high possibility that who we are can actually change. But what events would cause such a prolific shift in our basic characteristics?

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