Apart from the scientific definitions of the word malleable that describes the term as metals that are “capable of being extended or shaped by beating with a hammer or by the pressure of rollers,” (1) the wide range of meanings of the term is amazing. If only the metallic quality is taken, the meaning of the word is limited. But Merriam Webster online dictionary gives two other meanings also.
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Malleable also means something “capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences.” (1). This definition makes the term a little negative. If we take this meaning in the case of a human being, this quality seems a personality defect or shortcoming. A malleable person is a weak person who alters his decisions and aims when he faces difficulties or challenges. It directs us to related words like bendy and flexible. The man with such a quality will be the object of contempt of his friends and fellow beings due to his malleability, and sometimes he may be called by others as black-legged. Some sentences using this term are given below:
- Shirley’s malleability is evident from the way she changes opinions.
- Freddie is so malleable. He makes a decision according to his wife’s wishes.
The very negative meaning turns positive when it comes to the third definition of the term as “having a capacity for adaptive change.” (1). This definition is more accepted and widely used. When it comes to the personality of a human being, ironically, the term epitomizes one to a near-to-perfect-personality because adaptability is being considered by all the management specialists and human resource development scientists as one of the value points of ideal personality.
Then one having the capacity for adaptive change will be a success in his life, both personal and professional. He will not be affected by sudden changes and fluctuations that may happen in his life. He will be an enthusiastic, progressive, unconventional, and energetic person. He will be well-liked by everyone by his adaptive nature. He can make a lot of friends, which he can maintain for a long time due to the peculiarity of his personality. Some examples of the word malleable are given below:
- John is very malleable so that he finds it very easy to adjust to the frequent transfers he has.
- My husband Denny went to Africa for one year of social work. He says that it is very easy to adjust to the situations there. I know that he would say like this only because he is very malleable in nature.
In my life, malleability, in its positive sense, has been a factor of success. During my childhood, I remember that I was not so malleable because I found it very difficult to adjust to the new school in those days. But things had changed when I grew up. Adolescence has given me this quality like a blessed gift. During that mature stage, with my malleable nature, I could mingle with people very easily, and I could adjust to the circumstances very quickly.
When I joined the new hostel, everything was different from the old hostel. At first, I found life there very difficult. The hostel had a strict timetable, and I thought it very difficult to follow the instructions given by the warden. The seniors came to tease me in the name of ragging. But malleability made me face all adversities with courage. I got many friends, including the hostile seniors, within a short span of time. This quality made me the leader among the group. My opinion is that malleability should be there in everyone’s life to become a success in life.
Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary. Web.