I have been thinking a bit more about this lately as I am now facing the prospect of having to start my life over yet again.
A while ago I wrote about submissive mental space and about how that serves as the dividing line for many people that separates their submissive persona from their vanilla persona. This can get "blurry" when people have submissive vanilla personalities, but it is clear as day for those who have dominant vanilla personalities but are submissive when they hit subspace.
One of my great frustrations over the years has been when dominants scoff at the idea of submissive mental space. As this isn't meant to be a rant post, so I will simply state that I have encountered those that believe a sub should be submissive without reaching the mental space where their submissive persona resides.
Why I decided to leave with this idea is because I believe that most dominants have similar types of defined separation in their personalities. In fact, it is treated almost like this is mandatory.
When people talk about ideal traits of dominants, they mention things like emotional (self) control, consistency, emotional intelligence, nurturing, responsibility, etc. However, when people talk about having a naturally dominant personality, they think of alpha personalities that are often defined by motivation, take charge attitude, feeling entitled/deserving, strength, the ability to govern others, wants to get their way, and so on. Basically, the traits that make someone dominant (adjective) are not the traits that make someone a good dominant (noun).
I find it fascinating how much emphasis people put on being "naturally dominant." When people describe their Dom(me) they gush about how naturally dominant they are. When you see a Dom(me) peacocking for attention they will often advertise how naturally dominant they are.
I believe the true emphasis should be upon the "other traits," because without those, we don't know what we have. Someone can be demanding and controlling but without knowing more about them we have no clue if they are a bully, an abuser, a sociopath, a narcissist, a psychopath, or a loving and caring dominant.
This is one of the things that I find interesting about dominants. They have to balance the varying sides of themselves. They have a vanilla persona. They have their Domspace-driven dominant persona (read as: when being dominant turns them on). They have a caring, nurturing, and emotionally aware side that meshes with their dominant persona and acts as a regulator and guide for their dominance and protects their sub from true harm.
The funny thing about this is that the emotionally-rooted foundation of a Dom(me) is not part of what is found in the view of "natural dominance." These are learned behaviors gained through social interaction and placing value upon people and not learned by just dominating them in any way imaginable (if you have witnessed sports team or frat ritual hazing you know exactly what I mean). With this in mind, when I find myself complimenting a Dom(me) I almost want to say, "wow, how unnaturally dominant they are," although most people would probably take that as an insult.
Regardless is that I think it takes a special kind of person to be able to both hurt and love/nurture the one that they love.
A final oddity is that I think the majority of submissives are aware that it is being multi-dimensional that makes a dominant a good dominant yet I still come across many who think good submissives are meant to have only one persona. I'm not sure why that is.