Let’s talk: How a personality is made

My SO and I were talking the other day about how his nephew behaves and we went on talking about what makes someone act a certain way. Ever since I became a mom, it’s something I’ve been thinking about more and more since I want my kid to grow up to be a good guy, you know? I thought I would share my thoughts with you all and you can share your opinions with me and we can have a conversation!

First off, there are basically two ways of thinking: Someone’s personality is forged by their parents (how they were raised) or it’s just how they were born. At first, I thought someone’s personality was made of a mix between how their parent’s raised them and the influence of their friends later on, but after talking with my SO I think there’s a bit more to it.

My sister and I have been raised by the same mom and dad and the same way with the same rules, but somehow we’re like night and day. Because of that, I figured the influence of who we hung out with when we were young helped forge who we are now. It makes sense if you just look at a tiny sample, but when you start looking into other siblings raised by other people, you start seeing other things coming into play.

Take my SO’s nephew for example. He started swearing so much lately! We don’t think he takes that from his parents because they make an effort not to swear in front of him. Which leaves his friends, and, knowing who he hangs out with, it’s very probable it’s their influence on him that makes him swear so much. Also, he sometimes makes inappropriate jokes just like his father and uncles (and even his grand-father). The man in my SO’s family are like that; they make slightly inappropriate jokes about each other and about their wives/girlfriends. It’s all in good fun though. Since my SO’s nephew has grown up into that set of mind, he starts doing jokes like that as well, so it adds to the opinion that your personality is forged by how you were raised. Thing is, he always takes the joke too far or does it too often and it’s not funny anymore. That’s when we thought maybe once he does the joke once and people laugh, his ADHD kicks in and he keeps going.

We didn’t really want to blame that on ADHD since we don’t know much about it, but then we thought about one of his cousins. His dad always grabs his wife’s boobs or ass randomly as a joke, so his youngest started doing the same thing. Again, that’s the behavior he’s seen while growing up so for him it’s normal to do that. Even though his parent’s kept telling him it wasn’t okay for him to do it, he kept doing it. Then we remembered, he also has ADHD, which makes us think that because of their ADHD there’s something they feel when we laugh at their jokes at first that makes them want to do it again and again.

With all this information combined, I really think your personality gets forged by a combination of how you were raised, who you hang out with and if you have some sort of disorder (I don’t like using that word, but I can’t find another one). I think, if you raise your kid right and give good examples when he’s young, it’ll influence who he hangs out with at school and it’ll make him want to surround him with people that share the same thoughts he was implemented with while growing up. I can’t comment on how a certain disorder can affect your personality because I’m not a doctor, but right now I think ADHD sometimes makes you want to push things too far because it gives you something and you want more (like adrenaline or something).

What do you all think about how your personality was made?

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