- updated: Jul. 06, 2023
How much do you know about your personality and that of the important people in your life?
How much do the experiences of your childhood influence your current behavior?
Have you considered your own genetic predispositions in terms of physical and mental health problems that have shown up in your relatives?
Did you know that those three dimensions have profound influence on your current attitudes and behavior?
Without being aware of it, beliefs formed in childhood (when we had scant information or perspective and little power) often hamper functioning in adulthood! For instance we may still hold childhood ideas about the following:
– What “success” is,
– How we should behave in relationships,
– What we can expect from others’ behavior toward us,
– Roles for women, men and children in a family,
– Whether or whom we can trust,
– Financial security versus risk-taking,
– Whether we are attractive, smart, talented, “good or bad.”
Before we had any significant power to determine how to live our lives, we were deeply affected (programmed) by parents, siblings, other family members, family friends, caretakers, teachers, classmates, friendships, perceived success in school, other activities and relationships as well as powerful societal, socio-economic, cultural and religious factors.
If we learn we have unwelcome genetic predispositions, we can be forewarned and plan accordingly. When we learn about our temperament and personality and that of others who are important in our lives, we can respect those differences and discover how to interact with them to achieve relatively harmonious relationships.
Without some understanding of the dimensions described above, and without deciding – as adults – what attitudes and behavior we value and want to emulate, we’re likely to behave in programmed, automatic ways that are unlikely to make us proud of ourselves.