Were you born that way?

It is widely believed that we are born with an innate disposition or temperament.

Personality set at birth?
Ask any mother – if they have more than one child – are their children’s personalities more similar or different? How soon could you tell? They will invariably answer that their children’s personalities are different and they could tell at birth! Even more startling, many mothers could tell their children’s personalities were different in the womb! A preponderance of observable evidence points to the fact that humans are born with an innate disposition.
Many factors influence our behavior growing up. Parents. Grandparents. Our caretakers who raised us clearly have the most significant influence on our early years. Siblings, friends, teachers, even television all help shape us along the way. Some behaviors are encouraged and oftentimes rewarded while others are discouraged even punished. So we learn to adapt in order to cope and attempt to thrive within our environment.
Notable 17th century philosopher and mathematician, Gottfried Leibniz, compared the human mind to a block of marble containing with it certain cracks along which the block is naturally predisposed to split when sculpted by life’s experiences.
Molecular biologist Dean Hamer published a book in 1999 titled “Living with Our Genes” which reveals how hunting down the genes that influence our personality remains a dauntingly difficult business. Hamer explains, what genes appear to do is subtly bias the psyche so that different individuals react to similar experiences in surprisingly different ways.
You may know of siblings who grew up in the same environment but recall having vastly different experiences. While parental favoritism can be a significant factor, our personality seemingly predisposes us to have different reactions to the ways in which we are treated by our caregivers. This is especially true when a mismatch of personalities is at play between a child and early caregiver. Connectors may take things to heart and more easily feel isolated and depressed, Planners may feel lost with no sense of direction when not provided the level of guidance they are seeking, Thinkers and Movers are likely to feel stifled or restrained held back from becoming unique individuals.
Social-personality psychologist Michael W Kraus Ph.D chimes in on the nature vs nurture debate. He proports that “on the one hand, genes clearly seem to contribute to personality, but on the other, much of the genetic evidence has not supported this view.”
Science has yet to prove what every mother knows so well. A person’s overall personality starts with an inborn disposition yet changes over time as a person interacts with their environment. In other words, a person’s overall personality is made up of both inborn and adapative traits.
Whether your natural traits come from your DNA or perhaps from the alignments of celestial bodies at the time of your birth – many people will attest that it is helpful throughout life to be able to recognize personality patterns in yourself and others. Paying attention to the times when you feel drained of energy and the the times that you feel charged up after an interaction will help you distinguish your natural traits from your adaptive ones.
A person who is left-handed at birth can get really good at writing with their right hand after years of practice. The question is “Do they ever become right-handed?”

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