“Wow, you speak/act exactly like your mom/dad!” Sound familiar? Genes play a big part in shaping our physical characteristics, traits we inherit from our parents are not limited to our looks, body types, and balding patterns. My dad was 6 foot 1 inch; I’m 5 foot 8 inches. My dad was going bald at my age and I have a full head of hair. My mother had kinky hair and I have long wavy hair. My dad weighed close to 185 pounds; I weigh around 145. I share almost no physical characteristics (except perhaps my large ears).
But there are certain personality traits my parents have passed along to me. The classic Nature vs. Nurture debate that says the difference is being that traits like wealth, education, and social privilege can be passes to a genetic offspring but these traits are not part of the biological system and can’t be DIRECTLY attributed to genetics.
The bits and pieces that make up me.
Temperament — My parents were typically calm and collected and so am I. I have a close friend whose parents were hot-tempered individuals and so is he. I tend to internalize negative feelings and ideas and hold on to them for one terrific explosion. This has only happened twice. You don’t want to be around!
Control — Our need or refusal of control may also be a habit learned from our parents. My parents were nonchalant and detached and I don’t have a problem relinquishing control. Ask my wife! Fight or Flight? I’m a big Flight fan.
Social and Communication Skills — I am very quiet and reserved. I do however have a social life, sense of humor (dry some would say), and listening skills. All a mirror of my parents. I hate public speaking. At one time is was a requirement of a position I held. I would be well prepared but had the “dry heaves” just before the presentation. I have a degree in Psychology so I am well-trained in saying “and what makes you feel that way.” 🙂 I need to work on this skill. In my flight mode I say “things can only get worse” if we discuss this. This has been paraphrased back to me as “go ahead and dig that hole a little deeper.”
Way of Life — My childhood fantasies were shaped by my parents way of life. Both worked hard to provide my well-being. I am accustomed to the life my parents provided me, and often strive the same for my family. My parents led a simple life, and I am content with that also. No burning desire for a life of luxury. However, I do love to travel; especially international travel. My whole family, except me, lives within 30 miles of where they were born.
Outlook on Life — Is the cup half-full or half-empty? Depends if you ask the question of the bar tender or the customer. Even though I had encouraging parents who continuously looked on the bright side, their own outlook of life shaped my behavior more than their words. I’m a very optimistic person (even though the government has shut down). Even at my age my investments objectives are long-term.