Personality: Nature Versus Nurture

Hello again! Welcome to another installment of my blog. I thank you for your supportive comments and the time you are taking to read my thoughts. I never know from day to day- let alone moment to moment- what will inspire my brain to write. Once again though, my youngest daughter tears at my heart strings, so I figured I would ponder a bit the debate on personality development and how much is heredity (nature) versus a person’s environment (nuture).

When my youngest feels frustrated, rejected, angry or sad, she immediately wants to seek out revenge on the nearest source. It doesn’t matter if that particular person is the cause of the situation or not- she just wants to bring her level of pain around everyone else, making the household at times a toxic, chaotic place to live.

All day since returning from camp, she’s been defiant and purposely non-compliant with any of my requests or choices. Her older sister is sleeping over a friend’s house in the apartment complex where we live- so she believes she should have the same opportunity, even if it’s not available tonight. My wife is attending her monthly adoptive parent support group- which leaves me in charge for the night until she gets home. My youngest believes my parenting is too strict and I’m too unreasonable with what I ask her to do. She hurt her ankle at camp yesterday, so oh my I’m a bad parent for making her stay off her foot for the day!

My wife and I wonder if it’s just a part of her personality to not be happy by nature. Her birth mother’s side of the family did have similar issues with personality conflicts- along with a history of substance abuse. Her therapist often wonders when the light bulb will go on for her to realize that she’s not the victim in her life at this point- that she needs to look squarely at her own choices and actions to see she’s causing her own pain by consistently arguing and pushing people away at this point.

I would have thought being in a stable home with loving parents would eventually make the past trauma subside as good memories replace the old. I guess a lot of therapists and psychiatrists are correct when people remember the one event that happened in a person’s life that’s bad compared to the 99 other good events that happened at any point in time.

How much of personality in your opinion is nature versus nurture? While personalities take shape in childhood and probably remain fixed before adulthood, can you make someone who’s naturally looking at the cup half empty all the time possibly think that the cup isn’t against them all the time when it comes to their lives?

When she gets in these moods, I will spend time doing things that make me happy (currently, listening to metal music and writing this blog). She’s not going to make me feel her pain. I will be civil and cordial but I do not have to go above and beyond to be nice when she’s being miersable. I just causally remind her that for every negative moment she spends around me, it’s a moment in time that we can’t get back in this finite life.

Have a good night.

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