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  1. #1
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Default Are we born with our personality types or do we aquire them?

    I started to question this when I was reflecting my childhood memories. Because while I have similar traits with my former self, I am still much different.
    As a child, I already was a clear INxx. I was rather reserved and quiet, I never used to run, jump, or make too much noise, I liked reading books( and yes, I learned to read at the age of 4) , playing chess( and yes, I could do that as well) , drawing and playing with LEGO( well, not a real LEGO, it was too expensive in my country, just a cheap Chinese analogue) , when we had guests, they even asked my parents if they really had a child because it was so quiet( and I was too shy to run to the guests). I also was very dreamy, good at learning patterns and applying them( I guess that was the reason I learned to read at the age of 4, started learning English at the same age, and by the age of 5 I could count to 100 without a hitch and could easily add, substract, multiply and divide) , also was very tech savvy for that age. However, if we speak about the last 2 letters, I would question them, because at my childhood I have shown both T and F, P and J signs. When I went to school, I was what they call a child - prodigy. I was good at literally every class. At the 1st grade I already knew what they learned at 3rd grade, I easily did all the math sums, I already could read while others were only learning, I also was one of the best drawers in class( ironcally, my handwriting was terrible though) , I was also best at English( I guess it' s no wonder becuase I started it at the age of 4) , I was also good at acting even though I got only minor roles( among my classmates I was unfortunate enough to be the unfavourite for the class master) , I was the one who got least complaints about their acting during the play repetitions. To me the scene was like a field of self - expression. I even use the acting skill I aquired in my childhood now to fake emotions when I need to lie to get something I need( at least, I wasn' t accused in being false even once when acting/ lying) . As you see, I was good at math & logic, which indicates a T personality, but I also was good at acting and drawing, which are mostly F traits. I also had shown both T and F traits in other aspects of life. I had already shown the signs of manipulativeness, and though I didn' t fully understand what I was doing, I already knew what to do to make my parents give me sweets. Also, like I said, I was the unfavourite for my teacher( at that time I didn' t know this, but now I realise) . Most kids were ESxx, and I guess she thought it would' ve been better if I was the same instead of being the " white raven" of the class. Besides, in my earlier childhood I didn' t attend kindergarden very often because of weak health, which led to me being naive, socially unaccustomed, overly sensitive, righteous and helpful( which are F traits. I liked helping people a lot. I also thought people like when they are being helped. It revealed that in huge doses it gives the reverse effect and people start to dislike you . So, when I went to school these two features combined made me the teacher' s unfavourite. I remember that in the 1st grade every week the one who had more good marks was awarded with a Mickey Mouse sticker. So, if I had equal results with someone else, she always gave the sticker to another person, so in order to get it, I had to be even better than others. Also, when I argued with other kids, it was not uncommon for her to side with them and yell at me in front of all the class. In these cases, since I was bad at controlling emotions at that time, I often cried. However, it always wasn' t like that. At first I felt guilty to think that my teacher was doing this to me, but harder she was on me, the more my guilt passed and I came to realise that I was right. Even my ISTJ mother, who usually respects people who have more authority, and with whom we don' t agree often, supported me in this. I started to avoid my classmates and teacher on breaks in order to reduce the conflict. I also didn' t approve my schoolwork if it was less than perfect( that' s when I got the perfectionist trait) , because I knew my class master would find even the most minor detail in order to lowen my marks. This lasted for 3 years until in the 4th grade our class master has changed. The new teacher was much nicer to me, she taught me a lot, and it was she who gave me faith in my abilities. I can say the 4th grade was one of the best years I spent in school. Unfortunately, in the 5th grade she left and took a younger class. Also, like many teenagers, I started to have a teenage crisis, and also some things in my life influenced me deeply( I can' t say which, it' s too personal) . Why am I saying this? Because these are events that influenced me.
    Now all my problems are gone, I got rid of the chaince society put me into, I have learned that I must not let others abuse me, and that I must never let myself be a victim. I have become more assertive and if I' m hurt, I won' t hesitate to protect myself. I know that morality is relative, and I don' t have to follow the rules of society. Instead I made my own morality code, and I have my own understanding of things. I learned to pursue my own goals no matter what, to stand up for myself and what I believe in. Sometimes I' m even grateful for those challenges life brought upon me, because they made me who I am now. But, let' s get back to the topic. When I compare my current self with my former self, I see that my former self was much more F. However, I' m pretty sure that I am a T by nature, since my primary instrument of world perception was thinking. Feeling is secondary. When I see something, I always have thoughts about it, but I do not always have feelings about it. It' s difficult to impress me, but if one succeeds in it, the feeling of being impressed will be overwhelming inside my mind, even though I may not always show it. I am a clear T, I don' t let feelings take control of me, and I' m totally comfortable with this kind of mindset. No one enforced this personality on me, I am who I am. So, what I' m trying to ask is that can one' s MBTI type change through life? Or maybe it is natural for children to be feelier and more emotional than adults?

  2. #2
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    (use the enter key, it helps)

    In my experience kids are mostly born with personality and parents/nurture/experiences can influence somewhat.

    I think the stronger preferences would hold out against modification.

  3. #3
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Just the thing is that parents didn' t enforce independence on me. Sometimes even my mom thinks it would' ve been better if I was " normal".
    So you mean that INTJ is my born personality since it resisted modification?

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    TLDR, but:

    There havent been much studies about MBTI and heredity, but there have been a lot of them about big 5 and MBTI correlates pretty strongly with big 5. When you take identical twins who have been separated at birth and never got to know each others(to eliminate the effects of the surroundings and only look at effects of genes to personality), they have much higher chance to have similar traits(as defined by big 5) with each other than two random people, but they dont score the same every time. This suggests that genes has a big influence on personality, but does not dictate it completely, so the environment also has some effects(this same thing comes up with any sort of gene studies, let it be cancer risk or what ever). So its nature(genes) via nurture(environment), which means that the environment has an effect on which genes gets expressed, but its ultimately about genes.

    What comes to personality changing over time, it has been shown repeatedly over time in multiple studies that there might be some small variation on personality(like someone might score slightly more extravert as an adult than as a child), but the variation is not big. That is when talked about people who havent had some major brain damage.

    Since there havent been enough studies on MBTI about the subject of type changing over time, its impossible to say for sure, but the general idea is that type does not change, but one can develop more their opposite personality(for example T dom developing his F), so its more about the growth of personality than change of personality. Also since there isnt any 100% reliable test on MBTI type, as current life events, personal issues or stuff like depression can influence the result of the test. But the test cant be used to determine type anyways, its just a tool for hinting at a type that can be confirmed by the analyst and the person being analyzed. Also some situations can make a person to act differently during the course of life, but again MBTI isnt about behavior, but about preferences of cognition of the person.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  5. #5
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Here's a link to a post I made in similar thread: Is MBTI type (or part of it) genetic? citing a couple of references that seem to indicate that type preferences are about 40% to 60% inherited.

  6. #6
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Well, my Big 5 is RCOxI. My mom is most likely SCOEN( ISTJ by MBTI, but not really reserved since she is a lawyer, and has to be social) . I don' t know my dad since he left when I was very little, and most of the things I heard from my mom is that he was a lazy asshole who was only interested in sleeping with women( i know that she might be exggerating because it was a trauma for her, but still it' s all I know about him) , but from what I heard I could say he was an SLUEN. Sounds like genes didn' t work in tis case, I inherited 2 - 3 letters from my mom and 1 or totally none letter from my dad. So where did R, A and I come from?
    Depression? I' m not depressed. I was a couple of years ago, but now I' m not. I' m perfectly fine. And even as a child, I don' t think I was an F. I might' ve been a borderline F, but my feeling never dominated. I just believed in an idea of applying my thinking abilities to help people. Also, is it common for a T child to cry?

  7. #7
    Senior Member SensEye's Avatar
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    I believe it's signficantly genetic but not necessarily hereditary (i.e. your personality is partly or mostly wired from birth but may not be the same as your parents or siblings).

    While it is not unheard of for a bunch of siblings to be like peas in a pod, neither is it particulary strange for siblings to have completely different personalities. I would expect sibling similarity to be much more common if personality was strongly environmental and/or hereditary.

  8. #8
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I don't think that much of what people call personality, is heredity. I think that nurture makes up 99% of who we are, including traits like dominance or being controlling. We are mostly all products of early adaptations to the environment. se 'They F*** You Up' by Oliver James. He describes identical twins who have very different personalities. If genes created personality, then these twins would have the same personality, but they do not.

  9. #9
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Well, the thing is that no one nurtured my personality. In fact, in some aspects I' m the very opposite of what my mom wants me to be.

  10. #10
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    All I can say is that anyone who knew me as a child, does not recognise me as an adult when it comes to my personality.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

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