Home Psychology Where Do Our Personality Come From And Is It In Our Genes?

Where Do Our Personality Come From And Is It In Our Genes?

where do personalities come from

What makes you unique is your personality, and it certainly is your personality that grabs the attention when you meet new people. It represents who “you really are” and contributes to your personal development and it is very important for creating relationships and the way you think and act in everyday situations.

Many factors influence personality, including parenting, society, genetics, environment, and the ongoing interaction with other people. All of these influences continuously shape our personality in life.

When we are born, part of our personality exists, and there are some inborn features like mood, demeanor, and emotional responsiveness. They can lead our learning experiences that shape our personality later in life.

Our personality is composed of 3 different components:

  1. Character – it is what we learn from experience, and it determines how we behave and feel ( it evolves through life, but it mostly depends on the inborn traits and early experiences) and strongly influences our moral development.
  2. Temperament – is the key part of the personality, and it presents a set of inherited traits and determines your approach to life.
  3. Environment – it includes all the adaptive patterns, and according to many psychologists, one of the most important factors together with the temperament for the development of our personalities (factors like family and culture are very important for building values in life)

How Does Our Personality Develop?

According to psychologist Erik Erikson, our character develops in 8 phases that are accompanied by a psychosocial crisis that must be managed, so we can go to the next one successfully. All these stages influence your development, but the first 5 are the most important.

  1. Infancy ( trust vs. mistrust) – In infancy, during the first 2 years of life, the basic optimism, trust, and security develop, so if the infant doesn’t receive the needed love, it will feel insecure later in life
  2. Toddlerhood – this page starts from 18 months of age and may last until the infant reaches age 3 or 4. This stage includes negativism, stubbornness, and tantrums, which depend on the character of the child. The child teaches how to find self-control. 
  3. Preschool – the child starts to be imaginative and uses fantasy and cooperation to become a leader or a follower. It depends on adults to develop their imagination, and, in this stage, if it is not successful, the child becomes fearful.
  4. School-age – during this age, the child learns how to play more structured games and require teamwork and basic intellectual work, and relate with peers according to rules. If the child has been successful in the previous phases, it will be autonomous and full of initiative and learn how to be industrious. A child that is mistrusted will feel inferior.
  5. Adolescence – at age 13 or 14, maturity starts to develop, and the young person starts to acquire self-certainty and the sexual identity is established. The child tries to find someone who inspires him or her and develops ideas.
  6. Adulthood ( 19 – 40) – at this age, people learn how to form intimate and loving relationships (full of honesty, love, and closeness) and if they do not succeed in it they will end up being lonely and isolated.  
  7. Middle adulthood (40 to 65) – adults create things that will outlast them, like parenting and making changes that will benefit others.
  8. Old age ( 65 years to death) – People tend to look at their past lives with integrity or despair at this age. If they look back with integrity, it means that they will look at its accomplishment and fulfillment. If they look back with despair, it means that they feel bitterness, shame, and disappointment.

Where Does Personality Come From? Is It Born Or Made?

How are personalities formed? This is still a question that has not got any definite answer. But, there are a few theories, and one of the most famous theories is the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud, which proposes that the personality is a reflection of the work of the unconscious mind.

Freud believed that the personality of 3 sections and each section has its distinctive functions:

  1. Id – this section is located in the unconscious mind and is responsible for our natural temperament, natural urges, and basic human instincts and is present at birth. These innate traits are instinctual and do not depend on our experiences.
  2. The ego (Self) is both the conscious and the unconscious mind and develops between birth and age 3. It expresses the impulses of the ID and how you make decisions to express your feelings in the outer world. It helps the ID gets what it wants by applying judgment.
  3. Superego is the section responsible for using guild and pride and morality. It controls the impulses and is composed of two other elements: the ideal self and conscience. The ideal self towards which you aspire in life drives the conscience.

Four Different Personality Types 

According to this theory, there are 4 personality types, which, when combined, make every personality unique, and they are known under the names:

  • The thinker
  • The supporter
  • The socializer
  • The director

The theory of the personality types was created by the two cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman, who discovered Type A behavior.

But, it is important to note that there are various personality tests that you can take, but in this article, we will discuss personality types A, B, C, and D. 

Each one of us has dominant traits of one of these four personality types, although he or she may have elements from another type. 

Type A personality (The Director) 

Type A personalities are in charge of everything, very practical in finding solutions, are goal-oriented, and are known as the director.

They have high standards and are extremely competitive, risk takers, and work well under pressure. Sometimes they work so hard that they can be workaholics and want to finish their job done by the highest standards.

They are usually found in leadership positions, or they try to get there and achieve their life goals.

Type B personality (The Socializer) 

These people have laid-back personalities and are peaceful and very well grounded. They love being surrounded by people, being liked and acknowledged by everyone, and talking too much about themselves, not to show off, but to be liked. They can improve the working environments by building relationships between different personalities and are very good at turning ideas into workable solutions. This type is known as The Socializer.

Type C personality (The Thinker) 

These personalities are stable, rational, and logical and can thrive in controlled environments. They value logic over emotion, they want facts and data, and they do not like drama in their lives.

They tend to analyze everything before they take any steps and are very detailed prepared, logical prepared, and careful before moving on to the task they need to undertake.

They are very meticulous with information at work, and you will find these personalities in roles like medicine, law, and science.

Type D personality (The Supporter) 

This type of personality shows compassion, thoughtfulness and caring for others and is the existentialist one. They have hard-working nature and are people pleasers, but not to be liked, similar to personality type B, but not be validated, but for the work they do.

They are well-organized, cautious, stable, and have great attention to detail, so they are very good at delivering repetitive tasks in a working environment because they do not like change. They are a good part of the team and act as paternal figures to help others to achieve their goals.

Other personality type models are also popular such as:

1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
3. The Big

Is Personality In Our Genes? 

The personality is considered a multifactorial trait, so many factors can influence its development that can be both environmental and genetic. But, what does science says about it? Is it the environment or the genetics that make us introverts or extroverts?

According to studies and research, some traits are inherited, and these are:

  • extraversion
  •  neuroticism
  •  agreeableness 
  • conscientiousness 
  • openness (1

But, environmental factors like different types of education, nurturing and even nutrition can influence personality development. Of course, how the child is raised and the culture he or she is raised in can also influence the development of the personality, and it is important to know that personality development is multifactorial and is influenced by many factors. 

Still, when you are born, you already have certain personality traits called temperament, and some studies confirmed that 20 to 60% of temperament is in our genes and it influences the following: 

  • The energy level 
  • Mood 
  • Distractibility ( how easily they are distracted) 
  • Regularity ( how often they use the bathroom, sleep, and eat) 
  • How do they approach situations ( are they comfortable in new situations) 
  • Adaptability to new situations 
  • Sensory threshold – how many sounds are needed for the child to respond 

Why Do You Feel That You Do Not Have A Personality?

Do you sometimes feel that you do not have an opinion and feel blank, you do not have anything to contribute? When you doubt too often and retreat too often into your own shell to avoid undesirable situations and want to protect yourself emotionally, you prevent your personality shine. (2)  

There are a few reasons why this happens: 

  • You feel intimidated by others and you want to impress them, but you feel they judge you.
  • You feel depressed, and this makes you feel negative about you
  • You have labeled yourself as awkward and inadequate 
  • You feel people look down on you if you have been mocked and bullied as young
  • You put other people on a pedestal and elevate their status instead of yours.

If you want to improve your personality, you can:

  1. Learn how to defeat your self-doubt, never overthink your problems and become more self-conscious.
  2. Take more action and initiatives in life.
  3. Practice storytelling and see how other people respond to them if they become easily bored.
  4. Identify the personal qualities in other people that you admire and try to create goals for yourself and see how you can similarly develop your own personality.
  5. Accept that you are willing to change NOW! You are reading this article, so accept that you need to change your life and personality.
  6. Start sharing your ideas with other people even though you sometimes feel uncomfortable. Sharing ideas helps broaden perspectives.