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whether reaction/behaviour is nature or nuture?

(8 Posts)
MangosAndPapayas Sat 22-Apr-17 16:52:54

I maybe should put this in relationships but am interested in views about what might broadly be called boundaries.

Two friends A and B react very differently to situations.

Situation 1
Recently A and B were denied access to a VIP event. A became determined to get in; it was an "I'll show you atttitude". B's attitude was to walk away; was determined never to visit the place again. "If they don't want me, I'm never going back they've lost my custom."

Both were very strong almost instinctive visceral reactions.

Situation 2
A was seeing a man who repeatedly hurt her emotionally. She was in love with him; he was blatantly using her for sex, cancelling at the last minute; behaving like a shit. She seemed unable to just walk away and keeps seeing him even though she knows the cost of a couple of hours of fun/pleasure of a date with him will equal a massive amount of pain. B in the same situation walks away at the first or possibly second sign of disrespect.

The reason I ask is because it seems to me (particularly after seeing the VIP situation) that this is a personality ingrained thing rather than anything to do with boundaries or self esteem. In other words nature rather than nuture.

Trifleorbust Sat 22-Apr-17 16:56:12

I don't think any opinion is that valid here, OP. How would we know?

WiddlinDiddling Sat 22-Apr-17 17:01:49

I think the old theory was that with the right nurture you could override genetics...

That doesn't appear to be true (but keep in mind I am on a morphine hangover and my knowledge is related to dogs).

We now know that even fear can be passed on genetically, and not just the predisposition to be nervous or anxious, but specific fears.

The neonate brain is NOT a blank slate as we are often led to believe.

MangosAndPapayas Sat 22-Apr-17 17:03:32

I don't think any opinion is that valid here, OP. How would we know?

Sorry I wasn't clear then.

I didn't mean it in relation to these two people specifically. It was just used as an illustration because seeing these two made me wonder about it.

The question in broad terms is: does the way people react to a situation where they are unwanted come at core from their fundamental personality type (nature; a visceral instinctive reaction) OR does it come from how they are "trained"/brought up to react (nuture)?

Can a person change that reaction fundamentally or is it just wall paper so that although a person can be trained to "walk away" they are really just going through the motions rather than fundamentally "getting it" and truly reacting as if they were repelled by a magnetic force?

Gooseygoosey12345 Sat 22-Apr-17 17:06:36

There are so many debates and studies on this and no one can come up with a conclusive answer except that it's a bit of both!

Funnyonion17 Sat 22-Apr-17 17:11:59

Your making an assumption that personality is nature. Personality is based on many things, including both nature/nurture.

Example- i was girl A at 18, by 25 i had learnt many life lessons which made me girl B. Well in refference to your 2nd example. My point is that personality isn't static, we change and grow all the time.

Trifleorbust Sat 22-Apr-17 17:23:07

That's what I'm saying: how would we know?

corythatwas Sat 22-Apr-17 18:24:43

How important is whether you are fundamentally "getting it" or not?

If a person has a genetic disposition to react aggressively, surely it is in everybody's interests (not least his or her own) if nurture can direct that reaction into something that doesn't hurt other people? Isn't it better to "wallpaper" and "walk through the motions" rather than to end up assaulting your nearest and dearest?

I think the basic instinctive reaction is part of your genetic make-up, e.g. some people have a flight response and others a fight response, but that you can train yourself as to what you actually do with that response.

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