Our minds are not as rigid as stone, but define themselves as constantly changing. But this process does not just depend on our age (the fact of accumulating years of life) but on the experiences that we go through, of what we live in the first person. In psychology, the separation between the person and the environment in which he lives, in psychology, is an artificial thing, a differentiation which exists in theory because it helps to understand things, but which in reality does not exist.
This is particularly visible in the influence of our childhood on the personality that defines us when we reach adulthood. As much as we tend to believe that what we do we do because “we’re like that” and that’s it, the truth is that the habits and ways of interpreting reality that we adopt in our childhood will have an effect. significant in the way we think and feel after adolescence.
This is how our childhood influences the development of the personality
The personality of a human being is what sums up their behavior patterns as they interpret reality, analyze their feelings, and create their own habits and not others. In other words, what makes us behave in a certain way, easy to distinguish from that of others.
But personality does not emerge from our mind without more, As if its existence had nothing to do with what surrounds us. In turn, the personalities of each of us are a combination of genes and learned experiences (most of these aren’t in a school or college class, of course). And childhood is precisely the vital stage in which we learn the most and in which each of these learnings is the most important.
Thus, what we experience during the first years leaves us a mark, a mark which will not necessarily always remain the same, but which will have a decisive importance in the development of our way of being and of relationship. How can this happen? Basically through the processes you can see below.
1. The importance of tilt
From the first months of life, how or not we feel affection with a mother or father it’s something that marks us.
In fact, one of the most important discoveries in the field of evolutionary psychology is that without moments of caressing, direct physical contact, and eye contact, boys and girls grow up with serious cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems. We don’t just need food, security and shelter; we also need so much love yes. And that’s why what we might call “toxic families” are such dangerous environments in which to grow up.
Of course, the degree to which we receive or not receive tilt-related experiences is a matter of degrees. Between the complete lack of physical contact and care and the optimal amount of these elements, there is a wide range of grays, which makes possible psychological problems which may appear lighter or more serious, depending on the case.
Thus, more severe cases can lead to severe mental retardation or even death (if sensory and cognitive deprivation constantly occurs), while milder problems in the relationship with parents or caregivers can cause, in childhood and in adulthood, we get rude, afraid to tell.
2. Attribution styles
How others teach us to judge ourselves in childhood also greatly influences our self-esteem and the self-concept that we internalize as adults. For example, parents with tendency to judge oneself cruelly they will make us believe that all the good that happens to us is due to luck or the behavior of others, while the bad goes through our insufficient skills.
3. The theory of the just world
From an early age we are taught to believe in the idea that good is rewarded and evil is punished. This principle is useful in guiding us in our moral development and teaching us some basic behavior patterns, but it is dangerous if we come to believe it literally, that is, if we take it for granted that it is a kind of real karma. , a logic that governs the cosmos itself regardless of what we create or what we do.
If we firmly believe in this earthly karma, it can lead us to think that the unfortunate are because they have done something to deserve it, or that the lucky ones are also because they have done merit for it. It is a bias that predisposes us towards individualism and insolidarity, In addition to denying the collective causes of phenomena such as poverty and believing in “mentalities that make us rich”.
Thus, the theory of the just world, as paradoxical as it may appear, predisposes us to a personality based on cognitive rigidity, The tendency to reject that which goes beyond the rules that must be applied individually.
4. Personal relations with foreigners
In childhood everything is very delicate: in a second everything can go wrong, due to our ignorance of the world, and our public image can suffer from all kinds of mistakes. Since in a school class, the age difference between the pupils means that some have much more experience than others, this can create obvious inequalities and asymmetries.
As a result, if for some reason we get used to being afraid of interactions with others, our lack of social skills can cause us to start being afraid of relationships with strangers, which leads us to an avoidance-based personality type and the preference for experiences related to what is already known, which is not new.