It’s Inherent

My daughter is getting picked with in school because she’s self conscious and she walks too stiff with her hands balled up at her sides. When I was in junior high school I got picked with because I was self conscious and I walked too stiff with my hands balled up at my sides. It’s a genetic curse, too much nerves. It took me years to find a way to change the way I walk, to look relaxed. I fake it. I’m going to have to coach her through this.

Even when I’m getting ready to break in pool and I’m waiting while my opponent racks I go through the motions of stuff so that I don’t just stand there looking awkward. I’ll chalk and rechalk regardless if it’s necessary. I’ll grab the cue ball and spin it behind the kitchen line to see if I can make it go back in the right corner pocket. I’ll stretch, all unnecessary filler motions.

She also does the staring off into space, oblivious to everything except what’s going on in her mind. I do that too. Maybe I’ll buy us both shirts that say LEEMEE LONE!!!

I disagree vehemently with anyone who says personality is a result of socialization and conditioning. I think the personality tendencies are very strong and can be swayed to an extent by experience, but the root of personality is genetic. My example with my daughter’s manifestations is just one. There are too many other examples I’ve seen in the world to ignore.

19 Responses to “It’s Inherent”

  1. tb says:

    I’ll soon prove I used the same phone as you mexi…

    personality is genetic? I’m down with that.. my father is the greatest man I’ve ever known, due to his personality.

  2. Mexigogue says:

    My father murdered a man in Texas. I used to be a telemarketer for a time. Eerie, isn’t it?

  3. Nice Rack says:

    Those traits that your daughter is showing could be caused by socialization. She’s seen you tense or stressed out, seen your reaction, and is subconsciously imitating you. Or it could be genetic. I took a Human Sexuality class where they based gender identity and orientation on social aspects. Men who had a hard time with sensitivity were never allowed to cry as small boys. But they looked at it from a genetic perspective as well, and I could see it go either way. Either you inherit a gene from you parents that give your personality traits that resemble theirs, or you learn it from them as you grow up. I think I sit the fence on that one.

  4. Mexigogue says:

    Some babies exhibit extroverted behaviors whereas others start out as rather quiet and imperturbable. This can hardly be a learned behavior at the baby age.

    Scientists used to have the theory that the human brain began like a hard drive with nothing on it and that experience was the driving force in how personality developed. They now lean toward the theory that people start out with vastly different capabilities and operating systems. My brain, for example, has lots of hard drive but only 32 MB RAM. That’s why I can’t multitask.

    Scientists further theorize that Carol’s brain runs on Windows 3.1.

  5. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I think about 25% is genetic and the other 75% is learned.

  6. Mexigogue says:

    That reminds me, I’ve been meaning to ask you: Why in the hell is my son wearing a UNLV Jacket???

  7. Phelps says:

    I would take issue with the “never allowed to cry” stipulation. I’m allowed to cry now, I just don’t do it. It sounds like you are describing dissociation, which is certainly a skill that can be learned, but I suspect our (me and Mexi’s) type comes by it naturally and easily.

    And I don’t believe either one. I think our personality is largely a function of the levels of hormone soup that we have in uetero and the various cosmic rays we are bombarded with then. The evidence is very strong for the hormone soup part (with easy physical markers and lots of personality preference evidence) and I’ve seen some pretty strong correlations for the cosmic ray part.

    So in other words, I don’t think some of it is genetic, and I think most of it is environmental, but I don’t think hardly any of it is post-birth environmental. I think that once we are born, we are pretty much locked in to what we prefer. (We can of course but that preference, but it isn’t easy.)

  8. Phelps says:

    Err, I mean, “I think that some of it is genetic”

  9. Mexi… I am your father.

  10. Mexigogue says:


  11. Peggy says:

    I had three kids. During my first pregnancy, the child bounced, pushed, kicked, was never still. My second child moved so little that I was constantly pushing at my stomach to make sure the baby wasn’t dead. The third one was in between the other two. They are all in their twenties now and are still behaving the same way, not just in their physical behaviour, but in their temperments and attitudes. My oldest is always going head-long into something; I’m tempted to take a cattle prod to the second one sometimes to get her moving and the youngest is still in between, not showing the extremes of her sisters.
    I think basic personality is in-born. Whatever pressures there are in someone’s life can modify it. But unless the pressure is extreme, I don’t think it alters it. Like what you were saying about coaching your daughter through it. You can help her alter her behaviour, you probably aren’t going to be able to change her personality.

  12. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I ain’t yo daddy, get away from me boy…..

  13. Mexigogue says:

    Indeed. At 34 (going on 35 this Tuesday) I’m still faking being relaxed.

    And Phelps I agree on the dissociation thing. The hormone effect in utero has merit too because studies indicate that fraternal twins have more in common personality-wise than regular siblings which is explainable by them having the same hormone environment in the womb. In fact I was gonna be a twin but I gnawed the other motherfucker to death, haha!

  14. Mexigogue says:


  15. Phelps says:

    Are you sure?

    Oh, and that reminds me of another matchup (from the show): Anne Frank vs. Lizzie Borden

  16. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I just re-read your post. There is no way that your daughter walking stiffly with her hands balled up at her sides is genetic. She is 50% black and 50% Mexican after all. And if there is anything I know it is that blacks and Mexicans are born with a little jive in their step. She must have learned it from TV or a white church!!

  17. Mexigogue says:

    I think it came down the line from my dad. You know how I can’t dance. I mean really really can’t dance? My mom says my dad is the same way.

  18. Phelps says:

    Maybe he was a coconut.

    No, wait, that was too racist.

    Maybe he was faux brown.

    No, wait, that was too French.

    Maybe he sucked.

    No, wait, that was too gay.