People born cheerful or environment?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by country lady, May 17, 2009.

  1. country lady

    country lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    693
    1
    139
    Nov 8, 2008
    NW Tennessee
    Years ago I worked with a 24 yr. old girl who was so gorgeous that even women stared at her. Her grandmother was Mexican so she had long beautiful hair, 5' 10" (She also joked about her size 10 shoe). She was hired at our insurance brokerage mostly because of her personality. Boy, did she have people skills

    One gloomy, rainy day she picked up the phone and ordered herself a bud vase delivered. All day long she laughed and told agents about that. I said to her husband's grandmother that Karen was always happy. Grandmother said, "No, Karen is not always happy but Karen is always cheerful." So, is it innate or environment?
     
  2. astylishgirl

    astylishgirl Animal Lover Supreme

    915
    2
    141
    Apr 27, 2009
    Beaumont, Texas
    Both.
     
  3. Mrs lone cedar farms

    Mrs lone cedar farms New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    May 11, 2009
    Menlo, Ga.
    I think people can be born "good", meaning they have a goodness about them. I think how you grow up and what kind of environment also has alot to do with it. However, I work with children who have horrible backgrounds; however, they remain cheerful and happy. So I guess what I am trying to say is...It's a little bit of both.
     
  4. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Mom's answer to almost any problem was to "put a smile on your face." At the time I remember thinking that was the most inane advice a person could give because hiding my feelings constantly is probably why I had an ulcer at the age of 16. But, I'm sure I always appeared to be happy or cheerful to most people. Now I find that there's been some studies out that show that just by "putting a smile on your face" releases hormones (those crazy endorphins) that actually relax and calm you and make you happier. Don't tell Mom.
     
  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    6,950
    69
    311
    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Happiness is a choice. Bad things will occur in life. Your attitude about your life is totally your choice.

    I do think that a person's outlook on life starts at birth and that to a certain extent that is genetically wired. I don't think that means a person born to a cranky mom will HAVE to be cranky. I just think that person will be predisposed to be cranky.

    Case in point, my eldest niece came into this world with a temper. As a tiny newborn she would get angry and would just have to work through the mad. She is no different now (except she is learning to control that temper a little better). Niece #2 came into the world fairly mellow. She still is an easy-going kind of kid.

    So, while I personally inheirited my dad's low key approach to living, my happiness is up to me. Do I like everything that happens to me? No. Do I get in bad moods and funks about things sometimes? Certainly. Do I have to wallow around in the despair and unhappiness? Only if I want to. [​IMG] Every day I make the decision to be happy or not. Every minute of every hour I make the decision to take a deep breath and just let stuff go and choose to look at the positive. Every day I can focus on the things I don't like or I can be grateful for the many blessings given to me.

    So the answer to environment or heredity is both. But thankfully I get to choose which will win.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    6,820
    324
    331
    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think its a little bit of both, but I certainly think genes do play into it as well!

    My mom is usually a very cheerful person. My dad is much less cheerful and we always joke around and call him "mr. Happy". He just doesn't show his emotions like my mom does. I am much more like him. I can be bursting with happiness and just not show it. Doesn't mean I'm not a cheerful or happy person! I'm outgoing, but more laid back then most other people...and I just don't like showing my emotions. I'll smile when I have to, but usually I'm not. Back when I was still in school my teachers would constantly call my parents asking if I was ok. My parents would just roll their eyes because they knew that's just how I was. I wasn't depressed or sad...I just happen to be exactly like my dad! LOL
     
  7. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    10,907
    78
    328
    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    I would have to say innate.

    My boyfriend and I have almost exact living environments. Went to the same schools, had the same friends, went to the same birthday parties, had the same upbringing...you get the picture.

    He and I are as different as night and day. I am almost always cheerful, sometimes to the point of giddy. I am optimistic. I see the good in everyone and everything before I assume they are bad. If I can't find the good easily...I'll look for it.

    He is pessimistic, gloomy, butt-headed (oh wait...we're not going there are we? LOL), sees the bad in every situation first. Allows himself to think poorly of something and then never finds the good.

    And when he's hungry...WATCH OUT. He turns into a freakin' bear. Me? I could miss a meal and still be tolerable! [​IMG]
     
  8. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Well I am not sure I can answer that. After having been through a living hell, I now look at EVERYTHING in life as a gift, bad things teach lesssons. After haveing been in hell for so long, I cannot help but look at life with my cup 3/4 full!!
     
  9. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    I think it's the wrong type of question. Things can be 100% heritable or 100% environment, both at the same time.

    Classic example: Dad was nearsighted, Grandma was nearsighted, I'm nearsighted. But thanks to the environmental availability of eyeglasses and contacts, I don't have to squint at everything. Plus, my vision was only sorta-kinda nearsighted while in high school, but when I went to college and started doing a lot of tasks that required a microscope, my vision went straight to heck. Microscopy wrecks your eyes, as does sitting in front of a computer the livelong day. So for many, many years, I was legally blind without my glasses: heredity made sure I was going to be at least a little myopic, environment assured that I would be darn near blinded by it. Recently, however, I've been working a lot outdoors, especially at tasks that require tracking small objects at a distance--fishing, watching birds, kayaking, training the dogs off-leash. Last visit to the optician, my eyes have actually improved due to the exercise!

    I suspect it's the same with neurochemistry: you're born with some advantage or deficiency, but we know that brains are highly plastic and adaptable to new environments. There's quite a bit of research and literature on the subject--see PubMed for "learned helplessness" and there have been several books written on the psychology of victimhood and oppression, where entire groups of people regardless of genetics are taught to behave in self-destructive ways. There was a JAMA article a couple of years ago that found that people with post-traumatic stress disorder from surviving the Holocaust ended up having their brain chemistry permanently altered in such a way that even their children had changed brain chemistry. And those children did not have PTSD, but somehow they had inherited their parent's stress response. You might have someone with all the cheerful genes who survives, say, a civil war in Rwanda and is permanently traumatized by it, and you might have someone who has none of the cheerful genes but all the advantages money can buy, and so they are comparatively happier than the civil war survivor.
     
  10. Whispering Winds

    Whispering Winds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Beverly Sills, the great opera singer had a daughter who was mentally challenged and was a life long care job for Mrs. Sills. One time, after a stressful time with the daughter, someone asked her why she was always so happy. She replied, "I'm not happy, I'm cheerful. A happy person has no worries or cares, a cheerful person has both and knows how to deal with them." May not be exact, but almost. I carried that little piece in my wallet for years, because I think it says so much . . .I have a lot of woes in my life, and I am tired and don't feel good this week, but that glass of life is ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS half FULL!! I will never ever surrender to sadness and despair. Just ain't in this Irish/Indian blood. (and no disrespect or not understanding to those on here who might be in despair and depression right now. I have two daughters who suffer from it horribly and I DO try to understand!)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by