Home > March/April 2018 > Nature Vs. Nurture?

Nature Vs. Nurture?

March 14th, 2018

Carl Jung (Swiss psychologist in the 1920s), very much the grandfather of personality typing, believed that you’re born with your personality type, and parents, situations, school, etc., have very little impact. It’s a question I get a few times a year, and last month in an email from a client. I had long thought that (at least our childhood and parents) do measurably impact it….

It was the reason, about 10 years ago, I had 6,000 attendees over a year plus, do a short five-minute feedback form. What Color is your partner (the chart in the relationship chapter), what’s your birth order, favorite TV shows, how much of your job fits your first Color, do you volunteer, etc.

I know it’s only 6,000 people, but there was absolutely no connection of Colors and birth order at all! That was good enough for me to believe Carl Jung….

We DO take on behaviors that honor our parents, but I don’t think it changes our personality type. The most common ones are Blues who aren’t big on hugging…when you ask, it turns out they often had two Gold and/or Green parents, so it just wasn’t part of what they ever experienced for 18 plus years.

The other one is an Orange occasionally piping up that they are THE most organized people. But it turns out that it’s usually in one or two specific things – mostly their bedroom and closet. That’s just a smart eight-year old Orange knowing their parent (the super high Gold one) is going to ride their butt every day for another decade to make their bed and clean their room. When they move out, they either drop that in a hurry (freedom!) or still honor that voice of their parent for life…

Big picture, I think (guess) that every kid emulates their parents in one way or another in thinking it’s somehow going to get them more love. I think that’s why lots of parents the first day or two after learning Colors think they can’t really figure out their kids first Color…

Having said that, if you read a book by Tom Leman called “Growing Up Firstborn,” it sure reads like a book entirely for Gold kids! There’s also one called “The Power of the Middle Child” (Catherine Salmon), and it very much describes Blue kids, in being the go-between, and mediators in the family, as well as throughout their lives.

If you agree, or disagree, either is just fine, because there isn’t a “right” answer. Personality types are about real people who are all unique. We’re not some kind of match equations that have a right or wrong answer!

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