Thursday, October 3, 2019

We are passively scripted by our parents Essay Example for Free

We are passively scripted by our parents Essay One question that almost every individual ponders upon at least once in his or her life is whether the life that we have been handed down is an open book which we can write in any way we feel like or is it a pre-written script that we are simply enacting? Are our behavior patterns, emotions, responses our very own, determined by our own selves or are they pre-programmed into us genetically, by our parents, teachers etc? Before directly looking at any possible answer, let us discuss some interesting aspects about life. Firstly, for any external circumstance or event, the responses of different individuals are usually different. As an example if a boy leaves his girlfriend for someone else, the resulting response in the girl can vary from mild anger to temporary sadness, to even acute depression. These differences in emotive behavior are rooted in the belief patterns, concepts and ideas that are ingrained in every individual. The A-B-C theory of personality by Albert Ellis, elaborates this point by saying that in any life situation, the activating event (A) does not lead to the emotional consequence (C). Rather, the emotional consequence is triggered by the beliefs (B) of the individual. A healthy and rational set of beliefs can make a healthy, strong individual while a person with irrational beliefs is much more likely to endure pain and suffering from the same set of cards that life deals out. So of what is responsible for forming these beliefs in any individual? I think a lot of aspects in our life are pre-programmed, genetically into our system. Many other beliefs become a part of us during our childhood and depend on the social, cultural and economic environment of the child, on the parents and teachers and some of these beliefs are created by us on our own. To elucidate on the first point let us look at the simple example of gender. We all know or have seen how men and women intrinsically differ in interpreting different situations and in their reactions to them. In any difficult or crisis situation men are usually more level headed while women more emotional. Similarly, in human relationships, women are more intuitive than men and therefore perform better. Though this varies widely and we have level headed women as much as we have intuitive men, we can understand that gender often does play a role in determining behavior patterns and this is something scripted into us from our birth. For such patterns that are pre-programmed by birth itself, I think while it is very difficult or almost impossible to change these patterns, recognizing them can help us deal with them and subdue the control they have on us. I would say the second set of beliefs that is rooted in our childhood is the most significant one in the determination of our personality. A child picks up a huge amount of stuff, both directly and indirectly, from his or her environment, parents, teachers and friends. Unknowingly it is often the parents who pass on their fears and phobia’s to a child. Let us take the example of an adult who is afraid of darkness. When the activating event (A) is a sudden power disruption in the house, consequence (C) is fear. Now for another adult for the same event, the consequence (C) will perhaps be mild irritation. Now this person who is scared of the dark was not born with this fear. In fact a toddler, he would fearlessly walk into dark corners and places. However, his mother had this fear of darkness which she passes on to her child through her behavior. A child learns from his mother. Walking down a dark alley, the mother suddenly grips her son’s hand very firmly and hisses, â€Å"Don’t leave my hand, it is dark! † The child learns – darkness is something very dangerous; I should be afraid of it. In this way knowingly or unknowingly, the child’s parents, teachers, environment etc instill in him concepts and behavior patterns that play a big role in determining his or her attitude to life in the years to come. However, I do feel that some of the concepts are self-created and whether to continue believing in something that has been a part of one’s belief system since childhood is also up to oneself. By recognizing unhealthy patterns in ourselves we can train ourselves to not behave like mere programmed objects but actively choose to respond in an intelligent manner. As human beings we can strive to throw out every irrational belief in our system and instill rational thoughts to counter them. Though an uphill task, I think it is certainly one that can be done and if every undesirable belief cannot be thrown out of us completely, the strength of their control on us can surely be minimized.? Works Cited 1. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Individual Counseling Theory and Practice, James J. Messina (www. coping. org/write/C6436counselther/lectures/C6436-9th-CBT. ppt

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