Hello GaG, I have a question concerning a certain kind of folk who puzzle me?

I've got an issue with my girlfriend Amara and I would like some help to understand her, so I can determine if she's for me. This is a question of Nature versus Nurture.

Do you think that persons in general, who act unkindly, insulting, depressed or violently is something they have willed, or is it something that has been taught to them?

Tell me your thoughts and please explain why. More details are more helpful.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Aw very honest question.

    First thing, I believe that all behaviors are taught, our reactions to them are personal but highly influenced by our surroundings. Beauty is taught. The images that people in power promote and endorse in a society becomes the national standard.

    I believe a woman who lashes out acts in this way is one who has learned to be this way. I say this because I see nice young girls very hopeful and nice and a young boy will be crass, and rude, perhaps try to impress his friends and sleep with her and leave (or just do things that to him is fine, but very hurtful fo rher).

    I think most women (or people) have been betrayed by a person they loved, and lets face it society gears women at a very young age to desire a unconditional love, a husband and family (Barbie, Ken, Pregnant Barbie doll, BabyDolls..) and so we mostly enter relationships with high hopes and even if we are not "girly" this is in the back of our minds while men are influenced by other things at a early age (GI Joe, Transformers, Ninja Turtles...)

    So once obviously these dreams are shot down a girl has to deal with coing to terms with reality and sometimes they are so shocked that harbor depression (I am not good enough for a nice life and family, job etc) Untrusting (Will be unkind to people because they "dont care about me anyway") and even become violent and irrational some time. Not knowin what to do with the wounds.

    How do I know this? Well lets just say I acted unkindly to a guy who showed genuine interest in me after dating for the first in college (shutter*). He said he thought i was unique and I said take your dumb ash pick up lines somewhere else...:/

    Now, maybe that was a bit much but this was after two break ups in a year from bad guys and hearing every reason why to hook up with a guy (WOWs, your SUPER pretty, smart, special) it just became well, rubbish and many women experience this and its hard not hardened by these things.

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    • Meaning this behavior almost always a form of defense.

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    • Nope thats not my name ;)

    • Message me your channel then, I couldn't find it via your Questions.

What Girls Said 9

  • To some extent I think that many aspects that shape us into who we are individually come from the influences around us, so I am exploiting the Nurture aspect of your question. I primarily think of young children and how we are inclined to teach them wrong from right. However, throughout one's life we are always told what to do whether that be from family, friends, associates, etc is somewhat invalid at this point I am merely focusing on how we become influenced by words, actions and gestures. Hell, this was always an interesting topic in psy and people would relate this issue to, "Which came first? the chicken or the egg?" But I always think we molded by nurture and detailed by nature.

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    • Yes, that's right. So behaviour is a reaction of nature? (If that's your belief, you might like the other question from my list of questions: Freewill)

    • To some extent yes, but we are first influenced by being exposed to various stimuli. Both aspects really do coincide with one another.

    • Now there's an issue about multiple realizability as one stimulus cannot always be the sole cause of things, I think behaviour is complex. As long as they don't dispute that, then I'm fine.

  • I think it's mostly nurture and upbringing/environment that does those things to a person.

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    • Want to see the notes? They're very poorly written, I can't revise them until a week from now, but I wouldn't mind elucidating such important notions I find.

    • Oooh yes, I would love to. Message me.

  • Nurture has a lot to do with it yes, however some people can be naturally mean.

    For instance, my boyfriend and I were raised very differently. i come from a single parent household where he was raised by both his parents. His arguements with his parents are very quiet, no one yells really, it's odd for me, and sometimes hard to tell when he's upset. My arguements and in general my way of communication with my mother is very... loud. We tend to get in screaming matches when we argue. But many of my friends including my boyfriend all think that our banter is genuine arguing. We yell all the time, even when we joke. It's just how I learned to communicate. this is nurture

    Another example, after a fight, he wants to be with me, but not hug or kiss to make up. this is weird for me, because for me, the end of a fight is marked by "i'm sorry" and a hug and/or kiss. these are more our nature than nurture. This is what feels natural to us.

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    • Still doesn't tell me though, are you telling me that you're determined or free-willed?

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    • Well, you cannot disregard nature or nurture as that's exactly what I want to know, do we have freewill?

    • yes, absolutely

  • I think being insulting, exceedingly rude, or unkind can be controlled. Anyone is capable of simply keeping their mouth shut. These things are all nurture and can be changed. Being depressed or violent could go either way. Some people could choose to be happy with what they have and they will be! Others, it's a condition that they can't fix on their own. Violence is the same. Some people can control their impulses. They just don't want to. Others have a disorder or imbalance and it can't be controlled without medical help. Sometimes not even then. And either could be nature OR nurture. in my opinion anyway.

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    • If everything's nurtured, aren't these people merely reacting in response to the environment?

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    • I'll give it some thought, keep in touch with my other questions if you'd like brain teasing. Some of my other questions haven't been addressed sufficiently, that's why there's no MHO there.

    • Will do :) have a good one.

  • Nature. There's a disconnect in the brain from the amygdala and the frontal lobe which creates a lack of emotion, sympathy, and some social understanding. In some cases it could be seen in psychopaths such as serial killers (severe) or seeming "awkward" in public and can show signs of violence but will know it's wrong and feel bad, unlike psychopaths. You could've been raised in a lovely family with a happy childhood and still have these issues affect you. It's all based on the brain structure and chemicals within someone.
    *Not saying your girl is a serial killer, I wrote an informative essay about what makes one so that's my only connection*

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    • Grant the biological framework, I would beg to differ that it is indeed the case that there is such a thing as psychopaths as I think the studies are more oriented within working from the theory down to certain facts while omitting others. What about the phenomenological character of these 'psychopaths', I don't think the notion of 'happy family' is properly construed, especially for such a grave claim, I would rather construe a happy family as a family that spreads well-being within each and every of its members. Is there a case where we have a detailed analysis of a psychopath's experience? I know for sure if we take Elliot Rodger, I'll guarantee you he isn't a psychopath, because I've read his manifesto, but it is something that developed socially.

    • I know Ted Bundy grew up normally in that he was social and "popular" which goes against being in a hostile or broken home because he was seemingly "normal". In his case specifically, it was fully "in his nature" to do the horrible things he had done. There's going to be special cases for everyone in different scenarios but for the most part (I believe) the social disconnect and violence are a part of said persons nature.

    • You don't know, you can't account for the conversations he had, the feelings he felt. That's exactly where psychology fails, you can't reduce a person to a normative concept.

  • It depends on the nature of the person and the situation that they are put in. For instance, some may be taught these actions, whereas others may adapt them to their own preferences, which are sometimes uncontrolled by them. However, usually these reactions and personalities are not taught, but witnessed, by the surroundings around the person, primarily in their childhood.

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    • Taught seems like a misunderstood word for this context, how about we construe taught as a sensory input of all phenomena?

  • I think they are something that has been taught but after a while of not seeing them as wrong and feeding these negative emotions they become willed.

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  • I believe that all beings are born to be kind and good, however the environment and people around them and their experiences change them. ...

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    • If all things are born kind and good, then persons would have never had any slight evils unless you're implying that something non-living is evil, which is absurd, since there requires agency for accountability.

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    • can be both

    • I don't think our moral capacity is innate for the same reason that it is variously different from person to person, I think it's socially constructed.

  • I act that way but I don't do it willfully and it certainly wasn't taught to me.

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    • I understand your background and I feel for you, but what if your doctors deceived you of such a condition? Could it be that sometimes you act against the behaviour expected of such a condition? If that is the case, could it be that you're not helpless as most people may think?

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    • I don't know.

    • Of course you do. You have a memory as a condition of your intelligence, which means that you can find instances when you were not on that pill and you behaved as if you had never had such a stigma. Could you recall any such events? I think you can.

What Guys Said 4

  • One thing I noticed wasn't covered is the Mental Illness known as Depression.

    Depression can cause irritability, low energy, issues focusing, severe guilt and worthlessness, and other very painful emotions. Depending on how the person copes with these negative emotions, they could display anger, extreme negativity, self-loathing, violence, etc.

    There's a chance your girlfriend could be suffering from severe clinical depression, which would require long-term treatment and possibly counseling.
    One tell-tale sign is if she has frequent, uncontrollable suicidal thoughts.
    If it seems illogical or out-of-normal some of her behavior or reactions, well then it's a high chance she has clinical depression.

    And in this case, that's a mix of nurture and nature.

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  • People who act like that does it because they are in a bad mood, it's not a personality trait (can be to some degree but not fully)

    It's not nature to show those traits if you are in a good mood. If it can be tought? Yes it can, through, lets say parents behaving that way when the kid is young, then he/she is likely to pick up on it. Then again it wouldn't be traits that they showed if they felt great.

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  • I think there are exceptions but I think mostly they've been treated badly - e. g. you'll maybe find child abuse or strict parents with lots of spanking or some other kind of maltreatment.

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  • Sometimes we do things by accident but honestly most people know what they're doing we know right from wrong even if we have been taught something we still know how it affects others

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