Is it inevitable? Will we end up like our parents whether we want to or not?

  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Jun 07, 2009 1:09 AM GMT
    They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

    Lately, I have been thinking about how I am evolving. I find myself saying things like "Oh no, I said I would never do that because my Mom used to do that and I hated it."

    I love my Mom and my Dad. But there are things about them that I didn't want to see in myself....and as I am getting older I wonder if, no matter how hard I try, if I will end up with some of those traits.


    Thoughts on this sort of thing guys?
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    Jun 07, 2009 1:30 AM GMT
    I say this to my partner and friends all the time, that I'm becoming more like my late parents every day. Which is not a bad thing, just unexpected, and certainly not deliberate.

    I first started noticing increasing similarities with my father when I was in my early 40s. Now at 60 they're quite pronounced.

    Yet I still think I'm my own unique person, but with a good blending of my parents. And after all, even my physical appearance reveals elements of them both, so why shouldn't my personality traits do the same, too?

    I can't guess how common this is among other people, or whether it's inevitable. I can only say that it happened to me, and I'm comfortable with it.
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    Jun 07, 2009 1:32 AM GMT
    Ya know, I never posted to that "what would you say to your 18-year-old self" thread because I look way too much like my dad now (the shape I'm in), and the kid would never listen to me. Also, I'm glad not to have any children because I don't want to raise any little Eugene's. (The cruelest thing any of my sisters ever said to me was that I was just like Dad. She even apologized much later because of how much it wounded me.)

    But it is not inevitable. I don't have to look like this, and I don't have to act like him.
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    Jun 07, 2009 1:45 AM GMT
    I have a tiny bit of my father, some of my mother and lots of my maternal grandfather.
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    Jun 07, 2009 1:55 AM GMT
    no pot belly here and well...I am not much like my mom or dad
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    Jun 07, 2009 2:03 AM GMT


    Both of mine kept telling me I resemble my Uncle Cash...and I kept saying to them I didn't have any!


    -Doug
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    Jun 07, 2009 2:06 AM GMT
    We had dinner with my partner's family last week, with some relatives visiting from out of state. And one of the topics of conversation was who looked & acted like which of their relatives from the previous generation. This being an older crowd, they pretty much represented the oldest current generation of this family, and the discussion included living family members who weren't present at the table.

    The consensus was that my partner has become his grandfather. Which he didn't mind, just so long as they didn't say his father, whom he strongly disliked. Personally, I think he's a lot like his mother, too.

    And everybody got paired with some late or elderly family member, the women mostly with their mothers or aunts, and the men with their fathers or uncles. Nobody in their family seemed to be exempt from this phenomenon, and nobody personally complained about or resented the associations proposed for themselves.

    There was also universal agreement about who took after whom, no debates that Bill didn't take after his Uncle Joe and so forth. Among this family, at least, these similarities were too obvious to be doubted. I don't know if this does anything to answer the OP question of inevitability, but some people apparently do accept it as a given.
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    Jun 07, 2009 2:37 AM GMT
    My parents were divorced when I was just under 2 years old. And I never saw my father until his death when I was 13. I was raised by my mother and her parents. I know I am the spitting image of my father and with alot of personality traits of my mother. I spent the better part of my life trying to be everything my father wasn't. I despised him most of my teenage years until I visited his grave, forgave him of the things I found out about him and then pursued a life immulating my mother, one of the greatest women I have ever known. She was my best friend and even after passing, she is still the compass by which I live my life. I don't necessarily think we are destined to be like our parents, but there is no denying that, for good or bad, they do have a big influence on who we will become, to be like them or not.
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    Jun 07, 2009 2:41 AM GMT
    I'm a good mix of both... defintitly have my mother's sense of humor, but my father's ability to argue/analyze a point.
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    Jun 07, 2009 2:44 AM GMT
    My mom is a worrier, I'm glad I got my dad's laid back attitude. BF has my mom's worrier qualities though....

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    Jun 07, 2009 3:01 AM GMT
    I definitely got my mother's father's love to buy things and my father's love of gadgets.

    When I was in NYC a few months ago, I caught myself in the mirror and noticed I was carrying a match for her little cloth shopping-bag-purse. And, I can't pass by a weed without pulling it, a-la mi mama. Oooh, and I nag my husband!

    I'm becoming my mother at an incredible pace, and I'm proud of it. She's an incredible woman

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    Jun 07, 2009 3:09 AM GMT
    In a way i wouldn't mind ending up like my mother lol. I'm already on track, I like men, I get my looks from her, i'm calm and hate arguments like her but knows when to put my foot down. I love every bit of it, i consider her my best friend icon_razz.gif
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    Jun 07, 2009 4:14 AM GMT
    silverfox1 saidThey say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

    Lately, I have been thinking about how I am evolving. I find myself saying things like "Oh no, I said I would never do that because my Mom used to do that and I hated it."

    I love my Mom and my Dad. But there are things about them that I didn't want to see in myself....and as I am getting older I wonder if, no matter how hard I try, if I will end up with some of those traits.


    Thoughts on this sort of thing guys?


    Genetics play a huge role in personal development and personality, and it's been documented in many a controlled study of twins.

    A few years back, my mom told me I would be blown away by my brother's 19 year old son, who had never lived with his dad beyond, about 4 months old.

    It was AMAZING. It was like talking to my brother. From the hand gestures, to the manner of speaking, to the humor, to the way he talked, to the way he looked....it was like speaking to his dad, in almost every way, yet, he'd never been around his dad. Even for me, it would have been easy to mistake the two.

    Hormones also play a major role as we grow older. Men, without therapy, become more like women and vice versa. Our views moderate with experiences, of course, too.
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    Jun 07, 2009 4:52 AM GMT
    I think I am more like my dad than my mom. My mom has a negative personality and once she gets something in her head it sticks and my sister or I have to hear her bitch about it. There is just no calming her down. I just hang up the phone and usually with a warning first and then she calls my sister who will not hang up. My mom does think I am more like her side of the family but I am just not into all that stupid drama. It's like a poor mans prime time soap opera without the sex that should have been canceled a long time ago.

    Part of my dad's personality is that it doesn't matter if anyone tells him he shouldn't do something he will go ahead and do it if he wants. His father is the same way and so am I. If we suspect we will have some type of backlash we just won't tell anyone until it's over with. Then it's - Surprise! It is also very cool that someone can be mean or yell at him and he just blows them off as if they just don't matter. That's another trait I have noticed that I have started to pick up and is becoming more readily apparent as I get older.

    I find it very funny that my parents and my dads parents are exactly alike.
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    Jun 07, 2009 5:11 AM GMT
    Its in the blood for sure. I lived 3000 miles form my parents for years. My dad and I sit the same, have the same gait, many similar mannerisms and same taste in food.. The big difference is when I want something I go out and get it at whatever cost. My dad researches consumer repors, and searches for the best deal. Takes him longer!
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    Jun 07, 2009 5:13 AM GMT
    My first thought:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    *calms down*

    On second thought:

    I once read a very good book with the, not so novel idea, that we do inherit many of our parent's attitudes and values. Kind of inheriting and big trunk containing some thing that we might not use just yet, others might even end up in the trash can and yet, from time to time we will find a big gold bar. Whenever I discover myself "talking like my dad" or "buying like my mom" I still pause and remember that analogy: there is a lot of gold there and is not like I can not put my own spin on my "inheritance". I rather put the gold to use right now and not wait until later; of course, it all rests in my discernment of what's gold and what's rubbish as it evolves.