could people who grow up without a father be more assertive? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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could people who grow up without a father be more assertive?

I noticed some of my friends, and some of the more famous/ outgoing people who grow up without a father nor a father figure...grow up not shy. Noticably it seems a lot of people of african/ black descent as a race are not shy and are the most social with opposite sex and a lot of them didnt have fathers. Like rappers are the most assertive people i find, and they dont have fathers most of them if not all.

If I look at my own friends, the guys who are at ease with women didnt have/ live with their fathers. And my other guy friend who has a dad is very close / friendly to him, they laugh together, he isnt afraid to speak to him.

I think maybe its because if you grow up withouth having someone to fear or obey in your house, then you automatically grow up more assertive in life.

what do yall think...and how did yall grow up?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 02:02 AM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

Thanks for the study kickit, but I got news for you. I grew up without a father and I am very shy. I think it really depends on your mom raised you. My mom kept a close hold on me. She sheltered me and did not want me to have any friends because she believed people were so cruel. Our whole family is kind of shy because of that. My older sisters got a little bit of exposure, but me and my younger sister, who she sheltered the most, are really shy. She felt like she had to be a mother and a father thus the reason she was overprotective.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 02:14 AM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

I grew up without a father - I've always been very shy, but I can also be really assertive at times. Being shy doesn't mean you can't also be assertive, and I think you can't really generalise that not having a father around makes you less shy.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 02:23 AM
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You're onto something. When you're a boy, and you're intimidated by a strong father figure, you subconsciously take on the passive role in order to fit into the household. Some of these guys will grow up feeling passive like that because they grew up scared. In the animal kingdom, many mammals have males that will leave the group at a young age to start their own group due to conflict of leadership with the father.
Also, henriejo is right about the sheltered thing. If your parents are over-protective, once again, you don't have to be assertive since someone else is making all the choices for you.
And if you have a combination of the above 2 things, with the genetics of being sensitive, I think it's very likely that a person develops SA or lacks assertiveness.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 04:15 AM
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Lack of father might contribute, but I wouldn't consider it a good thing. The father plays a big role in a child's life, and so does lack of father. I think children have the "best" odds, when raised by two healthy-minded parents.

Fatherless teen boys often look to their same-age peers as role models on how to act, and what it means to be a man. With no realistic model to guide them, in some cases, they end up exaggerating male characteristics like macho-ness and assertiveness. In extreme cases, boys without fathers become the "Steve McQueen" charicature of a man, the tough guy. Famous rappers, for example, are the ultimate tough guy image, with exaggerated male characteristics.

I'm a female who grew up without a father figure, and I'm shy and passive. I haven't read anything from the female's perspective, but just from observing girls at school, I see that the fatherless girls often fall into one of two extremes: They either become very promiscuous, finding boyfriends to fill that father void, or they either withdraw from males all together, not going on dates, and maybe even developing fear or distrust of men.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 03:27 PM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

I'm African American and I am not in the least assertive or aggressive, I hate this stereotype too black people being very loud and ignorant it annoys me.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 05:07 PM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

I grew up without a father and I'm really lacking in assertiveness on many issues. I think a girl needs a loving father figure to relate to - without that it's difficult in life.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2006, 12:39 AM
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I'd say everyone needs a male role model in their life, father or not. Could be an uncle or whoever.

What is the most important thing you can be doing right now, and, why aren't you doing it?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2006, 12:55 AM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

My father left when I was three and I have the assertiveness skills of a snail.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2007, 11:56 AM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

I don't think you really need a "father" but just a positve male role model, someone to show you that not all men are dogs sadly I haven't had that and I have a slight issue with trusting men.

Nevermind what I just wrote, I think that I just hate arroganct/macho
men and everything associated with them.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2007, 03:10 PM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

this is an interesting observation. ever notice how important a girls relationship is with their father and how most girls who had non-existant or bad abusive relationship end up having low self esteem? well maybe its the parent with the opposite sex that's most important to a young child. so maybe for guys its important to have healthy relationships with our mothers. i know i sure as hell didn't. i think freud talked about stuff like this. who knows really, maybe it has to do with a million other things also.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 07:06 AM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

There are many shy black people too.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 10:01 AM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

You get a C+ for your psychology paper. Just to add to the 'peer review' element of this scientific discourse:

1) It can be argued that in order to learn assertive behaviours, a gender specific role model is required. If there is no father present, then it could be said that NOT HAVING A FATHER would mean a lack of assertive role model. If in addition mother is very domineering, you may end up even more unassertive.

2) You haven't factored in the influence of brothers and sisters and external social influence such as strong role models - vicars, teachers etc (gender specific or otherwise)

3) You haven't factored in single catalysing events or repeated negative events that can lead to social phobia, such as trauma.

Despite what Freud said - it doesn't all come down to your parents and whether you want to get oedipal with your mother. A lot of people now think that Freud was way off the mark with much of what he said. Certainly a lot of his psychotherapeutic techniques and approaches are now thought to be counter productive, and its one of the reasons the newer therapies such as CBT, do not AS A RULE look into childhood experiences as part of the cure. They may be used to define how behavioural patterns formed, but you won;t hear a CBT therapist telling you that you have buried frustrations at your mother. Its worth noting that Freudian psychotherapy in general takes twice as long as CBT to achieve any kind of therapeutic aim.

Freud died at the outbreak of World War II and his theories even then were hugely disputed. Nowadays this is even more true, but his ideas have permeated popular culture so much that we have people all over the place blaming someone else for how they are, rather than look for ways to overcome their difficulties. I hope that the next 20 years will see a dropping of this man's ideas as people learn to empower themelves against their past and make the choices to improve their lives.

I had an absent father and a mother who tried her best. I believe my SA came from 4 years of verbal and physical bullying. I understand the source - it doesn't do ANYTHING to help me overcome symptoms of anxiety or depression.

As for the black thing - I dunno. If its true then maybe there's a cultural element. Us white folk have a habit of being brought up under the residual influence of puritanical religions. I'm not religious, but I am english - and hell, that really adds up to a sense of uptightness, especially around women. SEX. What a filthy word. Ugh

If you think you lack assertiveness, there are many books and courses you can go on.

Ross

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Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 01:57 PM
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I'm african american - live with both of my parents and still have SA!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-28-2007, 09:57 AM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

I think it really comes down to the quality of the parenting. In my case, my father still is married to my mother but as a parent he was a disaster. He provided food,shelter and clothing but was (is) a very negative man who did nothing to contribute to a normal father-son relationship. Over the years, i quietly observed how those males who had a father that guided them thru their life and exposed them to positive experiences and encouraged them , were more likely to succeed in career,friendships, love and so on. I had the opposite, as i grew up fearful of my father from the things he said and done...and from what he never did. He did a lot of mental damage and I am continually trying to undo his negativity, day by day. The only way to build up assertiveness is by building up your own confidence levels by experiencing many things in life and to trust/believe in yourself.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 01:39 PM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

Having a mother and father gives you the best chance regarding all avenues of mental illness. If the parents are divorced, for example, this is the best indicator that the child will have difficulties.

My parents divorced when I was 5, and I haven't been around my dad much over the years. My mom became overprotective to the point where she did everything for me. That, on top of inherited shyness has affected my social anxieties.

I have a friend who is more shy than I am, and he has both a mother and father. He is more independent than me but he is extremely passive. Looking at this father, it looks like something he inherited.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 06:48 AM
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re: could people who grow up without a father be more assert

I am a shy 'half black' person who grew up without a father.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 11:47 AM
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I grew up without a father and I am incredibly shy.

I am going to completely work on making myself happy.

“Fear can make you do more wrong than hate or jealousy. If you're afraid you don’t commit yourself to life completely; fear makes you always, always hold something back.”
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