80% of someones personality is developed by age 8. - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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80% of someones personality is developed by age 8.


I was talking to a friend yesterday who works as a therapist in mental health. She mentioned that about 80% of someones personality is developed by age 8. So if your have rough childhood up to that point its very tough to change much at all. She said you can tweak around the edges with therapy and meds but once you hit 8 your basic personality is pretty much set. For example if you are basically and introvert or extrovert by that point that is what you will be your whole life with just minor changes being possible beyond that.

Kind of disappointing that if your parents or home life is real rough up to that point it can screw you up so much for the rest of your life. Anyway thoughts?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 10:26 AM
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Meh

1. there isn't even concensus in psychology about how to measure personality. The big 5 is the closest thing, but its still basically horse**** with only two of the 5 traits having any kind of consistency across time, cultures etc.
2. given 1, and that you can't actually measure it reliably, nobody has measured it and can say 80% of it is developed by age 8. Nor could 8 year olds take the test.
3. 80% of personality?
4. very few therapies are trying to alter personality
5. SA doesn't have much to do with personality

Sorry, not meaning to be hyper critical, but that claim doesn't really make any sense.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 11:46 AM
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I think a lot of mine developed at 7 actually, not that I have a lot of memories of before and the anxiety started earlier but a lot of the groundwork for interests and stuff seemed to start for me at that age. I diversified a lot more at that age and started to get into 'dark stuff' which continued on after that.

That doesn't seem to be what you're saying though so I dunno. I can't remember when my issues with motivation/attention started but that seems to have been something I've always struggled with too.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 03:20 PM
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If that is the case then I am certainly screwed. I'm unsure that's the case though, from first hand experience. But I don't think it's something we should dwell on, leave it to the professionals.

I must say it is not ideal to have your future determined by people and environments you have zero control over. Cruel world.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:02 PM
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I knew as a young child that it wouldn't go well
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:35 PM
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I was a very confident and cheeky kid - I have a photo somewhere of the class and I'm the little kid without his tie and a sort of wild grin on his face. I had a great time at school - lots of little punch-ups and even girlfriends. (I think that started in kindergarten - I distinctly remember moving around on the rug in front of the teacher at story time so I could talk to one little girl I liked. ) It was all very innocent though obviously.

I don't know much about all this stuff but I find all that a bit hard to take seriously.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:52 PM
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Could be, I was quiet, introverted, some OCD type stuff, I remember wanting to stay inside & watch cartoons instead of going outside to play with school friends around age 10 & my mother being a little worried, she never did anything about it though, I always did school activities but mostly only because I had to.






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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:08 PM
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I think sole people are just born imperfect. I was extremely shy as a kid, in fact I'm much better now in terms of shyness. I hid myself when the neighbors' kid was looking for me to come and play. I didn't want to attend birthday parties and I definitely didn't want one for my own. The one I had still floats around my brain to this day because it was so boring, I could tell from the attending kid's faces. I had no clue how to entertain them, actually my mom who organized it should have thought 'bout stuff to do.
I didn't participate in class either, teachers said to my parents. "he just sits their in the back daydreaming". I remember once putting up my finger to give an answer though, the answer was wrong and that's the only time I contributed. It had an impact as I still remember the question and the answer I gave to this day. I was very ashamed.
I also had to wear glasses at least 2 years earlier but I was too afraid to tell the teacher I couldn't read the chalkboard.
Other things happened in my early school days out of which I developed some kind of fetish that I'm going to keep for myself :-P

Anyway I was a weird kid and now I'm a weird grown up.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 10:20 AM
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I don't mean to disrespect your friend but in my case this is complete BS. My childhood was the best part of my life all I did was spend my time outdoors playing with my neighborhood friends. I was extremely extroverted but once I got SA I became a recluse so I don't know about that statistic.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 02:02 PM
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That is so true. I was still mostly normal and had lots lots of friends until around 11-12 or so, but even before that I do remember complaining to my dad that I didn't like people staring at me when we walked into a crowded restaurant, as well as me and a friend were downstairs playing video games and he had invited some friends over that I didn't know, and I basically just left his house right when they got there.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by nb89 View Post
That is so true. I was still mostly normal and had lots lots of friends until around 11-12 or so, but even before that I do remember complaining to my dad that I didn't like people staring at me when we walked into a crowded restaurant, as well as me and a friend were downstairs playing video games and he had invited some friends over that I didn't know, and I basically just left his house right when they got there.
I remember too when kids I didn't knew joined me and my friends, I didn't like it either, I still don't to this day. I tend to go quiet and awkward. I always kick myself (in my thoughts that is) why can't I just be spontaneous towards them...
As for the staring thing, when I enter a place it feels like the entire crowd starts staring at me. My solution then is to get drunk ASAP
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 04:08 PM
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I don't think you should adopt a fatalistic attitude toward this kind of thing. It's true that early experiences can have an enormous impact on your development, but that doesn't make you powerless to change.

People often don't change very much for a variety of reasons: because they don't believe they can; because they like being the way they are and don't want to; because they haven't figured out the proper techique; etc. Just because it looks like most people don't change very much doesn't mean you can't if you believe you can, want to, and can figure out how to do it. Just because most people eat pizza all their lives doesn't mean you're doomed to eat pizza all your life if you don't want to. Consistent behavior isn't the same as unchangeable behavior.

What is personality? Forget the science. How do we know what someone is like? We listen to what they say and we observe what they do. If you change what you say and do, for all intents and purposes, you have changed your personality. We can quibble over the details, but all that matters, practically speaking, is that you're adopting more adaptive thoughts and behaviors than the ones you currently have. So focus on the specific changes you want to make in your behaviors. Let 'personality' take care of itself.

Fwiw, I had a happy childhood. My life didn't take a nosedive until I hit puberty. Even in high school, I was the first person on the dance floor. I was in the drama club. I wasn't exactly a shy person. I didn't become avoidant until after the bullying got really intense. I'm a very different person now than I was when I was 16, even though my basic personality hasn't changed all that much.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 08:28 AM
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This seems true for me, but people's perception of me is different. 8 was the year I started coming out of my shyness a little more and actually making school friends, I started becoming adventurous and always wanting to do the dangerous stuff. I was a nerdy kid too and it was actually a point of pride to me. All those things stuck but even if I was less shy than say at 6 when I was cripplingly shy, I find I am still the person that doesn't talk as much at work or school, even though my friends and family would say I'm really talkative. I've always wondered why that aspect hasn't changed since elementary school even when I try to make an effort more. Id say it's improved and people generally see me as a bubbly energetic person once they know me, so I wish I didn't have that innate quietness in more formal settings, it's like a programming I have to overcome. I can become so in my head if I have a cool enough thought that I just forget to socialize
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 10:00 AM
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let's also not forget determinism and the illusion of free will. regardless of personality you have no control anyway. your future is already locked in, whatever it may be. cant do anything about that. it's been 100% determined forever.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 10:18 AM
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This just sounds defeatist.

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 02:50 PM
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Your self-esteem is developed at a young age. Maybe that's what the therapist meant.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 03:31 PM
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I was really ****ed up from age 1-8. So that would be depressing

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SplendidBob View Post
Meh

Sorry, not meaning to be hyper critical, but that claim doesn't really make any sense.
Sure there may not be a great wat to measure personality I guess. And I guess the 80% number who knows about how accurate that number is actually. But whether it is 62%, 71% or 80% I think we can all agree that your life experiences up to age 8 have a huge effect on how you will turn out for the rest of your life.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisinmd View Post
Sure there may not be a great wat to measure personality I guess. And I guess the 80% number who knows about how accurate that number is actually. But whether it is 62%, 71% or 80% I think we can all agree that your life experiences up to age 8 have a huge effect on how you will turn out for the rest of your life.
Oh certainly, there is psych research going back a billion years showing the importance of upbringing.

It is quite important though (as you mentioned your friend is a therapist) to understand the terminology and what is actually being stated. You are talking more here about schemas (if you buy into schemas), but it seems to me that schema's are extremely important in personality disorders (schemas are the, mental shortcuts that we develop in order to understand the world), so with personality disordered individuals (such as me) those shortcuts are adaptive to bad situations, the child does what it can to survive, but become maladaptive in the later world.

This applies to SA as well, of course, schemas about how we will be treated by others maintain SA, but they are especially important in individuals with PD. Why? Because unless they are recognised as schemas, any therapeutic effort will fall short (CBT etc, does little to address schemas). Your therapist friend needs to understand this, since confusing this stuff, and the psychological definition of "personality" with the layman definition of personality (they are different), would result in different therapies and different ideas about outcome.

for example, someone with SA isn't usually suffering from a personality disorder, they will probably respond quite well to standard therapeutic approaches. Someone with a personality disorder less so. But if your therapist friend is confusing "personality" here, she is mistakenly assuming a lower response rate than is actually the case.

She is also very badly nocebo'ing you into thinking therapy might not work on you. A therapist shouldn't do that, very bad idea.

One of the worst aspects of this place is it acts as a giant nocebo factory for SA sufferers, since everyone basically ****s on therapies, often when they haven't even properly done the therapies (see people bad mouthing exposure when they didn't even do it properly), creating a giant nocebo echo chamber, because stating stuff doesn't work enables avoidance, which is what people with anxiety desperately want to do.

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