Are Personal Qualities Learned or Inherited?


Are your most essential qualities and behaviors determined by your genetics or learned? This is the most enduring debate of our times.
The modern scientific view is that the capacity to behave in a specific way is genetic, but experiences will determine how, when, and whether these capacities are engaged.
As attachment is about how distress is managed, the answer would lie in how often distress is experienced, and how it is expressed lies in the genetic factors, but the responses to stress are modified by learning and experiences. Thus, how an infant develops an attachment style is mostly learned.
Early relationships with parents and caregivers certainly do shape what you expect from and how you participate in later relationships, and specifically in romantic attachments. You develop a blueprint of how you interact in adult relationships, how you seek comfort or push it away, how you trust or don’t, and how you approach any situation that could be perceived as a conflict.
However, other relationships and circumstances in your formative years, as well as later relationships also play a big role.
In a successful relationship, people need to be secure. This means they need to govern their emotions and habits in order to ensure peaceful coexistence with their partner. Partners need to be well-adjusted in order they may have a healthy and rewarding relationship. But sadly, this cannot be said to be the case for many relationships. Partners that struggle with insecure attachment issues are virtually incapable of having healthy relationships. Psychologists believe that insecure attachment begins in early childhood. The experiences of a child in relation to their parents and the surrounding environment are going to influence how they turn out as adults. When a child develops a healthy bond with the people in their early life, they become secure. This means they will have a positive attitude and expect the best from other people. Such kids grow to be stale partners who expect other people to play their part. But when a child has an unhealthy bond with their early life environment, such a kid is likely to grow up to exhibit insecure attachment, whereby they expect the worst of people. Such people end up becoming distrustful of others and it presents significant challenges in relationships. They are likely to be unpredictable. They won’t show any consistency in their behaviors and actions. One moment they might act charged and interested and the next moment they might act withdrawn and disconnected, like a robot. Insecure attachment may be overcome but it requires the full participation of the affected person. This book delves into the subject of insecure attachment issues and makes suggestions on how to get rid of it.
Relationships play a critical role in our happiness, but if the partners are not compatible, it can give rise to tremendous pain. One of the factors that would contribute to difficult relationships is the presence of insecure attachment issues in either or both partners. Generally, attachment issues stem from an individual’s childhood experiences. If the child had a stable relationship with their parents, they developed a healthy bond with other human beings, and in later years when they get into a relationship, they will have a positive mindset and expect to rely on the other person. However, if someone had a negative relationship with their parent, they likely developed an unhealthy bond, and it makes it hard for them to trust their partners; these people will always be expecting their partners to do them in and this mindset usually sabotages the relationship.
Relationships are hard. That’s a common truth.
You might think that learning how to spend large amounts of time with another person, perhaps live with another person, and co-exist beside another person would be easy, after all, we’re all human, right?
Learning how to compromise, communicate, overcome conflict, express your emotions, and trust is extremely difficult. We’re not born to be in relationships naturally, it’s something we have to adapt and learn.

Get the audiobook on Audible at
Visit or subscribe to the Voice over Work podcast on at
Show notes and/or episode transcripts are available at
For narration information, contact Russell Newton at
For production information, visit Newton Media Group LLC at

Categories: Voice over Work