How Culture Molds Our Personality

cultural conditioning of personality

We may be born with a personality but it is molded by the environment and the social structures we dwell in. It is refined in the cauldron of cultural and social heritage, which affects each and every aspect of our life.

Cultural norms dictate our upbringing as we pick up the beliefs, values, attitudes and prejudices unconsciously from our families, friends, ethnic groups and society.

Early childhood experiences leave a profound impact on our personalities. Closed and conservative societies send a mute message to the child not to explore anything independently, thereby curbing the free spirit, which a child is born with.

Cultural conditioning starts the moment a child is born, the way he is christened, fed, educated and raised.

When the diktats of culture expect a child to follow certain set rules of a society, which fail to distinguish between the aptitudes and aspirations of an individual, which expects all the persons to stay within those boundaries – such families often raise introverts, serious and quiet individuals who are conditioned to be cautious at each step.

They grow up to be huge supporters of tradition and culture that they have imbibed. The chain of thoughts and ideas continue to be passed on to the next generation and that’s how certain redundant traditions continue to thrive.

When we grow up in a free and unrestricted surroundings, where there are no rules for wearing a particular dress or studying a compulsory subject, where swimming lessons are a norm for every child, we develop into original thinkers, independent, analytical, adventurous and determined.

Such persons become natural leaders, with the urge to accomplish all that they can conceive. They have a mind of their own and can never be misled by anti-social elements.

A competitive culture raises extremely ambitious children because the prodding to do better than the challenger in his peer group infuses a spirit of pursuing success aggressively. The enthusiasm to excel gets embedded in their personality.

They become highly successful, practical and conscientious workers. They can inspire many more to be like them.

A creative culture encourages children to develop their own exciting ideas and beliefs. When children are given the liberty to explore their own fun oriented activities, when their minds are not loaded with pre-conceived tasks, discovering and learning becomes a part of their personalities.

Such children grow up to be innovative artists who can be creative as well as idealistic. They are very adaptive, kindhearted and sensitive.Personality

Hardworking culture brings the best out of children and train them at a very early stage to understand the dignity and value of work. Those who grow up with this culture around them tend to respect all kinds of work, are very helpful and cooperative, responsible and reliable.

However they miss on the leisurely aspects of life, as they are always eager to accomplish their goals. Since they are trained by difficult and harsh surroundings, they are highly resilient and flexible. Perseverance and loyalty are the hallmarks of such a personality.

Religious culture gives a distinctive shape to the personality, which has definite leanings towards duty and devotion. Children who are exposed to scriptures and places of worship at a tender age tend to become believers, some of them follow religious decrees blindly and lose their logical and analytical bent of mind. They may be submissive but stand firm with their beliefs, they may be abstemious and compassionate but are very sensitive towards their principles.

Such individuals develop a positive outlook, cultivate self-discipline and are laid back. They drift into their flock and can be easily misled into fanaticism. They can become fiercely active if they are exhorted in the name of religion.

Music culture in the homes produces extremely perceptive and patient individuals. They are driven by emotions; their passion for melody and harmony makes them highly creative. Mundane life doesn’t interest them, as they like to soar with their imagination. They are individualistic and like to follow their intuition.

What kind of personality do you have? Have you been influenced by any such culture? I would love to hear your views.

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Balroop Singh.