How our Core Personality Develops
Our Core Self Has Three Developmental Stages/Levels
In other articles and certainly in several of my books we have discussed the three primary determinants to human interaction and behavior.
The first, the “Me” that is my System is the most powerful determinant because it makes “everybody do what they do.
Systems are designed to measure and reward the behavior that it wants from the people inside said system.
That is why, for instance, everyone stops at the red light and so forth.
We have also detailed the second determinant, the “Me” that is my Situation, which makes most people do what they do most of the time (team and social situations and so forth).
In this article we will analyze the third and most visceral determinant, the “Me” that is my Self (our core personality).
This is the part of us that makes each person do what they do (all the time; if they had their druthers).
A very interesting and important question for many of us is, “Who am I at the core, my center so to speak and further to that, how did I end up this way?”
Let’s talk about that.
As shown in the diagram below, three convergent, sequential and systemic developmental stages determine our basic or core personality.
In other words, they comprise how and why we are the way we are and why and how we function, feel and interact with people the way we do.
My Core Self: The Self Interested Me – the Three Developmental Stages/Levels – An Overview
In the diagram below, you will see the three convergent but sequential and systemic developmental stages which determine people’s Self or Core Personality; how and why we are the way we are and why and how we function, feel and interact with people the way we do.
1. The Biological You:
The Rough First Draft. This is the lifelong, prewired (not hard wired), genetic, biological, predispositional biases and traits with which we are born that we naturally and unconsciously use to experience, filter, interpret and guide our life.
2. The Psychological You:
The Edited Version. This is the pattern of psychological adaptations that emerges based on our biological preferences and biases in response to the specific environments and challenges we happen to face in the course of our early, adolescent and adult life.
3. The Biographical You:
The Final version: This is the story or narrative we develop and use from the first two stages to make sense of our lives. They are not necessarily true stories, but simplified and selective reconstructions of the past, often forged by or connected to an idealized version of the future.
Our Core Self: An Explication
In this workshop we explore how to speak to and with the deepest, safest core part of the other person`s personality.
I call this the intrinsic, biological part of my personality the “Me” that is My “Self”. We of course also have the “Me” that is My “Situation” and the “Me” that is My “System”. (See diagram on page 18)
We do this to help them feel safe, accepted, respected in order to elevate the conversation, advance the relationship and create a transcendent resolution.
To do that it is helpful to understand what we mean by the Core or Self Interested part of our personality.
In Other Words, How Does Our Personality or Temperament Develop?
And then of course what do we do about that.
That is to say, when we hit a Speed Bump, what facilitative language, do I need to use.
Please do not forget Corollary Twenty Nine:
“Language determines the conversation, the conversation determines the relationship, and the relationship determines the outcome.
The “Me” that is my “Self” Has Three Developmental Stages/Levels
From the three circle diagram above, you will see:
1. The Biological You: The Rough First Draft
The lifelong, prewired (not hard wired), genetic, biological, predispositional biases and traits with which we are born
These are the filters that we naturally and unconsciously use to experience, interpret and guide our life.
2. The Psychological You: The Edited Version
Our genes get turned on or off by our environment (family etc.) and how we interact with it.
In other words, we affect our environment by our temperament but our environment also affects us.
So the Psychological you is the pattern of psychological adaptations that emerges in us based on:
1. Our biological preferences
2. Our biases in response to the specific environments
3. The challenges we happen to face in the course of our early, adolescent and adult life.
3. The Biographical You: The Final version
The story or narrative we develop and use from the first two stages to make sense of our lives.
They are not necessarily true stories, but simplified and selective reconstructions of the past, often forged by or connected to an idealized version of the future.
The Formation of the Human Personality
For most of the early to late twentieth century, the scientific community, based on thinkers like Freud and societal developments such as the women’s movement and civil rights, embraced blank-slate theories in which people were shaped and forged by their environment.
Children development was primarily environmental.
They soaked up the ideology of their parents or the TV programs they watched.
The theory of the formation of the human personality was turned on its head however with the studies of twins in the 1980s.
That is when scientists began analyzing large databases that allowed them to compare identical twins.
Identical twins share all of their genes, and their prenatal and childhood environments.
So scientists compared identical twins to same-sex fraternal twins (who share half of their genes, plus their prenatal and childhood environments).
They Found that the Identical Twins Were More Alike on Just About Everything
And what’s more, identical twins reared in separate households (because of adoption) usually turn out to be very similar, whereas unrelated children reared together (because of adoption) rarely turn out similar to each other, or to their adoptive parents; they tend to be more similar to their genetic parents.
Scientist, as a result, concluded that genetic coding was a significant contributor, indeed a primary determinant to just about every aspect of our personalities.
We’re not just talking about IQ, mental illness, and basic personality traits such as shyness.
We’re talking about the degree to which you like jazz, spicy foods, and abstract art; your likelihood of getting a divorce or dying in a car crash; your degree of religiosity, and your political orientation as an adult.
There are three major stages in the process.
In part two we will describe what they are and detail how each stage works itself out in the real world to make us who and what we really are.
For more on this topic, we recommend the following
Get Unstuck, Stay Unstuck