Other than genetic factors involved in our personalities, here I am focusing on the factors that shape our habits and then we develop a specific attitude towards life.

At first our mothers or caregivers influence on our personality by offering us certain choices related to dressing, food, toys, and other stuff like that. We everyday are being introduced by different tastes in food and we keep on taking those items for a long time. Then we are being offered different types of dresses and colors to choose from and we keep on wearing similar stuff every day for a long time. Then we are being introduced different kinds of toys and sometimes a certain kind of toys at very early stage that we again continue to use for a fairly long time. Consciously or unconsciously we as parents offer our children a certain lifestyle that becomes their own attitude and behavioral trait later on.

Children do not develop attitudes on their own, we as parents offer them an environment and education along with our own models to imitate and learn from. Although children do not learn all that is being offered to them but they usually choose from the variety we have at our home at first. Then they choose from the variety that we offer them outside the home- may it be a playground, soft play area, picnic spot, club or anything else. We as parents lead them towards certain goals and they choose their own goals from what is given to them.

In our teenage, we usually have a certain set of attitudes to express ourselves in front of others. We can claim what we like, what we dislike, what we prefer and what we disapprove. All of this stuff is based on the routine that we have passed through in our childhood. So in other words, at first we had no choice but to accept what was offered. Then we were offered some choices to choose from. Then, with the passage of time, our choices became our likes and dislikes. And in our young age, we call our choices our concepts because we have already internalized those concepts in our life through childhood routines. Here the main point is that internalization of concepts comes first and the concepts come later on.

Have you seen advertisements that promote their products by giving free samples to others? Have you ever thought why? Why free? There is a big reason behind that ‘why’. They want us to become habitual of those products and develop a liking for them later on. In the end we say, we like such products because we are of that type. But the real story we forget- we used them first and then started preferring them. Not the other way round. The products we have not experienced yet, we may wish to have but we cannot say we prefer to use them instead as we have not still used them.

The same rule applies in relationships. Till the time we do not spend some time together with someone, we cannot say we like him/her or not. At first we talk, meet and see someone often then we develop a liking or disliking for the particular object. In the long run after establishing a relationship, we think we prefer a relationship of this kind. Here it is important to note that at the same time, we establish some disliking for some kind of people based on our bitter experiences. Those bad experiences need not to be repeated for concept building as we remember them better than good episodes. Otherwise, if we have a long loop of bad experiences, our concept would be a stronger and stronger day by day for that specific object.

Generalization of this rule applies to children very well as their stage of learning things is very tender and immature. We can offer our children a good routine to follow and a set of nice experiences to accustom in the beginning of their life especially in their first 2 -3 years. They will definitely choose some of them and start liking them. On the other side, we can offer them experiences to start avoiding things that they must avoid in life later on. Not the bad experiences need to be repeated to learn from as the power in negative events is much stronger than positive ones. The children themselves will not repeat certain actions if they get undesirable results.

As an adult we can generalize this rule to solve our problems. Usually we are advised to change the way of perceiving the events to the peace of mind. For most of the cases, it is a good solution. But for some cases, like loneliness, depression, anxiety, self harm, addiction, self pity, distorted self concept, false self-esteem, etc. We need to check our routine too. It will be a good start if we only forcibly change our routine for a fairly long period. After a pretty much long repetition of new action, we will become a new conceptual person whose concepts would have been replaced and refreshed.

Author's Bio: 

Mona Aeysha, PhD, is an Educational and Developmental Psychologist, have been working as a Teacher, Counselor and Researcher in several institutes of China, Pakistan and Cambodia. Her major areas of interest are: self –esteem, self-concept, conceptual psychology, belief psychology, self psychology, preferential psychology, cultural psychology and women psychology.
You are always welcome to contact her via email if you have any query in this regard.
Dr Mona