Tag Archives: personality

How to Deal with Mean People

“People who want figuratively to bite you, growl at you, pick on you and otherwise chop you down are not rare. If you’re not prepared for people like that, they can punch big holes in your confidence and make you feel completely defeated. You need a defense against an adult bully…[the best defense is to remember that] ‘underneath he’s probably a very nice guy. Most folks are.’ Remember those two short sentences next time someone declares war on you. Hold your fire. The way to win in situations like this is to let the other fellow blow his stack, and then forget it.” (p. 57)

Agency or Personal Choice and Genetics

“There is an inescapable component of heritability to many human behavioral traits. For virtually none of them is heredity ever close to predictive. Environment, particularly childhood experiences, and the prominent role of individual free will choices have a profound effect on us. Scientists will discover an increasing level of molecular detail about the inherited factors that undergird our personalities, but that should not lead us to overestimate their quantitative contribution. Yes, we have all been dealt a particular set of cards, and the cards will eventually be revealed. But how we play the hand is up to us.” (p. 263)