Do negative or hurtful past experiences affect your behavior negatively?

Do negative or hurtful past experiences affect your behavior negatively?

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This is a discussion on Do negative or hurtful past experiences affect your behavior negatively? within the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers forums, part of the Keirsey Temperament Forums category; I hear people often explaining people's negative behavior as stemming from all sorts of hurtful or negative experiences.... yet there ...

  1. #1

    Do negative or hurtful past experiences affect your behavior negatively?

    I hear people often explaining people's negative behavior as stemming from all sorts of hurtful or negative experiences.... yet there are people who go through the same experiences and do not behave negatively and are healthy in how they feel about themselves and others.

    Have you ever talked to people who were abandoned by their parents and foster parents.... who turned out caring and functional? I have.

    Have you talked to people who were shamed and physically punished or abused who turned out to be strong caring individuals? I have.

    Have you seen people complain about basically everything and be addicted into oblivion who had very promising starts and seemingly very few problems? I have.


    What do you think? Is it possible that no matter what your past experiences are, in the question of healthy behavior and outlook, other factors might be stronger ?


    And if so what explanation would you give for why 2 people can go through the same experience but one come out on the other side unscathed?
    Last edited by Llyralen; 06-16-2019 at 04:13 PM.



  2. #2

    Some have stronger bones than others.

  3. #3

    There are factors that are ultimately stronger and it burns down to what morality and spirituality you believe in. Nothing will uphold a personality quite as much. To do otherwise is to live like an animal, and just let your experiences dictate what you should do, as if you're not strong enough to believe in something higher than yourself.

    But I tell you, we have more intellect than the beasts, we have more than instinct to guide us in doing better.

    It doesn't matter what a person goes through, so much as it matters where you build your house. Is it on rock or is it on sand? For where your treasure is, your heart will be also.

    I can say this another way. Hardship comes for everyone, just and unjust. Bad times, bad experiences come for every person who has been alive. What will matter in the end is, like I said, where you built your house.
    Euclid, raschel, Sei35 and 1 others thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Llyralen View Post
    And if so what explanation would you give for why 2 people can go through the same experience but one come out on the other side unscathed?
    Some are born with a stronger physical constitution and will be less likely to succumb to illness than others. I think the same is true of mental constitution. Some are more fragile, other more robust. We can probably do all kinds of things about this later in life, but are essentially slaves to nature & nurture as children. Much like our physical health, our mental health as adults is highly dependent on what happened to us as children.

    The ability to keep going no matter the resistance, to work tirelessly to overcome any obstacle, is one of the more rare and highly prized traits that sport coaches look for in children. They call this vinnarskalle in Swedish - "winner skull" - a deeply rooted desire to never give up and keep going until you overcome the challenges you face.

    Some have more of it, others less. Some will keep going much longer than others. It seems as innate to me as any other mental trait ... intelligence, memory, musical ability, you name it. Some simply have more than others. Some are born with a Nick Vujicic spirit, others with something more Oblomovian. Childhood environment can strengthen or undermine it, as can our actions as adults.
    Last edited by Marvin the Dendroid; 06-16-2019 at 05:40 PM.
    Aelthwyn, Faery, Penny and 1 others thanked this post.

  6. #5
    INFJ

    It's all about specialization. We are most strongly affected by experiences in our areas of weakness. Because we are less likely to be able to form a high-specificity explanation of why the experience happened and how we can avoid it. So we must take overwhelmingly broad measures to avoid it happening again.
    ai.tran.75, Aridela and Marvin the Dendroid thanked this post.

  7. #6

    Do negative or hurtful past experiences affect your behavior negatively?

    I've never emotionally attached myself to memories or past experiences. My past simply is -- I don't feel much need to give it more than that. I know my relationship to my past, my memories, hurts other people who are attached to theirs, or are attached to experiences I may have been a part of, and are openly offended that I don't remember things so heavily. They carry their past like Santa carries gifts in a sack on a sleigh, whilst I seem to have left my sack behind and have merely kept the sleigh.

    I don't know if it's to do with strength, per se, but more an emotional connection or attachment they cannot part with, because to them it's the equivalent of self-amputation -- to lose a memory is to lose a leg -- and thus when something inconsistent happens in their life that counters or contradicts their experiences, they get stuck. They don't abandon or alter or adapt, they just stop their life, like Miss Haveshim who never parted with her being jilted at the alter, and spends the rest of her life in her wedding dress. In their minds, they are still there, exactly where things left off, as if they paused their video game to later return or stopped all the clocks, not quite realising 7 years have passed since their divorce, their break-up, their parental separation, and that their video game hasn't been on pause all this time: the console froze and needs a restart. Essentially, they are holding onto nothingness, like having grabbed a fistful of smoke and never opening their hand again in fear that smoke will disappear, but when you manage to talk with them and get them to open their hand after all this time, they realise their hand was empty all along.

    Have you ever talked to people who were abandoned by their parents and foster parents.... who turned out caring and functional? I have.

    Have you talked to people who were shamed and physically punished or abused who turned out to be strong caring individuals? I have.

    Have you seen people complain about basically everything and be addicted into oblivion who had very promising starts and seemingly very few problems? I have.
    Perspective. Complainers tend to have lesser perspective than they give themselves credit for -- they could travel the world, and manage to learn nothing at all -- as I believe the world is split into two kinds of people: Complainers and Problem Solvers. Problem Solvers I find almost never complain, for they have actually put themselves in a position to maybe solve the problem, and have thus gathered a perspective to the ins-and-outs of the issues at hand; the Complainers, however, don't usually go out of their way to do that, because they are so used to others solving the problem that they've never given themselves the obligation. Complainers blame everybody and everything other than their own selves, which in fairness may very well be justified, but they allow that to go on for the rest of their lives. From your three examples, the former two have experienced a loss big enough to develop a perspective, but I don't think these are the same principles to walking out of situations with a phoenix effect, rising from the ashes.

    Returning to the formermost question, however, I don't know that anybody truly walks away feeling enlightened in anyway from a hurtful past: I simply detached, and could quite easily prod at my past with a stick like a curious child might do to roadkill; others get vindictive, and spend the rest of their lives seemingly fine, but with a hidden agenda of infliction, (going back to Miss Haveshim, raising a child to break men's hearts); others spend their lives determined that others won't have the same experience, and get so wound up in this state of protecting others, they end up doing what they had been avoiding all along; others use it as a form of motivation, determined to make their life better; others wallow, and feed the experience as if it were a monster under the bed, allowing it to eat them alive.

    And if so what explanation would you give for why 2 people can go through the same experience but one come out on the other side unscathed?
    I notice this in siblings -- and it's usually the middle-child who walks out in distraught. Middle Child Syndrome, I think it's called. Much more prominent in teenagers as they are coming to sense and terms with everything, but usually the one who walks out feeling like an old man before they are 21.
    iblameyou and Sei35 thanked this post.

  8. #7

    It is not the bad experience in itself that let lasting symptoms, but how it was handled. Especially during childhood.
    Feeling helpless about impacting the negative experience in any way during and after coupled with no positive figure to reach for help and model healthy reaction is sufficient to turn anyone's reaction negative towards this experience. Repeat it enough and anyone can end up broken, regardless of their initial disposition.
    strawberryLola, Aelthwyn, raschel and 3 others thanked this post.

  9. #8
    Unknown

    Quote Originally Posted by Llyralen View Post
    What do you think? Is it possible that no matter what your past experiences are, in the question of healthy behavior and outlook, other factors might be stronger ?


    And if so what explanation would you give for why 2 people can go through the same experience but one come out on the other side unscathed?
    Short, simple answer: Faith, Hope and Love.

    Longer and more elaborate answers have been given here. So I'll try to put another spin on things.

    Related to perspective, some things you take seriously, some things you don't. Some things you get affected, some things you let slide. Learning the art of letting go of attachments makes for more positive behavior.

    But what about blind spots? That's where a lot of negative behavior comes from. Maybe it's force of habit. Maybe it's something you learned as a child from a negative influence. Or maybe the situation is totally new and you don't know how to adapt.

    Personal beliefs - If your beliefs are defeatist, unrealistic, or not idealistic enough, they will not be effective enough to keep you together. But what if there's no you? What if you accept what happens as what it is and roll with the punches? Maybe it is a matter of ego. Playing the victor is an ego trip, but so is playing the victim.

    On the behavior side of things, both positive and negative behaviors are done to achieve a certain goal. So what are your goals, why those goals, and how will you achieve them? In this sense, I believe "negative behaviors and outlook" get shit on too much. They are options as valid as the "positive behaviors and outlook" as long as the chosen goal is achieved.

    Personally, I get called out for "negative behavior" so much that it's become a self-fulfilling prophecy that I'll screw up and/or things will go bad. I'm pretty much blind to what others would call negative/positive or unacceptable. Most of the time, the negative behavior was unintentional.

    This thread deserves more love. There are so many possibilities here...
    Last edited by Fennel; 06-17-2019 at 10:41 AM.
    Aelthwyn and wums thanked this post.

  10. #9
    INFP - The Idealists

    Harmful events definitely do affect people, but they affect different people in different ways. Something that may seem huge to one person could seem trivial to another. For some, other factors might be stronger, but I'm not sure that's true for everyone. Some people are able to heal more quickly than others and depending on when you meet someone after the fact, they may have already worked through all the issues it left them with, and then again they may not have, and it's also quite possible that while they seem healthy to you they do still struggle with those issues but it's not constant. Often, how fast someone heals has a lot to do with the support they have during or after the hurtful events. It is, naturally, quite complicated. I think sometimes it's the combination of many different good or bad influences, and whether they come at the critical moment to make a difference. I'm sure personality, religion, physical health, and world view are also factors.
    Last edited by Aelthwyn; 06-18-2019 at 12:23 PM.
    Aridela and Marvin the Dendroid thanked this post.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Aelthwyn View Post
    Harmful events definitely do affect people, but they affect different people in different ways. Something that may seem huge to one person could seem trivial to another. For some, other factors might be stronger, but I'm not sure that's true for everyone. Some people are able to heal more quickly than others and depending on when you meet someone after the fact, they may have already worked through all the issues it left them with, and then again they may not have, and it's also quite possible that while they seem healthy to you they do still struggle with those issues but it's not constant. Often, how fast someone heals has a lot to do with the support they have during or after the hurtful events. It is, naturally, quite complicated. I think sometimes it's the combination of many different good or bad influences, and whether they come at the critical moment to make a difference. I'm sure personality, religion, physical health, and world view are also factors.
    Yeah I have no support


    People gave up on me

    I did too
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