Nature versus nurture. This has been a long standing debated issue of the foundation of personality development. I do not believe that it is one or the other but both that affect who we are and who we grow up to be.
Erik Erickson has theorized that society plays a role in our development and this theory has eight distinct stages. This is known as Erickson’s 8 Stages of Development and he believes that society shapes us as we move through each stage and that something that affected us badly as a child could be fixed and we could heal and become stronger in our personality as we get older.
Here, we will discuss the first four of those eight stages:
The first stage is called Trust vs. Mistrust. Infants are at the mercy of whoever is caring for them. If the caregiver cares for them with confidence and plays with and holds them and feeds them when they are hungry then the infant will come to trust them and feel secure.
If the infant is neglected and does not get adequate care she will learn to feel insecure and will not trust those around her. She may cry a lot and feel anxious around others because of her learned mistrust.
Stage two is called Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. This stage is for the 1-3 year old. At this age children begin to test their independence. Confidence and security are instilled in the child if the child is encouraged and support is given when they want to try something new. If they get the support they need then they will start to figure out that they can make their own way in this world and be successful.
If they do not get the support they need at this time and are criticized and belittled for trying anything, the child will learn to doubt his own abilities to survive in the world and will have self-esteem issues now and without assistance these issues will follow him throughout his life.
Stage three is for the preschooler and is called Initiative vs. Guilt. During this stage the child will imitate everything you do and when playing with others will start to plan things out and make up different games to play. This is huge for the child learning how to make decisions and for acquiring leadership abilities.
If the child is discouraged from making decisions or initiating contact with others or frequently told that they are wrong then they will develop a sense of guilt and will, eventually just stop trying anything at all.
The fourth stage of development is called Industry vs. Inferiority and concerns the school-age child. This is the stage where children learn to take pride in what they have accomplished. Positive reinforcement will ensure that your child becomes confident that he can achieve anything he sets his mind to. This is also the stage where your child may become infatuated with one of his teachers.
Teacher need to be careful to praise each child for his or her individual ability. One should not be put above the other as this may lead to feelings of inferiority and the child will then doubt his own ability and may stop trying altogether.
As you can see these first four stages of personality development are important for children to learn what they can and cannot do in their lives.They need love and nurturing to be confident and secure in who they are.
All of these stages form personalities. Your personality and the personality of the person you are dating could be a good match or one for disaster. By knowing how persoanlites can be formed it may give you good insight on the personality you might should look for in your dating.