I used to love the show Law and Order. It was a show I'd watch with my mom when I was younger. I've even written CBS to see if they would be willing to do a show called "Law and Order: Grand Rapids." Ok, I made that part up. I probably will not get as much done today as I could have because when I ate my lunch, I turned on the T.V and there was Law and Order SVU.

The show was a real emotional bender. The antagonist (bad guy) was  rapist and a murderer. But his attorney's defense was that it wasn't actually his fault because he inherited a gene from his father who raped his mother and she conceived him that pre-disposed him to anger and violence. On top of that, he was raised to a crack addict mom in the most violent of horrible situations. It was a social workers dream situation—his genes (nature) and his environment (nurture) were both against him.

The show ended with Detective Benson, incidentally, I recently hear that she is the highest paid female actor (Political correctness will not allow me to say actress and save a word) on T.V., leans into the sympathetic psychologist and says, "Did he really have a choice? Did he ever have a chance? Do any of us?"

*Freeze frame for a moment and allow me to wonder. I will bring it back I promise*

I recently had a conversation with a friend about how she experiences anxiety in her life during certain events. For instance, if a boss says that they want to have a meeting with her she will automatically assume the worst, and worries that she is going to get fired or in trouble of some sort. In a 25 minute conversation she said at least six times that I counted, "That's just my personality." I asked her if she was brought up that way. She said no, "that has just always been my personality." I asked her if her mom or dad was that way. She said, "Nope, that is just my personality…well, my mom is like that!"

Ah-ha! Her nature and her nurture had transpired to make her life an anxiety driven mess whenever she is up for a review or has to interact with someone in her life who is an authority.

So I asked a question. I asked her if she thought she could change her personality. This was essentially Detective Benson's question. I'm curious, what is your answer?

Can a personality change? Are you destined to have the same personality your whole life or can you change parts of it? Can you change all of it?

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  1. I think you can change. That’s like saying a person was brought up in an abusive household, that’s all they really know, so therefore, it’s not really possible to not be an abusive person. Maybe because of their nature and nurture, they will always have issues with anger or being violent, but they can get help and overcome it. That’s my thinking anyways 🙂

  2. Well, we aren’t slaves to our personality. We can grow, we can learn, we can adapt. When I graduated High School, I was both reclusive and socially inept. But I made the effort to learn to be more adept in social situations and come out …of my reclusive shell. Did my personality change? No. I just made a conscious effort to develop some functions within my personality so I could improve myself.
    This guy (fictionally) didn’t have to be like his parents. He could have adapted. He could have learned. He could have developed other parts of his personality.
    This may not extend to mental illness, but for someone who is otherwise mentally healthy, growth is certainly possible.

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