Thursday, May 1, 2008

Do we get our negative traits from our genes?

The past month was not good for our family, on my side, that is.

Basically, Chinese families here in the Philippines are close-knit, and we put too much emphasis on family ties, keeping the ties strong and each member does not even dare to sever them.

My father was strict regarding respect of elders, we bow down to elders, take their hands and place them on our foreheads to show that we recognize their authority and that we respect them. This has been inculcated in the Filipino tradition as well, although I have observed that nowadays, young people no longer do this. A peck on the cheek is more fashionable.

Sorry, I got carried away. I could ramble about the change in tradition for hours but this is not the topic of my post now. I just want to stress the importance of family ties in relevance to what I am about to say following this long introduction.

I said that the past month was not good for us. First, I was rushed to the hospital for hypertension. Thankfully, it was just my first and it was very mild. Second, my sister-in-law (wife of my eldest brother who has passed away) also had an attack brought about by diabetes. She stayed in the intensive care unit for a week. She's home now, although her speech was affected.

Her attack renewed family disagreements. Her eldest son and the youngest were not speaking to each other for months now. The reason is not so serious but they are both so stubborn and hard-headed and so proud that neither took the first step to patch up their rift. They met in the hospital but stayed away from each other.My sister-in-law wanted them to forgive each other and act like they should, as brothers. And she chose me to mediate between them.

The responsibility falls on me being the older generation in authority. My elder sister, incidentally, is not speaking to her too. The rift between them was about inheritance and it's been awhile that my sister, who is so proud, so hard-headed, and so stubborn, refused to patch up with her and even told me that if and when she dies, she doesn't want my sister-in-law and her family to attend her wake and burial.

So there I was, speaking to my nephews (separately, of course) about renewing their bond as brothers and the importance of family ties. But nothing came up, each of them vehemently maintained that he's right and that the other should ask forgiveness first. So, until now, they're still not speaking to each other and I let them be.
Why? Because I got angry that they did not respect me and I decided not to speak to them anymore! My children told me to forgive them but no way, they disrespected me so they better do the first move and do what I want them to do, then, I'll forgive them.

As you can see, the negative traits that I mentioned run in the family. Even my three sons and only daughter have shown these. In their case, however, they show such traits to their friends, not on each other because I have brought them up respecting each other. Well, I don't know if they will still do, once I'm not around anymore.

Let me ask you, do we get our negative traits from our genes?


earthlingorgeous said...

Hi Sphinx,

I have a reply to your comment on my blog btw ;)

Regarding traits we get from our genes, I think we do both negative and positive. I'm so glad I got the good genes from my parents I'm so gorgeous lol! But I don't like the negative traits I got from them like my being pessimistic sometimes, my stuborness and arrogonace sometimes, and I think I may have inhertited my mother's hypertension. Yuk.

We can blame it all in our genes! But well love your own I guess.

Barry said...

Pride and stubborness, those two things often mess up relationships when all we have to do is accept the situation and others to start getting along.

I have both of those problems myself, but I work hard at tolerance.

The_Sphinx's World said...


Guess the saying that goes "it runs in the family" is true. The good genes that i got from my father is my height, I'm 5'6" and considered tall by Philippine standard; very soft-spoken, like my dad; and so patient that it takes a lot for me to blow up, except of course, when I'm shown disrespect.


Those two really make us do things that we oftentimes regret doing. I do try to control them but sometimes it's hard to keep them on leash. But I'm trying, promise. lol!

Crissy said...

It is really hard to patch things up especially with family members. Well I guess whatever traits we get from our genes, positive or negative, that's already our family's trademark, lol.. But don't worry there are really things that can not be easily patch up. Sometimes we need to wait for the right time and sometimes reconciliation will happen the least we expected it. Advance HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY friend.

piebuko said...

My sister and I are both temperamental and stubborn. But I don't think we can afford to choose to ignore each other whenever we have arguments or problems.
My father once said that he wants us to learn how to resolve each other's conflicts because if he and my mom passed away (God forbid, not in another 60 years), there'd be no one to help us patch things. NO intermediary.

I believe negative traits could be passed on. Not by genetics but by example.

The_Sphinx's World said...

hi crissy,

Why is it so hard to patch things up among family members? It might be because we expect so much from them that we sort of get so disappointed and hurt if they do wrong things to us. But I totally agree that there is a time for reconciliation, it may not come soon, but as they say, time heals the wound.

hello pie,

that is absolutely the thing that I tell my children, that they stay close to each other, and that nothing or no person should put an end to that. I am hoping that even when both my husband and me are gone, they will still stay that way.

Oh my! guess I'm not showing much example. Can't help it, but I'm not one who never tries, so I'll try to change, hmmm...

David Tamayo said...

Good or bad genes or is that the way we were programmed via exposure from the time of birth. By stating that it is in the "genes" connotes that we cannot change what we are not happy with on a proactive basis. Life is about decisions. Our destiny is preordained by what we decided to do yesterday. Sometimes each of us as individuals have to be willing to provide the catalyst for greater change with regards to those that we love. Great site!!

J. Ray Rice said...

Hi! Research has shown that diseases are passed on in our bloodline. Stress management and a correct diet can keep them away.

The relationship issues are a signs of the changing times and they are issues of abandonment.

Check-out my site, because that is what I deal with...unresolved abandonment issues.


The_Sphinx's World said...

Hi David,

Yes, I think you are right. The word "exposure" is the term that I should use, regarding the traits that seem to be inherent within the family. We see the traits of our parents, we are exposed to such traits, and these traits grow in us.

The_Sphinx's World said...

hello j. ray,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I guess I know what you mean. Genes give us the diseases that have run through generations of our families.
While relationship issues may be caused by changes of the persons involved in the said relationships.

Thanks again, I'll visit your site once in a while.