Written by Pauline Wallin, Ph.D.

If you’re like most people, you probably said to yourself at least once during your childhood or teens: “I’m never going to behave like my mother (or father) when I grow up.” Such thoughts would enter your mind especially when your parent treated you in a harsh manner, embarrassed you, or ignored you.

And now you may find yourself behaving inrepparttar same bratty way toward others. How could this happen? Much to our chagrin, it's quite common to have some ofrepparttar 126131 same negative traits as our parents, despite our best intentions to avoid them.

Some people attribute these similarities to their heritage: "I'm Italian," they'll say, or "I've inherited my father's German stubborn streak." Others claim that all these behaviors are just learned -- if you hang out with screamers, you're going to be loud yourself. If your family doesn’t hug one another, you’re not going to be very affectionate either.

It’s true that environment does shape our personalities to some extent. Culture and family life certainly affect how we behave. Kids imitate what they see and respond to what they’re rewarded for. For example, parents who value education and praise good grades typically have children who are better students, regardless of IQ levels.

But environment doesn’t explain everything. Despite parents’ efforts to raise responsible, conscientious citizens, some children will not turn out that way. Similarly, it is not unusual to see well-adjusted individuals who come from a highly dysfunctional family.

Research on twins has shed light onrepparttar 126132 role of environment vs heredity in determining personality. Each set of twins raised together drinkrepparttar 126133 same water, eatrepparttar 126134 same foods and watchrepparttar 126135 same TV shows. They go torepparttar 126136 same schools, knowrepparttar 126137 same peers and experiencerepparttar 126138 same discipline style from their parents. In other words, all twins (who are raised together) sharerepparttar 126139 same environment.

If environment isrepparttar 126140 key to personality then we would expect identical twins to be no more similar to one another than fraternal twins. But that’s notrepparttar 126141 case. Research has shown that identical twins (who have exactlyrepparttar 126142 same genes) are more similar to one another on many personality dimensions than are fraternal twins (who share only 50% ofrepparttar 126143 same genes.)

What’s more, identical twins who were adopted by different families are more similar in personality to one another than torepparttar 126144 separate adoptive families in which they grew up!

Dealing with Difficult People: the Alpha Male

Written by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach

The term comes from monkeydom -repparttar dominant male inrepparttar 126130 hierarchy who basically runs things and gets what he wants. Inrepparttar 126131 monkey troop, there’s only one and one of his privileges is he’s oftenrepparttar 126132 only one who gets to mate.

In a nutshell they’re domineering, intimidating, impatient with people and details, thrive on responsibility, driven, irascible, know (not “think”) they’re right, often left-brained, and difficult.

Is there an "alpha female"? Studies have shown that females are not as innately** threatening as males. Also, across-the-board, males test lower in empathy and social responsibility - two traits that contribute to this personality style. So, not really!

**Tests for innateness mean it's evident with newborns, and in every culture, therefore not something "learned".

How do you cope with one? Here are some suggestions.

1. Take a stand.

You won't get to hold it, but if you don't, you'll become irrelevant.

2. Learn their language.

This is helpful with anyone, learning how they speak, and essential withrepparttar 126133 alpha male. Listen torepparttar 126134 alpha and parrot back, using his terminology. For instance, if you get an email saying, “You were wrong,” you can reply, “How do I do this right?”

3. Maintain your dignity and self-respect.

It may well be under assault, and it’s up to you. The alpha male isn’t looking out for you, your feelings, or sentiments, or often even your opinion. If you show he’s “getting to you,” you’ll likely get more of it. (To them it's a show of "weakness".) Learn to manage your nonverbal communication - facial expressions, position of hands, posture, etc.

4. Come in equipped with Emotional Intelligence.

You’re going to need it. They are results-driven, and this means they run rough-shod over people, whom they see as merely a means to their end. (You will be judged on how "useful" you are.) You will have to learn to protect yourself. Deal withrepparttar 126135 facts and don’t take it personally. If you look around, it was just “your turn,” that’s all.

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