8 quirky personality traits you probably inherited from your parents

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Guess what. Your parents’ genes might not have only influenced the way you look but also the way you are.

Tossing and turning at night? Maybe your mom’s to blame.

Are you rubbish at driving a car? Your dad may be the culprit.

Just when you thought you were a free and independent adult, here I come, crashing all your dreams to dust.

Your parents are with you forever – in the quirkiest ways possible.

Here are the 8 quirky personality traits you probably inherited from your parents.

(Thanks, Mom.)

1) You’re a night owl

Or, more accurately, you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, so you stay awake for God knows how long.

A 2017 study has found that insomnia can be inherited from the mother’s side. While genes may play a big role, there is also a high likelihood that your mom’s sleeping patterns affected you when you were a child.

In other words, she may have set a bad example by accident. And now here you are, snacking on a bag of chips and reading random online articles at 2 AM.

2) You’re a bad driver

If you’re rubbish at driving, do not worry – you’re predisposed to it. No matter how hard you try, you have a genetic disadvantage.

It’s not your fault!

(Hopefully, that’ll take some of the frustration away.)

Don’t believe me? Research confirms it. Scientists at the University of California, Irvine, found out that people with a specific gene variant performed 20% worse on driving tests than people who didn’t have it.

Senior author of the study, Dr. Steven Cramer, said: “These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away.”

So, the next time your dad tells you you’re a bad driver, you know what to say in response. “Actually, this is all your fault, so…”

3) You’re a veggie hater (or lover)

Know those people who just hate vegetables?

As it turns out, it may not be their fault. Studies show that your genes can affect how bitter certain vegetables taste to you. Naturally, the more bitter they taste, the less likely you are to enjoy eating them.

It’s a bit like a lottery. Are you going to like kale in this lifetime? Let’s see what genes you end up with!

If you’re lucky, you’ll end up loving veggies. If you’re not so lucky…at least now you have an excuse for why you hate Brussels sprouts so much.

4) You’re a little ball of sunshine

There’s a thing called OXTR. It’s an oxytocin receptor gene. And it can affect how optimistic you are.

Alright, I know what you’re thinking. “So optimism is hereditary? Well, that must mean I got the pessimism gene! There’s nothing I can do and I’ll be sad forever!”

Remember that genes are only one part of who you are as a person, though. Environment and willpower play a significant role in who you eventually become, and if you’re not predisposed to high levels of optimism, it doesn’t mean you can’t develop optimism on your own.

If you won the genetic lottery, though, you’ll probably have an easier time keeping an optimistic mindset and feeling confident.

5) You have a wandering eye

Yes, it’s true. Cheating behavior is partly motivated by your genetic disposition.

It sure as hell doesn’t make for a good excuse, however.

“I’m sorry I cheated. It’s my biology.”

Well, my biology tells me it’d be a good idea to gorge on sugar and fat, but that doesn’t mean I’ll go ahead and do it. When my biology wants to go rogue, my reason steps in.

Genes only go so far. Ultimately, you are the one in power. You make the decisions. So choose wisely.

6) You’re easily defeated by pain

I once went to get a tattoo with a friend.

While she lay on the bed and smiled, fully relaxed, I felt like someone was repeatedly stabbing me in my shin as the tears rolled down my cheeks.

“Come on, it’s not so bad,” she said.

“Are you kidding me?!”

I never got another tattoo.

As it turns out, I wasn’t just being dramatic. There are associations between pain tolerance and genes. If your pain tolerance threshold is quite low, all the ghosts of your ancestors might be shrieking in pain alongside you.

Some people will tell you that pain tolerance is just about willpower and the ability to “suck it up”, but who are they to talk when your 8 is their 5?

7) You like to procrastinate

If you’re someone who likes to postpone things until the last minute, do nothing while worrying about doing nothing, and engage in anything and everything that’s *not* the thing you actually need to do, congratulations!

You might have inherited the tendency to procrastinate from your parents.

Yep, it’s true. Both procrastination and impulsivity are shown to be moderately heritable (46% and 49%), so the fact that you’ve been lying on the couch all day might have more to do with your mom than you’d think.

Remember not to blame your behavior on your genes, though.

Being more likely to do something doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it. You still have the responsibility to take charge of your life and overcome the challenges thrown your way – genetics included.

8) You enjoy a bit of risk

Do you get excited by the possibility of some adrenaline-filled risk? If so, your parents might be to thank.

In fact, researchers have identified as many as 124 genetic variants that are associated with one’s willingness to take risks. However, it’s important to keep in mind that genes only play a minor role in what you actually choose to do. Environmental influences are much more impactful.

What’s more, the co-author of the study, Abraham Palmer, Ph.D., said that while “being willing to take risks is essential to success in the modern world”, taking too many risks or not thinking through the consequences of your actions can give way to some unhealthy behavior.

So, what’s the lesson here?

If you enjoy a bit of risk, you might take after your parents. However, what you’re born with is almost never as crucial as who you grow up to be.

Denisa Cerna

Hi! I’m a fiction author and a non-fiction freelance writer with a passion for personal development, mental health, and all things psychology. I have a graduate degree in Comparative Literature MA and I spend most of my time reading, travelling, and – shocker – writing. I’m always on a quest to better understand the inner workings of the human mind and I love sharing my insights with the world. If any of my articles change your life for the better… mission accomplished.
Get in touch at denisacerna.writing@gmail.com or find me on LinkedIn.

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