Early memories and personality

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Early memories and personality

Early memories are the important events that happened in your childhood that you can still recall up to these days. In my previous article How to understand people's personality i said that a person's childhood affects his adulthood greatly even if he was not aware of this effect.

Because early memories usually describe the beliefs the person held when he was a child they can be very useful in helping you know more about the person's personality.

By recalling some of the most vivid early memories and writing them down you wont just be able to understand how you used to think as a child but you will also get a solid idea about the invisible forces that affect your personality as an adult.

In this article i will tell you how you can use early memories to understand your personality.

How to use early memories to understand your personality

The best way to learn how to use early memories to understand the personality is to look at an example that analyzes someone's early memories. Here are some early memories of a middle aged man:

Early Memory 1: "i was playing in my room then suddenly i dropped a large box containing my moms accessories on the floor. my mother rushed towards me with an angry look on her face but my father stepped before her and saved me from the punishment."

Early Memory 2: "My father was carrying me on his shoulders when i suddenly saw a woman slapping a man on his face."

Early memory 3: "My little sister ate all the sweets in the box then when my mother asked her who did it she said that i am the one who ate them. I felt really angry"

Now what can these memories tell you about the guy who remembered them? What's the connection between them all? its clear that this guy has developed the belief that women are evil and that was perfectly aligned with his unexplained fear of the opposite sex.

Of course early memories wont always be that clear and wont always help you understand a person's personality in seconds but this simple example was there to demonstrate to you how the beliefs the person acquired during his childhood can impact his life as an adult.

The connection between early memories and personality

According to individual psychology all of the person's personality traits, beliefs, behaviour, thoughts and memories can be perfectly aligned to reflect the psychological goals he wants to reach. (see how to understand people's behaviour)

In the previous example one of the man's goals was to avoid women not to get harmed by them because he believed that they were evil. When we aligned his current psychological problems, his personality traits with his early memories we were able to see the full picture.

In order to perfectly understand people you must look at them as one homogeneous unit instead of analyzing their behaviour or actions separately.

Of course you can't judge a person based on his early memories alone but if you analyzed his early memories in addition to the other things you did to understand his personality then you will be able to reach much more accurate conclusions about him.

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