I think parents that run into trouble with their children probably have a big clash in temperaments somehow, or don’t understand what their child’s temperament requires.
Here’s a quick outline of temperament traits:
These attributes are also rather stable. Your intelligence or your health are not as variable as your moods (happiness being one of them).
The tendency is to believe people would be happier if the elements that are popularly believed to yield happiness are there. Per popular assumption health, beauty and intelligence (combined) would yield higher opportunities for longevity, economic success and finding love.
This is why, most would assume, individuals with these genes could find happiness; but you are right, some simply choose otherwise.]]>
I just don’t think it matters very much what people have, only what they DO.]]>
Instead, she is very self-confident with a strong sunny personality. My other kids were breast feed until they were at least two and a half and hovered over. 3 out of 4 of them have some level of social anxiety. How much of these personality traits are inherited? From my experience, I would have to say most/all of it.]]>
In the end, all that will really matter will be relationships and love. From that perspective, the best natural traits to hope for are compassion, a pleasant demeanor, social skills, etc. And I don’t doubt that some of those traits are partially genetically determined. So yeah, I agree, we value the wrong genes.]]>
Maybe genes play a role in our ability to socialize, but I wouldn’t discount the influence of family and friends and of premortal personality.]]>
Whether or not a “happiness gene” exists I think my larger point was that we tend to view physical qualities and intelligence as the more desireable characteristics whereas those things are (probably?) less likely to lead to happiness than an easygoing attitude and an in-born confidence (or whatever). We so often aspire to these things that we think will lead to happiness rather than just aspiring to happiness.