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The Role of Neighbourhood in Shaping Personality: Nature vs Nurture Debate

Mar 10, 2023 | 0 comments

Mar 10, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Does your neighbourhood shape who you are?

The question digs into the challenge of whether I am a product of nature or nurture, in other words am I a product of my own free will (fundamentally persuaded to be what I am ) or is my personality based on my circumstances, if my personality was solely based on my circumstance it would mean that if people come from similar circumstances they would all view themselves the same way and on the other hand if my personality is founded on entirely my free will (the fact that I see myself as I want) regardless of the circumstance then that is a distorted single point of view.

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The judgment I make is based on the assessment I tend to make between myself and my perception. Though there is a possibility of my thinking and perception to be influenced by others to the extent of affecting my self-esteem, however, this entirely depends on me, if I allow it to affect me. It is now clear that there is no clear-cut stand on either of the point, but I submit that the person I am is as a result of both my neighbourhood and personal circumstances. History has taught us that people can rise out of their circumstances and the environment or neighbourhood that one has grown in does not dictate the type of life that the person lives, for instance, the fact that when one grows in poverty it’s not a guarantee that his or her entire life will end up in poverty.

To some extent, my neighbourhood has a hand in what I am today. The fact that I am partially what the environment or my neighbourhood entourage has conditioned me to be. From my friends that I grew up with, the neighbours we interacted with, the language we spoke the jokes we said are part of me and have contributed to some aspects of traits that I possess. The wise men said that birds of the same feathers flock together, in the neighbourhood we had a unique same trait besides the individual attributes and I still carry that trait with me. The confidence I have is courtesy of some of my friends in the neighbourhood, some have played a part in making me a good leader while others have given me the fun-side like hobbies and things that I consider fun. The disparity of character in my neighbourhood makes it fun and has given me a platform and skills to be able to interact with people with different personalities. My passion and drive to be the best or give the best are rooted with the unwritten principles we had in the day to day activities at the neighbourhood. It made us extremely competitive and giving out the best was more appreciated than holding back.

What we take as normal in the neighbourhood is likely to be carried into our personality for instance if one stays in a place where littering is done, that individual will carry that behaviour whenever he goes as compared to an individual who lives in a clean neighbourhood which cares about environment , the person will take an individual responsibility in ensuring the environment is clean and will never litter the surroundings

My general likes and dislikes have also been influenced by my neighbourhood. The things that we disregarded from childhood I still disregard them till know. And the things that we valued are still cored to my nature right now. Like for instance it was common to invite my friends for together with their family for dinner, we talk, eat, have fun and get to know each other well and come up with ideas on how better we can improve our neighbourhood. This concept was deeply engraved in my personality and I now have more fun when I share dinner or invite my friends to my place over dinner.

Would you be a different person if you grew up someplace else?

I would be a different person if I grew up in another neighbourhood but not entirely different. What will definitely change is the fact that I will adopt some of the attributes of the different neighbourhood. I would have interacted and grown with a different group, with different attributes and would have definitely borrowed the attributes for example considering if I grew up in a neighbourhood where drug abuse is the norm and the majority of children get involved in drugs, there would be a higher likelihood that I would be among the group of children that would have used drugs a couple of times. The same environment would have nurtured me to be a violent and aggressive person who would be either in a correctional facility or jail. My principles and point of view on education and mankind would have been different. On the other, if I had grown maybe in a neighbourhood which is so religious for instance a neighbourhood full of Catholics or even Muslim it would have changed my perspective on the religion and maybe I would have been a convert. This might have happened on the fact that majority of my friends would have been from the dominant religion and our stories would revolve around many things including religion.

It would have also influenced the type of music I listen to, my hobbies for instance if I would have grown in a neighbourhood that s close to the ocean maybe swimming and surfing would have been my top hobbies on the other hand if I had grown up in Texas, I would be good with horses and ranches and probably I would have had more love for the animals
On the flip side, there is part of me which would have remained constant. The way I perceive things and the judgment which is not entirely based on the environment that I have grown in but it is linked to how I perceive things as well as the family values.
The community that has grown in have also played a bigger role in making me different, for example, what I wear and the things I find comfortable with has been influencing from where I come from.

Should suburbs be mandated to rewrite their zoning laws and allow a “fair share” of affordable housing?

Yes, there should be a review of the zoning laws. This enables the locals to have access to cheap houses in a transparent way without straining as according to the zoning regulations, most of the burden is shouldered by the developer rather than occupants. According to William (2018), the Supreme Court in New Hampshire in the year 1991 made a ruling that the residential zoning laws must be rewritten on the basis of consideration the housing needs of the region and to enable the developers to construct more apartments to cater for the need.

The fact that the population continue to increase the housing needs will continue to be constant and the only way to offer decent housing is through the reviewing of the zoning laws, to open the huge spaces in the suburbs that is often underutilized. Rewriting the zoning laws will also enhance social integration and in return, the vices like racism would be a thing of the past as different culture and community will reside in the same neighbourhood exchange ideas and culture, in the long run, embrace each other’s diversity. Based on this facts I submit that the zoning laws should be rewritten as it is a step forward towards equity as well as breaking the social boundaries.


Williams, S. (2018). THE NEED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING: THE CONSTITUTIONAL VIABILITY OF INCLUSIONARY ZONING. Retrieved from repository.jmls.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1818&context=lawreview

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