What do you think about people and "cycles"?

@JenInTN (27568)
United States
November 27, 2010 6:29am CST
So I hear about people falling into what is referred to as a cycle. Like if their parents had children at a very young age that they do, or if they are abused..they end up being abusers. I can kind of see how being treated in a certain manner might cause a small child to "copy" but as adults..does it not boil down to personal choice then? There comes a time when we realize what is right and wrong and I would think that people might actually act differently because of the fact they were exposed to either abusive behavior or maybe alcohol and/or drug abuse....I'm just throwing a few examples of what I have heard that "cycle" theory used on out there...feel free to offer your own. At the same time I have seen people fall into the "cycle" and it makes me wonder. So what do you think about the "cycle" theory. Is it personal choice or do we have the potential of falling into this cycle?
5 people like this
16 responses
@savypat (20248)
• United States
27 Nov 10
I think cycles might just be cultural things as much as any other influence. Of course we are all subject to the physical cycles, but the exterior ones, like education, jobs, marriage, even schooling can be definded as cultural. Also certian social actions, like the treatment of women, children and anyone of a different race or religion would come under cultural pressures.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 10
Hmmm...very interesting take savypat. I can see that. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
@academic2 (7012)
• Uganda
27 Nov 10
Please do not ignore the cycle theory-very few examples have invalidated this theory-what happens is that a child that has grown up in abusive relationship gets this into his or her head and when they become adults, they act in exactly the same way! Others of course dont, but the greater percentage do!
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@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 10
I do understand that there is a very legitimate argument that people fall into cycles. It is just very hard for me to understand. I didn't come from the best place nor have I been exposed to the best situations over the years but it made me not want to be like them...it made me want to do better. Thanks for the response.
2 people like this
• Philippines
27 Nov 10
I would like to think that we do have a choice in life. You are right that as a child, we do what our elders do but as we mature, we can choose what we would like to become. But this could be an ideal situation for some. I have seen people who as children were exposed to violence at home and do to their children what their parents did to them. I told this to a nephew once when we had a disagreement about his attitude which he blamed on his growing up. He is still the same disagreeable person with an attitude. Perhaps, it is the environment and the circumstance that perpetuates a pattern and would not break unless one gets out of the environment and resolves not to be a slave to circumstance. This change could be tough. But frees one from this chain if one succeeds. Cheers.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 10
I suppose it would be considered ideal for someone caught up in the cycle. I'm sure it can also be hard to come to terms with the way one was wronged too. Usually abuse is done by the people that you care for and respect the most. I just can't imagine wanting to do the same things to my own children if it were done to me. Thanks for the response.
2 people like this
@kingparker (9699)
• United States
27 Nov 10
It might be a truth, and some people might simply copy or mimic the same behavior as their abusers do. It is a sad psychological explanation. I hope that no one will be fallen into a bad cycle. Instead, they should know what is better for them.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 10
I hope that anyone that has been abused has the strength to avoid a cycle too. Thanks for responding.
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
27 Nov 10
I don't know if I'd go as far as calling it a cycle theory, but some people do fall in to the same patterns as their parents. But they always have choice, whether they know it/act on it/etc. All of us are influenced by our parents, family, peers, etc. as we grow up, but how we behave as young/old adults is our choice.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 10
I agree..ultimatley it has to be up to us to be who we are. Those influences are strong and patterns may develop but we have to be responsible. I call it a cycle theory because mental professionals will actually diagnose based on "cycles" in a person's life.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (106770)
• Boise, Idaho
28 Nov 10
This a very hard issue. ALot of these people do see the challenge and meet it. Others fall into it and let it take them. I think it has to do with conditioning and what sensitivities befall a person and what doesn't. Each is an individual and can disregard these 'cycles' and move away. They do have a sensitivity to these short falls but can ignore it. It is hard. No walk in the park. But it can be done if people are aware and take steps to avoid these cycles.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 10
I like the way you expressed the cycle as one "falling in and letting it take them". With all that is in the world that can take us..well...this cycle theory is one of the worst...what gets me is there are some that use it as an excuse..some are really carried away. It is hard to say and then there are mental health professionals claiming that everything is based on cycles. Makes me wonder how legit this cycle thing is. It is hard issue. There are these and those a plenty. Most studies have been on the cycle's side.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (106770)
• Boise, Idaho
28 Nov 10
THis definitely a logit thing. It is very complex. My sleeping disorder goes in cycles, my depression does also. Have you done any research on the moon's pull and how people are effected? Fascinating.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 10
The moon's pul is a fascinating aspect. It has been several years since I looked into that though...maybe I'll research it again. Thanks!
1 person likes this
@brucehu (82)
• China
29 Nov 10
I think the "cycle" you have refered to is something like the "habit" in our daily life.For example someone just don't like saying "thank you"after he or she was helped by others,although their parents have taught them,they just can't change their bad habit,so they get in to a "cycle".usually it's not easy to change the habit in our daily life.and of course,there are some good "cycle" in our daily life,if you get out of them,it's bad.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
29 Nov 10
I suppose habits and cycles are very close. There are good habits and there are great things that are sometimes passed on to the younger generations. Bad habits can be very hard to break. Thanks for the response.
• China
30 Nov 10
It's OK,so it is important for us to teach our kids.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
30 Nov 10
It is very important for us to pass our knowledge on..I just think that even if it is bad knowledge that one day that child will grow up and realize the difference between right and wrong...that, in my opinion, is the moment that choice has a chance to change their world. I guess that could also be seen in the oppisite manner too. Maybe they came from good and chose bad.
@bounce58 (17550)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
I absolutely agree that there are people who's lives fall into cycles. I came from a place where poverty was a common occurence. People who have nothing rearing children who also end up with nothing. But once in a while, a parent would dare and dream big. Not for themselves, but for their children. And would work extra hard just to get their children above a hump and move on to a a different life. It may be another cylcle, but at least away from poverty.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
5 Dec 10
Poverty and "class" does have a way of trapping people. It's crazy to me how in this day and time that social status still has a way of blocking certain people out but your right...it does. Thanks for the response.
@bounce58 (17550)
• Canada
9 Oct 11
You're mother is an amazing woman!
@Lore2009 (7389)
• United States
2 Dec 10
I can understand when I follow a routine. It's usually because I'm used to it and there are not surprises, so even unconsciously I may follow it. But when eventually, I get sick of it, I'll change something. It is all a personal choice whether we are conscious about or not, well, at least for me.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
2 Dec 10
Hi Lore! I am also the type to change the things in my life that I don't like or that I am tired of. I think that it really can depend on the person and their personal strengths as to how they handle things. People are so different. Thanks for the response.
@paula27661 (15900)
• Australia
29 Nov 10
I come from a dysfunctional family and as I grew I developed the same dysfunctions because that was all I knew and all I was taught. As I matured though and could see my life was not going in a direction I was happy with I began to question my way of doing things up until that point and realised that indeed I did have a choice and I could bring children into the world and treat them with abuse and contempt like I’d been treated or I could love my child with all heart and let her know every day how fantastic she is. I don’t like the way I was brought up but I am unable to change it and how I choose to live now is entirely up to me!
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
29 Nov 10
Good for you paula! I think there comes a time when we decide if we are going to be a part of a cycle or not..does that make it a cycle...yes..maybe but in the end I think we choose. I hate there are situations that somewhat force people into cycles but I do think there is a day when we choose. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (146210)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Nov 10
JenIntn I think that the cyle theory is just a theory and like kids who do not crawl or walk or talk at the time Dr.Salk said they should, maybe the kids never read the book. what I mean is just because some childfren were brou gfht up in an abusive home well not necessiarly mean they will end up abusing their own children. S ome p eople are so ab used that they sort of blank it out, and these people are in need of mental observation and help. So they may be abusive but most people coming ouyt o f abuse as a child tend to steer the other wayl they have seen the cruelty and will not want to ever be cr uel to husband or wife or their children.I know I grew with a verbally abusive father and submissive motherl.So I was very much against abusing someone with my tongue, or letting someone walk all over me either. Yes we all have choices,but if we have become mentally ill we may not make the choices we would make if our minds were not warped.So some people go on doing to others what was done t o them as a child. these people I am sure a mental health expert would say need help from a mental health clinic. good discussion JenInTn
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
29 Nov 10
Thanks Hatley...I also feel pretty strongly that an abused child will more often choose a different path. I felt very abandoned as a child and it motivated me to be the mother that I never had. Or at least die trying..lol...Thanks again and take care.
@offlimits (602)
• Philippines
28 Nov 10
Of course there's always this potential that they will go through the same situation as their parents or relatives did. There really is a possibility considering the orientation of the family and/or circumstance. I know that some people would not be able to understand why but we have to consider certain factors that affect their lives. I'm not saying that they have no choice, because in fact they do, but we don't really have the right to judge what they are and what they have become. I'm not really idealistic, I'm just being realistic here because sometimes no matter how much we would want to control our lives, we can't. Certain decisions just don't fit with the situation, that's why we sometimes just go with what's there for us. I don't know about the others, but that's only my opinion though.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 10
I don't think that anyone should judge another either. There are things that we can't understand because we have not been there. I do realize there are certain situations that might cause someone to follow what might be considered a cycle. I think that poverty is one of the worst influences of a cycle. It puts people in a situation in which they are almost stuck in it. I also agree with your point that sometimes life is not controllable. Thanks for responding.
28 Nov 10
I don't believe in the concept of "cycles". As humans,we have the capacity to rationally think and make logical decisions. People who attribute their nature to "cycles" are simply making an excuse not to make the effort and do the right thing. We always have the capacity to change for the better if we really wanted to. For example, my dad is a boss and businessman, he has always been quick to temper and like to shout at people, especially me. Rather than take after him, i decided to learn from my experiences and his mistakes, and so i became a soft spoken person.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 10
I am the person I am because I wanted to be too. I also set a goal to be a certain way. I do think there comes a time when there is a choice. I do understand there are some exeptions to every situation but all and all...I think it's up to us to take the inititive. Thanks for the response.
@ElicBxn (59755)
• United States
28 Nov 10
well, my parents waited until their mid-20's... well, my MOM was in her mid-20's, dad would've been about 30 because he was about 4 1/2 yrs older. My bro was in his mid-30's before his daughter was born (he's 59 and his daughter is almost 25. However, there's a bit of family heritage for the women to either not marry or marry late, and my sister and I have never married, or had children.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 10
Sounds like a cycle..hmm...intersting..thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
@lelin1123 (15647)
• Puerto Rico
27 Nov 10
I think we all have the potential to fall into the cycle but if you fight it you can stand clear of it. I know my parents would hit us with the belt or make us stand in the corner as punishment. I swore I would never do this to my kids and I didn't. I think I gave my daughters alot more love and understanding then my parents did when I was young. They had five kids and I guess its what they learned from their parents. However, I'm glad I was strong enough not to follow their cycle of raising kids. My two daughters grew up to be beautiful law abiding citizens with a lot of love in their hearts. I think you have to be a leader and not a follower to break free of any type of bad cycle that you endured.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 10
Heyya lelin...I think that it does take a strong person to endure abuse. I also think that alot of people are driven as to not be like their parents were. That was my inspiration. Thanks for responding.
@zapatee (477)
• Philippines
27 Nov 10
i've known of children who had abusive parents who also turned out to be abusers when they became adults themselves. it's sad. i also know people i've been close with in the past who experienced different forms of parental abuse. one was very vocal about his anger at his father. he carried that anger and resentment for many years, you would think that he would never do the same to his own child--but he did. the other person i know went the opposite path and chose to live a different and better life from what she experienced from her childhood. personally, i believe we can always make a better choice, even if the "potential" for the cycle of abuse is strong.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 10
Maybe a person's skills for managing the anger is the key. I know my inspiration was to not be like my mother but I didn't really have anger...well...maybe a little..but more sadness and determination that I would not be like her. I suppose a person's coping skills also greatly contribute to their choices. Thanks for the response.