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5 Traits You Can Probably Thank Your Parents for But Had No Idea

Think all you got from your folks is your button nose, height, or eye color? You may actually have your parents to thank for everything from your trust tendencies to your skills behind the wheel. The fact is, you can inherit a lot from your parents—some a total surprise. The combination of genetics and socialization your parents deliver heavily influences far more than physical traits. Check out five traits you can probably thank your parents for in your life. 

1. Your terror of the dentist’s chair

Does a visit to the dentist cause you more anxiety than you care to admit? If so, there is a chance that dear old dad did this to you sometime in early childhood through emotional transmission. Research published in 2011 found that dental fear among members of the same family is common, but fathers seem to have more of an influence than mothers.  

2. Being a never-ending procrastinator

The tendency to procrastinate is very real and possibly genetic, even though a lot of people chalk up this personality trait to just being hesitant to get started on things that have to get done. Scientists haven’t been able to make definitive statements that you definitely inherit procrastination from your parents, but they have linked the behavior to a certain gene. And, there may be a nurture component to consider as well. Identical twins seem to also be procrastinators if their parents were. 

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3. Your trust in other people

Research covered by Science Daily in 2017 discussed the theory that certain genes influence how trusting people are towards others. Even though both distrust and trust can stem from the environment you’re exposed to and your experiences, trust seems to have some relation to genetics. Oddly enough, while trust and distrust are usually considered opposites, distrust doesn’t seem like a heritable predisposition. By contrast, trust was estimated to be about 30 percent related to genetics. 

4. You’re more inclined to take risks than others

How open are you to taking risks or seeking a thrilling adventure? Would people say you partake in risky behaviors? Both of these things may have some relation to certain genetic variances. Apparently, there are more than 100 genetic variants that appear to be associated with risky behaviors or risk tolerance. Nevertheless, researchers have also noted that non-genetic factors have more of n influence than genetics, but the fact that genes are involved at all is still an interesting concept. 

5. Being a bad driver

Ever been called a bad driver? Would you say one or both of your parents were bad drivers? If you answered yes to both questions, you may be surprised that certain genes could be to blame. According to studies, people who have a specific variant of a certain gene drive about 30 percent worse than others. People who have this gene variant tend to forget driving skills quickly and make a lot of errors when they’re behind the wheel.