Father's Day IMHO: How are you most/least like your father?

What would you say was your biggest inheritance from your father in terms of personality/intellect/interest/etc. (not in terms of material or monetary inheritance)?

How would you count yourself most different?

For me:

My father was passionate about history and saw it as a very living presence, and he would spend hours and hours doing research that most people could not see the appeal of just strictly for his own interest (i.e. wasn’t for any kind of writing project or job related at all). This I got from him bigtime, along with a very particular way of looking at family that would be hard to describe in a message board post, so I won’t try.
We also share a lot of the same taste in music: Sons of the Pioneers, Marty Robbins, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and many other “old timey” country western balladeers are still on my “Most Played” list.

I’m most different from him in that he never liked any kind of fantasy/sci-fi or most comedy for that matter; he wasn’t particularly a fan of movies or TV. Works Thomas Jefferson would have cataloged as “Imagination” did not interest him at all, at least not as a general rule- there were a couple of exceptions. I’m also not nearly as conservative as he was.

Alike: we’re both introverts who don’t talk very much, both readers, both a fan of artistic works pertaining to the supernatural, both have fairly sarcastic senses of humor…

Unalike: he has a tendency to get wound up about stuff he finds interesting or stressful, which leads to yelling. I get called “calm” by a lot of people - even in performance reviews! - and almost never yell about anything.

Well, I look a lot like my father. In terms of personality, I’d say I inherited from him an ability to be dispassionate about things, a sentimental streak, and a groan-inducing sense of humor. We have similar cultural tastes (though his are more conservative than mine) and broadly similar values.

In terms of differences, he is more patriotic, more religious, and probably has a stronger sense of duty and practicality than I do.

My hunch is that most of our similarities are from nature and our differences from nurture. He had a very different upbringing than the one he gave me; if we were brothers instead of father and son I suspect we’d be more similar still.

My dad was a fun loving magnanimous wild Boston Irish Catholic guy; who had a blazing temper that cooled off as quickly as it came on. In his later years he mellowed out quite a bit and became very laid back.

I appear to match him in temperament. Our biggest difference was religion.

My father was abusive . . . physically, verbally, emotionally, and possibly sexually. And he was totally incapable of expressing positive feelings toward anyone. For many years I resisted any similarity between us. But the older I get, the more similarities I see.

I inherited his creativity. Both of my parents were artists, with very different styles. I’m also an artist, and I see similarities between my art and both of theirs. I also inherited my father’s perfectionism and impatience with people’s character flaws (my own as well as other people’s). I inherited his love of music (especially singing) and gardening and acting. And definitely his sense of humor. And I think most of all I inherited the way he always spoke his mind, never leaving any doubt about his opinions.

But I am not abusive. And I have no problem expressing affection.

The good: He’s a nice guy and generally has good intentions.

The bad: Though he’s a nice guy, it usually comes off as the type of “nice” you get at a business networking event. He uses lots of buzzwords during conversation with us kids. He also is incapable of following through on any promise he makes. And he goes through these mini-mid-life crises where he’ll send out mass e-mails about “getting back to his roots” and renewing his commitment to family, then we won’t hear from him again for months. According to my mom, he was also abusive to her. I sometimes wonder how much of that is true, but he has a very violent temper, which he usually takes out on inanimate objects (once saw him rip apart a stereo shelf in a blind rage because he hadn’t read the directions and therefore couldn’t put it together properly).

How we’re different: It’s very important to me to follow through on the promises I make to people, so I do. I try hard to stay calm as well - rages like my dad’s are scary. I also try to be genuine with people. I think he tries, but he comes off as very corporate. Always.

Since I was a late comer out of three I remember my Dad as being older than perhaps my brother and sister. As I was growing up I typically considered him a bit old fashioned. Much to my surprise I see myself becoming more and more like him. And that’s a good thing.

Although I am female, I look exactly like my father. Almost every time someone sees a picture of my father, they say “Oh my God, you look exactly like your father!” I just hope I don’t end up with his hairline.

My father and I are both intellectuals, who don’t suffer fools gladly. We both enjoy digging deep into a subject to understand it, and lecturing people on subjects they don’t understand. We both have a wicked wit, and love wordplay and intellectual jokes.

My father is far more socially adept than I am. It’s hard to know how much of that comes from over 50 years of marriage to my mother, since she is a social dynamo, and almost all of their social activity is done together. But he does have a group of friends from college with whom he is still in touch (at least the ones who remain), and another group of friends that he meets monthly for lunch. He is very generous, not just with money, but with his time and abilities. I am much more guarded and have a harder time getting close to people.

Sense of humor. It’s strange because we have very different personalities. He’s extroverted and argumentative. I’m introverted and non-confrontational. He’s very reactive. I’m detached. But we both love to clown around and make people laugh.

I was thinking about that this week, and I put up a blog postabout how my dad contributed greatly to my geeky side.

A lot of my sense of humor is from him, too, especially sarcasm and an unhealthy love of puns. It wasn’t all good stuff, though: I also inherited his depression and have struggled with it all my life. Indirectly, due to the way my parents’ marriage fell apart, he also influenced my view of relationships, and messed with my ability to trust. But he did some things right, which is why I decided to write that post about him.

I definitely inherited my introvert tendencies from my dad. And my tendency to lecture/know-it-all. We are both readers and my favorite type of books tend to be fairly masculine (English Passengers, Lonesome Dove, Flashman series, etc.) I think that comes from his reading (and leaving the books for me to pick up as a kid) James Clavell books and Mark Twain’s writings. I believe, although he has never said, we both suffer from the same sort of social anxiety/shyness. He is extremely reserved and unless I’m comfortable with a person or subject I’m speaking of, so am I. We both can express affection and I think we both are uncomfortable about doing so and it shows. And we both have a temper when things don’t go our way and when I was kid, there was this undercurrent of anger from him that I share. I can’t help it but I get very angry at times and I think it’s more about temperament than actual circumstances. Not all the time though, but I remember my mother even commenting on it when I was as young as 9 or 10. And of course, I got my red hair and freckles from him as did my other three siblings. Unfortunately, I got his short height but not his more slender build.

The differences are that he’s a very meticulous neat freak although according to my aunt, he wasn’t until he was drafted into the Navy. He is also extremely religious to the point of being a creationist despite being have a very successful career as a geologist :rolleyes:. He takes great care of his stuff and credit. My maternal grandmother used to say he still had the first nickel he ever earned. I am terrible at managing money (working on it!) and am fairly messy and careless. Forgot to add: I’ve been dog and horse crazy since a tiny kid- he’s not much of an animal person. Father’s Day BBQ at my house today will require all the pack being banished to the bedroom. At least, the house today is not careless and messy though it won’t last long :slight_smile:


Both of us are mellow, live-and-let-live, for the most part. We’re both intelligent and inquisitive, and interested in matters of religion, philosophy, etc. Neither of us has much use for ambitious social climbing, keeping up with the Jones’, or trying to please anyone other than ourselves and our immediate families. We both smoke weed.

Not Alike

Dad is a raging alcoholic (he’ll be the first to tell you), whereas I rarely drink. Dad is a social butterfly and always has a continuous flow of friends, neighbors, and ne’er do wells in and out of his house, bumming his beer/weed. I’m more of a hermit and limit my social contact to people that I really like. Dad’s moral compass is… defective; he’ll cheat on his wife, or cheat business partners out of money, if he thinks he can get away with it. I, OTOH, try to live morally. I’m a Christian who tries to make it to church every Sunday; Dad hasn’t seen the inside of a church in decades. He’s an Obama-supporting Democrat; I’m small-l libertarian. He likes classic rock & roll exclusively; I like jazz, New Age, classical, reggae, and other genres of music that he wouldn’t touch. I love movies and TV; Dad prefers to blaze a j and listen to his oldies station all day; he rarely turns on his TV and hasn’t been inside a movie theater since Return of the King.

Most like my dad:

Can only be happy when others are happy.

Least like my dad:

His favorite word was ‘can’t’, and it kept him from enjoying any hobbies… ya know, because 'You can’t rebuild that engine; you can’t build that bar…, etc"

Both of us:

Somewhat introverted, and worked to become more able to step up and interact with others, and lead them.

Saw the advantage and benefit in being kind and patient in interactions with others, but had to work to actually act that way towards others.


He loved to be doing things, like diving to sea floors, soaring in the sky, building 50 foot tall windmills, leading parades with his DeLorean.

I prefer more quiet reflections, study of history and science, long contemplative walks in the mountains or woods, quiet times with family and close friends.

My father spent my teenage years involved in an elaborate mortgage fraud conspiracy in which he helped defraud hundreds of mostly minority low-income home buyers.

So I always say that during my rebellious teenage phase I reject’s my father’s morals and values and did *not *defrauding any poor black people.

I’m in my late 20s now and I still don`t defraud poor black people so it might not even be a phase.

On the other hand we both have a very dry sense of humor.

My dad was a big strong athletic gentle giant. Eternally patient with his kids. Totally devoted to his wife. Tolerant and forgiving.

A hard worker (deep sea fisherman) not too educated but taught me a lot. Had such a hard upbringing but ever optimistic and focused on a better way. Deserved far better than the wife he had, but as I said he worshiped her.

I try to be as tolerant as he was, and I share his generous streak. he was a family man but that is such a strange concept to me, I don’t have any subsequent family or progeny nor want.

Still miss him.

We are the same in that my dad had a wild streak when he was younger, and lord knows I did too.

We are different in that, I have never gotten drunk and beat the shit out my wife (or anyone else for that matter).

Alike: We’re both of the ‘no news is good news’ mindset, and both think of far-away friends as the same as if they were right next door, and it’s like no time has passed at all when we meet up.

Causal effect: I really, really appreciate a guy who can work with his hands and is good at being creative when fixing or creating things.

Different: I am a true loner, but am able and willing to adapt for the people I care about. He has admitted regularly that he needs someone around, but is stubborn and wants everything his way. He has fought the battle his whole life of needing someone to be with, yet not being able to accomodate their differences.

Ironically, I learned how to adapt watching my parents when I was growing up. It was obviously a marriage just for the kids, as they couldn’t have been different and were clearly not happy together. But…they DID stay together, and…as sad as it is, it makes me proud of them, too. I know it wasn’t easy, and I try to make sure they both know, now, that we appreciate what they did.

Different is easy: physically, we have in common belonging to the same species. Even those physical traits I can identify clearly as coming from his side of the family are from his mother and didn’t manifest in him (although of course the gen came via him).

Similar, apparently I got my ability for process analysis from him. The first time I was told this, by someone who’d figured I must be Dad’s daughter based on how I think, I was both surprised and oh, so, extatic! After a lifetime of hearing “oh you are so much like your mother!” (being mentally like her was and remains my greatest fear), someone said “you’re such an amazing logical thinker! So far the best logical thinker I’d ever met was your father, but you’re as amazingly good as he is!” WHEEEEEEE!