Samantha Selody Professor Dana Nelson Theories of Personality 10 October 2012 Personality Analysis of Anthony Kiedis Anthony Kiedis was often considered a “trouble maker” from a young age. By the third grade, he had developed a real resentment toward the school administration and teachers because if anything went wrong, he would be routinely pulled out of class and considered to be the cause of the problem. Because Anthony did not have any good male role models early on in his life, he developed a problem with authority figures and had no one to rein in any antisocial behavior (Kiedis, 2004, p. 9). Anthony moved to Hollywood, California to live with his father in 1974 at the age of twelve. Anthony’s father, John Michael Kiedis (a. k. a. Blackie Dammett) promoted a highly indulgent-permissive style of parenting. McAdams (2009) describes this particular practice of parenting as having few high standards set for behavior but are highly responsive to children (p. 82). Although Anthony did do well in school and with his work, he was not expected to and was often distracted from his school work and left to fend for himself when it came to food and actually arriving at school.
Anthony’s father did not provide a good social learning environment for him. His father allowed him to smoke marijuana and do other illicit drugs at the young age of 12 (Kiedis, 2004, p. 26). Anthony was also exposed to a variety of sexual encounters that most would find inappropriate for a 12 year old to experience. Anthony’s father often exposed him to the Hollywood night club scene where he was encouraged to drink and stay up extremely late with his father and other adults.
From these experiences, Anthony learned from his social surroundings that drug use, partying, and alcohol were a social norm and something that was acceptable to do. This ultimately set him up for severe drug problems that occurred and lasted for a considerable amount of time during his adolescent and adult life. From a young age, it was clear that Anthony exhibited a high level of openness to experience. McAdams defines those who are high on openness to xperience as, “original, imaginative, creative, complex, curious, daring, independent, untraditional, liberal, and having broad interests (p. 185). This trait was most likely reinforced by his father who would also be high on this scale. One of Anthony’s favorite assignments in school was writing. His English teacher noticed that he had a gift for writing and encouraged him to continue to write. Anthony describes this as “a bell that wouldn’t stop ringing for the rest of his life” (Kiedis, 2004, p. 38). Anthony was also a big risk taker.
He often devised schemes with his friends to obtain alcohol from homeless people. However, he eventually realized that he could just steal it himself, so he began to do just that. Anthony stole basically anything he wanted, whenever he wanted and was never caught or punished for it. This positive reinforcement fed in to his degree of openness to new experiences. Anthony was always seeking a thrill, and by observing his father, he recognized that he could get excitement by doing drugs, drinking, having sex and doing outrageous activities.
It is important to note that all of these things occurred early in his life and throughout his adolescence. His actions were validated by his father and imitated by his friends who thought that he was having a great time. However, although he frequently abused drugs, Kiedis maintained his grades in school. Kiedis explains that, “I smoked a ton of pot, took pills, and drank on the weekends. But it never got out of control…It was important to me to be the straight-A student.
In a way, I was a rebel by getting good grades, because most of the stoners and the druggies were getting no grades. I didn’t want to be like them…I wanted to be the best at whatever it was that was in front of me” (p. 78). This attitude was a driving factor is Anthony’s life. He wanted to be the best at whatever he did, whether it was school, performing, drinking, or doing drugs. This attitude also fed in to his level of openness because not only was he willing to try new things, he wanted to be the best at whatever he tried, which propelled him to even more experiences.