How not to fall into psychological traps

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Often we blame others for our problems, but if you think and realistically evaluate a particular situation, it becomes clear that the matter is primarily in each of us. We talk about how not to create psychological traps for ourselves.

“There are as many types of psychological disorders as people are able to invent,” concludes Giorgio Nardone, an Italian psychotherapist, researcher, and teacher. Over several decades of practice, he was convinced that a person can build psychological traps for himself and also successfully find a way out of them. Nardone described his thoughts in this book in his book Cogito ergo soffro, in which we got a lot of useful information.

What is a psychological trap?

To begin with, let's figure out what we have to learn to fight with. The formation of “psychological traps” Nardone explains as follows: “We all tend to repeat the actions that once helped us solve our problems and overcome certain difficulties. The whole snag is that our brain, as a rule, systematizing experience in a kind of scheme, creates a trap if we continue to persistently apply those strategies that were successful in the past, without realizing that the same problem under other circumstances requires a completely different solution . To this should be added the characteristic tendency of a person to believe that a particular strategy does not work due to the fact that we are not persistently or convincingly applying it. And thus, we put ourselves in the position of one who wants to break through the wall with his head and only achieves what damages his head. ” Simply put, psychological traps are the result of an overdose or deviation from healthy and adaptive behavior. The mechanism of their formation and action is as follows: psychological traps appear first and only then mental and behavioral pathologies.

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Cheating expectations

What is it like? It is very simple: when you attribute your views and beliefs to other people and expect a reaction from them that you would have. “But if you keep in mind that each individual develops thanks to his experience and is endowed with unique and unique biological and psychological features, then such attribution does not make any sense,” writes Nardone. And so, with this approach to life, a person suddenly realizes that his environment has opposing views. What then? Deep crisis. “We expect others to do exactly what we would do in their place: in these cases, before disappointment comes, we have to deal with the undesirable – and sometimes severe – consequences of actions based on erroneous expectations. Unfortunately, this trap is found in almost all areas of our lives, often it is a source of defeat and bitter disappointment and can lead to severe depression or uncontrolled reactions of anger and aggression. " How to fix this problem? It is necessary to look at life through the eyes of other people, and not only those who are close to us, and above all, you should not be constrained by the confidence that our view of the world is the only right and best. It is about trying to understand the point of view of other people. This is an exercise that needs to be done constantly, since our brain needs very little to return us to rigid schemes and convenient self-deception, since this is its natural way of functioning. Although the author warns that it is better to exercise under the guidance of a psychotherapist.

The illusion of absolute knowledge

Modern man is confident that thanks to knowledge, you can rule the world. “This psychological trap consists in attributing to a reliable knowledge of power that gives a person divine light that allows him to dominate any aspect of human existence: an exorbitant belief in the possibility of achieving – sooner or later – an absolute knowledge of reality. There is no doubt that this passion for knowledge and research has allowed a person to achieve sensational results and lay the foundation for the development of various scientific disciplines. However, the need for reassurance about what we cannot control, such as death, often leads to an overestimation of the power of knowledge: in reality, we are not even able to control or control what seems obvious. Just as in those rare cases when we are well acquainted with one or another phenomenon, we are not always able to control it, ”the author quite rightly states. What to do with this destructive self-confidence that leads to depression? Resign yourself and remember that the world, as a rule, is not at all what our brain shows us.

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Positive thinking

Giorgio Nardone really does not like the tendency to explain the success of almost everything in the world with positive thinking. “If some results may indicate a connection between happiness and well-being, on the one hand, and the use of positive thinking, on the other, there is much more evidence that the collapse of illusions provokes bitter disappointments, which often lead to pathological forms of depression. In addition, the higher the expectations, the more destructive is the effect of disappointment when they are not realized, ”he said. Therefore, the creation of an illusion should be avoided. It should be remembered that “high expectations will decorate the trip, but will make the moment of arrival depressing. In the worst case, the effect will be as follows: illusion – disappointment, depression. ” In addition, we should never apply positive thinking when confronted with emotions such as fear, anger or pain, which will only increase, not decrease.

Overestimation or underestimation

Man is so arranged: he overestimates those whom he loves, and underestimates those whom he does not like. That is why we condemn, criticize, often without thinking about how such a reaction has reason. Or vice versa – we do not want to notice the obvious where it comes to partners, parents or children. “Sociobiologists explain this phenomenon by the action of the“ selfish gene ”, which by its nature forces us to protect everything that we know from genetic memory. It justifies the worst human inclinations that serve as a dangerous source of misfortune and crime. How many fathers, overestimating the knowledge and skills of children, hand over to them the management of a company created by many years of hard work, to then observe its collapse for a short time due to the managerial inability and arrogance of the heirs. How many families, protecting their son or daughter – the “victim” – from the “bad partner”, bring the couple to quarrels, and sometimes to divorces. How many parents justify their children, even if they are guilty of terrible crimes. " If you notice such a sin for yourself, make it a rule to compare your judgments about specific people with opinions about them, obtained from other sources. Better yet, try to understand the judgments of those who are negatively personal towards you. If you learn to reasonably accept their point of view, you can protect yourself from disappointment.

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George S. Vancamp

Most of the stories and texts published here should be taken solely as an artistic and philosophical fiction. With the photos, too, the author is interested in the impulse to creativity coming from infinity *, but not what is shown in the picture, not the photo itself, which is similar to the light of a dead star. Documentary and documentary photography is disgusting to my fictional character.

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