Learned Helplessness Pt. 2

I wanted to expound a bit on learned helplessness. Philly and I had a discussion about learned helplessness in an indirect manner. I realized that he as many of us do in some manner or at some point in life suffers from it. He suffers much more than most and his is from dealing with many negative situations that he believes he just ‘deals’ with and says it’s life and moves on with. When in actuality they beat him up leaves hard scars and he voices his feelings about them often because they still bother him.

I never mind hearing about them, but when someone voices their feelings about something frequently, it does bother you and most definitely you are not living life, over it, or any of those other phrases people like to say they are. Now Philly has used a few of these phrases but I am speaking now to the masses here so understand that. I merely use him as an example to get my point across.

When you become accustomed to life, a situation, or a person constantly beating you up you can forget that this is not normal in life and it can become your normal. You begin making every excuse as to why this is YOUR life and applying it to all the exceptions to your life as well. Such as all your shortcomings (gender, race, age, weight, health, education, social status, etc…).  You being saying why you cannot find the positive situations and it alienates others from you. It becomes hard for others to be around you because they find it hard to constantly pull you out of the negative loop you have created.

The Saboteur

Every new person you meet does not know your past. You have a chance to recreate yourself. To show them a new you. To begin fresh. Yet because you are so conditioned to the negative past you refuse to show them that new you, you believe they will treat you like all the bad exes, so you begin testing them and sabotaging the relationship. You become suspicious, or you are half interested.

The Rude/ Mean Person

You throw out rude mean comments and clear them up as a joke once you realize you may have hurt the other person’s feelings. Your friend/ partner may laugh these things off initially but eventually they will realize this is not cool and that you are in fact not a nice person. They may be superficially interested in you and once this phase wears off they will say even more hurtful things. Sometimes the hurtful things are never about you, but about others and this may also be a sign. They are lashing out. They are constantly finding everything wrong with the world and everyone else. Nothing is good about the world EVER, not even when you point things out. This can be a hard pill to swallow for a person who is really nice and cheery (optimistic). You will find yourself needing outlets and a social network just being around this person (they will rarely if ever uplift you). You will find that you will consume yourself trying to do that for them and have little of yourself left.

All in all people who have learned helplessness are considered mental health individuals. They have been through 1 or more negative experiences that have triggered a behavior to react in the manner in which they have. It is very hard to overcome.

  1. The first step is becoming aware of the behavior and reaction. Coming from someone who has had learned helplessness late in life this was hard to do, especially since the behavior was due to fear.
  2. Once you are aware of the situation, you have to want to change it. This means knowing you reason for it and having a solid reason at that (one that is positive- usually one that is just for you).
  3. Then you have to make a plan to change it
  4. Then execute that plan
  5. And modify/ re-evaluate if needed
  6. smile because you made a change you can be proud of

 

 

Getting the Spark Back

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I heard an interesting topic on the radio about a young woman who had been married for 7 months and who already felt unattracted to her husband. She prefaced it with she is a Christian woman and that she she was finding many other men attractive but not her husband and was seeking the help of the radio personality for advice.

During this segment his readers tend to call in and weigh on the topic and usually in the most positive and respectful manner, not many radio shows where they can tear a person down as it is a Christian show. They are quite therapeutic. I found this particularly refreshing.

The radio personality first responded by giving his personal account saying that marriage has it’s ups and downs and that he had gone through this himself and how he handled his situation. But that as always and COMMUNICATION is the key.

We always cringe and feel this is so cliche but it is the pivotal corner stone that without it all else would fail. I kept waiting for someone on the call to say maybe she rushed into marriage…but at this point it was a moot point and though many may have thought it, it was a negative thought and again may not have been the case. It could have simply been just as stated that they lacked communication.

Most of us get married and forget how to communicate as we once did. We forget how to be there as we once were for one another. We get busy with life. We forget how to date one another and send those texts or have those phone calls we once had with one another. We forget to send flowers, give compliments, or dress nice every so often for just your spouse.

And though we hate to admit sometimes it could be that the spouse gained some weight and it’s the hard talk of not physically being attracted for that reason. But then you have to be prepared to be their rock to get them back on track. Both of you eating healthy, cooking healthy, and having fun doing it. Planning fun and great workouts, not just sending them to their ‘doomed’ trainer and so on and saying YOU need to do this and leaving them to do it all alone and just paying for it…that’s not how it works.

Sometimes communication requires you both taking a closer look and what is holding you both where you are. Do you have a plan “b” in your phone causing your roaming eye as you and your spouse stumble? Delete the numbers and maybe block/ unfriend these people on social media so that you can fully pour all your efforts into your spouse again and only truly have eyes for your spouse again.

Marriage does have it’s ups and downs but unless you are willing to go to therapy, pray, or fight for it, you will not be able to get that spark back and you will continue to drift apart. You have to work at marriage all the time. You are two different people, from different backgrounds, who lead two different lives and come home with a day’s worth of different emotions and then are expected to live a life a together. It’s possible but you have to want it!

Rainbows Come in All Different Colors, So Does My Advice!

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We always go to our friends, family, and even lovers for advice. However, have you found that despite the ones we trust the most with our deepest darkest secrets, we tend to go ahead and do what we want and ignore their advice? So why do we ask for their advice? it is an age old question for many friends. I am here to tell you it is part of the feeling of a confessional. People feel they need to confess their sins to someone. To tell someone, anyone what they have done and hear what they have done out loud and prayerfully without judgement. Then they want someone who is on their side to tell them that person is no good as they vent about the the situation. They need a sounding board of sorts. To brainstorm what they want to do and how to go about it it sometimes as well. They do not always think they are looking to you for advice though that’s what they believe they came to you for.

Then later when they told you in great advice to leave a person that harmed them in some way (cheating, abuse, lying and so on), leave the job that is a dead end for the job that has potential and is a start up (but may be out of their comfort zone), or break tradition to follow their own path you may be totally shocked when they take the opposite route and seemingly ignore your advice. It almost hurts when they don’t. Then they complain later about the same situation over and over. All you want to scream is I said my view and you ignored it. However, it is easier said than done for many. You have to have empathy. We have all been there.

You have done the exact same thing in some capacity to one of your confidants. And they have said or thought the same of you! So with that, can you really say that you have no patience for the friend who continues to be ‘hard-headed’? Though there are exceptions, everything cannot be an exception.

I have learned that many people come to me for advice, mostly because I am good at listening. Then they want to hear my take on what they believe the other person may be thinking. They always want my professional opinion since I have a degree; however, many times just like many of you, I do not need a degree to tell them the issue. I am very good at being able to give a person both points of view to a situation though the other person may not being there without taking a side. However, I also know when my friends just needs a friend and not a professional as well. They need someone who is about them and only them not necessarily to say they are right but to say I am here for you even if you are wrong (without saying they are wrong and accepting their decision no matter what I think). For me as long as they are happy I don’t care how ‘wrong’ it may be to others, unless it’s illegal of course. So please understand I have an open mind, but also understand that if I come to you for advice it means that I trust you and that I hope you will have the same ideals!