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.
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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Then you have to make a plan to change it
- Then execute that plan
- And modify/ re-evaluate if needed
- smile because you made a change you can be proud of