Learned Helplessness

Learned helplessness is when people feel helpless to avoid negative situations because previous experience has shown them that they do not have control. In this lesson, we’ll explore some of the causes and effects of learned helplessness.

Seligman’s Learned Helplessness Theory

In 1965, Martin Seligman and his colleagues were doing research on classical conditioning, or the process by which an animal or human associates one thing with another. In the case of Seligman’s experiment, he would ring a bell and then give a light shock to a dog. After a number of times, the dog reacted to the shock even before it happened: as soon as the dog heard the bell, he reacted as though he’d already been shocked.

But, then something unexpected happened. Seligman put each dog into a large crate that was divided down the middle with a low fence. The dog could see and jump over the fence if necessary. The floor on one side of the fence was electrified, but not on the other side of the fence. Seligman put the dog on the electrified side and administered a light shock. He expected the dog to jump to the non-shocking side of the fence.

Instead, the dogs lay down. It was as though they’d learned from the first part of the experiment that there was nothing they could do to avoid the shocks, so they gave up in the second part of the experiment.

Dogs who had previously been shocked did not try to escape the shocks in a subsequent experiment.
Learned Helplessness

Seligman described their condition as learned helplessness, or not trying to get out of a negative situation because the past has taught you that you are helpless.

After the dogs didn’t jump the fence to escape the shock, Seligman tried the second part of his experiment on dogs that had not been through the classical conditioning part of the experiment. The dogs that had not been previously exposed to shocks quickly jumped over the fence to escape the shocks. This told Seligman that the dogs who lay down and acted helpless had actually learned that helplessness from the first part of his experiment.

http://study.com/academy/lesson/how-seligmans-learned-helplessness-theory-applies-to-human-depression-and-stress.html

CELEBRATE LIFE-Negative People

Understand life is your gift! There are too many things to be grateful about to allow negative people to descend upon your life like vultures. There are many types of negative people and sometimes we are not always aware of the negative people who are sucking the life out of us so let me enlighten you! It’s about to get real:

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THE WHINERS

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These are the ones who were probably sheltered most of their lives and/ or given everything they wanted as soon as they began to whine to suffice them so they continued the behavior well into adulthood. They unfortunate thing is that they literally whine about EVERYTHING. From their everyday life to every thing they see and everything that happens around them while you are with them even when it is a fun engagement and everyone else is having fun! They can down right throw a temper tantrum  because they are not getting their way.

THE CYNIC

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This person is so jaded and use to being let down by life that they try to beat every good moment/ person with the seeing the bad side first. They always play the devil’s advocate and see the ‘rusted’ lining instead of the silver lining. The tend to come off more sarcastic and will even try to pass things off as jokes. However, after a while you learn this person needs to adjust their views and let go of the past that has let them down so many times and focus on the good things that have happened.

 

THE RUDE/ JEALOUS ONE

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These people are typically just flat out blunt about life and sometimes out right mean. They can (not always) seek to attack others because they are underdogs and want to attack them like bullies to make themselves feel better. You may not even realize it because they pick on you but as soon as other’s pick on you they stick up for you, with the premise, “only they can pick on you-and I’ll kick you arse if you try cus that’s my friend”. Yes sometimes friends have a few laughs at our expense, but a ‘friend’ who ALWAYS brings up your bad moments, is there when you are down to show you how good they are doing, and only helps you if they can get something out of it is likely jealous of you. Sometimes the rudeness is a front for how they really feel about you! Sometimes it is because they are just mean people who like to assert their power!

THE COMPLAINER

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This person is the one who is most negative. They are like the whiners but they are different in that their negativity is not solely personal. They complain about what happens in every situation. They complain about the good things, the bad things, the situation, they are in, and the ones they could be in. It is funny how they even beg for something to happen and when it happens and it really is a good thing, they still complain. They are just ungrateful all the time. This can be brought on from a few things including learned helplessness and from long stents of depression.

GOSSIPERS/ INSTIGATORS

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This one does the most damage for all those involved because it is both preventable and can be stopped with the person doing it and you (the person listening). These people can destroy a person’s character and not always intentionally but more out of something to talk about or say. When it’s intentional it is even worse and can have devastating effects. Throwing ‘shade’ is another way to say instigating a dispute so be careful of these new terms that you want to bandwagon on and feel relevant, cool, or popular because eventually you will be labeled at THAT ONE and if you are okay with that so be it but if not CHANGE IT.

THE REMEDY

Surround yourself with positive people. Talk with a therapist. If you are the positive person and there are negative people in your circle try to be patient with the negative people (at first) and tell them about their behavior. If they do not start to make changes then you have to let them go (remember this will not happen over night so be patient if they really mean that much to you). They have to begin with acknowledgment, acceptance, and positive self-talk!

However, patience does not mean to be blind or sacrifice your own well-being. If the person is not changing you have to cut them so you can continue to flourish. Even if it is your family, you can love them from a distance. It doesn’t mean you have to be disrespectful, you can still speak and show love but you do not have to actively hang with them. Again just focus on enjoying life.

Now I will say this, I keep the occasional cynic in my group and I like a person who knows how to play the devil’s advocate in analytical thinking, but not be a constant negative thinker. It is good to have those who possess these attributes at times but not ALL the time. So be mindful and be careful of those who are sucking the positive energy out of you.

I just cannot keep caring about all this negative stuff and I must be free! It’s almost Friday and I have checked out!

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