The human psyche is a complex and diverse system with hidden corners and secrets. Together with a psychologist, we understand what psychological traps are and how not to let them affect your life.
In the old days, the topic of psychological traps was especially interesting to those people who were trying to understand what was keeping them from achieving their goals, people who wanted to better understand themselves and others. Because it was simply interesting and informative. Now the topic of psychological traps is becoming an acronym that everyone should know. The world is changing, and it is important to be open to these changes to adapt to the new situation in time.
However, the human mind is designed in such a way that it reacts to any stress through protective mechanisms. For example, it prompts the person to “freeze” and wait through a critical situation, or it prompts the person to let go of the whole situation and try to live as before. There is also a scenario when a person begins to exaggerate the extent of a problem and panics out of the blue. The mind is so defensive against emotional overload, but with such a defense a person cannot adequately assess the situation, and therefore the efficiency of decisions made in life is low.
How not to fall into psychological traps and make the right decisions for development, we ask a family psychologist.
The trap of external control
It is also a very relevant trap that a lot of people have now fallen into. These people have stopped believing that they can change something in their lives. It seems to them that it is impossible to influence the situation and all that is left is to wait where fate turns. There is a lot of submissiveness and stopped developmental energy when one is in this position.
However, there is no need to despair. Even if you think that the world is full of obstacles, there is always a zone where a person can change the situation. One just needs to be fearless and strive to change for the better.
The blind spot trap.
It is about a blind spot that is beyond a person’s reach. So, for example, a person is angry that he is not taken seriously, and in fact, for some reason is put off his promotion day after day. He is upset but does not understand what the reason is.
It is because, maybe, he dresses untidily, and people avoid him. A person subconsciously increases his distance from other people at the expense of his own untidiness, so obviously, he will not be given a leading position in business negotiations. However, he is not aware of this; it is his blind spot, and it seems to him that he is on top, while others behave strangely. As long as those around him remain politely silent, the person will be angry, surprised, but he will never understand what the big deal is.
This trap is particularly relevant now, in a world of growing competition. You need to know your weaknesses and strengthen them by working on yourself.
The “limiting attitudes” trap
A classic example of this trap is when, for example, parents have taught a child that “only dishonest people achieve success and money”. Thus the child grows up with the inner conviction that you can only make money out of other people’s misfortunes. This attitude is so deep that every time an opportunity to make money arises, the person misses it, and sometimes even deliberately refuses, avoiding negative consequences.
So now, when people are faced with the need to move to an online format, some have an internal resistance. So strong that it slows down all the work. And if there is an attitude that the work cannot be transferred online, that is, there is some psychological limitation, a person will stop himself or herself and give up halfway. By the way, laziness and procrastination work on the same principle.
The merger trap
Maybe you noticed that after a friend or colleague begins to complain about what is happening in their life, blaming husband, child, people around you, then after the conversation you are left with mixed feelings. There is a feeling of anger and some sense of being used, and an uncontrollable desire to scold your loved ones.
This is how the merger trap works. Emotions trapped in toxic communication will tend to get out. And as usual, those closest to you and who love you will suffer. It is important to know how to build personal boundaries and not allow those around you to put their problems on your head. What should you do?
Ideally, you should completely limit your communication with toxic people, but if that’s not possible, you need to make a clear distinction and realize that being angry and wanting to fight is a response to the emotions held in the conversation with the toxic friend. Have you told her everything you thought you said? Do you share her point of view? How do those closest to you feel about it?
It is important to be aware of this trap and work on it because when dealing with toxic people, you need to react quickly and be able to “catch” your emotions in time to avoid triggering negativity.
The Projective Identity Trap
Adapting to a new situation can be a complicated and energy-demanding process. It is much easier to provoke the right situation in order to get an emotional release. This is the principle behind some family conflicts, where a person blames their partner for something they did not do and brings them into a state of affect or emotional outburst, releasing their own negativity.
In a conflict, this trap can be triggered when people find themselves in the position of victim and, instead of acknowledging the situation as it is and moving on, start feeling sorry for themselves and blaming everyone around them for the unfortunate situation. Yes, it is not easy for many people right now. But stopping in the role of the victim does not help. It is important to gather strength and accept the reality, and then outline a plan of action and figure out which way to go from here. And of course, defeating the situation that presented the challenge.
When dealing with the subject of psychological traps, it is important to remember that they all reside solely in our brains and need to be worked through. Ask yourself questions, look for answers and keep moving forward, even if the situation seems hopeless.
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