7 psychology researches that changed our thinking of what it is to be human.

by Komal Sharma, freelance contributor 

 

This article is a digest for everyone who thinks psychology is common sense and for wiser others too.

Today you will read about intriguing psychological studies (scientifically proven) showing our default mode of being which is interwoven thickly in our system. You will find most of them, if not all, resonate with your experiences and will also give meaning to them.

 

1) Forgetting is intelligent :

 

Our brain actively works to gather  and store information from our immediate surrounding beyond our awareness too, but it also functions to discard information to optimize decision-making. According to recent research at University of Toronto, forgetting helps us eradicate outdated information and helps in making better decisions in given circumstances by understanding bigger picture over specific details. This concept is called ‘regularization’ in Artificial Intelligence for building computer models. Now you can quote this research when you forget some General Trivia Question next time!

 

2) Warmth over competency: 

 

If you are one of those who worry to perfect your first impression by trying very hard not to do anything stupid? You can do something much simpler. Harvard research finds that 80% of our judgments about people come down to warmth and competence. And given in any situation your skills do not complement, the more important quality to focus on is warmth. To put it candidly, we all, all of us, will prefer a company of lovable moron over a competent jerk most of the time.

 

3) False Consensus:

 

Do you think most people have same belief and faith system as yours? To your (mis)fortune, I am going to prick your bubble! According to a 1977 – Stanford University psychology experiment showed that we can incorrectly infer that others think the same way they do, or form a “false consensus” about the beliefs and preferences of others. So the next time your girlfriend does not like your favorite food, cut her some slack!

 

4) Cognitive Dissonance:

 

Mount Everest is ‘not’ the tallest mountain. It is Mauna Kea if we measure area underwater! Did you feel little uncomfortable with this information? There will be a tacit shift how you see another tall mountain now. This concept of cognitive dissonance was studied by Leon Festinger, he addresses to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This conflict produces an innate sense of unsettlement and discomfort. It requires a change in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to mitigate or eliminate the discomfort and restore balance.

 

5) Bad Habits or choices?

 

You do not actively think for 50% of your day, as you have learnt it by repetitively doing it. Basketball coaches emphasize on learning the right arm-action to hoop a ball through net otherwise it will become a natural way of shooting impacting your overall game. A Duke study shows a full 40% of your daily choices aren’t choices — they’re habits. So if your habits are not building you, you’re simply a machine functioning around screwing your life up. You need to understand how bad habits work, how to snap out of the loop, and how to ‘replace’ it with better habits.

 
6) Halo Effect:

 

Do you think attractive people have it easy? Well, we let them have it easy by associating goodness with them. It is a University of Michigan study where The Halo Effect states that people generally assume that people who are physically attractive are more likely to be intelligent, friendly, and display good judgment. Halo Effect impacts personal logic, judgment, inferences and then produces more complex social behaviors (which we can talk about the next time).

 

7) Emotional Intelligence:

 

Were your exams screwed due to emotional turbulence during that phase? Yes, that’s most of us. Emotional intelligence often matters more than cognitive intelligence when it comes to acing in life. It is just not about your academic aptitude which will lead you to success; ability to channelize your emotions to work in your favor is far more a rare and important competency that contributes to your growth in personal and professional domains.

 

-If these were not enough for your psychological appetite, then use Boredom to your benefit – Research suggests that you will do a good job when you pursue creative tasks when bored. Is that a hack to your boredom?

 

Komal is a post-graduate in Psychology, an alumnus of Delhi University, with a number of academic research papers published. Her core interests lie in psychoanalysis, social psychology and understanding gender roles. She values the importance of an overall emphasis on the holistic fitness of mind and body. In her alternate world, she reads for profession and her passion. She is young, intense and aware of the gravity of the work she does.
Mail: komal7722@gmail.com

 

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10 signs that you are dealing with a narcissist

by Avnie Garg, freelance contributor 

Narcissism is basically a personality disorder comprising of a distended sense of self-importance, a need for entitlement, preoccupation with grandeur, lack of empathy, intolerance for criticism etc. In this sense, narcissism is very different from self-love, self-esteem and self-care. Some of the signs of a narcissist are:

 

1) Controller

A narcissists want people and situations to be under their control. They like things going their way to avoid experiencing feelings of anxiety (yes, narcissists suffer from anxiety).

 

 

2) Self-admirer

 

Most narcissists are their own favorites. They surmise that nobody in the world can match their standards. Nevertheless, they view some really successful and rich people as their ideal; but their list may include anyone from Adolf Hitler to Elon Musk.

 

 

3) Apathetic

They are indifferent to emotions of others. They care the least if anyone is crying before them. They don’t even mind using people emotionally for their own benefit. Egotism is their slogan.

 

4) Feels superior to others

Arrogance is their swagger. They experience feelings of grandiosity and thus cannot handle criticism. They place themselves on the top of the ladder.

 

5) Needs validation

A narcissist wants others to validate his/her standpoint. The phrase “you are (always) right” is music to their ears. Even if you disagree with their opinion, they’ll make sure that you are convinced with what they say before the discussion gets over.

 

6) Irresponsible and blaming 

They do not accept responsibility for anything. Even if they do and the results don’t go their way, they give enough excuses to justify themselves. They may even resort to generalized or specified blaming. Example- a narcissist might say, “yes I got angry but that is because you made me so.”

7) Interrupts conversations

Narcissists cannot really bear anyone going against them or their viewpoint. During a conversation, they‘ll interrupt you the moment you speak something opposite to what they believe in. They expect you to comply with whatever they say.

 

 

8) Belittles others

Many narcissists are sadists; most of them get a kick out of disparaging others. They are pretty confident about themselves and don’t hesitate to criticize others at their face.

 

9) Thinks she/he is not a narcissist

Most of the narcissists, shy or outgoing, have a hard time believing the fact that they actually are narcissists. Ironically, a narcissist often believes that she/he is really good at heart and empathetic towards others.

 

10) Has a history of bad relationships

They have had romantic relationships which ended up as a disaster. Also, their professional life would have been quite messy. Simply, they cannot handle any kind of relationship well.

 

 

After you identify that the person you are dealing with is a narcissist, you need to accept his/her limitations and try to be compassionate. Devise some ways to express your own self-worth. Give only sincere compliments and comply only when you want to.

 

 

7 lessons I learnt by looking back at my teenage

by Komal Sharma, Freelance Contributor

 

Quite early in our life, based on hit and trial encounters with our environment we subconsciously start to settle ourselves on a particular approach towards dealing with situations we face in life. More often than not, it becomes our default system in how we manage ourselves in contextually similar situations. there are 7 such patterns that I have identified which help me to take a step-back from the situation I am in and look at it objectively. I use this to reflect, and to address it later;  in a healthier and more progressive manner.

 

1. Attachment style

All of us either have a secure or an insecure pattern in which we inter-personally attach to our family, partner, authority figure, subordinate etc. Every time we feel fearful, anxious, overwhelmed to an extent that it shuts down our normal functioning, it is time to be conscious of rapid changes in our bodily and psychological dynamics. Mostly we will find ways of dealing with this in the retrospective analysis of situations that aroused similar emotions within us in the past.

Mantra I follow: Identify problem area -> Detach from your maladaptive approach -> Critical identification of a better response –> And finally; mindful responding

2. Teach them how to love you and learn how to love them

“I don’t think it’s their mistake, maybe I cannot be loved”
“My partner is trying so hard but I don’t feel loved”
“We are happy, but not in love, not like ‘it was before”

We all have been there with our parents, friends, partners and others in our inner circle. It is a two-way process – come a little closer to them, try to reveal your held-back ways of receiving  love, hold out your arm when you need their re-assurance, the chances are that you will end up feeling better about your relationship with them. To have a ‘childish’ conversation of what you need and how you need it is radical in creating foundation of a secure relationship. Let there be nervousness of how they might react, but for that conversation to culminate into a fruitful conclusion, both the sides must yearn to know, share and cultivate the bond.

3. Sometimes give, give, give, and let go

Are you chasing a void of never realizing the outcome you ferociously set out to achieve?
Are you feeding the void with a lack of self-esteem born out of already having put in so much without having anything to show for it?
You are attached to a void that does nothing but disturb your mental peace
This void may be because of a person, desire, any interest or pursuit for which you have not only extended your abilities but also stretched yourself off limits; but without giving it enough time to give you back. Relax. Let go of your troubles. Let life unfold.

4. Pay attention to your emotions

Emotions need expression but more than that, they need articulation. If suppressed, they eventually leak through cracks; jeopardizing our work, relations, health and more.
Have you not had a moment when a friend starts talking in an odd and unexpected manner, and you’re just wondering what went wrong at your end?
It may be just that they had a heated exchange at the office, or they are just plain hungry. A psychological exercise as described by Dan Siegel may be helpful in such a situation– ‘name it to tame it’. If you are able to sit with the emotion and pass it through you while expressing through verbal, written, or kinesthetic modes, you have mastered your mind!

5. To be sensitive is bold

Only brave-hearts can endure paying detailed attention. It understates that they care and are willing to go an extra mile to understand. From slight changes in the immediate environment to energy draining human personalities, they are alert. This helps them to stay away or foresee a conflict and develop meaningful relationships which serve growth at both ends.
A sensitive person naturally evaluates the mood and accordingly, in a non-taxing manner is able to put forth their response. It is a skill highly regarded if you’d like to make most of ‘now’.

6. To be assertive is freedom

We often find difficult to communicate what we want or think is right, and it is arduous to even do that when we are not used to standing up for our needs. To be assertive is to put your own will with due respect and consideration which is critically reasoned well.
Assertiveness is the wisest of personal qualities any person can develop to express effectively. It is an integral element of communication style which improves relation to self (confidence & satisfaction for being heard) and others (self-worth & earned respect for managing emotions). The most powerful assertion is to say ‘No’ without pulling wrong chords.

7. Develop your night time routine

We all have heard about morning routines but little to no emphasis is given to a night routine. We wake up with the mood we sleep with – why not develop a regime that works for us?
It’s natural to witness events in our life beyond our control when there is awfully much to absorb all the time. A night routine which can be combination of few activities like reading novel or quotes, meditating, sipping an organic drink, reflecting on the present day, or reckoning to-do list for next day and more. You are a winner if you bring the agency of your life back before tomorrow starts-off!

8 Ways to stop overthinking

By Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor 

 

“To think too much is a disease.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

What is holding people back from the life they truly want to live and enjoy? That one very common and destructive thing is that they think too much. Overthinking is equally deliberate as it is common. Here are 8 ways to stop overthinking-

Notice when you are overthinking-

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Before you understand how to cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of when it is
happening. Awareness is the seed of the change you want to make. Once you notice that you are overthinking you can stop yourself from getting lost in the thought.

Keep yourself busy-

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One main reason you overthink is that you have the time to do so. Keep yourself busy. Be active throughout the day and tire your body out, so that you have no time left for the over analysis. Not one day can be fruitful if more time than necessary is allowed for aimless thinking.

Change your mind-

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Distract yourself into happiness once you feel that you are falling prey to overthinking. Sometimes it is helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like meditation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, drawing, painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the over analysis.

Sleep-

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Sleeping is like pressing the reboot button on your mind. When you haven’t slept you become more vulnerable to overthinking. Get plenty of good quality sleep. Sleeping leads to a fresh mind which disrupts the complex web of overthinking. Listening to some good music may help to get a good sleep.

Practice mindfulness-

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It is an activity where one focuses on the present moment without judgement. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in; you acknowledge them and then let them go, energetically release them clearing your space. One of the biggest struggle is the ability to live in the present moment. Control what you think.

Use positive daily affirmations for anxiety-

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Affirmations are statements that help you overcome negative thoughts. Some good affirmations for anxiety are- “I have the power to decide what I will think about. My thoughts do not control me”; “I refuse to allow my imagination to show me disastrous future.” Use these affirmations daily to stop negative thoughts of overthinking.

List your thoughts down-

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Make a list of things that are troubling you down. Keep a diary of things that are troubling you. Jot down all the things on your mind every day. Go over what you have written; try to deal with the thoughts yourself. Ask for advice if you are finding it difficult to deal with things by yourself. Ask for advice if needed.

Realise that no good can be achieved by overthinking-

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Overthinking may lead to excessive worrying, anxiety, panic, fatigue, inability to concentrate, muscle tension, digestive disorders etc. There are more cons of overthinking than its pros. Overthinking leads to no good and may lead to severe health issues. Nothing can be achieved by overthinking. You cannot predict the future, and thus should not waste your efforts on stressing about things.