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  1. #1
    Senor Membrane
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    Default Mind Tricks to Protect the Ego

    This is a bit blurry thought, but I think an interesting one. I was reading an article about young unemployed people, and the article implied that they stay unemployed as a rebellion against the system. The article itself was quite poorly written and I think most likely inaccurate, but as I read all the replies to it, it became quite clear to me that most of the youth responding were not unemployed because of the rebellion, but they were part of structural unemployment and then started to cultivate this idea of rebellion. So, it's like "You don't want me, that's fine, I wouldn't want to be your slave anyway!"

    I think this is an interesting dynamic. It seems that the person frustrated by society's seeming disapproval makes this attitude change in order to protect his ego. He doesn't have to say "The society dropped me out", he can say "I dropped out". There is a great difference between these two. The person takes the power from the society, even if it is in a way just a mind trick.

    Do you see a lot of this? It might even be that most of our attitudes come from this sorts of ego protections. Does anyone have any interesting studies about this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Reminds me of an old fable.

    A hungry fox sees some big juicy grapes hanging from a vine. Immediately desirous of them, he jumps and jumps and jumps but can't reach the grapes, not even to get a nibble. Eventually, panting and exhausted, the fox gives up and trots off.

    As he's walking away, he says, "I didn't want those grapes, they were probably sour."

    Moral: Be honest with yourself about your intentions, even if you don't meet your goals.

    I think honesty is important. Even if you feel defeated in that moment, realize you can learn from the situation. In this case the fox insults his own ability to identify good looking grapes, when the real problem lied in assessing the practicality of the situation or his own jumping abilities (which, with focused effort, are subject to improvement).

    As far as I can see, lying to protect your ego only has short term benefits, if that. You become a victim of your own false perceptions.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    People do this all of the time. I suppose the OP is a very specific example of this, but everybody employs certain types of defensive mechanisms that safeguard their own ego. In my mind, i would naturally explore it from a type perspective, I guess.

  4. #4
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    Absolutely people do this all the time! If enough of the youth rebel, this same force can create future change, change that might benefit the youth group or any group that's lobbying for change.

    Sorry, I don't have any studies at hand but take a look at socialism. Ever notice how the loudest proponents for socialism and greater good, are the ones who stand to benefit the most from socialism? What's irritating is that they're also the first ones to point fingers at others about their "selfishness" and yet, their own reasons are selfish in nature and worse yet, they uphold legal extortion.

    I can respect someone who admits to a win-win situation, who doesn't point fingers at others for selfishness. But I can't respect a blatant hypocrite.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Absolutely people do this all the time! If enough of the youth rebel, this same force can create future change, change that might benefit the youth group or any group that's lobbying for change.

    Sorry, I don't have any studies at hand but take a look at socialism. Ever notice how the loudest proponents for socialism and greater good, are the ones who stand to benefit the most from socialism? What's irritating is that they're also the first ones to point fingers at others about their "selfishness" and yet, their own reasons are selfish in nature and worse yet, they uphold legal extortion.I can respect someone who admits to a win-win situation, who doesn't point fingers at others for selfishness. But I can't respect a blatant hypocrite.
    @bolded: couldn't possibly be said any better than that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    This is a bit blurry thought, but I think an interesting one. I was reading an article about young unemployed people, and the article implied that they stay unemployed as a rebellion against the system. The article itself was quite poorly written and I think most likely inaccurate, but as I read all the replies to it, it became quite clear to me that most of the youth responding were not unemployed because of the rebellion, but they were part of structural unemployment and then started to cultivate this idea of rebellion. So, it's like "You don't want me, that's fine, I wouldn't want to be your slave anyway!"

    I think this is an interesting dynamic. It seems that the person frustrated by society's seeming disapproval makes this attitude change in order to protect his ego. He doesn't have to say "The society dropped me out", he can say "I dropped out". There is a great difference between these two. The person takes the power from the society, even if it is in a way just a mind trick.

    Do you see a lot of this? It might even be that most of our attitudes come from this sorts of ego protections. Does anyone have any interesting studies about this?
    This reminds me of when I was briefly a Psychology student at college. We talked about how people who join frats will endure humiliating circumstances because they value the end result so much, that they will put up with the means to get there. I am not wording this very well, but hopefully the gist of what I mean is coming through.

    Te ability down to critical lows of 4.67%.

  7. #7
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    It also reminds me of an article that I read about how people will adjust what they find attractive in another person based on what's available to them. So not so attractive guys will be perfectly happy without scoring a supermodel.

    I see and do this sort of thing all of the time. I try to keep an accounting of 'reality' vs 'my reality'.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ICUP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Sorry, I don't have any studies at hand but take a look at socialism. Ever notice how the loudest proponents for socialism and greater good, are the ones who stand to benefit the most from socialism? What's irritating is that they're also the first ones to point fingers at others about their "selfishness" and yet, their own reasons are selfish in nature and worse yet, they uphold legal extortion.

    I can respect someone who admits to a win-win situation, who doesn't point fingers at others for selfishness. But I can't respect a blatant hypocrite.
    Get used to it.... Hypocrites are EVERYWHERE I look! LoL.....
    I think judging people generally makes you a hypocrite. Somewhere in there, the same argument can be used against you. Especially since almost everything is relative.
    People are selfish. That's life. And I think the worst of it is when they DO try to point the finger at you as if they are not selfish. Ugh. Unreal stupidity.
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  9. #9
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Yes, yes, I have noticed this too, nolla. I would love to read some studies on it too. Like Bamboo mentioned, it reminds me of Sour Grapes. I dunno, I can hardly blame the unemployed for doing this, especially if they have been rejected over and over. Repeated rejection can do a number on your self-esteem and it seems self-preserving to become defensive. What I don't understand and I find more fascinating is when a person hasn't even been rejected but they imagine that they will be and become defensive before it's even happened and never begin the necessary process to get what they need or want. I guess it's like the saying "What you don't know won't hurt you".

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    This reminds me of when I was briefly a Psychology student at college. We talked about how people who join frats will endure humiliating circumstances because they value the end result so much, that they will put up with the means to get there. I am not wording this very well, but hopefully the gist of what I mean is coming through.

    Te ability down to critical lows of 4.67%.
    This doesn't actually seem like denial to protect the ego to me. They genuinely want to reach that end goal (perhaps they are mistaken about what it is to be in a frat, perhaps not, but they still actually want it) and they are willing to endure the pain to get there.

    That's pretty straight-forward. Many things of value require discomfort and effort to get the prize.

    As opposed to accidentally going through a humiliating situation that somehow landed you in a position where you have a rank and title, and then claiming that it was intentional from the start or that you never felt humiliated.

    Or if they got into the frat after hazing and then acted as if they never found it uncomfortable to get in. Or if they did things that they were ashamed of but then act like it was really worth it even when they find out they don't really care about being in a frat, etc.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

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