”Learned Helplessness”

”Learned Helplessness”

I just came across this phrase this morning. It’s a concept I never heard of before but it makes sense. It can be summed up in the phrase, ‘What’s the point of trying? It’s going to fail anyway because of me/the economy/dad won’t let me/boss will fire me/people will laugh at me/I’m stupid” The behavior exists both in animals and humans. Learned Helplessness and depression go hand in hand. Hope is the cure. I love learning something new!

What’s interesting about learned helplessnses is that it’s NOT depression or sadness — it’s a kind of passive hopelessness. But it LEADS to depression/sadness/loneliness. It’s taught to people too, it’s making excuses, or blaming authority figures, or beating yourself up, or pinning some of your problems on someone else. ”It’s all so and so’s fault!”. The phrase, ”Get er DUN!” is a cure. ”Yes, you can!” is a cure. ”You have the power within.” ”I can fix that.” The little engine that could is the best example of the opposite of learned hopelessness. ”I think i can, I think I can, I think I can.” Encourage your dogs or cats to do tricks and give rewards and they’ll be happy puppies and kitties. Encourage your kids to do things themselves, not because they HAVE to, but help them WANT to. The DRIVE has to come from WITHIN. Know a divorced person who mopes around a lot? Encourage him/her to get out and meet people, ”I think I can, i think i can”. you CAN fight learned helplesness – before it becomes depression. You CAN fix yourself and you CAN work on fixing others. Don’t crush their dreams – encourage them. Be a ”YES” rather than a ”NO”. What do you think?

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