For some people the violation of their assumptions has moved them to end their lives. As sad as this is, even then there is still a reason for it.
Our minds are incapable of accurately modeling inconsistency. So when a positive assumption is violated, its negative counterpart can seem as omnipresent and omnipotent as the previous assumption may have seemed for the simple reason that the brain can’t model inconsistency for itself. But not everyone self-destructs in the face of betrayal. For those who do not, how is it they recover?
They can isolate that case to an exception? That is one way, yes.
They feel they “learn from experience.” They redefine their categories of assumption.
Recent research has discovered much about the mind, and unfortunately obfuscated a good deal as well. Your mind can’t categorize a concept in two different classes. Cookies are good or cookies are bad, but in fact what allows recovery from betrayal is learning to avoid broad generalization.
It feels good to subscribe to broad assumptions. They give us confidence in our sense of well-being. When an assumption feels to us as if it is universal, we can live in a sort of blissful state, even euphoria. The manic personality is perhaps our clearest example of an inability to avoid broad generalizations. A manic individual fills their heart and mind with a narrative of the world as they are entitled to have it, often because the alternative realization is intolerable.
People can have very low innate tolerance for ambiguity for any of a number of reasons. In the case of the manic person, they cannot even conceive of recategorization, of restructuring their world view (assumptions), so any deviation from that rigor mortis like world view can only be met with one response, anger.
When my government adopted torture as official policy, then lied about it, I felt deeply betrayed. Naturally.
Why do we place such esteem on institutions and then feel betrayed? We need our assumptions in order to feel well, able, and safe, and in the case of the manic individual, every deviation from any of their assumptions is betrayal. Everything has a dramatic meaning personalized to them specifically.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.
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