THE MORE I CONTROL MYSELF –
the more I can get over on others!
PREVIOUS: Aggression, Over-Taxing & Regrets
REMINDER: Go to Acronym PAGE for abbrev.
Some CONSEQUENCES (cont.)
3. Over-taxing self-control
From U of Minnesota: Professor Kathleen Vohs’s study showed that suppression of emotions (NOT lack of sleep) generates aggression.
Half the subjects were required to stayed awake for 24 hours & half were well-rested. Then all were shown disgusting scenes from 2 movies – Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life’ (1983) and ‘Trainspotting’ (1996). Some were allowed to express reactions to the gross images & others were told to show no emotion
• Later everyone played an aggressive game in which they won or lost by chance, & winners were allowed to blast opponent with a loud noise. Those who had -suppressed- their emotions blasted their competitor at a 33% higher noise level than those -allowed- to show emotion, regardless of how much sleep they’d had
❈ “The ability to engage in self-control is determined by prior use of over-self-control, not by how much sleep one had the night before.”
❈ (Your) “aggressive behavior involves an action by someone else that causes you to want to retaliate”
❈ “Being taxed by doing one task can have spillover effects on another.” (Even if we try to compartmentalize different tasks we do during the day, it turns out they are all connected – emotionally)
The study suggests that because overtaxing self-control drains us, leaving less in reserve for later tasks, doing that makes it easier to fail at achieving all our personal or social aims.
“People have a diminishable supply of physical & mental energy for self-control. When they use their energy toward achieving one goal, they have less of it available for others. When you want to succeed, the best thing is to set up your day so you focus your self-control resources on the specific task you most want to accomplish.”
• Spillover: when we have to sit on frustration & anger cause by one or more sources (work, family, shopping…) we may take it out on someone else – unrelated, or turn to an addiction to keep ourselves numb
• Energy drain: This is especially obvious when we waste so much effort worrying, projecting failure, obsessing about some abandonment….. that we have little left over for actual accomplishments that would make our life better!
4. Over-Control (O-C) & Manipulation
More is not always better when it comes to self-control. It’s hard for ACoAs to believe that vulnerability is not a weakness, but actually is a virtue. Of course, vulnerability without boundaries is foolish. But here it refers to a defense mechanism becoming self-destructive when over-used
a. Rigidity: For most ACoAs, O-C tends to kill the joy in life, robbing ourselves of spontaneity & fun. This self-imposed caution can make us unhappy & therefore unpleasant to be around
b. Secret agenda — But for an ‘elite’ group, O-C is used as an ulterior motive.
These are the smooth operators, skillful in the art of deception & manipulation: charlatans, con artists, under-cover agents & many politicians, religious leaders, judges, lawyers, teachers & pillars of society.
They’ll to go to any length to maintain the façade of invulnerability, no matter the cost to themselves, their family or anyone else.
For THESE TYPES:
❈ self-control is simply one of the tools they use to maintain a positive public image, to not blow the cover on their actual abusive identity
❈ every action is measured & always proper for the occasion. Every word is carefully selected & they seldom reveal their emotions
✶ O-C makes them feel safe, superior. They’re usually so numb to their deeply hidden inner pain that they’re not bothered by the harm they do
ACoAs: Ironically – while many of us who are caught up in O-C believe we are total victims & would never think of ourselves as con-artists, we are if fact being manipulative & dishonest without meaning to. We hide behind our own special mask (a role, a defense mechanism, a character disorder….) to keep anyone from seeing what we’re convinced is the real us – weak, worthless & despicable! – which is only the WIC’s toxic belief, NOT our True Self.
NEXT: ACoAs acting Controlling – #1