Backlash of Over-Control (Part 3)



PREVIOUS : Backlash of Over-Control (Part 2)





5. Over-Control & Regret
Positive use of self-control is the capacity to resist unproductive temptations, such as overbuying, splurging on tasty but unhealthy food or indulging in luxuries we can’t afford, especially impulsive purchases & expenditures that are likely to be regretted later on, HOWEVER –

▶︎ Negative use of self-control (over-C) –
• Hyperopia: the compulsion to always have to ‘do the right thing’ & act responsibly
• Excessive Farsightedness: always choosing virtue over vice
➼ These 2 related control-distortions can lead to feeling sad & regretful, for missing out on the joys & pleasures of life (not smelling the roses along the way) –  because of a lifetime of making ‘righteous’ choices

ACoAs: Regret is a basic state of mind for many of us. However, in our case,dusting off
‘being righteous’ has mostly to do with obeying the Toxic Family Rules, even when we consciously try to be spiritual & generally good people.
We complain that we’ve done everything we’re supposed to, but — are still alone, have bad relationships & can’t get our life going the way we want.
Bur all of that is like dusting the surface off of our damage. It doesn’t get to the deeper issues. Our EOC (emotional over-control) keeps us stuck.Recovery requires FoO work.

6. Over-control & Greed  
 Empathy Reaction – A Yale University study suggests that too much self-control not only wears us down, but even picturing other people’s O-C can be too much to handle.
• Researchers taunted subjects with the story of a waiter surrounded by gourmet food he was not allowed to taste. Some subjects were encouraged to go beyond polite listening to actually imagine this scene & have real empathy with his situation.

Later everyone was shown pictures of expensive items. Those who had put themselves in the shoes of the waiter had ‘suffered’ all the same O-C as he had (vicariously experienced his deprivation) – and they wanted the bling & other fancy stuff they saw, no matter the price.
STUDY Conclusion:empathy
Apparently it’s our fundamental human nature to be out of control (the “id”), so imagining anyone depriving themselves can unconsciously affect us, eventually bringing out the greedy beast in us all!

ACoAs: This result may also show a reaction of empathy for another person’s discomfort. Most ACoAs are acutely sensitive to the suffering of others, having been powerless to alleviate it in our parents & siblings. This quality is admirable except for the fact that we DO NOT apply it to ourselves.

— NOT having  had enough of our needs met as kids, the more we deprive ourselves now, the needier & thus greedier we become as adults.  We try to fill the ‘hole’ with addiction to people & with possessions, behaviors easily triggered by the endless possible choices in our society which can lead us to being over-spenders &/or hoarders.

SELF-Control & Mimicking Behavior
On the other hand, appropriate Self-Control can be learned & improved.  U of Georgia did 5 separate studied on the issue of over- vs under-indulgence & found that healthy Self-control is contagious.

EXP: Subjects who thought about a friend with good S-C persisted longer on a hand-grip task commonly used to measure this behavior, while the reverse held true for those who were asked to think about a friend with no restraint.
cat on copier
People tend to mimic the behavior of those around them, so bad habits can spread though social contact. Therefore, choosing positive company to hang out with can improve our S-C. “…and by exhibiting self-control, you’re helping others around you do the same.”,  says lead author Michelle vanDellen, psychology professor at the U of G.

ACoAs:  We are so used to staying attached to people who have similar or worse life-styles than those we grew up with – that we continually reinforce our negative attitudes & habits.  This is not helpful or necessary!
12-Step Programs tell us to “Stick with the winners”. This reminds us that one way we really can grow healthier is by choosing our work & personal environments with care!

NEXT : AcoAs acting controlling #1

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