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187: Stuck in a stagnant rut, Mirror emotions, More detail on agreeableness

  • Broadcast in Psychology
BeatYourGenes

BeatYourGenes

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Questions for tonight's show are:

1. Why am I so stagnant? Despite doing poorly in practically all the dimensions of my life (romantic, social, pursuit) I don't take any effective action. I've done an immense amount of therapies from various modalities, worked with many therapists, including numerous other things to no avail. I stew and rage but don't do anything and I don't know why. I also like to feel like a victim so as to not feel the pressure of responsibility.

2. Your explanation of anger and guilt being mirror emotions really struck me.  Do you think there is always a mirror emotion like anger and guilt? Or is it rather mostly a spectrum like your explanation of depression and boredom, when related to stress? I would be curious to hear about more on categorizing emotions.

3.  I am a bit confused about when disagreeableness is seen as a negative and positive trait. You said agreeableness is a highly valued trait, and while it is clear that one would want a disagreeable lawyer, you also said that charisma basically comes down to disagreeableness, and when most people think of charismatic people, they certainly don't think of pushiness and anger. I am probably ~75th percentile disagreeable (but pretty stable) and generally try to beat my genes by hiding it, but, not contradicting people, avoiding confrontation, for example with groups of friends. Am I right to do so, or could I win more friends/esteem by being more "assertive"?

4. I'm trying to work on it, but I feel I have an issue with agreeableness. I'm too agreeable, to the point that I feel bad about myself for disappointing others, like turning down a job offer or rejecting a potential partner when it's obvious that those situations won't work out. How do I get past this, "trying to please all of the people all of the time" mentality?

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