Monday, January 19, 2015

Popular Psychology: More "Snake Oil" Cures From The "Experts"

How long has the phenomenon of "Pop Psychology" been around?  It has to be somewhere in the vicinity of 60 to 70 years.

You have to love those "experts" and all their "quick fix" solutions to the many problems, difficulties and dilemmas we, as humans, have to deal with so frequently:
                  A Positive Attitude Equals a Longer Life
                  Be Your Own Boss, Control Your Own Destiny By Believing In Your OWN Powers
                  A Cheerful Demeanor Equals More Money, More Friends, More Lovers
                  More Smiles, Less Stress

Of course totally ignoring a fundamental reality:  that people are reactive creatures.  What happens to us affects us in relation to whatever the content of said occurrence(s) in question is (are).

Add to that the fact that, although people can also be proactive, no one individual has much control over most things that go on around them or that winds up happening to them a lot of the time.  And if adversity should find one it can affect oneself financially, mentally, socially, domestically.

If someone is depressed, disgruntled, cynical, insecure, paranoid, angry-and-outraged there are usually reasons behind those feelings and attitudes.  These traits are not something simply needing to be "medicated" or hypnotized away like some kind of "unwanted baggage".  They are among the results of existing in a petulant world known for being incessantly stonewalling and shanghaiing by it's innate nature.

Two songs come to mind when it comes to the art of bashing pop psychology for it's inaneness and ultimate irrelevance:  THE OLD PHILOSOPHER by Eddie Lawrence (1956) and DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY by Bobby McFerrin (1988).
Next time you listen to either one of those songs pay attention to the sarcastic dialogue and lyrics.
Some situations are difficult-to-impossible and are thrust onto oneself from outside sources over which one has no control.  And, as such, no amount of "believing in your own powers and abilities" or "positive thinking" is going to do much to rectify or solve such dilemmas.
And, true: It's a fact that people find those who are depressed or go around "gloomy and negative" unpleasant to be around and try, as a rule, to avoid or ignore them.  But it's also a fact that the reason most people have those type of attitudes toward the "unpleasant" is on account of society's narcissism and general lack of empathy for others.  Thing is, people often get depressed or upset because of the way their society and certain others around them jerk them around constantly. 

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