Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers


Posted by Ann on December 5, 2010

The psychologist in me wants to write a little something today, partly in response to all the spankers, or pro-spanker advocates replacing their profile pictures for cartoon faces on Facebook this weekend, giving lip service to ending child violence. Spanking is one of those pop psychology myths people simply can’t get away from, and the source of most child violence. From what I know of how the human brain operates, illogic is its normal functioning. Humans begin identity formation from the time of birth, developing their idea of self and the world around them, and by adulthood they are who they are.

As Jesus wrote in a previous post on this blog, https://fffmks.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/richard-norman-examines-the-belief-lite-version-of-religion/, when it comes to the mechanics of a car engine, for him, and many more of us, our brains fog and our thoughts wander when the mechanic attempts to explain the functioning of a car engine. Yawn, how boring… Our glasses become foggy. Psychologists already know this is a norm, this brain shut-off when not interested in hearing/learning. If it was otherwise, therapy would be a snap. All humans are irrational sometimes. The problem is that once a pattern of irrational thinking is ingrained for an adult, usually developing during childhood, there is virtually no changing it. Sadly, I will never be a car mechanic, but I can be and am a psychologist. One who recently moved into child psychology–seems a rational place to be in psychological practice.

Last week I was in a therapy session with a mother and child who were arguing. It dawned on me I have developed a skill for negotiation and resolving confrontation through the years I now apply without thinking. And also, a skill for identifying irrational thinking. As I listened to how they described each other it dawned on me why I often feel lonely. Most of irrational thought has nothing to do with religion. It’s ingrained in how people think about the world in general, how they interact with other people. It never stops to amaze me how people can completely deny they are doing or feeling something at the same time they are doing and feeling what they deny. Also known as incongruence. “I’M NOT YELLING AND I’M NOT ANGRY!” the mom screams at me. I’m not saying I’m never incongruent, but, honestly, being congruent just becomes a way to be. I’ve been told more than once I’m “too logical”. I’ve also been told I’m “irie”, so personally I think I’m a pretty balanced person. I’ll leave it at that. lol!

By the way, below is a good link to a mini-list I found of the primary ways people think incongruently and irrationally. Kept it short and sweet for those of you who fog quickly (not that you will change your thinking once confronted with your irrationality or anything).  As for me, I’ll be taking my weekly Sunday night escape drive while listening to slow beat music to deal with my solitariness after a week of solidarity.


9 Responses to “Irrationality”

  1. Paulo said

    irie – now that’s a word I haven’t heard in a long time! Love it. Great compliment.

    • Ann said

      A way to live, I guess!? The compliment came from a very cool Jamaican man who loves Red Stripe and reggae (an old friend!). Maybe don’t always have what I really want most in life, but I can be happy with my life as it is now.

  2. Paulo said

    … and I like your link http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/identifying-irrational-thoughts/. I can definitely see many of those thought patterns not only in religious people but in myself as well!

    • Ann said

      Well, you can sleep soundly at night. Everyone has patterns of irrational thought. If people can identify them, they are a step ahead of everyone else.

      There is this pop saying among psychologists, if you think you are crazy, you probably aren’t. It’s the people who think they are sane that are really crazy. lol!!!

  3. JN said

    Running down that checklist reminds me of this:

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