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Centerpointe Research

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Intellectualization

Intellectualization occurs when you tend to explain everything away.  People say you are

Cast of characters in The Big Bang Theory. Fro...

Cast of characters in The Big Bang Theory. From left: Howard Wolowitz, Leonard Hofstadter, Penny, Sheldon Cooper and Rajesh Koothrappali. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

all in your head. You ignore your gut feelings and you tend to be less emotional than other people.  You try to find an explanation for everything.  However, you may be unconsciously programed to react in a certain way without thinking about it and can’t find an explanation for why you do what you do.  Things in the unconscious are unconscious and that is why you don’t know why you are doing what you do.

Intellectualization goes hand in hand with blocking in psychotherapy.  This occurs when a person starts to remember something and immediately forgets what it was.  Things in the unconscious are there for a reason and remembering them can be uncomfortable and therefore, they get blocked.  Emotions are attached to these memories which are repressed and feeling these emotions is unacceptable for various reasons.  Episodes of abuse are often forgotten and not remembered because of the horrible memories attached to them and the fear that telling someone might result in rejection or death.

Intellectualization occurs in persons for whom being emotional usually is unacceptable and for whom giving a reason for doing something is more often acceptable.  The problem with denying feelings is that a person can become unemotional and not experience good feelings as well as bad.  Geeks and nerds are often considered to be unemotional in this way.  For an example of this watch The Big Bang Theory.  Of course being overly emotional can be also unacceptable too.  This type of character has also been successfully portrayed in situation comedies and comedy sketches as well.

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Lies Or A Form of Protection?

A person may break your heart and damage your ...

A person may break your heart and damage your pride, but never ever give them the power to break your spirit. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

I have been thinking recently about truthfulness.  Lies can be sins of omission (not admitting to something when you should) and commission (telling lies when you should tell the truth).  Lying is something we learn to do by imitating the behavior of others.  Sometimes it is just a form of teasing and is done hopefully with a sense of fun and it is not meant to hurt the feelings of the person being teased.  Yet, there are people who use this excuse when they really intend to hurt the other person, but don’t want to be blamed for doing it.  It is also something we learn to do when we fear the consequences of telling the truth.  Taken a step further it is something we do to get somebody to do something that they wouldn’t do if they knew the truth.  In our society some lies are punished severely, namely, perjury, and others are permitted and if they harm the person being lied to, it is that person’s fault for believing them.  Namely, scams, and con games.  Taking money from a person who might not want to give it to you by threatening to shoot him or her is a crime punishable by imprisonment while using lying as a form of business practice is often acceptable and if is punished by the courts, it is often with a monetary settlement in a civil court.

Lies in one’s personal relationships can also be exploitative, but sometimes, they are used as a form of protection to avoid feelings of guilt and shame and sometimes even outright rejection by others whose support we feel we can not do without.  Children are very vulnerable.  They start out in life unable to meet their own needs and dependent on others to do this for them.  There is a fine line between teaching right from wrong and rearing a child with conditional love.  Thinking back on my own growing up, I realize that I felt insecure and did not feel self-confident at the times when I should have been able to tell the truth, but but choose not to even though I feared eventually being discovered.

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