All posts tagged: coping

What Everyone Should Know About Coping Behaviors & Addictions

Let me begin by stating that we all have the so-called “addictive personality”.  This label isn’t reserved for the weak or unmotivated or broken.  The addictive personality is, in fact, the the human condition. I think it’s obvious: each one of us resorts to some kind of coping behavior when life is too stressful and we feel overwhelmed.  Some of these coping behaviors involve legal or illegal substance abuse, but not all do.  Because some are more obvious and readily cause social and financial ruin, they are labeled “addictions”; however, each one of us has a chosen coping behavior or behavior that matters dearly to us and a harmful dependence can develop to any of these behaviors. The fundamental similarity among all of them is the aim to avoid painful emotions. No one is immune to painful emotions such as fear, loneliness, sadness, guilt, jealousy, boredom, inadequacy, etc.   The coping behaviors that allow us to avoid overwhelming emotions tend to fall into three categories: Consumption – e.g., food, media, and shopping Numbing out – e.g. drugs …

How to Live without Shame and Avoid Rationalizing

A few days ago I was discussing justification with a colleague. The previous two blog posts were about Justification (Parts 1 and 2). He suggested a third aspect of justification: excuse-making or rationalization.  This is distinct from the epistemic notions of justification.  A discussion of rationalization justification falls under the categories of pragmatism (human, goal-oriented reasoning) and psychology. What is Rationalization Justification? Rationalization is an excuse-making behavior we resort to if we commit an act that is deemed unacceptable to ourselves or others. After the conscious realization that the behavior was unacceptable, we begin to feel emotionally uncomfortable – guilty, shameful, inferior, unworthy, etc.  The response to those feelings is to “rationalize the situation”. Rationalization is a type of excuse-making that retroactively justifies the behavior that we deemed unacceptable.  It “makes the situation OK”.  By providing justifying reasons for the unacceptable behavior, we are able to re-interpret our behavior to be acceptable.  Rationalization allows us to avoid painful emotions that we would otherwise have felt when looking back at the behavior. I think there are …