Viewing posts from: May 2014

2 + 2 = 5 Syndrome

by Ros Kitson

05 13, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This is a term I use to explain what we do when we make connections that end up limiting us in our lives. Often these connections come from a stressful situation. Eg if someone harshly takes the piss out of me when I tell a joke, then I might learn that it is never safe to tell jokes.  Whereas there might be times when it isn't safe, or a good idea to tell them, it's hardly true that it is never safe.  Hence the title of this blog 2+2=5.  We over connect and come up with conclusions that aren't really true. We would normally know that these things aren't linked.  However when we are either very young, or we encounter a situation that stresses us, we react from a different part of our brain and we can easily make these links. We do this to protect ourselves.  It comes from the flight or fight response.  If, back in stone age times, we saw someone attacked by a wild animal, then when we see that type of animal again, we run before it gets near us.  We learn that the wild animal will harm us and that knowledge keeps us safe. Nowadays, we don't usually encounter dangers of this type, but we've retained the mechanism for making connections. I often treat clients who seem to think they shouldn't have made these connections, as it somehow means they weren't being very smart, but actually the opposite is true.  The more intelligent we are, the better we are at making connections, and the more likely we are to make these kind of connections when under extreme stress. The good news is that all these connections can be taken apart at a any stage when they are no longer serving us - either with the help of a therapist, or just with good self-awareness.

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