Thursdays are for sharing interesting articles about dating, relationships, sex, gender, marriage, and personal growth and this week is no different. Juliana Breines, PhD, contributed this insightful piece to Psychology Today that is well worth your time.
Entitled “5 Things Our Judgments of Others Say About Us,” it’s a useful window into dating behavior, in which we are far more likely to blame the opposite sex for our failures than to see how our realities and experiences are shaped by our beliefs.
1. If you tend to see people through rose-colored glasses…
…you might be high in agreeableness, a personality trait characterized by warmth, kindness, and empathy. Perhaps not surprisingly, agreeable people are more likely to view others positively, focusing on their good qualities and giving them the benefit of the doubt when they behave badly.
2. If you can’t stand narcissists…
…you’re less likely to be narcissistic yourself. But if narcissists don’t really bother you, you’re more likely to have narcissistic characteristics.
3. If you judge someone’s personality based on a single behavior…
…you’re more likely to have an independent model of the self, which emphasizes autonomy and internal motivation. By contrast, people who don’t link behavior and personality as strongly are more likely to have an interdependent model of the self, which emphasizes social roles and context… It’s not that one perspective is more valid than the other, but when we tend to lean in one direction, we might be more likely to miss instances where things actually sway in the other.
4. If you irrationally dislike someone…
…it could be because you feel envious or threatened by their success. There are plenty of reasons why we might not be a fan of someone, but when the level of scorn seems out of proportion to the offending behavior, this tells us there might be something more going on.
5. If you’re critical of someone who has a different lifestyle than yours…
…it might indicate that you have underlying doubts about your own lifestyle.
We all want to feel good about where we are in life. So when we see someone thriving in a different situation, it can create an uncomfortable feeling of cognitive dissonance. One way our minds cope with this feeling is through a process called normative idealization which involves viewing our own status as the ideal for all people and viewing those who don’t conform to the ideal in a more negative light.
The author cites married people as an example of normative idealization, which makes sense. However, from this dating coach’s perspective, I hear a lot of women trying to rationalize that they really are HAPPIER being single, which justifies their decision to give up on love, not date and remain alone.
The vast majority are NOT actually happier being single
In fact, the vast majority are NOT actually happier being single. They TOLERATE being single but are more petrified of dating, getting hurt, wasting time, being rejected, getting their heartbroken, or investing in coaching and discovering that Mr. Right hasn’t shown up yet. So they talk themselves into “I’d rather be single,” when the actual phrase should read, “I’d rather be single than in a miserable relationship, but I’d rather be happily married than single.”
Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.