Law in Contemporary Society

Can compulsive behavior be stopped with words? (Re-Write)

-- By BriannaCummings - 15 May 2015


As future lawyers we are supposed to be learning how to make things happen in society using words. If successful we will be able to affect change and ensure outcomes, for our clients and ourselves, using our words. I do not doubt these things to be true but I do question their practical application to one’s self. I believe this ties into our discussions about social psychology, personality states and consciousness, or lack thereof. I believe it is difficult to self-assess because we are mostly unaware of the process of internal splitting and when it is brought to our attention we resist the idea. However, I believe it is important for us as lawyers to try our best not to resist if we are to do our jobs well.

External - Internal

Over time it becomes relatively easy to predict another person's behavior and their likely response to different sets of circumstances. People are predictable because we are creatures of habit; some more than others but we all have our tendencies. When observing someone else we pick up on these tendencies fairly quickly and we learn the compulsive behaviors of that person almost as quickly. We all know the person that will wait until the 11th hour to do an assignment no matter how far in advance it was given. We all have a friend who is horrible at choosing partners and continues to date the same person [with a different face] over and over again. We can see this because we are observing something external. With friends and family this is especially true, you know almost exactly what they are going to do before they do it and you can see the change in their state of mind from a mile away. However, most of us are unable to see this change in ourselves. This seems to be by design, it is a coping mechanism that our sub-conscious developed to protect and defend us. Because of this it is increasingly difficult to critically evaluate ourselves, but that does not mean it is impossible. To do this we must first determine what trauma our sub-conscious to trying to keep out of our conscious mind and begin deconstruction.

Looking at Ourselves

It is easy to give someone else advice and point out that their compulsive behavior, but it is very difficult to realize when we are doing the same thing. Further, when we do realize we have compulsive behavior it often seems impossible to stop. Maybe this is because so much of our activity is unconscious but it does not explain why we are unable to change once we are consciously aware that we are doing this. Which leads me to believe that consciousness is not necessarily the problem here. The more likely culprits are our numerous personality states that are constantly being kept at arm’s length. One personality state is continuously doing things that another is unaware of. I believe while in one state you act and when the states change again you are now questioning what the other state did. I believe this cycle can be broken but it is not easy to do so. To begin, we would have to accept that we are not a singular mental person which the overwhelming majority of us are unwilling to do. We have been socially trained to believe that we are one person with one personality and to have more than one personality is to suffer from mental illness; multiple personality disorder. If we were to make it over this hurdle we would then have to actively deconstruct the walls in our minds used to maintain the splits in our sub-conscious. Doing this will be challenging but it may hold the key to becoming better versions of ourselves and advancing beyond our compulsions. In a world of compulsive people denying the existence of their multiple personality states, overcoming this possible evolutionary defect constitutes a great accomplishment.

What now?

Manipulating someone else into the personality state most favorable to you using words is relatively easy, as our daily lives prove. However, maintaining a desired personality is a lot more difficult. This speaks to our own instability, which often goes unacknowledged. Spending long periods of time with another unstable person can lead to more significant and intense splitting. Our sub-conscious begins to work over time trying to manifest a personality that will bring out the state we like most in our counterpart. While trying to produce this 'best' personality in others our sub-conscious is simultaneously trying to avoid behavior that will bring out undesired personalities. When you analyze behavior using this approach it is unsurprising that so many of us fail. It would be very difficult to maintain this level of unconscious activity for sustained periods of time in addition to everything else in our lives.

I’m not sold completely but on this theory but perhaps that’s just because I haven’t practiced enough. I find myself sympathizing with the Carl Wileys of the world; whom we are often encouraged to aspire to be like. We’re supposed to wrangle details, manipulate chaos and make ridiculous amounts of money doing so. But in the midst of all this money and power are millions of people being trampled over that no one talks about, because you would have to think about it to talk about it and nobody wants to do that, or so we claim. Alternatively, it could be that some part of us actually doesn’t care. It’s possible that there’s a personality state that sees millions of oppressed people as a reasonable price to pay for wealth and power because another personality state will try to do the “right” thing and it will all balance out in the end. We can justify screwing people over day in and day out if we take a few Pro Bono cases and donate a few thousand dollars to a couple of charitable organizations. Even then, if we really thought about what we were doing, as Wylie has, we’d be pretty disgusted with ourselves. We wouldn’t be proud of our work. It's sadly ironic when you think about it. We're supposed to go out into the world and make tons of money taming other people's chaos when we can't manage our own. So, what are we to do?


Webs Webs

r4 - 29 Jun 2015 - 20:04:38 - MarkDrake
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