As mentioned in Part 3 of this series, we all go through times of feeling like we can neither change nor escape an unpleasant situation. It is a good idea to choose, and keep ready in your back pocket, a conscious displacement behavior to use in that event. Preferably, one that has been planned ahead of time and you don’t have to think about.
The reason for this is simple. Unconscious displacement behaviors, for instance, most overeating, are automatic. They usually are harmful to the self, and only make things worse. Your pants don’t fit anymore and a voice in your head taunts, “Oh, so it wasn’t enough for you to be an unemployed sign-spinner. Now, you’re an unemployed, morbidly obese sign-spinner. Nice going!”
The great thing about this dilemma is, it’s addressable and even preventable. Here is a quotation from Dr. Pretlow:
Success does not depend on totally resolving or avoiding the person’s problematic situation, it is just necessary that the opposing drives are pushed off dead center (either face or escape) and no longer in equilibrium.
Often, success depends on the person being prepared to jump in there with a positive displacement behavior to take the heat off. It seems to be a law of human nature, that someone who makes a habit of taking a pro-active stance will tend to evolve. Before too long, they figure out how to take the next step, which is (no surprise here) meeting the problem head-on.
Face it, don’t displace it
What the developers of the BrainWeighve app did was think up ways to break up old patterns and map out some new territory. It begins with a two-step process:
(1) helping the individual identify the problems or stressors that form the basis of the opposing drives (displacement sources), and (2) creating strategies to either avoid or effectively resolve these problems/stressors.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “A Unified Theory of Addiction,” Qeios.com, 03/09/23