By Mark R. Leary
Regardless of its noticeable merits, our skill to be self-reflective comes at a excessive expense. Few humans observe how profoundly their lives are plagued by self-reflection or how usually internal chatter interferes with their good fortune, pollutes their relationships with others, and undermines their happiness. via permitting humans to ruminate concerning the earlier or think what may possibly take place sooner or later, self-reflection evokes loads of own affliction within the type of melancholy, nervousness, anger, jealousy, and different unfavorable feelings. loads of sadness, within the kind of addictions, overeating, and household violence, is because of people's lack of ability to exert regulate over their concepts and behaviour. Is it attainable to direct our self-reflection in a fashion that might reduce the negative aspects and maximize the benefits? Is there how to impact the egotistical self via self-reflection? during this quantity, Mark Leary explores the private and social difficulties which are created by way of the potential for self-reflection, and by means of drawing upon psychology and different behavioral sciences, deals insights into how those difficulties will be minimized.
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Additional resources for The Curse of the Self: Self-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life
For most of life’s routine actions, automatic processing serves us quite well. In fact, we would not have the cognitive capacity to think deliberately about every decision, action, or movement we made even if we wanted to. Most of the time we react automatically with little conscious thought and, thus, with little involvement of the self. Ideally, people would switch from the automatic, nonconscious mode of responding to the deliberative, self-reﬂective mode only when self-controlled thinking was needed to produce a better decision or more optimal behavior than the automatic mode allows.
They may need the self to decide to initiate the action, but once the behavioral sequence begins, the behavior seems to ﬂow out of them without much conscious thought. However, if we purposefully lead people who have mastered a complex skill to think consciously about what they are doing—to monitor carefully the placement of their ﬁngers on the piano keys, the movements involved in shooting a basketball, or the pronunciation of each word in the Gettysburg Address—the quality of their performance will typically deteriorate.
Given the importance of both sleep and sex to human well-being, we might expect that they would be impervious to being disrupted unnecessarily. However, both are surprisingly sensitive to interference by the self. Insomnia Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time, and many people consistently have difﬁculty falling and remaining asleep. Insomnia can occur for many reasons: caffeine, spicy foods, medications, shift work, jet lag, and certain medical problems may make it difﬁcult for people to sleep.