Existential Psychology

Control And Openness

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I was thinking about the insanity making paradox that if you are controlling, constantly trying to make every encounter fit into your preconceived notions, people probably won’t like you very much, and if you’re flexible to the point where you don’t really have an opinion, where just about anything goes, people probably won’t like you very much.

Actually regardless of how others feel about you, the key to your own self-actualization is probably a healthy balance of taking a stand and openness to new ideas, of controlling situations and letting them unfold in their own way, of expansiveness and constriction. The real question is how you want to form your beliefs since these beliefs are the foundations on which your words and actions are built.

Ironically, most people form their beliefs through the process of introjection, where they accept inputs indiscriminately from their environments as young children, what we might call family values, yet later in life these same people cease to be open to any new ideas at all, crystallizing their beliefs into hard and fast rules for living.

As an adult, you’re at a point where you can no longer accept stimuli indiscriminately like babies do; all these stimuli are filtered through beliefs that arose from the experiences you have already had. But you can cultivate some of that baby mojo, opening yourself up to new experiences and different ways of seeing the world, loosening your inflexible beliefs a little bit, and you’ll notice an exciting shift start to happen in you where you feel freer and more spontaneous, able to relax and just have fun. The result will be moving outward from a subjective viewpoint to one that is more objective,