Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Water Bra Phenomenon

Ever had coupled off friends that spend every waking minute together, and if they find time to detach themselves from their partner's hip, they can be found calling, texting, or otherwise posting love notes on their partner's Facebook wall or via private message? Does it ever make you wonder why they feel the need to do this? We all know it's not healthy. To be 100% enmeshed in each other's lives, to not possess one's own identity anymore, definitely begs the question.....why do it if you know it's maladaptive?

Ever had that friend, male or female, that buys flashy cars, clothes, etc in order to keep up with the Jones'.....but that friend is living paycheck to paycheck? He or she drives around in that BMW or Mercedes wearing that amazing new Juicy Couture outfit, complete with the latest Prada or Coach bag.....all the while swimming in debt.

What about the people who purchase McMansions.....the 9 bedroom, 8.5 bathroom, brick-front house with 5 attached garages in the super swanky neighborhood? They can barely afford their mortgages, but dammit, they will at least act as if they can on simple status principle. Who will ever figure it out, they think.

Overcompensation is a pesky little bitch. We all do it from time to time, for a number of reasons, but these aforementioned examples are definitely some of the more common observations, I'd say. For those of you who have yet to take anything resembling an introductory psychology class, overcompensation is when one attempts to cover up weaknesses or feelings of inadequacy in a life area through a drive toward excellence in another.

This reminds me of those water bras that are advertised on TV. On the outside, to some, the relationship and/or possessions might look amazing...but when you get rid of all the fluff...you will typically find nothing there of substance. If you think about it for a few minutes, I'm sure you can identify with these observations you have probably seen in others, or maybe even yourself.

Historically speaking, human beings need to engage in self-reflection from time to time. This can then lead to self-awareness, which lends itself to the potential for change towards more positive behaviors. This is how we evolve as better people. Embrace it, learn from it, then move on from it. Just saying.

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