There are a whole heap of fallacies in the world of psychology, one of them being the Just World Fallacy.
Basically this says that “you get what you deserve”.
So if you’re very very good, very very good things will happen to you.
And if you’re bad you’ll be punished.
This goes the opposite way too – if something bad is happening to you then you must have done something terrible to deserve it.
I have a lot of clients who are super lovely but think they’re being punished when life throws them a shit storm. They find it hard to believe that sometimes life is just shit and unfair for absolutely no reason.
So while the idea of a just world sounds like it should work it really really doesn’t.
Think about it….if you’ve had a whole series of bad things happen to you, is it really helpful to look for what you might have done to deserve it? Or for why you should be punished?
Wouldn’t a little self-compassion be a lot more helpful?
Or what about the idea that you’ve been through so much in the past that you now ‘deserve’ something good to come your way, like winning lotto or something. Or for good things to start happening to you.
Wouldn’t it be better to gain some resilience and step out of the victim mentality? To look at what you could do to empower yourself?
The Fallacy of a Just World is SOOOOOO disempowering in so many ways.
And wouldn’t you want to be empowered as often as possible instead?
So the next time you find yourself feeling disgruntled because something doesn’t seem fair or you’re feeling like you’re being punished by some huge cosmic force, remember that you are under the spell of the Just World Fallacy.
And the definition of a fallacy is “a mistaken belief based on unsound arguments”.
Not the kind of belief you want to believe in.
Try this one instead: “You are in charge of your world”.