We want to get back to being myself after difficult times. We complain that our partner doesn’t get me. And we talk about not knowing myself.
What if we were thinking about our self all wrong?
You may know about my love affair with Coursera. If you don’t, feel free to check it out yourself and develop a love affair of your own.
So I enrolled in the Coursera course Buddhism and Modern Psychology where I was informed of the most interesting theory I’ve heard in a long time.
It spoke of the Modular view of the mind.
Basically, it suggests that we don’t have a self that is in charge (so no definitive me) but instead we have modules that take over in response to cues from the environment.
So if I’m at a party and there’s a hot guy and I’m single my Mate Attraction mode will take over and make me flirty. If I’m starting a new job and I work in a team, my Affiliation mode should kick in and make me considerate of my new team members and engaging to talk to.
If I’m tempted by some rich, delicious chocolate cake my Immediate Gratification mode might war with my Long Term Health Maintenance mode. Which one is strongest in you? Maybe one mode will be strongest today and the other will be tomorrow.
So really – no consistent, coherent me.
The fun thing with this is that instead of being consumed by whichever mode is in charge at any one time, we can get curious about who is in charge right now and decide if this is the best mode to be operating from.
So if I’m at a party, see a hot guy and I’m not single, maybe Mate Attraction mode is not the best one to be in. Instead of getting flirty I might engage my Mate Retention mode and go hang with my partner. If I’m feeling anxious, I might wonder if my Safety mode is in charge unnecessarily and decide if there’s a more useful mode to draw on – like Problem Solving.
If you like this theory it also means you can stop worrying about the big “Who am I?” question. Because according to this you’re not you, you’re multiple you’s. Cool huh!
Related Tag: Psychologist Gold Coast