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Red Pill TheoryLearned Helplessness (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by [deleted]

[deleted]


[–]Maleden 162 points163 points  (3 children)

A+ quality post. Pavlov 2.0

[–]Endorsed ContributorMentORPHEUS 39 points40 points  (0 children)

Yes, very brilliant insight. I remember the beta days of watching the alpha dogs jump the fence (and fuck the bitches) while I just hunkered down and endured the shocks and burns the sexual marketplace inflicts on chump nice guys.

It also points up why Red Pill canon pushes self-improvement beyond ones comfort zone. To get beyond mundane mediocrity, you can't just sit still; sometimes you have to JUMP!

[–]87GNX 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My co-worker's phone actually dings a little bell when he gets an email. I'm like seriously, could they be any more obvious?

[–]1London-Bananas 44 points45 points  (7 children)

This was a video by Veritasium right? The guy always amazes me. He has some really sweet physics videos but he'll always throw in a life lesson. Every now and then he'll make a whole video about it. His second channel, veritasium2, is also worth checking out.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Wish he did more stuff like this. He reminds me of Richard Feynman, as in just a really cool physics guy. Everybody should also check out Feynams old videos, he will make you love learning.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Amazing guy, if not for his Feynman diagrams I suspect that someone would have made modelling quantum interactions a lot more complicated.

[–]longerdistance 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Read his biography "Surely you're joking mister Feynman" if you haven't already. The man is an amazing example in so many (redpill) ways.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes I've heard. Im going through The Rational Male right now and I've got exams coming up, but I'm definitley going read Feynmans book over the summer. His videos alone have had a huge effect on my views and values.

[–]longerdistance 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Glad to hear it, the book has been an inspiration to me all my life, and I can appreciate it even more after having taken the redpill.

[–]newls 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Interesting videos but I always skip past the parts when he talks to the public. Pretty cringeworthy how little people know about science. Not expecting people to have graduate level knowledge but it's pretty ridiculous.

[–]grayman12 39 points40 points  (12 children)

There's waaaaaay more to this than you've covered, everyone in this thread would be wise to read "Learned Optimism" by Martin Seligman, the man who pioneered this research and from it erected the field of positive psychology.

[–]orangeblue3 6 points7 points  (8 children)

What do you have to say about the book? Looks like a book I should definitely read

[–]grayman12 15 points16 points  (1 child)

It is fantastic and incredibly empirical, plus there's an entire chapter on applying the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy for yourself to change your thinking pattern towards optimism.

[–]2CHAD_J_THUNDERCOCK 4 points5 points  (0 children)

[–][deleted]  (2 children)

[deleted]

    [–]KenuR 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Could you elaborate on that?

    [–]csehszlovakze 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Wikipedia says what I was about to type. TL;DR: learned helplessness and depression depend on inner explanation style (how you process things): permanence (time), pervasiveness (areas of life) and personalization (blaming self or others). The book also teaches basic cognitive therapy which is used to treat depression. Very much recommended.

    [–]Buckeye1234 -2 points-1 points  (2 children)

    the basic idea is just as you can catch depression, you can catch optimism/happiness. just as depression gets more entrenched by day -- i.e., snowballs -- so too can optimism/happiness. just plant the seeds, water, and voila. worked for me, but my life generally rock in any event

    [–]grayman12 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    That's not correct. The thesis is actually that pessimism (defined as a tendency to explain adversity in your life through a lens of personal fault, permanence of failures, and belief that failures will pervade and hamper other unrelated outcomes) causes depression, and that by altering these thought patterns, you can reduce and even eliminate depression.

    [–]Commieelasticorb 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I just commented about this in the main thread and would love to hear what you have to say.

    [–]Endorsed ContributorWe_Are_Legion 3 points4 points  (2 children)

    make a post on it.

    [–]grayman12 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    I'm not going to make a post when anyone can go read that book, written by the expert on the subject. If that information is valuable to you then go seek it out, I'm not spoon-feeding the community.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)

    [removed]

    [–]physics1986 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Seriously, OP should have linked it himself. Give credit where credit is due.

    [–]Di-onysos 10 points11 points  (3 children)

    I've read a lot about this and essentially it's a form of depression.

    Very prevalent amongst people during whose lifetimes there has been a major shift in society functions and are unable to adapt to it.

    If you've read on different theories on what causes depression, then you've run into the explanation that it's an evolutionary adaptation, that an organism with low fitness essentially shuts down and goes into "hibernation" to save energy and wait for a change in living conditions because it cannot thrive in its current situation. Learned helplessness ties into that.

    [–]whatyearisthisagain 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    One of the most prevalent reasons men get depression is that they

    a) Lose their job

    b) Retire from the work force

    Now, why is that? That's because in any hunter gatherer group that has ever existed (in which humans lived for most of their existance), you either add to the survival probability of the group, or you subtract.

    If you work, you help provide, you help your genes be passed on. If you as a man don't, you are spending precious resources the group (sister, nephews, daugthers, sons, brothers - your genes) need to survive.

    Thus depression should force you out of that, by either:

    a) Start to contribute again, or

    b) Kill yourself due to the suicidal thoughts brought onto you by depression

    80% of the people that commit suicide are men. The vast majority of those men are 64+ years old. That's the age they leave the work force.

    [–]PermaStoner 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    If I remember correctly, the function of depression was thought to be a state in which an individual can reevaluate ones position in society.

    [–]Di-onysos 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Depends on what explanation you subscribe to. There's several theories floating around.

    [–]Crunchthemoles 35 points36 points  (8 children)

    No. Learned helplessness is a very real phenomenon which has little to do with 'just thinking you are' helpless. There are several changes in the neurochemistry and activity of certain regions of the brain which take place after conditioning the animal to this state, and these can't be reversed by just thinking through it. You said it yourself, the researchers needed to physically move the dogs across the fence before they could jump. And humans are some magnificent exception? This is why interventions for almost every behavior exist to some degree, why people with depression and anxiety don't think themselves out their situation, and why poor people need social workers and other professionals to help them out of their mess. The thing you also didn't mention is that extinguishing behavior is NOT permanent. The learned helpless state still exists in the circuitry, and small amounts of stress can send that animal back to square one.

    [–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    Happened to me. Lifting, doing well, felt good, head up and looked people in the eye. Life was good. Met some people I looked up to, the kind of crowd I actually wanted to be part of. Wasn't ready for the social challenge at all and I crashed. So hard. We're talking 4 years of lifting and positive thinking simply vanished and reverted to my beta behaviour, because I had only been training the physical but not the mental - I had kept myself within my comfort zone socially for all that time and wasn't ready at all.

    Been a while now, I should get back to the squat rack again...

    [–][deleted] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    Yeah, these guys don't understand what learned helplessness actually is. It is not some kind of irrational thing like they are making it out to be.

    [–]Myrpl 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    I think Veritasium (the guy who made the video) and by extend OP used the concept to sensationalize the idea that you might have options that you outright dismissed because of assumptions that you hold true, even when they're not.

    You're right: A depressed person with genuine chemical imbalance still requires proper medication, a long-term unemployed person victim of a shit economy still requires professional guidance to pull himself through the emotions of inadequacy and self-destruction. You're also right on extinguishing behavior: I had impulses to throw myself on an incoming train for a good while and while the general feeling is gone, I can notice the urge to rise whenever I hit a hard slope to anything. Luckily I got into mindful meditation and whenever I get urges out of nowhere I notice the thoughts and evaluate them. Urges mostly rise from our emotional brain, our "Hyde". Everyone is both Jekyll and Hyde to me, constantly fighting over who will prevail into the decision making in the next minute from now.

    However, even seeking for professional help is a step you ought to make, once you identify yourself as someone with an issue. And that's SUPER hard to pull off if you're alone or surrounded by people who are clueless of your situation, or worse: people who share the same problem with you (depressed, financially broke, suicidal etc).

    But let's agree that OP and Veritasium don't imply that people with suicidal thoughts, depression or other blatantly obvious to anyone with a brain dark situations can simply think themselves out of it. And let's agree that even the action of seeking professional help once you identify yourself into a spot that you cannot pull yourself out on your own (alcoholic, depressed etc) is an action one can choose to take.

    [–]1whatsazipper 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    A depressed person with genuine chemical imbalance still requires proper medication

    I dare you to dig up evidence for the 'chemical imbalance' hypothesis.

    http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020392#pmed-0020392-g001

    In short, there exists no rigorous corroboration of the serotonin theory, and a significant body of contradictory evidence. Far from being a radical line of thought, doubts about the serotonin hypothesis are well acknowledged by many researchers, including frank statements from prominent psychiatrists, some of whom are even enthusiastic proponents of SSRI medications (see Table 1).

    However, in addition to what these authors say about serotonin, it is also important to look at what is not said in the scientific literature. To our knowledge, there is not a single peer-reviewed article that can be accurately cited to directly support claims of serotonin deficiency in any mental disorder, while there are many articles that present counterevidence. Furthermore, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association and contains the definitions of all psychiatric diagnoses, does not list serotonin as a cause of any mental disorder.

    The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry addresses serotonin deficiency as an unconfirmed hypothesis, stating, “Additional experience has not confirmed the monoamine depletion hypothesis”

    [–]Myrpl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    What? You mean depression cannot be pathological? I used the term "chemical imbalance" as a layman to indicate pathological causes, not as a definite term. I'm neither a doctor or qualified enough to do that.

    [–]1whatsazipper 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Here, you can't help yourself. Take these pills on a daily basis and we'll chat again next month.

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Hah, you're joking but I think that placebo would actually help more than a few people. As long as they can somehow feel safe that it wouldn't be their fault if they failed, they'd be more likely to try in the first place and since the likelihood of failing is low when your outlook and attitude is confident... yeah.

    [–]throwpillo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I think you're letting some pedantry obscure the intent of the post.

    I doubt you have any objection to the intent of the post: Humans can unlearn beliefs, even acute/chronic beliefs.

    In fact, your reference to external assistance (social workers; other professionals) might just help some random reader realize, "Hey. He's right. If I need to, I can use Other Helpful Humans to delearn my internal crapulence."

    The point of the post is to remind the reader that even beliefs that seem obviously and permanently true can be changed by human(s), because, yeah, they are magnificent exceptions in the animal kingdom.

    [–][deleted]  (2 children)

    [deleted]

    [–]TheRealMouseRat 3 points4 points  (4 children)

    "It even came to the point where they jumped out of the enclosure as soon as they were placed in it, regardless of the experimenter's intention to shock them."

    So this is MGTOW?

    [–]DaSaw 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Just came here to say, MGTOW is actually pretty awesome.

    [–]MelodyMyst -1 points0 points  (2 children)

    I wonder if the experiment yielded any data on M/F jumping or staying.

    [–]MelodyMyst 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Really? So no one here is curious if there was a difference between male versus female reactions?

    [–]let_terror_reign 9 points10 points  (1 child)

    This is also a good explanation for abusive relationships, people do come to believe that they deserve nothing more. And accept their Fate because they no longer see it as a fight worth fighting.

    [–]1xwm 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    God don't remind me. I ended up dragging my own ass over the fence because it got so bad.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    As a special education teacher I see this all the time in my students, and they tend to get it from their parents who have held their hand so tight and continuously told them "it's fine, it's your disability, there's nothing you can do", which is a horrible to message to send to anyone, especially children with special needs. These kids are so much more capable then some of their parents give them credit for and by the time they reach me it makes my job harder.

    Lesson to be learned: Don't tell people they can't, tell them they can and offer a helping hand if they need it, slowly loosening your grip over time until they are doing it themselves.

    [–]JakeRay 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    That's quality advice. "Don't tell people they can't". I used that recently teaching a sixth grade class some math. It actually works, and I just realised it. I'm only a temp and 20yo, so it's awesome figuring out I did something right. Teaching can be tough.

    [–]Exogyra_Ponderosa 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    Break the cycle of negative reinforcement and you become truly free.

    [–]RPJapan 7 points8 points  (3 children)

    Great post.

    It reminds me of a frequently used phrase in Japanese ''shouganai,'' which expresses that there is nothing that can be done about a situation.

    Didn't get promoted after busting your ass? ''shouganai.''

    Sexless marriage? ''shouganai.''

    The herbivore men of Japan (some of you might know them as the Japanese MGTOW) like to use this phrase when justifying their reasons for not pursuing women. It's like this idea of learned helplessness is so instilled in people's minds that the mere possibility of a solution isn't even acknowledged. Unfortunately, from a young age Japanese students are constantly taking shit from others (due to hierarchy systems) and reinforce the idea that they are mediocre because they don't want to stick out from the heavy group dynamics. The worst part is that the solution (changing your situation with tangible action) won't be supported by your family, friends, and especially society.

    To finish I'd like to share a Japanese proverb. ''deru kugi wa utareru'' or ''The nail that sticks out will be hammered down''

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Isn't shouganai basically "cba" (can't be assed/bothered)?

    [–]RPJapan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The difference is that this kind of expression is used in Japan much more (in my opinion).

    [–]Postboned 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Being a blue pill is more about knowing that the fence is there but being afraid to see what is on the otherside of it.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    This rings true for me.

    I had pretty shitty parents that let me get fat, I was obese by the time I was 9 and remained that way until I was 22. I genuinely believed there was nothing I could do to lose weight. My entire family was fat and I had somehow convinced myself it was genetic and that I should just accept it as one of those things.

    It wasn't until I found /r/progresspics and saw people in worse shape than I was that had become fit as fuck that I realised I could change, I could stop being the fat guy. Been lifting and counting calories for 3 years now and I'm fit and healthy. Just needed someone to show me how to jump the fence.

    [–]Criviton 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    more like u watched a single video and based this whole post of it

    [–]Rhunta 3 points4 points  (3 children)

    Nice post. I personally believe that most humans are lazy. Because most humans know deep down that they can change, but don't want to suffer from the pain that it is going to take to make a change.

    [–]1London-Bananas 12 points13 points  (2 children)

    Not necessarily laziness. Our brain is simply wired to resist change. Once it finds that survival sweet spot of steady food, shelter and dumping semen in a tissue, it basically tells you to stay there. Everyone has this and it takes tremendous effort to actually make serious changes to your life.

    [–]Exogyra_Ponderosa 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    I agree, it's our nature to take the easiest route possible.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Ah so true.

    This reminds me of those townie types that keep spouting "you'll never succeed!" if you have lofty goals and endeavors. Truth is, they never succeeded because they didn't put in the effort that yields success.

    Also, most people don't even want to take on that kind of responsibility. It's "too much work" for them. They'd rather work a mindless 9-5, come home and watch garbage TV; repeat process monday through friday.

    [–]sendrake 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I mentioned this a few days ago on a thread here. I wanted to expand on it in it's own post but, since you've beat me to it I'd just like to add a bit! You did a good job explaining what learned helplessness is, I just want to briefly talk about how to overcome it's effects.

    The first and most important step is learning about it. Just knowing it's a fallacy we can fall victim to helps immensely. It can be incredibly hard to break the pattern, you have to want something better and you have to work. Note that the dogs had to be physically moved, no one is going to pick you up and do it for you. You have to move your own ass first and foremost. Getting started is the most painful part, you have to understand that the pain from failure can and probably will happen again, and you have to try anyway. If you are having serious trouble, see a professional and pay them to start pushing you and hold you accountable. There's nothing wrong with needing help, don't be scared to seek it.

    We are not dogs, we can recognized the success of others and use their example as inspiration to keep trying. Reading success stories is a great way to get that, "I can do it!" feeling. So, whatever you're struggling with, read success stories. There's a subreddit for pretty much any problem you might have. Just go to trp, r/fitness, r/whatever and read success stories. You'll find that people have started off much worse than you are now and you can do it if they can. Success stories are great for inspiration, but understand that inspiration is only the first step, you have to act on it and never stop trying. Whenever you are ready to give up, remember why you started in the first place.

    I'll keep it semi-short and stop there. Keep pushing yourselves brothers! You got this shit.

    [–]Johnny10toes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    You hear this every day when talking to married guys. They're scared to rock the boat.

    You also see it in people who make the same "mistakes" over and over. "That's just how I am."

    [–]TheRedTrader 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Yh this is very apt analogy, unless you're born with naturally high T and a rebellious attitude you're not going to escape some of the blue pill conditioning when you're younger in the western school system. We do then get "released" somewhat from the system once we leave the conveyor belt of education but usually by that point the indoctrination is self reinforcing.

    [–]bertmaklinFBI 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    [–]revengeofthecrazy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Yes. You build your mental horizon (should I say prison?) with the things you experience. You may not be happy with what you see, but you don't know that there is something behind the horizon. Beyond your reality, there is an invisible ocean of unknown. The mind can't simply imagine something it hasn't seen before. Our intelligence works mostly by reflection on impressions.

    I remember my beta days. I was unhappy, but had no source of inspiration, so there was no way to change. I had to learn the concept of self-improvement from an external place (like the dogs). Since then, much of what I wanted has become reachable and I keep getting better at routinely progressing because I have the concept of improvement running on full steam at all times. It's like a form of intelligence.

    Actually I just had another break through writing this: My parents always tried to comfort me when I was unhappy, saying I was fine just the way I was (I was a geeky, weak, awkward, supershy beta). I now remember that this didn't comfort me at all, and instead, I was left feeling abandoned. No wonder I had no concept of the necessity for change, they unknowingly kept the entire concept of self improvement away from me. Another big one, just like that. Boom.

    [–]Commieelasticorb 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I wonder if this thread is still open?

    I have been wondering about this a lot lately. It seems really great on paper but I had some questions concerning the nuances.

    2 questions:

    1. What about situations in which you truly don't have any control over you situation. Sure, there are probably a lot of situations where people could be more proactive and take more personal responsibility for their situations, but there are also situations where people simply do not have control over what happens to them such as being fired, having difficulty finding work, going to prison, etc. and there doesn't seem to be any differentiation between the two. This is where the personal responsibility train always seems to breakdown for me. We're the Jews suffering from learned helplessness when their government was kidnapping them and sending them to camps? It seems an extreme example for sure but you get my point. Wondering what people's take on that is.

    2. People may indeed be suffering from a thing called learned helplessness in which their style of self explanation of external phenomena has a distinctly negative, personal, and defeatist bent. I can totally get on board with all of that and see where this might make someone completely miserable. But looking at the antithesis doesn't seem to be much better. Being overly optimistic, preferring to place blame outside of one's self, having unwavering confidence etc. seems not to be a picture of health but of Dunning-Krueger which may make individuals happier but at a cost to rest of society if that's true. It also seems to be slightly "blue pill," (new to these terms, apologies) which is weird for this thread.

    Anyway, I am asking because I truly want to understand and I have been wrestling with this for a while. I'm not saying this is wrong or learned helplessness isn't a thing or that I know better or have thought of thing nobody else has thought of pertaining to this. Please reply accordingly.

    [–]pedler 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I have thought about this quite often in relation to TRP. Thanks for writing it out so others can see.

    [–]le_king_falcon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Veritasium viewer I'm guessing?

    [–]livisland 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    For those people who are struggling with learned helplessness, this is probably the best way to overcome it. Step 1. Ensure you are away from perpetrator and aren't currently threatened. Step 2. Build a future plan without perpetrator (which will be the best thing you will ever do for yourself). Step 3. LEARNED OPTIMISM. You will overcome learned helplessness when you outgrow the learned helplessness circumstance with learned optimism circumstance and frame of mind. E.g. My partner is inappropriately controlling me (abuse) but I can't leave the kids, he/she will give me a bad name and I'll rarely see them. Optimism: I can redeem myself by filing for divorce and pursuing that business goal, spend more time with good friends, just being away from her/him my body/soul will repair itself. And energy is traceable, my kids WILL understand the circumstance, and I will be there for them no matter what. I will have strong virtues and values that one day my kids can be grateful for. Whatever you do to redeem yourself, it must have a larger effect on you than the learned helplessness, like a large success that addresses the past and makes peace with it through time. If we don't work towards pursueing our freedom, ambition, our potential we end up bitter, angry and pathetic, so make an unfortunate circumstance something you'll thank later by using your passion and energy to propel you into success. It is in your hands. Just take it day by day.

    And if you really can't learn optimism in your situation it is time to seek a therapist/life coach/meditate & exercise (more)/talk to people who have gotten where you want to be from somewhere similar to where you are now/talk your feelings out and embrace them to rationalize and gain some perspective. Often people don't give specialists a try because their circumstance is so rare it's difficult for others to relate and say the right thing, that is when you must carve your own path but use those specialists where you can for specific support.

    [–]Decided2Go2Medschool 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    This subbed it uses psychology as a backbone. I love it.

    [–]Stevekixs -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    I almost fell for the BP today. It's hard sometimes.

    [–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

    but in society thise who jump the fence are mysoginistic if they are men and low self esteem if they are women. the learnered-helpless sit around mocking the fence jumpers while they continuously stun each other with pseudo-intellectualism.

    [–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    Great post, excellent comparison. Very thought provoking.

    [–]-Quotidian -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    This reminds me of all the "just because" answers I used to get as a kid. Those answers indicated mental laziness, fatigue or distraction most of the time, but occasionally the adults trying to shape me into a responsible citizen or family member were trying to preserve a status quo. They didn't like it when I called them out on histrionics, bullshit, or abusing their status to get around being wrong.

    You see this happen a lot. Some people and some behaviors just aren't questioned because that's just how it is. There's a reason that's "how things are," and the only reason it stays that way is because people accept it.

    But people's minds can change, or be freed.

    [–]ChairBorneMGTOW -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    Fucking excellent assessment. Yes.

    [–]Gross_Guy -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    Damn that's real shit.

    I wanna go do some pushups or something

    [–]Scroph -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    Posts like these are the reason why I browse this subreddit.

    [–]BlackHeart89 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    This is a damn good post, OP.