On Learned Helplessness

On Learned Helplessness

One is only helpless (unable to defend oneself or to act without help) when one lacks abilities and skills.

Critical thinking skills and an ability to acknowledge a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection will maintain a solid mental state. An ability to make clear, reasoned judgements.

On the flip side, a negative parenting environment, lack of education, limited opportunities, limited rewards… Combined with rationalizing (justification or false beliefs)—will ruin you utterly—leave you “helpless” to varying degrees.

The opposite of helplessness is:

Ability, aptitude, capability, capacity, cleverness, competency, dexterity, efficacy, efficiency, energy, expertness, faculty, force, might, power, qualification, readiness, skills, strength, susceptibility, talent

1 Reply

  • I agree up to a point but that's not the whole story. Our emotional makeup is what plays such a large part in our feelings of helplessness. We derive our tendencies in that regard from various sources but, I believe, mostly from our genes, from heredity. Experiences --positive or negative-- also affect how we react to what is going on in our lives. It is very far from being a simple matter of the qualities you mention in your post. A seemingly strong person with good education,opportunities, skills, aptitudes etc, etc can be reduced to a quivering wreck by one catastrophic event.