As we’ve discussed before in our posts about fate, events that occur in our lives are independent of one another, rather than constructed by something equivalent to molecular theory. The circuit of our past and future is wired when we list the varied events or experiences, and understand that it is our own efficacy that leads us to become successful in our pursuits.The way we wire our lives to spur the big machine that defines us to a great degree determines how we deal with people around us socially.

In a relationship, for example, those that have suffered heartbreak often experience a displacement of their emotions to subsequent relationships. This vastly modifies the expectations that an individual would have from their other half, or any friend, if a fight or disagreement is to occur. Fate is not something that guides and sets in stone all the events within our lives. Individual difference, and the constant change we go through in our lives often lead us to develop expectations and foresee the events to come.

We think we go into any situation wary, ensuring that we won’t repeat our mistakes, but we often become so conscious of ‘not making a mess’ that we often end up doing just that. Unresolved tension in any relationship can often lead outbursts or confrontations to arise at later stages. It is the simple nature of human psyche that enables us to resolve our pent up emotional baggages with actions that may consciously or unconsciously arise at a later point. Maybe resolving one’s issues as they come and then dealing with subsequent situations as a clean slate will render us more objective in our evaluation of events that occur later.

What is magical thinking?
Image: Gemma Talbot

If a colleague at work has taken credit for a piece of work that you’ve done, what would you do? Would you confront them head on, let it blow over, or handle it with diplomacy? A confrontation would require a fair share of gusto, which is why diplomacy and approaching the concerned higher administration about the same would be apt. Letting the situation blow over can often make us prone to having unrealistic expectations from new relationships that we develop in a professional setting.

We often make rules for other people. If they mess up a single time, it becomes a big deal to us, but when we mess up or stick up a situation by ourselves, we often have a rationale about why we have done something wrong, that we think is plausible. This heightened level of expectations from partners in relationships, or even junior employees in a corporate setting which comes from the very nature of a relationship, or in the other case, the conventional 9-5 stint, arises from the tendency to let things blow over, or simply the tendency to project our past experiences on ones to come. This magical thinking, wherein we think that unrelated events are somehow related, is often what may lead us to develop unrealistic expectations.

Superstitions like being cursed with misfortune upon steeping on cracks or passing a black cat all come under magical thinking. Image: Ruben Bolling

We can always try our best to avoid the spell of magical thinking by understanding that being the ‘doer’ in a situation can often lead us to prevent having to deal with repressed emotions later on.

 

An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.