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Psychological Complexities

Psychological Perspectives


August 17, 2017

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Ken Silvestro, PhD.

This past week, a reader asked me a question. The question was basically the following: I'm really good at what I do for living. So why do I dislike it?

The answer can vary from person to person and be quite complex. So, I'll provide some common reasons that should be helpful to everyone, revealing psychological complexities as well.

Just the fact that humans are both unconscious (have a hidden psychology) and conscious (are aware) is enough to understand that psychology is complex. In previous articles, I described how often the unconscious influences our conscious lives, producing many complexities but for this article, I mostly will focus on some conscious influences.

Consciousness, among many elements, involves our beliefs, values, thoughts, perceptions and personality traits. That's quite a lot of psychological material to manage.

Consider a simple decision to go to the store. We must evaluate the time involved; the importance of the items we need to purchase; whether we have enough money; what store to go to, how to get to the store; if we believe the items are worth purchasing, and so on. If you consider all the conscious steps involved, it really can be exhausting.

Now, if a person likes her/his work and functions well, the person's personality and abilities are likely suited to the work. Recall from previous articles that personality characteristics include: thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition, along with extraversion and introversion. Some of these traits will be part of a person's conscious personality and are the traits that are well suited to their work, contributing to the quality of the work.

In addition, among a person's many possible abilities are: intellect, attention, coordination and strength. These abilities are related to personality characteristics, instincts, education, life experiences and so forth. Any of these abilities can be developed and help a person to be good at work, especially if the work is suited to the person's personality traits.

At the same time, there are the other personality characteristics and abilities not suited to the work, and there is the Self -- the center of a person's psychology which helps provide a person with meaning. If the Self is not suited to the work, a person could easily dislike her/his work. All three psychological influences can lead a person to completely different interests than their work. Of course, in order to pay the bills, satisfy family needs and meet life's challenges most people override these influences.

So, when people ask questions that seem easy to answer, keep in mind that most answers require many psychological complexities.


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