Everyone loves certainty, in the sense that there are things we don’t like that have surprises in store for us. There are things in our daily life that we want to stay the same and in order to achieve this we do the same thing every day, which we call routine.
However, we also appreciate the openness. Newness brings us a breath of fresh air in the form of more imagination, creativity, and new experiences that usually arouse good emotions.
Mental rigidity is the opposite of open-mindedness, and open-mindedness is made up of inflexible standards., thought patterns very impervious to any change for the better. We’ll think about what it means to have too many of these standards.
What are the inflexible standards in psychology?
We have all heard it from being closed-minded, a phrase that is prevalent in popular parlance. Typically, it is used to refer to someone who has a lot of mental rigidity, which it does not come from a particular thought pattern. He has his own standards, inflexible and very impervious to any new idea or way of bringing it out of his daily life.
This also applies to someone who does not understand or do not want to understand a point of view different from theirs, that in the world things are as they are, and that any idea outside their norms must be out of necessity. wrong.
We understand that a person has too many inflexible standards when rejects approaches, ideas or perspectives different from those he usually uses in his everyday life. He settles down and closes in on his own ideas and mental patterns, he doesn’t get away with it.
Maybe deep down you know that some of the strategies you apply in your day to day life are incorrect and dysfunctional, but because you are afraid of change and not sure if the news is more risky than the news. old, you are unlikely to get rid of it, its inflexible standards.
People with too rigid standards, too solid and rigid character, they have difficulty valuing other perspectives or points of view, not only those who come from others but who are also not able to get out of this vision that they have applied for a long time to the world around them.
They don’t like novelty for fear of not knowing if it will lead to good results or, if not, it will lead to worse consequences than they got with the old ways. They follow the maxim “better known, bad than good to know”.
Everyone has inflexible standards to some extent, and we don’t have to worry about having them.. Each falls at some point in a gradient from the most absolute cognitive flexibility to the most static mental rigidity.
There are things in our daily life where it is very difficult for us to question or change them, without it being the symptom of some mental disorder. We can see it with an everyday example that surely everyone feels identified with.
Think about how many times you have tried to solve a problem in the same way over and over again, even if on more than one occasion this system has not worked for you. You know in advance that this is a bad choice, but it scares you to try new things lest they waste more time or give you less good results but of course we do not win not if you don’t take risks.
Characteristics of mental stiffness
Inflexible standards, and mental rigidity in general, he can acquire various important diplomas from a perspective specific to clinical psychology. Being too closed-minded or systematically rejecting new ideas and behaviors can be described as phenomena, symptoms or problematic traits of an obsessive personality.
For example, in psychoanalysis, mental rigidity and inflexible standards are considered to be typical of a patient who resists change or is unwilling to talk about a topic that causes them discomfort or fear. . This idea has a lot to do with what we usually use in popular parlance, as the patient is reluctant to change for fear that what is new will cause him or her some sort of existential crisis.
too much we can relate the standards to the idea of a comfort zone. A person who for years has followed the same guidelines for doing things in their everyday life or who has a very fixed belief system will not find it comfortable to doubt themselves at this point in their life. The comfort that allows us to think in a certain way for a long time is very great, and any change that wants to be introduced will go through a period of instability and uncertainty.
But despite its apparent convenience, having extremely rigid standards comes with drawbacks. The main thing is to always think in the same way, to see the world through the same prism and not to doubt your own ideas acts by clipping the wings to the imagination, self-improvement and the discovery of new experiences and ideas. Open-mindedness is radically opposed to inflexible standards.
As a symptom, inflexible standards, rather a mental rigidity in the broad sense, can be seen in psychological conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome, dementia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (TOC).
Characteristics of a person with too many inflexible standards
As we have said, everyone has inflexible standards because it is inevitable that our minds will be rigid in some aspects, especially in those that concern our daily life. No matter how open-minded we are, we need a certain stability on a daily basis, certain guidelines that change little and give us the security of knowing that they will always bring us the same results.
However, as we also mentioned, having too much mental rigidity is a problem. it limits our imagination, depriving us of testing new strategies to see if, by opting for a new method, we have better results than before. Having too many inflexible standards does not allow us to adapt to the environment.
There are several characteristics that can be found in a person who follows too many inflexible standards:
- Refusal to open up to new perspectives
- Reluctance to change
- Rejection of new perspectives
- Refusal to live in the present
- Rejection of uncertainty, even if the known implies damage
People with too many inflexible standards they find themselves trapped in patterns of thought and behavior that they themselves have forged, which they refuse to let go of, even though they know it will always bring them negative results.
Although they know that having an overly rigid mindset prevents them from developing healthy and happy bonds with others by depriving themselves of new experiences, they remain trapped in it. Overly rigid standards prevent their victims from giving in and being trapped in their own ideas and attitudes.
Consequences of having too many inflexible standards
When we are people with extreme cognitive rigidity, our minds are locked into new possibilities., which has a number of consequences that cause us all dissatisfaction in life. Some of the emotional, social and physical consequences of having too many inflexible standards include:
- Problems adjusting to adversity
- Difficulties growing as a person
- Difficulties growing intellectually
- Problems making new friendships
- Problems at work due to not knowing how to adapt to changes at work
- Problems enjoying sex
Most of these problems are related to the idea of not being able to get out of the comfort or safety zone that the person is he was created according to his inflexible standards. Because she is not able to innovate or try something new, at the very least there is something that strayed from what is part from the daily routine or from what was expected, she is bewildered and experiences a lot of anxiety, both of which make it impossible for him to adjust to the new situation.
- Caputto, Ileana, Xai, Soledat, Keegan, Eduardo and Arana, Fernán. (2015). PERFECTIONISM AND PATTERNS OF EARLY DISADAPTATION: A STUDY WITH UNIVERSITY STUDENTS. Psychological Sciences, 9 (2), 245-257.
- Londoño, Nora H., & Jiménez, Erika B., & Juárez, Fernando, & Marín, Carlos A. (2010). Components of cognitive vulnerability in generalized anxiety disorder. International Journal of Psychological Research, 3 (2), 43-54.
- Montaner, X., Tàrrega, S., Moix, J., 2021. Psychological flexibility, burnout and life satisfaction among professionals working with people with dementia. Spanish Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology.