Every middle-aged adult in our society has a slight, or not so light, perception of the existence of a loss of values, of social change, of a decline in the way we relate and treat ourselves. with each other, in the way we behave. we work in society or perceive reality.
When I ask my patients what they mean by values, few find a direct relationship between them and their state of discomfort or psychological conflict.. But in reality, there are many who really suffer from this clash between their beliefs and the new reality of our society, which is not so new, let alone.
How do values influence us?
We define values as qualities or principles that could describe a part of our personality. Models that we see as something auspicious or positive, to relate to others. Actions that flow from these qualities, tasks that we must accomplish to feel the fit between what we do and what we think we should be.
By new reality we mean the fact that there has been a paradigm shift. We were taught that for there to be a healthy coexistence and for us to be happy ourselves, we had to respect certain rules. These rules have changed. And we believe, in principle, that now everything is more comfortable and easier.
But … is it true?
Many people who come to see me feel, as expected, emptiness, unhappiness, dissatisfaction or loneliness. And they don’t know why. They don’t know what is wrong, what is missing in their life. What is the absence, what do they not know when or how they lost.
Many of us have come to feel this almost subconscious perception at some point. A vacation, a Saturday night, on vacation, at work, when we think of our past, present and future romantic relationships …
We already see part of the problem, don’t we? Exactly, the difference between the expectations we have created for what things should be and reality of what they really are.
Discomfort with unrealistic expectations
When we stayed home on a Saturday night and thought we should do everything by posting pictures on social media; when our summer vacation arrives and we have no boat to sail on, no apartment by the sea, no five-star hotel reservation in an exotic destination … we feel a spontaneous and incomprehensible discomfort.
The same thing happens to us in our married life. If we have it, we think our life should be better than it is. Maybe more sex, or more adventure, or more romance. Or we envy the lonely person who is not tied to a routine. If we don’t have it, we envy who has a partner, imagining that she lives much happier than us.
Everything makes sense when you rationalize these emotions, we stop, think, and see how we created those expectations.
A loop of unfulfilled wants and needs
Social media has become the most consumed product today. We see images of laughter, glamor, fun, destinations and unattainable ideals as a couple, which are often neither ideals nor partners. The capitalist and consumerist society with advertising motivates us, through the individualism that sells us, to consume.
Consume to be better than others, to be different. It is the dissatisfaction trap that forces us to continue buying and consuming. One who offers unattainable and unrealistic goals of social status and beauty. Because we are looking for them in an endless race.
The pornography and hypersexualization that we receive on a daily basis make any kind of sex available to us seem too boring or routine. We find sex, while not wild and passionate, to be a harmless and disappointing practice.
We have accepted unwanted television and the internet as hyperreality above reality, and it seems that apart from the mobile there is nothing more interesting. That it is no longer worth the trouble to lift your head and relate to everything around us.
Today everything can be financed, so we consume, consume and consume. We will pay later. We have forgotten what expectation, consideration for others, tolerance for frustration is. We forgot that sometimes things don’t go as planned. And that it is not a drama. That’s why when our wishes don’t come true, we feel so bad.
It eats away at the feeling of dissatisfaction, unpopularity, devaluation of ourselves, incomprehensible emptiness, not to take advantage of the time as we should. And we can’t and don’t want to experience this discomfort alone, so we unload it on those around us.
Our unconscious has internalized very harmful messages. For example: trying to accomplish anything is torture. If something bad happens or goes wrong, it’s a drama. Nothing is our responsibility. Things should always be positive. Our expectations must be met because yes.
Effort, patience, perseverance, humility, gratitude, kindness, sincerity, responsibility… have become virtues, divine acts almost out of fashion.
Can we do something?
But I have good news. It is possible to change this situation. It can be achieved through self-esteem and personal growth. Of course, it is not easy.
We have to believe that what we do is valuable. We must learn to identify those irrational ideas that limit us and plunge us into anxiety and sadness. We have to start realizing that things are not as we have been told.
We have to assume that we build reality through what we do. And we have to understand that reality matters the same if we don’t share it on the networks. Even more.
If you have heard that this article represents you, do not hesitate to consult a professional in psychology. Undoing those mental knots and regaining the happiness you deserve is easier than you might think.