Human behaviour, Personal observations on life

Errors in thinking – Part 6

The mother of all misconceptions is the confirmation bias. What is confirmation bias?

Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret all new information in such a way that it is compatible with our existing beliefs. It is the filtering out of information that contradicts our existing beliefs, assumptions and theories.

Imagine that you contact the Corona virus and become infected with Covid 19. You have to attend an interview, but since you are sick you cannot go for the interview. If you are an atheist, you might interpret this as an example of the randomness of life, a proof that there is not intelligent being or God controlling man’s life. However, if you are a theist, you might say that you were likely to do badly in the interview and God saved you from the embarrassment of doing badly at interview. Such is confirmation bias

Human behaviour

What is adversity quotient?

All of us are familiar with IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient). Some of us may be familiar with SQ (Social Quotient), which is a measure of a person’s ability to build a network of friends and maintain it over a long period of time. There is also the relatively new concept of PQ (Passion Quotient) which is a measure of the passion or deep love that you are capable of having towards something. Then, of late, a new paradigm has emerged called AQ (Adversity Quotient).

What is adversity quotient or A.Q.?

Adversity quotient is one’s ability to handle adversities well. It is known by many other names such as  resilience, grit, fortitude, tenacity and persistence. It is the capacity to bounce back when you have been pushed down. A person with high AQ is tough and will not wallow in self-pity when life deals with him roughly. He is not a person who easily gives up in the face of setbacks.

What are the qualities of a person with high adversity quotient?

  • Adaptability to changes

As we all know, change is the only constant. In the physical world, if an organism cannot adapt to changing circumstances it perishes. An employee who refuses to adapt to drastic changes in the work place such as sudden cost-cutting measures or heavier workloads will give up and leave. A person with high AQ will stay no matter what. The trials and tribulations of personal or professional life will not crush him.

  • High self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is the measure of one’s belief that he can do well in a task. A person with high self-efficacy believes that no matter what happens he is capable of handling it. The construct of self-efficacy was originally proposed by the psychologist Albert Bandura.  High Self-efficacy is important to a high adversity quotient because it gives an awareness of one’s abilities to deal with a difficult situation gives a person the momentum to actually deal with it.

  • Social support system

A person with a high Adversity Quotient usually has a strong social support system. This support system acts as a cushion or buffer that will absorb the shocks the person is dealt with when going through difficult situations. Moreover, a strong social support system will lend emotional support when one is down in the dumps.

  • High emotional quotient

The ability to regulate one’s emotions is very important when one is faced with adversities. It is important in a situation where one’s emotional control is crucial in making a situation worse that how it  already is. Also, people with high EQ usually knows that the emotional impact of an adverse situation is only temporary. It is the classic ‘This too shall pass’ psychology.

  • A positive attitude to life

People with high AQ have a positive outlook towards life. They are the ones who will see that the half -full glass instead of the half-empty glass. They will see even criticisms in a positive and constructive spirit.

The concept of AQ, in fact, is becoming more and more relevant as the world goes through tough times. People with high AQ will be an asset to any organization without any doubt.

Human behaviour

Intimacy Anorexia

Intimacy Anorexia is a relatively new concept to define a very common problem that disrupts and destroys a lot of relationships. What is intimacy anorexia?

It is a term used to refer to the withholding of intimacy- emotional, spiritual and sexual – from a spouse or partner. There are many defining characteristics of intimacy anorexia.

  1. constant ‘busy’ness: The anorexic is constantly ‘busy’ and has little time to spare for his/her spouse. If there is nothing to occupy the anorexic he/she will invent things to do to keep buy.
  2. Blame : An intimacy anorexic never accepts blame for his/her part in a problem or issue, preferring to blame the partner instead.
  3. Withholding love: The intimacy anorexic does not engage in simple words or actions that translates as love. They would not hold hands, or say loving words.
  4. Withholding praise: Intimacy anorexics do not praise or compliment their partner for the positive qualities they possess, or the positive impact they have on the anorexic’s life.
  5. Withholding sex: Intimacy anorexics avoid having sex, or do not connect emotionally during sex even if they have sex.
  6. withholding spiritually: Spirituality is about being connected. Intimacy anorexics do not have this spiritual connectedness with the spouse or partner.
  7. difficulty sharing feelings: Unwillingness or the inability to share feelings is another characteristic that is prevalent among intimacy anorexics.
  8. Criticism: Derogatory put-downs. constant fault-finding and ongoing criticism of the partner is a characteristic of intimacy anorexics’ behaviour.
  9. anger/silence: Some, though not all, intimacy anorexics use anger or silence as a tool to punish, control or push away their partner.
  10. Money issues: Controlling and shaming the spouse about financial issues is another characteristic of intimacy anorexics. They tend to keep the partners in the dark about their financial affairs, make the spouse ask for money and do not allow the spouse to have a credit card or checkbook.
  11. Roommate: The spouse or partner of an intimacy anorexic often feels like he/she is just a roommate, without any relationship to each other.

Intimacy anorexia is caused by a few factors which are typically childhood experiences.

  1. Sexual trauma: If the person has been sexually traumatized in childhood, he/she may develop an aversion to becoming intimate, for fear of being hurt again.
  2. attachment issues with the opposite gender parent: If the opposite gender parent was emotionally unavailable during childhood, or was distant perhaps because of mental health issues, intimacy anorexia may develop.
  3. sexual addition: If a person is addicted to fulfilling his sexual needs outside of marital relationship, he/she might develop intimacy anorexia
  4. role modelling neglect: Not having proper role models in early life may lead a person to less than optimal emotional development, and lack of intimacy.