Psycho-Cybernetics Part 21 of 30: The Restrained Personality
June 9, 2009 by Dr. Lam
There are two ways to respond to negative feedback: 1) improving your future course so that you don’t repeat the same mistake, 2) you shut down and become more inhibited in what you do and say. Like the guided missile that is our unconscious servo-mechanism, tiny corrections continue to move us toward our target. However, when the negative feedback is too severe or strong, the missile veers tremendously off course or shuts down all together.
Maltz says that we were all born to have a care-free attitude and unrestrained personality. However, with ongoing negative criticism, we become more and more restrained in our social interactions and more timid as individuals. Our servo-mechanism should act freely and not be restrained by conscious fear of a situation.
He uses the example of a stutterer and a deaf-mute. Usually, a stutterer becomes increasingly self conscious of his behavior and cannot talk well. However, an experiment was undertaken in which the stutterer had his voice recorded but during his speaking had a loud bell tone ringed into earphones during his speech. Surprisingly, when played back, the stutterer was amazed that he was not stuttering. His unconscious ability to speak was paralyzed by his conscious deliberation on his speech until that conscious layer was removed. The opposite is true of someone born deaf. Typically, they can’t speak at all. That is due to the absence of feedback on one’s own speech so that individual never learns to speak. We need aural feedback to what we say so that we know how to correct our speech.
The stutterer represents the person who is so inhibited by past negative comments that he or she cannot freely interact with others. The deaf-mute is similarly an example of someone who never got any feedback and does not know how to move forward.
To unlock our true, real personality, we must begin to let go of this thick layer of conscious restrictions. Tomorrow we will investigate poise and what that means to the unrestrained personality.