By Marcia Sirota, MD
We’re living in dangerous times, and while we might think that the dangers we face come solely in the form of nuclear proliferation, rampant war-mongering, easy access to assault weapons, ongoing climate change and global financial collapse, we’d be wrong.
While the above are certainly dangerous, they’re mostly just symptoms of the more subtle yet pervasive dangers we’re facing. These ten lesser-known but very real dangers are psychological in nature, and we need to become aware of them, ASAP.
Here’s a list of the ten dangerous psychological traits that are threatening our existence on this planet:
10 Counter-Productive Personality Traits
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #1: Our extremely short attention span which prevents us from taking a step back, to grasp the big picture.
When we can’t see things as they really are, we’re unable to effect meaningful change.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #2: Our willingness to accept unsubstantiated opinion as proven fact.
When we confuse opinion with fact, our choices aren’t grounded in reality, which leaves us essentially powerless.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #3: Our mental rigidity and refusal to see things from a different perspective.
Having a closed mind prevents us from learning anything or recognizing when we’re wrong. We’re doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes and making new ones.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #4: Our compulsive avoidance of discomfort.
Our resistance toward doing anything that’s difficult or unpleasant is putting us at risk for illness and failure. Our insistence on things being easy and painless is depriving us of all but superficial gratification.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #5: Our habit of denial with regard to the problems we’re facing.
When we refuse to face our problems, we create a pattern of waiting so long that they turn into a crisis. When we won’t deal with anything, all our problems, personal and global, can only get worse.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #6: Our greed and compulsive consumerism.
We’re convinced that having more money and things makes us happy, but all it really does is cause us to exploit everything on earth- people, animals, the environment- as though it were an inexhaustible personal resource.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #7: Our moral cowardice.
This makes it very difficult for us to step up and do the right thing when the right thing needs to be done. It also makes us unwilling to take responsibility for our actions and eager to blame everyone else for our mistakes, which means that we have little motivation to look inward and change our erroneous ways.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #8: Our emotional immaturity.
We’re too prone to act on impulse, jump to false conclusions, exercise poor judgement and be lacking in self-awareness. Instead of being rational, thoughtful and practical, our choices often don’t make a lot of sense.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #9: Our gullible, credulous attitude toward people in positions of authority.
Our willingness to believe the stories of so-called “leaders” and “experts” is depriving us of our own agency. When we fail to question those in charge, we give away our power.
Counter-Productive Personality Trait #10: Our tendency toward lazy thinking.
When we don’t follow our thoughts through to their logical conclusions, we end up confused and ill-informed, with half-baked ideas; helpless to affect meaningful change on our own behalf or on behalf of the world.
These ten troublesome traits all have something in common: they’re better suited to children. Our society doesn’t encourage us to be open-minded, questioning adults who think for ourselves and practice healthy skepticism.
Still, we’re always free to become more conscious and aware; we can recognize any of the above traits within ourselves and choose to let them go.
We can face our own troublesome psychological traits, and those in the people around us, and in doing so, we can become empowered to change our lives and our world for the better.