Sunday, June 24, 2012

None of Us Is Totally Devoid of "Extra Baggage"

No psychology test is perfect. But a popular personality test throughout the world is MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory). Millions of people have taken this test in psychology clinics, hospitals, universities, graduate schools, and even seminaries.

An important trait MMPI determines is level of "sociopathy" - the tendency to selfishly use and abuse others, knowingly or unknowingly. According to records kept on the MMPI, millions of males and females who have taken the test scored quite equally. It's found that there is no significant statistical difference between the sexes in overall sociopathy. That's irrefutable evidence that men and women are equally selfish.

In my work as a psychotherapist, I see the findings of the MMPI borne out daily. Selfish, "sociopathic" husbands abuse their wives. Selfish, "sociopathic" wives abuse their husbands. Selfish, "sociopathic" parents abuse their children. Selfish, "sociopathic" children abuse their parents. None of us (including myself) is totally devoid of "extra baggage."

It's very common that selfish, "sociopathic" individuals are innocent victims themselves of physical, mental, and emotional abuse while growing up. Out of it developed the "extra baggage" in the form of repressed hostility, low self esteem, fear of not being in control, just to name a few of multiple dysfunctional patterns.

As Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us!"

The more clearly we can see this reality, the better we will be able to heal, recover, and be whole in our selves and lives.

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