Tuesday, August 30, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Intellectualization

Intellectualization is used to suppress emotions when someone is being confronted with a difficult situation. It is as much a mouthful by pronunciation as it is by definition, and it is extremely difficult to detect if the person deploying this tactic is commonly reserved by nature. We commonly see this defense mechanism used in popular political debates, news interviews, and highly controversial subjects (such as abortion, capital punishment, immigration), because people who exhibit emotions during these events are often immediately discredited.

Intellectualization: Intellectualization is the overemphasis on thinking when confronted with an unacceptable impulse, situation or behavior without employing any emotions whatsoever to help mediate and place the thoughts into an emotional, human context. Rather than deal with the painful associated emotions, a person might employ intellectualization to distance themselves from the impulse, event or behavior. For instance, a person who has just been given a terminal medical diagnosis, instead of expressing their sadness and grief, focuses instead on the details of all possible fruitless medical procedures. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

Have you ever seen Harry Potter and watched as a character insults or frustrates Professor Snape (Alan Rickman R.I.P)? He does show a minimal level of emotions at time, but often he will counter with a cold calculated and overly accentuated response. He uses intellectualization, because he does not know how to channel his frustration in a more regularly recognized emotional outburst. Intellectualization is also commonly seen with the stereotypical math teachers, and it is an internal response to discomfort rather than an external response.  

Does intellectualization exist in MLMers??? Absolutely, especially when it is an upline talking to a downline at any part of the chain. Upline will always strive to show some sort of mental superiority over downline because of their edification. This means they cannot show any form of emotion, other than a false smile and pleasantness, because that would be discrediting themselves and/or bringing them down to a lower level of being. It is a philosophical ploy to ensure downline never questions their advice, and comes to them whenever they have a comment or concern.  They are constantly training themselves and their downline to refer to the same, canned, repetitive discussion points whenever a controversial point is brought to their attention, and as they get more practice with these responses, they become more and more cold to the subject matter. An example of this is, if someone asks if the MLM is a pyramid scheme. They will already have a reply designed to confuse or sound unquestionable and they will deliver the response with little to no emotion. This will intellectualize the concern and usually dissuade the other party from continuing to pressure on the subject. 

If you feel upline has all of the answers and is delivering them to you in rapid succession, then you should take some time to research exactly what they are saying, and why it seems to make sense. There are many resources to disprove the intellectualizations, and if you continue to pressure them on certain points, then the cracks will begin to show. You will start to see upline regress through the other defense mechanisms until they reach denial. Once they have gone back to denial, then the point is moot and should not be pursued further, because you cannot be rational with the irrational.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Special Thank You!

I coming up on my second week of blogging, and am already featured as a guest blogger, linked to other blogger's pages, and in a few other forums thanks to some very passionate people!  So, it is time to give thanks!

I started this journey about a year ago, after I was propositioned to join an MLM by a co-worker (I may put that story on this blog, but I need to fix it up, and only if enough people are interested in reading it). After I went through the initiation process, I was offered a position in the group. I politely declined because this was not the way I wanted to generate an extra income, and it looked like it did a lot of damage to many people. I could have walked away and pretended like those couple of weeks never happened, but I really needed to know why these businesses were successful, and how I got so excited at the beginning.

I started my learning by going online and Googling about the particular company and came across two very successful blogs. The first blog was Married to an Ambot (marriedtoanambot.blogspot.com), and it is currently still being written by Anna Banana. She is a firecracker, and she has no problem telling people exactly how she feels. I learned a lot about the manipulation of MLM, the specific rhetoric used by MLMers, and most importantly, that I wasn't alone!

The second blog I went to was the top link on Anna's page, and it was called Amway The Dream or the Scheme (http://amwayscheme.blogspot.com/). This blog, written by Joe Cool, was a much more thought provoking way of presenting MLM material. I'd like to say it was my second stage in releasing from the Matrix (referene to the movie), because at first I was angry, but then I became hungry to learn more! Joe didn't just get me thinking, but rather engaged many people in his blog posts, some were supporters of MLM and some were against MLM. It was an amazing way to begin engaging in a dialogue with the people that supported a business I was against. However, the dialogues quickly turned sour as the MLMers would not continue to respond, or would divert the topic from its original premise to an abstraction. I needed to find more!

The third blog I found was Lazy Man and Money (www.lazymanandmoney.com). This is the blog where I learned how to make connections from the MLM company I was propositioned by, and all of the others that are in existence. I learned how to properly form my points with due diligence and proper research. I learned how to dissect an MLMers words to a precise degree, and understand why they had so many fallacies in their position. This is where I stepped out of my comfort zone, and began to truly grasp the magnitude of the MLM situation.

The fourth blog I went to was MLM the American Dream Made Nightmare by David Brear (http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.com/). David is probably the smartest guy I have ever read, and trying to write to him is a truly daunting task. To this day, I still get fearful I am using a word incorrectly, or writing like an idiot, because he made me look up more words in a year than I had my entire life. David was the first MLM writer to truly engage me personally, and he helped me launch my blog on different platforms. He is a truly special individual, and his personal story with MLM is both brilliant and horrifying. It is a must read experience.

The fifth and final MLM writer/blogger I want to mention is Ethan Vanderbuilt (EthanVanderbuilt.com). I only recently reached out to Ethan, but he has already let me write a post on his website, and has directed more traffic to my blog than I got the first week and a half! He is an exceptional writer, and a great person to reach out to personally.

These are some of the most influential people in writing about MLM, and they are some of the best members of society. They go out of their way to keep the public informed, and work very hard for very little or NOTHING AT ALL to help their fellow human beings. They were the influences I needed to push me towards writing about MLM. They are the members of society I wish to emulate through my writings, and they are the people who make this world such a great place to live in.

Thank you!

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Displacement

Displacement is very similar to projection, except for one key difference. Instead of the person projecting an attack that would more accurately describe their behaviors, they displace the anger towards one person by targeting an unrelated individual. Displacement can come from a variety of different scenarios, and can be both good and bad. One of my favorite positive forms of displacement is paying it forward where someone in front of you will pay for your items without you knowing. This good deed is designed to start a chain effect where one person engages another person with a nice gesture which in turn leads the new person to displace good energy to another unrelated individual.

Displacement: Displacement is the redirecting of thoughts feelings and impulses directed at one person or object, but taken out upon another person or object. People often use displacement when they cannot express their feelings in a safe manner to the person they are directed at. The classic example is the man who gets angry at his boss, but can’t express his anger to his boss for fear of being fired. He instead comes home and kicks the dog or starts an argument with his wife. The man is redirecting his anger from his boss to his dog or wife. Naturally, this is a pretty ineffective defense mechanism, because while the anger finds a route for expression, it’s misapplication to other harmless people or objects will cause additional problems for most people. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/2/)

Have you ever been out in public and had a random person provoke a fight with a stranger? Maybe you are at a bar and a local drunk is outside starting trouble, or a person in the check out line at a grocery store begins to fight with the clerk when their coupon doesn't work. In these scenarios, it is never about the person they are instigating an issue with, but rather an unrelated event that has been causing inner turmoil throughout the day. People can displace anger on different individuals as well as themselves. Instead of dealing with the problem directly at the source, they will repress the issue until it has to come out.

Displacement in MLM is dangerous!!! MLMers have a very difficult time dealing with the negative emotions they are repressing, because it is forbidden to show any form of negative emotion when they are in public or doing business related activities. This leads to potentially dangerous displacement as they release their anger upon unsuspecting targets. There are many stories of MLMers coming home and verbally or physically abusing their children and wives, or vehemently attacking a prospect or downline when they aren't following upline's commands properly, or even come onto a blog and write a particularly nasty note that has nothing to do with the article. In any case, there is one main response to displacement.

You can remove yourself from the situation. You might be able to walk away, but you might also need to get the police involved. Either way, this is the best way to handle an MLMer that is displacing their anger.

Do not engage them!!! If you try to be rational with an irrational person, it will be equivalent to banging your head against a brick wall, and if you try to respond to their anger with your own anger then you will only escalate the situation. It is important to let the MLMer calm down, and then approach them in a regular tone of voice with specific points about your concerns. If they begin to displace more anger, then you must remove yourself from the situation until they are able to listen. This process will repeat until the MLMer learns and preferably leaves the business, or you may have to consider making a permanent exit. Either way, you must look out for your own well being first and foremost.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Repression

Repression is one of the more commonly used defense mechanisms for adults, and particularly for men. Bottling up emotions can be extremely damaging in both the short and long terms. People can be resentful at first and eventually grow to be more and more distrustful of others. It is important not to repress our feelings of discomfort, and instead engage them in a healthy dialogue with someone else.

Repression: Repression is the unconscious blocking of unacceptable thoughts, feelings, and impulses. The key to repression is that people do it unconsciously, so they often have very little control over it. "Repressed Memories" are memories that have been unconsciously blocked from access or view. But because memory is very malleable and ever-changing, it is not playing a DVD back of your life. The DVD has been filtered and even altered by your life experiences, even by what you've read or viewed. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

Have you ever had a friend that refuses to tell you about their problems, even if you know they just had a serious trauma? Many times, people are not able to address the problems because they feel society will judge them. Yet, other times people can't voice their problems because they simply don't know how, or worse, don't know they have any to voice. Repression activates constantly to protect us from being overly stressed, angry, frustrated, or even tired. Emotions can be draining, and it is impossible for our brains to trigger and understand every situation with regards to how it makes us feel.

Repression can be dangerous. Repression can lead to permanent psychological conditions when not addressing serious traumas effectively. People can develop different personalities to help cope with the issues, self medicate, or worse commit suicide. Childhood traumas are a main source of repression, because our brains haven't fully developed yet. Any time there is a childhood trauma, it is particularly difficult to understand the full spectrum of emotions that are attached to the situation, and it is even harder to verbalize how it made you transition into your later years of life.

Repression in MLM is BAD!!! There are two main issues to address with repression and MLM:

1. Current MLMers are encouraged not to voice concerns or to question their uplines if something seems wrong. Instead, it is taught to repress every emotion other than happiness, because everything else will stop them from their goals of endless wealth and success. It is important to stay positive and focused on the track provided, because that is the only way their system will work. The repression they teach is both unhealthy and a form of brainwashing. They are conditioning MLMers to reject previous teachings, disregard what others say, and not to think for themselves.

2. Former MLMers are taught to repress their feelings about the business. They are conditioned to take full responsibility for their failures, and taught that the system is fool proof. Also former MLMers will repress their feelings, because they don't want to deal with the embarrassment of losing money or being duped. It is hard for people to admit when they made a mistake, and former MLMers realize they have made BIG mistakes. Former MLMers will choose to move forward with their lives rather than dwell on the past and cut their losses, because they are still conditioned to not think of the negatives. Former MLMers will repress their feelings because they fear the company is too big to do anything, and their voice will fall on deaf ears.

Repression surrounds our every day lives, and MLM leaders take advantage of this defense mechanism to help prevent repercussions from their dubious tactics.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Reaction Formation

Reaction formation is another way of "killing someone with kindness". This defense mechanism is based on a sarcastic response to being upset by blatantly acting the opposite way. This is a tougher defense mechanism to notice, because some people are very good at hiding how they truly feel. Instead of explaining their feelings, they could continue to act as though everything is wonderful, even though it is the opposite.

Reaction Formation: Reaction formation is the converting of unwanted or dangerous thoughts, feelings or impulses into their opposites. For instance, a woman who is very angry with her boss and would like to quit her job may instead be overly kind and generous toward her boss and express a desire to keep working there forever. She is incapable of expressing the negative emotions of anger and unhappiness with her job, and instead becomes overly kind to publicly demonstrate her lack of anger and unhappiness. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

Have you ever had a friend that only buys people gifts voluntarily when they are upset? It may be as simple as bringing in a cup of coffee or a piece of cake, but you know it is uncharacteristic of their day to day habits. These are routine versions of reaction formation to an underlying problem that a person is having troubles addressing verbally. This is an unauthentic representation of generosity, and usually results in a very awkward moment before confronting the situation. 

Reaction formation in MLM is Real!!! MLMers are constantly harnessing reaction formation to deal with their day to day issues with society. They are upset with their current statuses and utilize reaction formation to lift their spirits. In a group setting, it can trigger a euphoric feeling as the reaction formations feed off of each participant, until it changes from a sarcastic response to an unpleasant situation, into a deeper positive emotion. This can be described as a different form of mob mentality, where people utilize the group to help validate their fake emotions of goodness. 

MLMers will go out of their way to be nice to strangers in the pursuit of their own self-gain. They will transform themselves into a giant reaction formation to the evil world they feel surrounded by, and create an egregious display of caring and authenticity. They will create a matrix to live in and validate their reaction formations among one another until it completely envelops their being, and then MLMers will create harsher lines between themselves and the "others" living in the outside world. This is where the cult-like behavior begins, as they strive to be a genuine and moral group of people, but it is based on a lie and the deception to themselves is magnified by the corruption of the leaders who are lining their pockets with their disciples incomes. The leaders use loaded analogies and jargon to create harsher lines between themselves and reality, which ultimately isolates the members from friends, family, co-workers, and eventually anyone else that is not involved in MLM.

Monday, August 22, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Projection

Projection is one of the most common defense mechanisms. It is an interesting defense mechanism, because it creates an irrational sense of winning as a person will blame their adversary for behaviors they are currently using. This technique is almost the same as the game "shotgun" when trying to get the front seat of the car. As long as a person claims the other person is displaying bad behaviors first, then they are winning the issue at hand.

Projection: Projection is the misattribution of a person’s undesired thoughts, feelings or impulses onto another person who does not have those thoughts, feelings or impulses. Projection is used especially when the thoughts are considered unacceptable for the person to express, or they feel completely ill at ease with having them. For example, a spouse may be angry at their significant other for not listening, when in fact it is the angry spouse who does not listen. Projection is often the result of a lack of insight and acknowledgement of one’s own motivations and feelings. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

Have you ever had a friend who accuses everyone of being extremely hostile to them, but then is extremely hostile when they are making this claim?  This is a form of projection, as it helps to make their behavior more rational in their own head, and levels the playing field as it makes everyone sound as crazy as they are acting.  Now that person feels it is okay to be hostile to the others, because in their mind they are just responding to what the other people are doing. Of course there are a couple of flaws here, such as the people weren't being hostile and two wrongs don't make a right.  However, it is difficult to point these ideas out as the person has already made the situation rational in their head, and therefore it is usually the correct way to handle the situation.

Projection in MLM is BAD!!! MLMers project ill will all the time, and then they rationalize it with a higher sense of morality with their relationship to god and the business. MLMers condemn others who are not in the business by suggesting their life is lacking in different areas. These areas may include, not spending enough time with their kids, working for a boss, working a job, not making enough money. Let's take a moment to unravel some of these projections, as the MLMer uses this technique to gain a mentally superior ground in their pitch for the business.

MLMers and their projections:

1. Non-MLMers don't spend enough time with their kids.  This blanket statement as a whole can't have any weight, because there are plenty of people who have successful careers and are able to take vacations with their kids, have a parent stay home with the kids, work from home and be with the kids, or any combination of the above. To make a statement such as, non-MLMers don't spend enough of time with their kids is ridiculous, because the MLMers really don't know that information. Do MLMers spend more time with their kids? According to most former MLMers the answer is no, and in the book Merchants of Deception, you get to see first hand as an Emerald from Amway is dragged into the ground working countless hours trying to make his business profitable. Yet, that is just one example. Many former MLMers talk about watching as their friends make Facebook posts or other claims in person, yet in actuality are not available because of the amount of time spent at meetings and parties or showing their plans.

2. Non-MLMers are working for a boss. Maybe some, but certainly not all of them. Also, what is wrong with working for a boss? Many people don't want to be a boss and take on that extra responsibility. It is nice to not be held accountable for your team's performance, and some people strive by focusing on themselves rather than making sure a team below them is doing their work. Are MLMers actually their own boss? In short, no, nah, no way, absolutely not. They have no control over how the products are distributed, how they are marketed, how they are tested, or anything that involves the business other than getting new recruits. They are glorified salespersons being pumped full of hopes and promises. The biggest reason for why they aren't their own bosses is, they can be fired from the MLM at any time if they break the rules.

3. Non-MLMers are working a J-O-B. When was this such a crime? For that matter, when did we strive to not participate in society by producing fruitful labor? This is one of the weirdest projections, and of course being in an MLM is a J-O-B. Not punching a time card does not mean you aren't working a job. If you are trading your hours for income, then you are performing a job.

4. Non-MLMers don't make enough money. Well, they can't do worse than being in an MLM, because MLMers, according to the income disclosures of their companies, average far below poverty wages for over 90% of the members of the company, and after expenses are primarily in the red. It is only a select few at the top who are taking home any wages at all. Being a fry cook at McDonald's or a greeter at Walmart will have a better bottom line than more than 90% of the people involved in MLM.

As you can see, many of these common projections are riddled with fallacies. Yet, they keep getting repeated because they have rationalized the projections after they are continuously repeated. It is time to break this projection cycle, and end the game of, "Nuh uh! I said it first!"

Friday, August 19, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Compartmentalization

Compartmentalization is interesting because it is almost the same as dissociation, but isn't quite as intense because you still have most of your rational faculties.  Compartmentalization can be used to justify breaking a set of values in a niche case, but doesn't completely alter you from the reality.  The main difference between dissociation and compartmentalization is intensity. Dissociation is completely severing your ties with reality as you form a new persona to suit your needs, whereas compartmentalization allows you to break your values for a specific scenario.

Compartmentalization: Compartmentalization is a lesser form of dissociation, wherein parts of oneself are separated from awareness of other parts and behaving as if one had separate sets of values. An example might be an honest person who cheats on their income tax return and keeps their two value systems distinct and un-integrated while remaining unconscious of the cognitive dissonance. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

Have you ever had a friend that seems to have a great sense of direction but then do something completely unprecedented? Maybe, you have done this yourself? It can have many different levels of significance based on your values and societies values. This can be as simple as not lying, except for when you are asked about how you are doing at your job, or it can be as severe as not being racist face to face with a person but then telling people about how you wish they would just stay in their own country. There are many different ways we compartmentalize our issues to help deal with inner turmoil, but primarily we come up with a relatively irrational reasons and then justify it in our own heads. That way we can keep both value systems intact and away from one another which alleviates the chaos of being inconsistent.

Compartmentalization in MLM is BAD!!! MLMers are constantly dealing with dissociating their regular life from their MLM life and it starts off with splitting their value systems ever so slightly yet consistently. This slowly devolves into a much worse form and creates full blown dissociation. The upline will teach MLM how to sacrifice their values in the pursuit of their business by missing out on dinner with the wife once a week, or choosing to skip a child's theater production to show a business plan/host a party. Once that becomes easier for someone to compartmentalize the upline will make the needs of the MLM even stronger and encourage the MLMer to make more sacrifices and compartmentalize more values until they are completely transformed. This is synonymous with a story I heard of boiling a frog. You can read about that story at the blog, Amway the Dream or the Scheme, by Joe Cool.  

Compartmentalization is healthy, but it can also be as dangerous as a gateway drug. The next time you feel like your values are being compromised, ask yourself if this is a one time deal or if it is even necessary to do this, because once you do it once it only gets easier to do it again and again.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Dissociation

Our next defense mechanism on the list is dissociation according to psych central, and this one puts ignoring the problem to a whole new level. Dissociation is a fancy way of playing pretend, and acting like everything is wonderful on the outside while stuff on the inside looks more like a tropical storm. This is probably one of the best ways to describe a fully transformed MLMer as they have been indoctrinated into their scheme.  

Dissociation: Dissociation is when a person loses track of time and/or person, and instead finds another representation of their self in order to continue in the moment. A person who dissociates often loses track of time or themselves and their usual thought processes and memories. People who have a history of any kind of childhood abuse often suffer from some form of dissociation. In extreme cases, dissociation can lead to a person believing they have multiple selves (“multiple personality disorder”). People who use dissociation often have a disconnected view of themselves in their world. Time and their own self-image may not flow continuously, as it does for most people. In this manner, a person who dissociates can “disconnect” from the real world for a time, and live in a different world that is not cluttered with thoughts, feelings or memories that are unbearable. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

Have you ever met someone that dressed in a nice suit, talked with a big smile, drove a nice car, had a great wife and kids, but you just felt like something was wrong (Uh oh MLMers...)? These people are forming a new identity, a perfect character to portray to the world, because the real self is full of disappointment and lack of achievement. These people talk fast, and look the part, but their bank account and their shrinks say otherwise.  Ultimately the facade cracks, because the true self can't be contained forever and you get brief glimpses of the beast that lies inside. They are a person full of discontent as the character they have formed is not a true extension of themselves.  

Dissociation with MLM is REAL!!! People in MLM are a prime example of dissociation, because one of their mantras is to fake it until you make it! They don't have the lifestyle they spout out on stage or in their videos, they don't have the happiness and satisfaction of earning a great life, they don't have confidence to be honest about who they truly are.  They are a sham, spurious, and a mockery of everything you think is true and good.  They form their character based on the sociological values we strive for, and imitate a personality we find wholesome. MLMers are chameleons of deceit, and the kings and queens of dissociating themselves from the reality they are condemned to.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Acting Out

Our 3rd defense mechanism is acting out. This defense mechanism is the physical or more provocative version of regression. If you remember from regression, it is more about acting like a child with an immature voice, sarcasm, or some other form of benign action that is reflective of a much younger age.  With acting out, you take it to the next level by literally physically conveying your issues.

Acting Out: Acting Out is performing an extreme behavior in order to express thoughts or feelings the person feels incapable of otherwise expressing. Instead of saying, “I’m angry with you,” a person who acts out may instead throw a book at the person, or punch a hole through a wall. When a person acts out, it can act as a pressure release, and often helps the individual feel calmer and peaceful once again. For instance, a child’s temper tantrum is a form of acting out when he or she doesn’t get his or her way with a parent. Self-injury may also be a form of acting-out, expressing in physical pain what one cannot stand to feel emotionally. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

Have you ever known someone that is consistently getting drunk and fighting with others? This is a form of acting out against another part of their life that is particularly painful and they can't express with words. Instead, they decide to demonstrate their anger with violence and self-destruction. Acting out is one of the most dangerous forms of a defense mechanism, because it is often just as bad or worse than the issue the person is running away from. That drunk person may be dealing with a bad marriage, the loss of a significant person in their life, a terrible or unsatisfactory job, or a number of other reasons. Yet, they feel it is better to put themselves and others in danger, as well as risk jail time, rather than talk about their problems with others. Often, the people don't calculate the risks when they are acting out or simply don't care, but many have never learned how to address the issues they are dealing with constructively.

Do MLMers act out??? I have never personally seen an MLMer act out, but there are books written by former IBO's, and comments written on other forums stating this is an occurrence.  There have been stories of IBO's beating their wives, hurting their children, and becoming alcoholics. Can we say for certain this has come from being a member of an MLM? Probably not, but there is a correlation between acting out and not being happy with your current situation in life.  Many MLMers feel betrayed when they find out the dreams and opportunities weren't really available for them, but rather they were supplying it for an upline member. Many MLMers feel hurt when they bring in friends to an opportunity that turns out to do a lot of damage to their downlines lives. This is why it is quite plausible that there would be a correlation between MLM and acting out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Regression

Today's Defense Mechanism is regression.  Regression is interesting because people tend to act as though they are at a more advanced stage of their life rather than go backwards. This is one way we that we strive to better ourselves, and yet when faced with a painful reality it is easy to revert back to what we know best. Here is the definition of regression from PsychCentral.com

Regression: Regression is the reversion to an earlier stage of development in the face of unacceptable thoughts or impulses. For an example an adolescent who is overwhelmed with fear, anger and growing sexual impulses might become clingy and start exhibiting earlier childhood behaviors he has long since overcome, such as bedwetting. An adult may regress when under a great deal of stress, refusing to leave their bed and engage in normal, everyday activities. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

The first expression that comes to mind is, quit being such a baby.  In most cases it is easier to find an excuse rather than a solution, and with regression the excuse is simply to act incompetent. Have you ever been asked to take out the trash? Without thinking your first thought may be, "I don't wanna!" in your favorite four year old voice,or maybe "Why don't you take out the trash?" in a snarky 13 year old voice. These are examples of how the subconscious chooses to handle situations of discomfort, and then you can choose whether or not you want to act out in these manners.

MLM Regression is Bad!!! When I was approached about a couple of MLM's, the people were extremely friendly and polite.  They were certainly acting above their actual position in life, and it was refreshing to see them trying so hard.  However, that quickly changes once you disagree with what they are telling you. The MLMers ability to rationally think about different people's perspectives has been wiped out by their conditioning and replaced by a 7 year old's fight or flight mentality.  To an MLMer there are only two sides to every story, and their side is right while everyone else is wrong.  

My most vivid experience with regression was when I told the man attempting to sponsor me to show me the numbers. His first response, much like that of a child, who cares about the numbers, and you just have to follow your dreams.  If you follow these wise people who care about you and have shown you their successes, then good fortunes will come. This to me was like putting my head in the sand and hoping when I popped back up a giant sack of money would be lying next to me.  He had somehow confused hard work and learning with an undying trust based on a few choice words and some pictures. 

While regression typically is shown in an outward appearance of conveying an emotion or action based on a child or younger, it can also be reflective in our decisions of who we trust and choose to look up to as a model.  It is important to have people you look up to, because it will encourage you to strive for more. Yet, it is easy to not notice that you are regressing when the people you are modeling after are terrible examples.

Monday, August 15, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Denial

Today we are going to begin exploring one of my favorite topics. Defense mechanisms! Defense mechanisms are fascinating because most run in our subconscious. These mechanisms are comparable to survival techniques and come as naturally as breathing. According to Psych Central (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/), there are 15 main defense mechanisms which I will split up into a series of posts over the upcoming days. Without further ado, let's begin with number one on their list, denial.

Denial: Denial is the refusal to accept reality or fact, acting as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not exist. It is considered one of the most primitive of the defense mechanisms because it is characteristic of early childhood development. Many people use denial in their everyday lives to avoid dealing with painful feelings or areas of their life they don’t wish to admit. For instance, a person who is a functioning alcoholic will often simply deny they have a drinking problem, pointing to how well they function in their job and relationships. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/)

This is the first defense mechanism that will pop into our head's whenever an uncomfortable situation occurs. Most times, we can think of a better way to cope with the situation rather than simply pretending it didn't happen, but sometimes it is the only option we have.  Have you ever been caught farting? There aren't many ways to deal with that situation, in fact there are only two. You can either admit that you did it and subject yourself to a variety of criticisms, or you can simply pretend it wasn't you. You can pretend not to smell it, you can pretend it was someone else, you can even pretend it was the person blaming you! Regardless, you know the truth and you aren't going to take responsibility unless you have to. This level of denial is relatively harmless and can be humorous, but there are situations which are much worse!

MLMer denial is very bad! MLMers are the best at denial, because their uplines have conditioned them to never take responsibility for their actions. They have taught them there is an excuse for anything and everything.  In fact, most uplines teach their downlines to make excuses first before understanding the business and often it is all about excuses without any real understanding. Whenever you are trying to explain a situation to an MLMer it is their job to be correct rather than accurate and to have an answer for everything.  This is when you know the denial is at its strongest point.  The best part of denial for an MLMer is, they don't have to make sense in order to feel like they are winning.

Denial is the hardest thing to combat, because it is usually based on an illogical premise.  It is very difficult to have a constructive dialog if the person you are talking to is playing with a set of rules that nobody else can understand.  Denial is also extremely difficult to deal with because it is one of our most primitive skills.  We have spent our entire lives developing our denial abilities and being able to justify our denial excuses in our heads.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

MLM automatons have a set of programmed commands and responses to all topics.  This programming is constantly being updated and confirmed at each household meeting, seminar, and conference by their uplines.  They are consistently and relentlessly hammered with MLM jargon until it becomes a part of their being.  

Cognitive Dissonance can be healthy! Have you ever been to the gym and wondered how you were going to get that last rep? Your body is tired and your mind is screaming "Quit!, Give up!, Try again next time!", yet you continue to push forward in an effort to better yourself.  This is a form of cognitive dissonance, but it is healthy because you are trying to improve yourself from a previous best.

In life we are constantly bombarded with decisions, and most of them involve a list of pro's and con's that are processed extremely quickly. You may not even realize, but it can be as simple as choosing which cereal to pick out at the store, or as complex as which university to attend.  All of your decisions have some kind of cognitive dissonance which pushes to take action and make a decision.

Cognitive Dissonance in MLM is BAD!!! An MLMer being confronted with glaringly bad facts about their business uses cognitive dissonance to stray away from the reality.  An MLMer may be told or even realize they are losing money, yet they will suggest that they are providing ground work for a better future.  An MLMer may be told about the 99% failure rate of their company, but then say statistics are meant to be broken. These MLMers are constantly being programmed to take very bad information and turn it into a tolerable positive even if it isn't plausible.

It is important to realize that cognitive dissonance is an extremely powerful tool, and when harnessed to its full potential is relatively impossible to change.  This is why we have successful businessmen, athletes, doctors, lawyers, etc. Those people were able to channel all negatives that were coming at them (including from themselves) and still fight for what they believe in. It is just as powerful when MLMers believe in their "businesses".

Welcome to Doctor Doe's Room!

Welcome to Dr. Doe's Office! This office specializes in the diagnoses of MLM vassals. 

First of all, what is MLM?  Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a controversial marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit.

MLM or Network Marketing, Direct Selling, Relational Marketing, Seller-Assisted Marketing, Referral Marketing, 
Dual Marketing, Concentric Marketing, Consumer Direct Marketing, Inline Marketing (There are more names too, but that is what I have found thus far thanks to http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com/2014/08/mlm-basics-why-are-there-so-many-names.html) is an enigma disguised as a business opportunity to deceive people into giving up their hard earned income.  It attacks a person's rational thought processes and changes them into an automaton which regurgitates specific phrases and ideas. MLM leaders are masters at conditioning individuals into leaving their friends, families, and educations in pursuit of a better life.  

This blog is going to explore real mental conditions and compare them with members of an MLM.

I am going to preface this blog by saying I do not have a degree in Psychology, Counselling, Psychiatry, or any medical field for that matter.

I am also not here to recommend treatment for any conditions you feel are relevant to your friend/family member that may fit a particular description. This blog is opinion based, and specifically for entertainment purposes ONLY!

With all of that being stated, let us dive into some interesting medical phenomena and uncover the wonderfully intricate puzzle that is the MLM condition.