Nous
Compliant mind and dominant mind

Compliant mind and dominant mind

If two individuals are always in agreement on everything, I can assure you that one of them thinks for both
S. Freud

Some time ago, in the article Without relationships we are nothing that can be seen, I explained why we perceive our true essence only when we relate to others.

The reflection originated from the reading of Schopenhauer, but immediately found a way to adhere to my studies of psychology. Freud’s sentence with which I open this article is an excellent example of this.

Compliant mind

In my clinical experience, I have received many male patients destroyed by the transition from adolescent to adult life.

They were children with no particular educational limits, but from families who had managed to stem the most dangerous drifts, simply thanks to good example.

There is no need to impose a strict curfew on Saturday night if you wake your child up with a kiss on Sunday morning. It will be he himself to regulate himself not to be surprised still devastated in that moment of human warmth.

Young people, therefore, trained to regulate themselves independently and completely unrelated to the comparison. They understood what the limits were to be respected to avoid discussions with parents and therefore they never had them.

As adults, the absolute love of mom and dad gave way to the relative love of the partner. He loves me if my behavior is lovable. Or to the functional one of the employer. He loves me (read esteem, but the speech does not change) if my contribution to business development is amiable.

In the world of adults, however, it is very difficult to recognize the limits to be respected in order to avoid conflicts. So we argue, we discuss, we compare. Those who did not train when they were young will end up growing small in this situation. He will leave reason to others and will not defend his point of view.

This is how a compliant mind is born.

Dominant mind

“You are special”. Some parents just say it, others show it by indulging the child and then the boy in his inclinations, attitudes and desires.

This pedagogical modality is typical of the richest families, in which saying yes to the requests of the children is not only easier, it is often also fun. Thus, the boy with a passion for music will have a rehearsal room at home, he will invite his friends and he will feel that his parents support him in this passion. The child with a passion for drawing will be taken to visit museums all over the world, the enthusiasm of the parents will transform a game into a skill. Children with a passion for numbers will be praised by mum and dad’s friends with a passion for finance.

Whenever parents support their children, they strengthen their self-esteem. Children thus supported will become adults without fear of expressing their opinions.

This is how a dominant mind is born.

Compliant mind and dominant mind

There are three possible intersections between these two mentalities. Compliant mind with compliant mind, compliant mind with dominant mind and dominant mind with dominant mind.

Compliant mind – compliant mind

Communication between two compliant minds resembles a hide-and-seek competition.

“What do you prefer to do?”. “Everything is fine with me, you choose.” And in the end, nothing is done.

In this interaction the paradoxical anger generated by the frustration of never being able to complete a decision process together is frequent. In the most serious cases, a type of passive aggressive communication is established.

Compliant mind – dominant mind

The dominant mind thinks for both. This is the case described by Freud in the aphorism at the beginning of this article.

Of course, even so it is not all solved. The yielding mind undergoes, undergoes and undergoes again, then, by dint of undergoing or it breaks or explodes. The anger of apparently good people always arouses great amazement, but it is the inevitable consequence of the energy not vented.

Dominant mind – dominant mind

Sparks. Neither of them yields an inch and they engage in endless discussions of which the most interesting aspect is usually the mild narcissism that fuels the debate.

Etrambi love to listen to each other talk and would never stop. This is dysfunctional because when talking to someone, it is best to listen to what they say as well, not just what you say.

The blurred mind – conclusion

Fortunately, the world is not black or white.

The yielding mind must learn the courage to stand up for the things it believes in, even in front of the dominant mind.

The dominant mind must learn to listen and recognize that its point of view is not always the best.

Once you understand which of the two minds you are, you should train yourself to act like the other, even if you don’t feel like it.

Because, and I understand I’m giving you bad news, you can’t just do what you like in life.

Do you want to chat with a psychologist? Subscribe to our Telegram channel

The psychologist replies