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Summary of Patterned Thinking

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Patterned Thinkers (PT) are "Creatures of Habit" in the sense of engaging in non-thoughtful ways of dealing with something significant. They try to convince themselves that PT is the "right" way and recite the advantages of being able to multi-task and daily do mundane things (e.g. texting) to relieve the pressures of life. But deep inside they feel the lack of the "5Ss" (safety, security, self-confidence, strength, and stability). In attempts to deny these lacks, they engage in Reaction Formation--going to and doing the opposite extreme of what they know to be true. Then they claim anyone outside their "common sense" ways of PT, feeling, expressing, and doing are to be rejected by "not being one of us." Yet, in their quiet moments what they have tried to deny rises to the surface and causes them, for a brief moment, to come face-to-face with their own Truth and Reality. Fundamental is not having trust in their own ability to recognize what is truly important or have reproducible workable approaches for decision-making and problem solving. What stands out is their PT does not allow them to put boundaries on highly complex situations so as to untangle the "glob" information (an undifferentiated sticky interweave of thought, emotions, ideas, happenings) inside what is the most significant. Since their PT in dealing with core issues has invariably been quite misleading in what to handle first as well as typically faced with repeated poor key decisions/solutions, they have problematic Self-Esteem. By knowing no other way to be than impulsive in the use of their PT, they have no choice but to "Make Do" with the poor results derived out of their false beliefs.

What drives PT is hoping for the presence of a “kernel of truth” in what they say and, if so, that others will accept their total story. But if PT are questioned further, they become defensive and attack the questioner. This lack of self-satisfaction with the way they think leads to defense mechanisms (ways of handling personal philosophical and/or psychological concerns by escaping from Reality). A Mature way is "Escapes" into Creative or Fun Thinking realms. Another is Compensation whereby one is motivated to "make up" for deficiencies which unconsciously lead one to fear one is inferior. A 1950s popular example of Compensation was Charles Atlas, a "97 pound weakling," who became a "he-man" after taking a bodybuilding course. Thereafter, no one now dared to kick sand in his face at the beach. Immature "Escapes" are for purposes of preserving ones Self-Esteem. A self-defeating compensation is displaying "power" by being ill-mannered or not doing ones duty to benefit oneself and others. Examples include being disinterested in or not caring about what someone is saying, or about the situation, or about the outcome. Second, Withdrawal is shown by not returning telephone calls or emails when one does not know what to say to, or do, for the other. Third, is having opinions about everything (typical of PT). This is a false means of feeling superior. Fourth is believing one must judge things "up front" instead of simply seeing them for what they are and then creating a solution. Fifth is relying on Hope/Faith as an excuse to not take charge and control; not to Think; and not to do anything. Sixth is rigidly holding on to delusions, especially in religion.

Additional "cruise control" bad features of PT include: Stereotyping information, people, or a situation without recognizing their individual differences; willingly suspending ones "clear sight" and judgment of "what is as it is"; denying contrary evidence and drowning out protest questions or comments; comfortably living with the unintelligible, the ambiguous, or with what cannot be conceptualized or integrated into the rest of ones knowledge; accommodating to holding onto ones guilt; staying in induced trance-like illusions of understanding; repressing ones critical thinking faculty out of laziness; and strangling any thrust of reason convulsively seeking to assert its proper function as the protector of ones life and cognitive integrity.


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