11 Things We Need to Stop Romanticizing to Make Our Lives Better
Very often, books and magazines create a beautiful image of things that can turn out to be dangerous. For example, we are often fascinated with stories about one-sided love or difficult relationships — we are used to believing that strong feelings are always connected with strong pain. Bad guys with cynical jokes always seem to be very charming and pregnancy looks to be the best time in a woman’s life.
Some things seem to be completely harmless, but, according to psychologists, if we change our attitude toward them, our lives will get significantly better. We at Bright Side decided to tell you about some things we should stop romanticizing.
Many people believe that the more painful a relationship is, the more you love the person. However, psychologists say that this is not true because there is no place for constant pain in a healthy relationship. Experts see the link between what our parents’ marriage is/was like (what our family relationships are) and how we behave in a couple.
According to psychotherapist Robin Norwood, if a girl had an emotionally unavailable father, there is a risk that in her adult life, she will choose men that are indifferent to her. The thing is, trying to get attention and receive nothing in return is a normal behavior model for her. Also, Norwood is convinced that children whose parents had some kind of addiction (for example, alcohol) are more likely to have destructive relationships.
Recently, directors have started making charming sociopaths the main characters of their films and shows. You probably remember the show Sherlock where a detective, who is not very good at communication, is very attractive: fans love seeing him express feelings when they least expect it.
But in real life, it would be really hard to connect with them because sociopaths don’t know what compassion, guilt, and love are (this psychological disorder is when a person is antisocial and they ignore social rules).
Loneliness has always been a part of the image of attractive book characters. Nobody in the world truly understands them. This feeling of disconnection with the rest of the world can appear even when you are surrounded by people. According to the theory of neurologist John Cacioppo, we need loneliness to actually have the desire to support relationships with other people. But this feeling is only good when it is temporary.
If someone is chronically lonely, the consequences may be very serious, and result in things like poor sleep, depression, and health issues. So, according to some scientists, loneliness is the main trigger for heart and vessel issues, increasing the probability of premature death by approximately 2 times.
The tale of Belle who was able to turn the Beast into a prince with her love and the story of Anastasia Steele from 50 Shades of Grey who transformed a cold sadist into a passionate man — are very popular plots. The images of bad guys like Draco Malfoy and Jim Moriarty seem to be extremely attractive. However, in real life, a relationship with a tyrant partner will lead to a very touchy psychological situation.
The famous Stockholm Syndrome can also be seen at home — it is the connection of a victim and an abuser in a family relationship. So, one of the partners (it doesn’t matter which one and what gender they are) regularly abuses the other one physically or psychologically and the other partner just sees this treatment as reality and justifies the abuser’s actions. Some people are completely sure that they can make their aggressive partner change and save them with their love. But psychologists claim that unless this person realizes it’s a problem, there is no way to fix it.
Nowadays, different addictions seem to be trendy like smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs. Drinking is even considered to be part of some cultures. The characters of many movies find themselves in funny situations when they drink. A cigarette and a glass of whiskey seem to be totally OK for someone who is sad. Even drugs seem romantic to people (because some artists and musicians take them).
However, psychologists say that this romanticizing leads to negative consequences because people stop realizing how dangerous their bad habits are. Even when children try to imitate adults by clinking glasses of juice, this is not a good thing: children get used to the idea that there is no celebration without alcohol. And according to some scientists, drinking is actually more dangerous than taking drugs because alcohol is more popular and easily accessible.
Instagram bloggers act like it’s cool to be depressed. However, there is nothing attractive about depression, anorexia, or any other psychological or food disorders. Romanticizing them in the media has led to the fact that even the smallest failures and mistakes people make are explained by psychological disorders: a small fear is a panic attack, and a bad mood is depression.
Don’t pretend to have disorders you don’t have — there is nothing good about taking pills you don’t need. And people who truly need help could get lost in the background of those who are looking for disorders they don’t have, just to feel different from everyone else.
Many people like to make charity work a part of their image, but helping orphans is an extremely serious responsibility. Psychologists say that children from orphanages hate competitions where winners get an award, because other children feel offended and try to take the prize away from the winner and destroy it. And some volunteers claim that children from orphanages are often negatively influenced by gifts from people they don’t know: children get used to the fact that someone is going to give them something, but in their future life, things don’t work like this.
So, we should be extremely cautious about giving gifts to orphans. According to volunteers, children need attention much more than they need things: it is better to spend time with them or visit them and give a lecture or teach them some kind of lesson. However, according to psychologists, don’t forget — if someone wants to help children, they should do it regularly and consistently because separation from people they’ve gotten close with is very bad for them.
The inability to keep a house clean
“Creative mess” is a very popular thing right now. However, the inability to keep your workplace or house clean can cause a lot of trouble. Scientists see a link between procrastination and the inability to support order. According to experts, a cluttered house can cause depression that only becomes stronger with age.
Psychologists recommend putting things away once you stop using them. If you do just a little every day, you won’t have to spend the entire day cleaning.
Pregnant women in movies and commercials look so happy and models and actresses show off their perfect bodies right after giving birth. However, psychologists warn: don’t forget about how different reality is from what they show to us on TV and in magazines. Every situation is completely individual and, of course, there are women whose pregnancies are easy. But be cautious when you start to think that pregnancy looks so romantic or that it is the best time in a woman’s life.
Doctors recommend that people not forget that expecting a child carries a lot of risks for a woman’s health, you should review the potential pregnancy-related complications in advance, prepare to have back pain, mood swings, swelling, acid reflux, and other possible problems. Also, many women turn out to not be ready for changes in their appearance, which will inevitably happen when they get pregnant and when they give birth.
Freelance and being a blogger
In the past, children wanted to be actors, astronauts, and vets. Today, the most popular answer to the question about a future profession is a blogger. But blogs require a ton of work. Besides, detailed exposure of your personal life and people’s constant attention can have a negative effect on how you feel. And in order to become a well-paid freelancer with a stable income, you have to acquire a certain amount of experience and have a base of clients — but this takes years!
According to psychologists, working remotely may have a negative effect on people. Without communication and a sense of unity with colleagues, people can develop depression, social phobias, addiction to the internet, and the feeling that they are not doing anything important. Remote work requires people to be highly disciplined and to be ready to have no sick leave, no days off, and no vacation.
The inability to take care of one’s appearance
The popular “messy” appearance often turns into a simple untidiness, which is justified with, “I am what I am and I don’t want to change myself.” If a person is unable to choose clothes, look tidy, or wash their hair often enough, this might not seem to be a big problem. But it actually is. According to psychologists, if a person doesn’t want to take proper care of their appearance, it means that they are chronically dissatisfied with their lives.
Psychologists say: anything we do should bring us satisfaction. They recommend developing good habits, and if you find that you don’t love yourself, you should develop that love — train in front of the mirror and give yourself compliments. You should also learn to find the features in yourself that people could fall in love with.
Do you agree with the idea that love should not be measured by the amount of pain you have to go through to get it? Have you ever romanticized any of the things described in the article? Tell us about your experience!
Preview photo credit depositphotos.com
Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for BrightSide.me