Over the last few days I have been trying to find out why I avoid social interaction. Usually, I don’t feel comfortable to meet new people. After meditating for sometime I found out that this problem was not an issue that came up in one single day but has developed over a number of years. I therefore went further to think about my past life and the experience that may have led to this kind of behavior. This essay analyzes these experience and their theoretical explanation using psychological eye.
My mother is a teacher while my father is a doctor. They are both hardworking and have achieved a lot in their professionals. They always show me some of the medals they were awarded for their good performance in their respective institutions. Apart from that, I have attended and witnessed them receiving the awards.
The most significant instances included a ceremony where may father was named the doctor of the year after carrying out a surgical operation which was thought to be too complicated and difficulty to perform. Just a month later, I witnessed my mother receiving a present as the teacher whose subject was best performed in that year. I was so moved by these two occasions that I promised to work hard and become a doctor like my father.One thing I didn’t like in these ceremonies was that particular moment when my parents introduced me to their friends.
I was normally filled with fear and shyness. My parents also realized that I was having a very difficulty time whenever we attended such occasions. We all discussed about my problem. They told me that even when I was young I was not only afraid of strangers but also shy.
They concluded by telling me that this reaction would not stop all of a sudden but would even continue in the future. They both agreed that this may be the reason why I was uncomfortable whenever I met new people.Back in my school, meetings were often held to evaluate the performance of the students. This was done to ensure that every student did well in examinations as well as to find out, if any, the problems why some students didn’t perform well. Those students who performed poorly in exams were punished and ridiculed. They were even nicknamed. On one particular day I was almost about to fall under this category of students. My parents were annoyed and cautioned me about the kind of friends I had in school.
I was promised a present if I improved in school. I had to dedicate more of my time in studies.I used to spend most of my leisure time in watching movies and soaps.
Though I didn’t like this at first, I had no alternative since my family and I had moved to this country in which I was quite unfamiliar with. I eventually came to love watching the T.V and currently I prefer this to going out and meeting new people. I usually spend most of the afternoon watching the TV and I have come to associate evenings with watching the TV.
The presents my parents received motivated me so much that I had to set my personal goal of being like them or even doing better. A child personality is usually shaped by their personal interaction with their parents and forces which are unconscious. According to Maslow “the inner need to fulfill one’s potential” which he referred to as ‘self actualization’ is a process that continues all though one’s life. In other words, it is not only applicable to childhood but also across on individual’s lifespan (Slater A, Bremner G, 2003, pp.57-58). I always felt I that I would only achieve ‘self actualization’ at that time when I will become a doctor and I had to give more time to my studies then going out to meet new people.
Psychoanalytic theory (Maslow theory of self actualization) is the reason why I always worked hard to become a doctor. However the theory may not explain my behavior since I have already changed my mind about my future career and I no longer long to be a doctor.My parents’ explanation about my behavior can be traced to trait theories where our actions in childhood are supposed to be manifested even when we grow old.On the other hand this may not explain my behavior since not all what I did in my childhood is manifested in my current life situations (Ewen R, 1998, pp109).Watching some students being punished and humiliated in front of their schoolmates forced me to work even harder to avoid the same. My parents’ reaction to my poor performance and their promise to reward me mounted pressure on me to spend more time in studying. Social learning theory is the reason why I spend more time in books and discouraged me to meet new people.
I learned how grievous it was to fail in school by “observing behaviors of others and outcomes of these behaviors” (Bandura A, 1977, pp.21-23) However some of my classmates still go out to meet new friends and their performance in class is excellent. Others spend more time studying and perform poorly so this may not be the reason why I avoided social interactions.Watching the T.
V came to be part of my life even though I didn’t like it at first. classical conditioning is the reason why I long for the evenings because I love to watch movies and songs. According to Pavlov P., conditioning implies to that “process where neurological patterns become sufficiently established to make a response” and there must also be reinforcement (Cropps R, 1986, pp.98).
I no longer watch TV in the evening. From the theory of classical conditioning the evening can can be taken to represent the conditioned stimuli while the Tv soaps and movies represent the unconditioned stimuli. I enjoyed watching the Tv in the evening so much and an evening always reminded me of the soaps and movies. This theory may also not sufficiently explain my behavior because though I no longer watch the Tv in the evening, i still don’t like going out to meet new people.All the theories discussed above do not sufficiently explain my behavior even though they may be part of the explanation. I still don’t have a concrete explanation of my behavior up to date.
ReferenceSlater A, Bremner G (2003, pp.57-58), an introduction to development psychology, UK, Blackwell publishingKenneth H, Hogan R, Wolfe R (1993, pp.225), first years of personality psychology, SpringerEwen R (1998, pp.109), personality a topical approach: theories, research, major contributions, amazon.
com,Bandura A. (1977, pp.21-23),social learning theory, Prentice- hall.Cropps R (1986, pp.98), an introduction to psychology of religion, Mercer University press.