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Emotional Blind Spots


You have high self-esteem; you know what you want and you know how to get it. You are aggressive enough to make people pay attention, but not enough to scare them off. Your life is on track and you are truly happy – until someone identifies an aspect of your personality obvious to everyone but you. Most people have psychological blind spots: Aspects of their personality obvious to everyone but themselves. If your boss says your team members hate you and you need to change; you’re shocked, confused, left wondering who, what, why, and where to begin. Psychological blind spots are not always negative, however. You may discover you’re blind to your positive attributes as well as negative ones. People who appear exceedingly beautiful may find themselves unattractive and inferior. Highly successful people who grow up poor might feel they’ll never have enough money. Children who experience sustained periods of hunger might overspend on food and provisions as adults. Improving Lives Counseling Services treats psychological, psychoanalytical, and psychosomatic disorders.

Freud labeled a negative response to a psychological blind spot, engagement in a reaction formation process: “A method of transforming uncomfortable or unacceptable feelings into something more manageable – the adoption of ideas and impulses opposed to one’s own” – a behavior in which a person will attempt to hide his true feelings by demonstrating the exact opposite feelings. When aspects of a person’s thoughts and behaviors are out of keeping with the person’s ideal self-image, damaging their sense of worth or value, the behavior is ego-dystonic. You love someone with all your heart, yet they continuously question your love. You are a strict conservative, yet you date progressive liberals. You attend a church whose discourse clashes with your beliefs. You keep up with the Joneses, despite living beyond your means. The subconscious mind governs aspects of the persona – emotions, intuitions, and beliefs. The therapists and counselors of Improving Lives Counseling Services offer behavioral and psychoanalytical therapy.

Seductive blind spots are the unintentional behaviors that hold us back; the bias blind spot is identifying the impact of biases on the judgment of others while failing to see the impact of biases on one’s own judgment. You vote your feelings rather than your beliefs, remain in relationships you know don’t work, accept deadlines you can’t meet, support an organization you constantly denigrate. Are psychological blind spots a way of lying to one’s Self? Perhaps, in laymen’s terms. However, eating disorders, anxieties, obsessional behaviors, depression, emotional, and behavioral disorders can display as symptoms of psychological and/or emotional blind spots. Recognizing one’s true feelings can be painful and consistent. Uncovering blind spots can be an elusive process.

Do you have a friend or family member who fails to accept the persona they present? Do they avoid emotional connections, have an unrealistic view of themselves, their vision, goals, and ambitions? Are they in denial, appear unconnected, or socially aloof? Failure to seek treatment for deeply held emotional blind spots can lead to psychological and behavioral disorders. Telling someone to “get real”, “be yourself” or forcing responses to “how do you really feel” or “what are you thinking” can further damage a subconscious locked in perceptions of a personality obvious to everyone but themselves. How do you help? Challenging their imaginary world can be interpreted as critical rather than supportive making them more ego-dystonic. Suggest you both have a mental check-up, explain lots of people are doing it. Go as a friend, couple, or family. Early diagnosis of psychological, mental, and behavioral disorders can avert physical illnesses and save lives. Improving Lives Counseling Services offers individual, couple’s, family, group, and video sessions. Live the life you and those you care about the most are meant to live. Call us.