Friday, June 25, 2010

Past Experience

In handwriting analysis, there is a certain trait that shows that the person doesn't learn from past experience. Frankly, I wonder if all of us have this trait. I really don't know too many people who actually do learn from past experience. Well, I'm sure if you put your hand in a fire, you won't do that again. But what if the pain isn't quite as excruciating? What if you just got a blister from wearing a certain pair of shoes, but then after a couple of months you forget that you got a blister last time? I think for most of us, where this really comes in to play is with life experiences.

Let me give you a personal example of a time when I didn't learn from past experience. A couple of years ago, when I first started my religion blog, I started talking to an anti-mormon. My reason for spending so much time talking to him was that I felt I needed to defend the church. I also wanted to dispel some of the misconceptions he had. I have to admit that I even got to the point of Bible bashing with him. It ended up with him continuing to hurl false accusations and continuing to tell me I was going to hell for my beliefs. I finally cut off communication with him. There are just some people you can't reason with. And most of those people don't listen. But recently I had the same type of person come back to my blog, and I still got sucked in. Part of me thinks I need to defend my religion, and part of me hopes that I can reason with them. I ended up realizing that just like the first time, this guy couldn't listen to reason, and continued to hurl attacks. I finally decided, once again, to stop the discussion.

But this post isn't really about that situation, I just used that as an example. I think the way some of us see ourselves not learning from past experience is with our interpersonal relationships. We have a relationship with a person, and it ends up being bad. So we finally "wake up" and decide to cut off the relationship. But then time passes, and maybe like the blister we forget the discomfort we experienced. Maybe we just hope that we can "reason" with the person and things will be better "this time".

Another way we don't learn from experience is when it comes to living like we should. This is probably the biggest way. Maybe we have a weakness for reading the scriptures, or going to church. At some point we finally decide that we are going to do better, and we do....for awhile. But then we forget the consequences of not doing that thing and we slack off again. This pattern could go on for years.

I guess I sometimes wonder if I, in particular, am ever really good at repenting, and changing. Why is it so difficult for us to make permanent change? Why don't we learn from past experience?


Amber said...

okay, I'm sure you're all tired of hearing "in therapy I learned..." but what you're saying is true, we tend to repeat the same interpersonal relationship patterns over and over alot. The book I read on love addiction explains that you seek out people that will help you re-create a bad relationship you had as a child that you wished you could change, and you keep repeating this pattern hoping for a different ending, until one day you realize this, and maybe get therapy too. Even then it's still hard - because it's such an engrained part of who you are it's how you learned to deal with people.

Nene said...

Sometimes I wished I had studied psychology...I love learning about all this stuff, I think it's so interesting!

Looney said...

You were extraordinarily patient. I usually turn these experiences around and ask myself to what extent Jesus is patient with me, and when would he cut me off. Thus, I end up seeing a little of me in the provocateur.

Othersideblue said...

great meaningful concept..

need to reread this post again, i do this with interesting subjects and ideas.

ur today's post is one !

Congratulations & keep thinking and writing,


Ramana Rajgopaul said...

Learning from experiences is vital in business and relationship situations. If one does not do so, avoidable pain and suffering takes place. I tend to learn by going over what went wrong and using that as a yardstick when a similar situation arises.

Mr. Giggles said...

Sometimes we also put ourselves in bad situations for other reasons:

1. We feel we deserve it.
2. We want to appear to be more innocent--the "victim," if you will, so we do this to prove our point.
3. We feel uncomfortable with success, and sabotage it to take away the responsibilities that come with it.