What made you behave that way?
What made you behave that way? Have you paid close attention to your behavior? Can you trace back to when certain behaviors began?
From the moment we are born, our caretakers begin conditioning us. The conditioning begins with nourishment as the primary means of conditioning. As we grow older, various sources of pleasure such as food, love, attention, recognition, and praise are utilized as tools of manipulation.
These rewards are contingent upon our behavior meeting the expectations of our caretakers. Since we are pleasure-seeking beings, punishment becomes the most effective way to alter our will.
You may ask, how can I be conditioned? The following research may shed some light on how this can occur.
Ivan Pavlov, a renowned scientist during the 1800s, conducted surgical procedures to study the gastrointestinal secretions of animals throughout their lifespan. Through his research, Pavlov developed his most influential work: Classical Conditioning. He demonstrated that by consistently pairing the sound of a bell with the presentation of food, the dog learned to associate the bell sound with the anticipation of food.
If a dog can be hard-wired into salivating at the sound of a bell, we can also.
How is this relatable to our current paradigm?
Consider the relatable example, At the sound of a bell, we get up to work five days a week for the end reward, which is our paycheck. Willing to give up five days of the week experiencing pain for a few moments of pleasure.
And if the only way out of the repeated hardwired emotions is through creating new experiences that enable us to feel happy and satisfied, then it’s almost impossible to escape.
Here is another way conditioning occurs, by associating human attention with the validation of our existence. Whenever we receive attention, we feel validated. As children, attention indicated that our needs would be taken care of.
Through their attention, our parents nourished us and attended to our needs. Consequently, we adapted our state of being to attract this treatment as it signified our survival and validation of our existence.
However, why do we continue to undergo conditioning as adults?
By introspecting on this newfound awareness, we can conclude that our behavior is largely altered and lacks authenticity. Every relationship we form appears to be influenced by predetermined structures, suggesting that we may have never truly experienced an authentic connection with anyone.
I strongly encourage you to analyze your behavior and its association with your past. Was it a means to effectively receive the love and attention you desired? What changes have you made within yourself to feel worthy of love?
Before taking any action, ask yourself these questions:
Why am I doing this? What is the motive behind my actions?
Constant introspection is the pathway to self-realization. It allows us to delve into our behavior, uncover associations with our past, and understand the conditioning that shapes our actions.