I'd forgotten about learned helplessness until it hit me smack in the face this week. I've been watching this person for months struggle with whatever comes to her. It finally dawned on me, the struggle is how she gets others to do for her instead of having to do for herself.
I'd wondered how such a bright child could be so awkward with direction. Yet my realization suddenly makes everything clear. The sad fact is she's caught in just another manipulative trap. Whether this game was put on her by controlling parents or created by the child herself doesn't really matter. What's important is it's a crippling game.
Women who practice this behavior find themselves in unhealthy situations more often than not. Not having the skills to care for oneself can be a death sentence. There's nothing that attracts predators more quickly than this type of behavior. They feed on it. They need it. It's what makes them feel in control.
So sadly I watch this child cling to her helplessness knowing that it'll be a hard road to follow. It's difficult to see someone so young trapped. Yet unwilling to see anything but what works for her. It doesn't take a crystal ball to know where this road leads.
Do you see learned helplessness around you? If so, how do you deal with it? You can bet I'll be spending sometime figuring out how I'm going to deal with this.