Director Bhagat Hospitals
I have often heard my colleague Dr Kamal Parwal say – Every body has his own quota of irrationality. Today I thought I will study a little more about this powerful word which we use very often to snub our fellows –or to dominate in talks- don’t be irrational . Though the term loosely used at times has very deep meaning but one thing for sure. We are all irrational at times in our life- howsoever logical we may claim to be.
What is the dictionary meaning of irrational & irrationality? A person is irrational when he unable to think clearly & logically-it is an adjective. In other words when the person lacks the usual understanding & coherence prevalent in relation to current time place & situation.
Irrational behavior- is said when the person reacts or becomes angry about a situation which has not occurred as yet.
· Expressing emotions in excess
· Maintain unrealistic expectation.
· Engaging in irresponsible conduct etc, etc.
Why a person is irrational
Difference in perceived and actual interest.
* Abnormal conditions such as sudden death or catastrophe- leading to intense emotional outburst.
* Fear / Subconscious fear
* Flawed reasoning which may stem from wrong inputs, intoxication , Personality or attitude at times
affected by past experience . – all leading to failure to comprehend .
* Hidden interests may be in unconscious mind or at times obvious . My own observation-financial gains
are a major factor-Lakshmi Ji Mahan Hein. This is called self service bias.
* Inability to comprehend . the consequences . Lack of knowledge or experience.
* Split personality.
* Stress- becomes an additional function
* Awkward situation or Ego problem.
* Peers imbibe irrational thoughts & ideas. ( Mahants /Preachers/ Maulvi )
“ A boss is always rational- employees always agree during meeting but may disagree afterwards”
How to deal with irrational people or what is distorted thoughts & behavior
– Quickly try to comprehend the reason behind it. But don’t be biased.
– Try to make your own attitude flexible. Check your daily thinking, assumptions & bottom line beliefs. Don’t get bogged down by your own inflexible attitude & perceptions.
– In case of serious threat don’t hesitate to arm yourself legally.
– Stay calm & buy time. Everything passes away. Don’t get pulled into the storm rather ride out of it. ( cool cat)
– Take the help of experienced people or learn from your own past experience. Write the event on a diary or paper- it will help you in understanding either way.
– Have a support system. People in the support system should help you steer to reality. They should not contaminate any of your own irrational ideas. They should be supportive, neutral & refusing to take sides and at the same time wise people of standing. They should give opinion but should never insist on following a particular path. Beware of self declared leaders who always keep on boasting about their past deeds. Liaison is a new upcoming self employment- beware of liaison agents.
– If you become stressful because of some body action don’t hesitate to take help whether of
psychologist, social worker or priest.
– Humor therapy is good for stressful conditions- remember that adv. –“ accident ho gaya balle –balle”. Watching a cartoon film of your choice is really fun. I know of a Sr. Air commodore who insists on watching TOM & JEERY everyday in the evening.
– Prayer is one of the most effective way of handling irrational behavior—provided you have faith & you
give it time.
– By your calm behavior try to turn tide in your favour. Try to understand what provoked him.
-Take a deep breath
Remember irrational behavior is like a bait -if you take it you are trapped. If you expect a disturbed person to understand your logic you will end up beating your head against the wall. Don’t expect a person to understand logic in that state. Taking time out is a good idea. Staying in that disordered situation may not be a good idea as it may affect your own health.