Research on what is known as learned helplessness has shown that when people feel like they have no control over what happens, they tend to simply give up and accept their fate.

What Is Learned Helplessness and Why Does it Happen?Kendra Cherry


Learned helplessness occurs when an animal is repeatedly subjected to an aversive stimulus that it cannot escape.


When people feel that they have no control over their situation, they may begin to behave in a helpless manner. This inaction can lead people to overlook opportunities for relief or change.



Learned helplessness has also been associated with several different psychological disorders. Depression, anxiety, phobias, shyness, and loneliness can all be exacerbated by learned helplessness.


For example, a woman who feels shy in social situations may eventually begin to feel that there is nothing she can do to overcome her symptoms.


Researchers have found, however, that learned helplessness does not always generalize across all settings and situations.


Learned helplessness often originates in childhood, and unreliable or unresponsive caregivers can contribute to these feelings.


When children need help but no one comes to their aid, they may be left feeling that nothing they do will change their situation.


Learned helplessness can also result in anxiety, depression, or both. When kids feel that they’ve had no control over the past events of their lives, they gain the expectation that future events will be just as uncontrollable.


Academic struggles can also potentially lead to feelings of learned helplessness. A child who makes an effort to do well but still does poorly may end up feeling that they have no control over their grades or performance.

其實求學生涯這樣的例子看得很多,我只是有幸在學校的環境學東西相對足夠快,但身邊一直有很多需要更多不同方式去學習的同學。但同時,我也覺得很多生活中很重要的技能,在僵化的教育制度下變得毫無樂趣,也因爲過於抽象的關係,沒有人知道我們爲何要學那些東西。用一個經典的《那些年我們一起追的女孩》的例子,誰還記得log到底是學來幹嘛?(其實是X次方的反面,就如果你想知道某數值是X多少次方,就把那個數字用log base X運算出答案即可,但我們離題了)

剛才説,在一方面的無助不一定延展到其他方面,但我身邊這些同學,的確很多因此對數理其他科系產生無助感。前陣子我因一次意外的機緣綫上爲了個網友輔導課業,也不懂是不是突然間information overload的關係,明明我前兩分鐘才解釋清楚一個概念,也確認對方聼進去,但後來要用同樣的概念連接和延展另一個概念時,卻鬼打墻無論如何就是連不上。但只要分開問,就沒問題。


Learned helplessness may also contribute to feelings of anxiety and may influence the onset, severity, and persistence of conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).



Because of this, people who are experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression may refuse medications or therapy that may help relieve their symptoms.



Attribution or explanatory styles may also play a role in determining how people are impacted by learned helplessness.


Research suggests that learned helplessness can be successfully decreased, particularly if intervention occurs during early onset. Long-term learned helplessness can also be reduced, although it may require longer-term effort.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can be beneficial in overcoming the thinking and behavioral patterns that contribute to learned helplessness.

CBT是心理治療的其中一個school of thoughts吧,算是。如果這種自我設限的無助,可以是一種後天學會的東西,那學會樂觀會非常重要。由於這部分不太像是我的困擾,那我就不贅述了。


上次沒說太清楚的,是DEAR MAN「心法」。

Dialectical behavior therapy skills (DBT skills) offer tips for emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, The Middle Path, and interpersonal effectiveness.


DEAR MAN is a subskill of interpersonal effectiveness. You can use it to resolve a conflict or make a request in a respectful and effective way that maintains a relationship.


Describe the situation in a simple way. State only the facts in your description. At this point, you’re not expressing your feelings or asking for anything. You’re setting up for the conversation using facts.

首先建立一個前提,讓雙方get on the same page,避免混入情感。這是我本來就會做的事情,所以很多人覺得我不近人情大概就是這樣。

Express how you’re feeling using “I” statements. An “I” statement means that you’re taking accountability and prevents the other person from going into defense mode.


Assert by either asking for your need or saying no firmly (depending on the situation). To “assert” your needs means that you are asking for what you want in a clear and strong way. Don’t beat around the bush or don’t allude to what you want.


Reinforce by making sure that the other person knows why they should grant your request.


(stay) Mindful. Try not to become distracted by things going on around you. Instead, do your best to stay focused on the conversation. If the person you’re talking to is acting defensive, try to keep the conversation on course.


Appear Confident. Regardless of how you feel on the inside, present yourself as though you feel confident. Do this by keeping your head up, standing or sitting up straight, making direct eye contact, and speaking loudly and clearly.


Negotiate. Remember that you aren’t demanding anything, you’re asking for something. If the person you’re speaking with isn’t on board with your request, remember the phrase “give to get”. You might need to alter your request to make it more appealing to the other person. Have a conversation about how you might be able to resolve the problem together. In the end, you’ll be able to come to a solution that works for both of you.




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