Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ego Depletion

There are two things you don’t know about that person who just cut you off, who just gave you a dirty look, who just snapped at you, etc. 1. You don’t know how big their emotional energy tank is.  2. You don’t know how much of it has already been expended today.
Reminding myself of this helps me to give grace and patience to those who seem to “wrong” me. I don’t make moral judgement about people who can’t curl 100 pounds just because I can. AND, after a hard workout, I CAN’T do that anymore.  Likewise, I have to understand that there are people who simply have less, or depleted emotional energy to resist their animal instincts.  I know when I’m super focused on a deadline and pouring every ounce of energy into it the first thing that goes out the window is my diet.
“Ego depletion refers to the idea that self-control or willpower draw upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be used up.”
“a model that relates self-control to a muscle, which can become both strengthened and fatigued. Initial use of the “muscle” of self-control will cause a decrease in strength, or ego depletion, for subsequent tasks.”
“They showed that people who initially resisted the temptation of chocolates were subsequently less able to persist on a difficult and frustrating puzzle task. They attributed this effect to ego depletion, which resulted from the prior resisting of a tempting treat. Additionally, it was demonstrated that when people voluntarily gave a speech that included beliefs contrary to their own, they were also less able to persist on the difficult puzzle, indicating a state of ego depletion. Interestingly, this effect was not nearly as strong when individuals were not given a choice and were "forced” to write a counter-attitudinal speech. Thus, it is believed that both the act of choice and counter-attitudinal behaviors draw upon the same pool of limited resources.“

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