In psychotherapy, we often touch on one of the important topics related to the psychological phenomenon that is universal and noticeable in most people through their behaviors, and it is the phenomenon of psychological drivers, hounds that cause a person to behave in certain ways. Primarily during our childhood, and later during life, we take certain patterns of behavior from important personalities (primarily parents and other authorities), considering them correct. Very often, these patterns are part of upbringing, and sometimes they appear within certain religions. When we say “psychological driver”, it means that it is a kind of internal coercive behavior that in some way determines our identity. So if we try not to act in accordance with the driver, we feel bad, uncomfortable and insecure. That’s why we continue to act in accordance with the driver even when the negative consequences are obvious. Although they are generally correct behaviors, behaviors that define us as good and hardworking people, if they are present too much, if they are coercive and if we expect other people to practice them, can greatly hinder us in our personal and social functioning.
The basic 5 psychological drivers are: 1. WORK HARD. A person who has this driver was taught during growing up that it is important to constantly do something, be busy, achieve goals, succeed in various fields at any cost. Therefore, a person who is resting, who has a type of job or profession at a slightly easier pace, is not valuable enough or is labeled as lazy. 2. SATISFY OTHERS. A person who has developed this driver has been taught throughout his life that it is important to always be there for others, that he must not say “No”, that he must make others exclusively happy, that it is important to always help others in every situation. Therefore, at the thought of doing something different, refusing to be there and helping, he feels like a bad person, a less valuable person. The problem arises when we expect the same from other people, so when they do not meet our expectations, we react violently, and easily label other people as selfish even if they are not. 3. BE STRONG. This driver was developed by people with strong parents who juged signs of weakness and emotionality in themselves and other people. For these people, it is extremely important that they always feel good and comfortable, that they have a sense of strength, that they never show signs of weakness (tears, sadness, helplessness). The problem usually arises when there is exhaustion or certain physical problems due to the inability of unpleasant emotions to find their way out. Also, these people tend to label other people as weak only if they show weakness in certain life situations. 4. BE PERFECT. People with developed perfectionism have high criteria for what is good and perfect, criteria that are constantly rising up, so that a person is never satisfied with the current situation because she can always do better. Those people have high expectations of themselves and others in various areas of life. It is very important for them to avoid mistakes, because when they make mistakes, they question their value. It is also important for others to see them as perfect. These people often suffer from anxiety during life due to a huge desire for control. 5. DONT GROW UP. There are two variants here, that is, two extremes of one pattern of behavior. On the one hand, there are parents who encourage children to grow up sometimes and prematurely. These are parents who forbid typically childish behaviors (play, clumsiness, jokes, freedom). These people develop Do not be a child driver – these are extremely serious and overly responsible individuals who rarely allow themselves hedonism and therefore are able to slip into anhedonia. On the other hand, sometimes parents, due to excessive attachment to children and various fears, forbid children to grow up, become responsible and independent persons. These people are allowed to be childish, but on the other hand, they face difficulties in the face of serious life challenges. During the process of psychotherapy, it is extremely important to recognize psychological drivers, their negative consequences, as well as to get rid of any kind of forced behavior. One of the positive effects of psychotherapy is always psychological flexibility, flexibility in thinking and behavior. By learning spontaneity, practicing healthier patterns of behavior, adopting healthier ways of thinking, a person gradually frees himself from the driver and achieves a balance between different extremes in thinking. Milana Zoric, PhD in Psychology