Conditioning & Learned Behaviour~

TracyA learned behavior is a behavior that was observed by an individual that they find to be beneficial to them in some way.  We have all been taught these learned behaviors by our parents, teachers, pastors, councillors or anyone of any influence in our lives.  There’s a motivating factor behind it.  A reward perhaps.  The learned behavior is a conditioned response to a stimuli through either voluntary or involuntary intent.  It is some type of action or reflex that you learn. For example tying your shoes, tantrums and interrupting a conversation is a learned behavior.  Innate behaviors on the other hand, such as babies sucking their thumbs or crying is something we are born with.

We have developed automatic response to different situations, sometimes reacting because of the way we are conditioned to react.  Not all learned behaviors are negative, but I do think we need to start trusting our own instinctual or innate behaviors a little more.

I think we need to shed some of our conditioning in order to live our most authentic lives.

We are conditioned to get married at a certain age.  Not everyone wants to, or should get married.  In many countries marriage is still arranged.  I think it’s hard finding a partner you could spend the rest of your life with, imagine for a moment your parents picking who you will be with FOREVER!   Maybe marriage is not meant to last forever.  We are also conditioned to believe the end of a marriage is a failure, when in fact it can be the best decision for both people.   I admire those who don’t conform to what society makes them believe is their path because of a preconceived timeline.

Although procreation is an innate behaviour, it doesn’t mean we have to.  We are conditioned to believe we are meant to have children after marriage.  It is the question every newly married couple gets asked days after they exchanged vows.  If we can accept the marriage without the child, then we should be able to accept the child without the marriage.  Women are often frowned upon when they consider having a child out of wedlock.  We are conditioned to believe you need two parents and although I do think it is much easier and more balanced for the children, it’s not necessarily the norm anymore.  Not all couples want children and go through a huge struggle to explain why they choose not to.  Just as some women/men choose not to marry.  I think those who choose what is best for them see through learned behavior and are living truthfully.  When you love someone “unconditionally” it means without conditions.  There is nothing better or more pure.

Age also has conditions we need to shed.  I don’t even ask how old someone is because I think age should not be a measuring stick or way of slotting someone.  Kelsey was the first to teach me that lesson, she was way beyond her years when she was 8 years old.  Age doesn’t no matter.  I have a lot to learn from much younger wiser souls while I am here on earth.  I am open to all they have to teach me.  Older doesn’t always mean wiser, as we are conditioned to believe.  It all really depends on the individuals life experience.

Kids don’t even need to leave the comfort of their own homes to learn their behaviors.  Television is full of them.  Pretty scary when as an adult you are completely aware of what’s out there.  Don’t get me wrong there are lots of great television shows out there that are a positive expression of life, you just have to look for them.  Kids are watching the drama portrayed in shows and what they get out of it is how they think they should react to a situation themselves.  They start to shut off their own instinct of what feels right and by doing this they become conditioned.  They have successfully learned their behavior.  They have tuned out their innate behaviours they were born with.

We need to shed our conditioning and start trusting our own instincts of how to react to situations that arise.  A positive, open mind and good moral fiber will help us make difficult choices in our path ahead.  Trust your instincts not your conditioning!  Follow your heart and keep a clean conscience and your on the right path to shedding some of the unnecessary conditioning we are all faced with each day.

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3 thoughts on “Conditioning & Learned Behaviour~

  1. Yep. We are all born with our own personal guidance system and we need to trust that more than anything else. When we do we are perfectly aligned with our authentic selves and feel great!
    We didn’t come into this world thinking “I’m going to let everyone I meet mold me into what they want me to be” instead I believe we came into this world excited to contribute by being our unique true selves and allowing everyone we meet to do the same. We just forget sometimes.

  2. The Surrealist and Dadaist art movements (in part) believed that without structure and some form of conditioning or socialization, the part of our brain that thrives on chaos would come to the fore. Another thought was that our subconscious is really our ‘reality’ and that humans are closer to behaving like animals than we like to think.
    A lot of little kids need to be taught not to bite or push when they don’t get their own way. It’s instinctual for some. Not everyone is born with a personal guidance system. It’s the old nature vs nurture question. I don’t think conditioning is therefore a bad word. I have to disagree and say that I think that as a society we’ve created sets of ‘rules’ to make the majority of the population more comfortable. We want structure, in essence. Those rules may be changing now ( as they have many, many times in the past) but we will come up with new ones to replace the outdated.

    Not that I don’t agree with you, Trace, just looking at it from another angle. Interesting subject no matter how you slice it!

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