Psychological insights on relationships: rejections, breakups, making relationships happy, unhealthy dynamics, and general psychology.

How Conscience Work

This will be just an example. You can take anything. You will recognize the work of your conscience towards things that trouble you, that wake you up at night, like thoughts that haunt you. That’s what this blog post is about.

Woman and How Conscience work

Conscience and calming the conscience work through ego defense mechanisms. The more we use them, the calmer our ego is, but we also sink more and more into psychoses (inventing reality to prove to ourselves that we are right, and what we did was… it had to be).

We will explain this best through an example: Let’s assume that someone has done us a significant favor. But at some point, we develop different intentions and decide to leave them.

To protect ourselves, we begin to use various defense mechanisms

Rationalization: “They’ll be better off without me. They don’t love me either.”

Denial: “I haven’t hurt this person. They didn’t take it that hard.”

Repression – We suppress unpleasant emotions and thoughts. We keep busy with other things until these feelings are pushed far away.

Projection: “That person rejected me first!” These are relatively healthy mechanisms that protect our ego, unlike others that might favor the other person or punish ourselves.

Using these mechanisms requires energy.

Man thinking about his toxic relationship

However, no matter how much we rely on these mechanisms, two things happen simultaneously:

1. They are not enough. It’s like trying to stop a water leak with duct tape. It works for a while, but eventually, you’ll need more tape. Then, you might need something more substantial, like mortar. Over time, even that won’t be enough. Eventually, you’ll have to resort to more severe measures, potentially leading to neurotic, psychotic, or even pathological mechanisms (the ones mentioned earlier are merely immature).

2. Our energy decreases. For various reasons:

  • Energy declines with age.
  • Life’s events drain our energy.
  • Daily activities exhaust us by the evening.
  • Illness saps our strength.
  • Life’s hardships deplete our energy.

The conscience is the battlefield where we struggle the most at night

  • I often discuss these nighttime battles with my clients. These nocturnal struggles are intense. People can’t sleep; they think about the worst possible scenarios, and they resort to sleeping pills. This happens because our energy is depleted, making it hard to use defense mechanisms, and our conscience takes over. For the conscience to operate, another entity, the Id, kicks in. The Id is that part of us—an aggressor—that torments us whenever possible.
  • Nighttime battles are resolved by intensely focusing on resolving that inner pain during the day. We should frame it rationally and do everything we can to make things right. We need to find peace with what troubles us. And when we do that – the nightmares will disappear.
Handsome man

So, with these two factors working in parallel, we can say that on the one hand, we need even more energy, and on the other hand, our energy is rapidly declining. Not to mention that the duct tape will run out sooner or later, and there will be nothing left to tell yourself to convince yourself that you are still correct.

After that, when the energy has depleted, you have nothing left to use to let the truth seep towards you, and you are left to live with the knowledge that you have harmed the person who did something significant for you. And trust me, unless you are a psychopath (lacking a conscience), living with that will be very difficult and exhausting.

For better understanding, the flow would be:

A beautiful rejected woman

Someone did something significant for you. But you decide to leave them. You tell yourself: well, they never loved me anyway. However, when night falls and you no longer have the energy to use your mechanisms, you know that person has always loved you deeply. You start using more severe mechanisms. However, life’s blows make you think about the person who truly loved you and would have been there for you.

Time passes, and energy decreases. You use more robust mechanisms, but they need to work more effectively. Ten years have passed, you have less energy, the mechanisms no longer do their job, and you are left with clear knowledge: Ten years ago, I hurt the person who did good things for me.

Now, your energy additionally goes into other mechanisms: self-punishment, isolation, fantasizing, dissociation, hypochondria, etc. If you continue to use these mechanisms, you head towards psychosis, etc. So, if you want to leave someone who did something good for you, it must be done differently.

It must be approached with honesty and maturity. Honesty and maturity towards yourself and towards that person.

Depressed man

First of all, you must honestly tell yourself the reasons why you want to leave that person. For example, I’ve fallen in love with someone else. And I did it because I liked that person, not because my partner was wrong and neglected me. My partner had nothing to do with it (even if they did, at this moment, the focus should not be on that but on ensuring your conscience is apparent in the future).

Now that you can honestly say this to yourself, it’s time to do the best possible thing in this situation.

Here, I recommend not overdoing self-blame and self-torture but sticking to reality: I fell in love – that’s how it is – it’s my right – now I must help the other person accept this and minimize the possible damage.

After that, you need to honestly tell that person why you are leaving and ask them what they want as compensation. Ask them if there is a better way to leave them. Invest time in that breakup so that person can stay well, and you can calm your conscience tomorrow.

If you do this part well, all that remains is dealing with the new circumstances. Not with yourself and your inner world. And that is a much better and easier fight.

A beautiful proud woman

Whether you are fighting on multiple fronts or just one, it is entirely different. Especially since this front (the fight with yourself and your conscience) requires a lot of energy. It is a front that never ends, which is very demanding, often fought at night, making you even more exhausted and with even less energy for the fight, etc.

Everything that troubles us and every mistake we make should be resolved promptly and put in the right place. The right time is today.

A Chinese proverb says: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best moment is today.

And the right place is in line with decency, truth, and good values. The right place is the one that will ensure your conscience is at peace.

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