One of the fundamental aspects of being in a relationship is to do with mirroring. When we are mirrored it tells us subconsciously that we are okay. We all have mirror neurones in our brain and when someone mirrors us they; sit like us, they smile when we smile, they talk at a similar tone and pace, they eat the same things we eat; the same amount, at the same pace. This all tells us that we are okay.
These are low maintenance interactions. These actions are low maintenance because they do not take much effort at all. However, what happens if we are not mirrored? If we are not mirrored we can easily become exhausted. It feels like we really have to work hard and working hard in relationship wears us out. These interactions are high maintenance interactions, we do not feel that we are being mirrored so we have to work really hard in order to be able to get the responses that tells us we are okay. The results of not being mirrored are exhausting, that is because we have a limited supply of mental energy and a limited supply of physical endurance. This resulting exhaustion leads to the negative consequence of our own loss of self-control.
In order to minimize high maintenance interaction we conserve our mental endurance in relationship by talking in terms of stereotypes. Stereotypes are generalities of how we assess our environment. We sort everything into categories in order to not only help us understand our environment but as a mental conservation strategy, in order to keep our interactions low maintenance.
If we do not use this strategy and we suppress our use of stereotypes it takes a lot of mental energy in order just to communicate. It takes a lot of self-control for us to be able to do that, and in order to keep this up it actually starts to impact our self-control performance. It takes a huge amount of self-control to override how we look at people in the way in which we generalize by stereotype. When we look at people who are different than us it actually takes more self-control because this difference leads to a high maintenance interaction. More mental work is actually needed leading to deficits in our self-control because we are all naturally biased in our response to others.
So when we have to exert a lot of effort during the day because we interact with people who are different, then us it wears us out. We become exhausted, it takes a huge amount of mental work and self-control with difference, and because we are all limited in our supply of mental energy later on in the day, we just naturally have less self-control. When we try too hard to make a good impression then this is a high maintenance interaction, this is a stressful interaction, as well as anxiety provoking. We become mentally fatigued, mentally exhausted, and too tired to fight.
You might wonder how come it is that you can easily maintain self-control of what you eat during the day but at night find you have no self-control over your food consumption at all! This would be the reason why; you have exhausted yourself of your physical and mental energy endurance.
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