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Posts Tagged ‘Rationalization’

Rationalization: Look Out For This Pernicious Trait to Limit Your Risk

Monday, May 23rd, 2016
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Rationalization is a universal human trait and most people don’t have it in excess.

Occasionally explaining away behavior such as, “…it’s okay to have extra helpings at dinner tonight because I’m going to the gym tomorrow…” or “…I’ll postpone that important task because it would be better completed tomorrow…” isn’t likely to doom anyone.

The problem is when rationalization takes on a life of its own.

Extreme cases are often a coping mechanism for the subject to deal with her early life trauma, for example.

It may be that she doesn’t intend to intentionally deceive you, but that can be the result with someone who distorts reality to the point where objective decisions are impossible.

It’s a weighty personality red flag and a serious risk to your livelihood, such as with a Wall Street dark prince who gives new meaning to the word leverage, denying the massive level of risk, and a politician who believes his own lies.

The fact is, people are not rational beings.

People do what they do in accordance with their emotional maturity and subconscious fears and defenses. They typically act emotionally and then justify their behavior by offering well-thought-out reasons that aren’t the real reasons.

Thus, occasional white lies and moderate secrecy can morph into stark hypocrisy, a complete lack of integrity, and even deviousness if a person has a serious problem with rationalization.

As suggested in this blog post, people continually act reflexively, unknowingly guided by their subconscious fears and defenses, erroneously thinking they are making conscious, objective choices.

It’s not easy to identify excessive rationalization upon first meeting someone. The out of bounds excuses and justifications aren’t likely to be immediately evident.

If you have a limited amount of time to make a decision about someone, it’s important to find out if the person is a potential risk to your business or personal life. Excessive rationalization is readily identifiable through my non-traditional security investigations.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Petullo