Many of us have become experts at being ‘helpless’. And yes, it’s most often a subconscious act, for many of us developed these patterns in childhood as a way to cope with difficult or abusive situations, although learned helplessness can manifest at any age.
But like many habits, they have become so ingrained we don’t even know we are doing it. Learned helplessness can be the result of psychological and physical abuse, or we’ve mirrored it from watching caretakers and parents. Perhaps it was our only form of survival. And of course, this life strategy may have worked for us at one time, but it sure ain’t now.
Usually learned helplessness is a response to being out of control. Or dealing with situations in our lives where we feel we have absolutely no control. Essentially, it’s the ‘I give up’ route.