What is Your Locus of Control?



What is Your Locus of Control?

Postby Chase » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:02 am

I'm filling out a bit more of the research in Module 4 of TDA, and came upon "locus of control." I've read about it a bit before, but never given it much thought. There's a fascinating bit about it in the Wikipedia entry, though:

Regarding locus of control, there is another type of control that entails a mix among the internal and external types. People that have the combination of the two types of locus of control are often referred to as Bi-locals. People that have Bi-local characteristics are known to handle stress and cope with their diseases more efficiently by having the mixture of internal and external locus of control.[9] People that have this mix of loci of control can take personal responsibility for their actions and the consequences thereof while remaining capable of relying upon and having faith in outside resources; these characteristics correspond to the internal and external loci of control, respectively. An example of this mixed system would be an alcoholic who will accept the fact that he brought the disease upon himself while remaining open to treatment and/or acknowledging that there are people, mainly doctors and therapists, that are trying to cure his/her addiction, and on whom he should rely.


Locus of control might seem to explain a good deal with many of the victim mentality guys vs. most of the skilled self-reliant guys. The guy with victim mentality and an external locus of control says one thing ("My life sucks because people deny me what I want"). Whereas the skilled guy with an internal locus gives this guy advice that flies right past him ("Dude, you've just got to level up your fundamentals/skills!" --> but external guy doesn't think he has any control over how other people regard him, which makes skills and fundamentals irrelevant in his worldview).

Interestingly, the healthiest mentality according to Wikipedia is bi-locality.

So we can break down locus of control into three groups:

  • External locus of control: what happens to me happens because other people do it to me
  • Internal locus of control: what happens to me happens because of my own actions
  • Bi-local locus of control: I direct my own actions, but outside forces have an impact too

A lot of the missed signals between action-oriented self-improvement types vs. "the world is against me" victim mentality types may be down to locus of control. e.g.:

    External Guy: You've got to level yourself up and get better!
    Internal Guy: What's the use, X girls will never like me.
    External Guy: So long as you continue to suck, you're right, they won't. You've got to improve yourself!
    Internal Guy: It won't make any difference.
    External Guy: ???

Even more interestingly, it isn't actually that external is bad for self-improvement or internal is good. The research on alcoholism finds this:

Norman and Bennett note that some studies that compared alcoholics with non-alcoholics suggest alcoholism is linked to increased externality for health locus of control; however, other studies have linked alcoholism with increased internality. Similar ambiguity has been found in studies of alcohol consumption in the general, non-alcoholic population. They are more optimistic in reviewing the literature on the relationship between internal health locus of control and smoking cessation, although they also point out that there are grounds for supposing that powerful-others and internal-health loci of control may be linked with this behavior. It is thought that, rather than being caused by one or the other, that alcoholism is directly related to the strength of the locus, regardless of type, internal or external.


So in fact it is the STRENGTH of the locus that determines how easily mired people get in their problems.

I can see this with guys who can't improve with women.

The guys who are very strong external locus of control get into a "what's the use, women don't want me anyway" mindset. To them, no matter what they do it won't matter, because it isn't their actions that determine women's interest, it is women themselves. And women aren't interested in them.

On the other hand, the guys who are very strong internal locus of control get into a "I'm too far behind, it's too hard, I'll never catch up" mindset. To them, it's all in their control, but it is so hard to do and they are so far behind there's no realistic chance of them ever catching up.

The bi-local guy has the easiest time. He's the guy who's able to say "a lot of it comes down to how I improve myself and present myself. But also girls are just going to choose guys, and I won't always have control over that. So as I get better, more of them will choose me. But even now when I suck some of them will just choose me anyway."

I'm not sure if you can change locus of control. Haven't read deep into it enough to know whether you can. It might be a deep-set personality trait and you just have to work around it if you have an extreme locus.

Anyway, something to think about. What's your locus of control? Is it helping or hurting your ability to get good with girls?

I'd be curious to know too if we have any guys here who are good with girls, yet have an external locus of control. My suspicion is most of the guys here who are good are either internal or bi-local. But I would bet we have a few external, and that the external guys pursue different paths to success with women from the internal and bi-local guys.

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Re: What is Your Locus of Control?

Postby andersen09 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:46 am

This is such a good post that clarifies things for me, personally. I recently posed a question about the grey area between perception of what people think of you and improving yourself to present yourself well for a favorable impression/perception. I always partially disagreed with black and thinking from most guys either saying "who gives a F about what anyone thinks?" to "Just keep improving"

The bi-local guy has the easiest time. He's the guy who's able to say "a lot of it comes down to how I improve myself and present myself. But also girls are just going to choose guys, and I won't always have control over that. So as I get better, more of them will choose me. But even now when I suck some of them will just choose me anyway."



It seems the answer comes from this quote. "Improve what you can control in terms of presentation and impression (inner) but also stay detached from trying to control the uncontrollable (Women's perceptions of you).

Thanks Chase

This principle can serve in so many ways.
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Re: What is Your Locus of Control?

Postby Drck » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:30 pm

IMO we are talking about two sides of the same coin, but those boil down to internal believes which the person can change, at least in farily free country and assuming that he has decent genetic predispositions...

Say a child is raised in negative environment, he's being told that he can't succeed in life, that he needs to be dependent on others, that he has to work low wages jobs, that he can't afford school, that he can't date pretty girls and so on.

This will become his mindset, this is his default frame. He was simply raised in certain believe system, he behaves according to his believes, and his environment reinforces his behavior: "Yea, he is just a shy guy, passive, and he doesn't really talk to any girls"...

But now he grows up, say he is in his late teens, and sees that his friends are more successful with girls and in life. So he may start questioning why can't he be successful as well. At this point he still believe that he can't but he also realizes that others can.

So he starts observing others, learning from them, he's trying to figure out how he can be successful. Now his internal frame starts shifting because he is adapting new ideas and views, while at the same time his original environment (parents, old friends, peers) still perceive him as shy and passive guy...

But as his internal frame starts shifting, he will also note the shift in environment.

His old believe system was: "I can't really talk to pretty girls because I am not good enough, girl will not like me no matter what I say or do". This of course results in him being more shy, keep in the back, being rather passive and so forth; that is how he is perceived...

But now he adapted a new believe system: "Talking to pretty girls is easy, all girls like to talk to me, it is easy to approach any girl, talk to her and date her". Now, of course, because he believes it, he also starts influencing his environment - he simply approaches many girls and talks to them...

So shift in his internal believes caused shift in external environment.

Environment (friends, parents, peers,...) also notices, and if he remain persistent in his effort the old environment will accept his new frame. He is now being perceived as little bit different person - a guy who used to be shy and passive in the past, but now he is more outgoing and active, successful with girls... Now the external environment starts reinforcing his believe: "Yea, this guy is really successful with girls"... That is how environment perceives him now...

-----------------

It is of course easier if the guy was raised in positive environment, that way he would simply grow up with positive believe system.

-----------------

1. External locus of control: what happens to me happens because other people do it to me
2. Internal locus of control: what happens to me happens because of my own actions
3. Bi-local locus of control: I direct my own actions, but outside forces have an impact too

... but notice that all three of these examples are just internal believes of those particular guys...

The same here:

External Guy: You've got to level yourself up and get better!
>>>> He is right, but it is the same - this is this External guy's internal believe...

Internal Guy: What's the use, X girls will never like me.
>>>> That is his internal believe... But, we also have to be careful: What if he is 4'5" short, ugly, hump on his back and squeaky voice? He may believe what he wants, but the reality is that girls won't like him in romantic sense

External Guy: So long as you continue to suck, you're right, they won't. You've got to improve yourself!
>>>> This is internal believe of this guy...

Internal Guy: It won't make any difference.
>>>> That's only his believe, nothing else...

----------------------

Many times we of course can't change the external environment. Say if you were born in N. Korea or Cuba, no matter what your internal believes are you wouldn't be allowed to be financially successful. You could believe that you can be amazing millionaire and that you could travel the whole world, but you simply woudn't be allowed to.

In other words, we can control our external environment up to some degree, but the external environment also control our behaviors...

---------------------

Say you are born with short stumpy legs and arms, or another physical disadvantage such as heart defects, and you are 5 feet tall: Will you become world champion in sprinting? Will you become heavyweight champion in boxing? Probably not, you can try as much as you want but there are external limitations, regardless what you believe... The same way, you probably won't be as sexy and attractive as 6'2" athletic, lean and muscular guy who just runs here and there for fun... The small chunky guy has lots of disadvantages, he may be able to compensate for some of them, but he simply can't compete in certain areas...

So a guy (bi-focal guy) who understands that he can change his internal believes but that there are also some external limitations to what he can achieve benefits the most as he is simply in tuned with reality...
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Re: What is Your Locus of Control?

Postby lostnumber » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:14 pm

Chase, one of the things I've learned through your articles and posts is how important having an internal locus of control is for getting what you want in life. I've worked hard to develop that and can definitely tell you that I've made a dramatic shift in mindset, so I do believe this is possible to develop.

The only thing I can directly control in life is myself, and whatever effect I want to have on the world starts from there. Things happen which are "unfair" or completely out of my control all of the time, but I find it far more productive to focus on what I CAN do then what I CAN'T.
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Re: What is Your Locus of Control?

Postby Bboy100 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:45 am

This post really resonates with me. When I first started out, I was a complete internal locus guy. I assumed that a women's interest and attraction to me was 100% dependent on myself. So every time a date or interaction didn't go well, I blamed myself and took it very personally. While this did motivate me to take action to improve very quickly, it was not good for my self-esteem nor for my confidence. Because naturally, most interactions won't go so well when you're still a beginner (or even intermediate).

Eventually, I came to realize that although there are a lot of things in my control, women have their preferences. And some of them just won't be into me no matter what I do. And that's perfectly okay. This realization helped me to relax, realize that although I should continue to improve myself, it's not all about me. So there's no sense in internalizing failures.

This was definitely a very important factor in raising my self-esteem, thus directly increasing my capabilities with women as well. Not to mention the overall quality of my life.

But I never consciously broke it down in my head like you did in this post. It just kinda naturally happened. Thanks for bringing this to my awareness. This was a good read.
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