“There's never been an act done since the beginning, from a kid stealing candy to a dictator committing genocide, that the person doing it didn't think he was fully justified. That's a mental trick called rationalizing, and it's done the human race more harm than anything else you can name.” - Leigh Brackett
Rational: Based on or in accordance with reason or logic.
Reason: A cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event. The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.
Rationale: A statement of reasons serving to account for something.
Rationalization: The action of attempting to explain or justify behavior or an attitude with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate.
Irrational: Not logical or reasonable.
It’s for your own good.
It’s not my job.
Nobody got hurt.
The end justifies the means.
Everyone else is doing it.
I’m only human.
Rational is a determination based on the process of logical reasoning. Rationalizing is trickery of the mind, justifying something that is not logical or reasonable. Rationalization is the contrivance of an excuse to create perceived rationality in an effort to turn the illogical into the logical.
Rationalization is an invisible plague that can rob someone of their greatest dreams and aspirations. It is the lie that one tells oneself to avoid accountability and responsibility. It is the most dangerous evader of truth.
Untangling the Irrationality of Rationalization:
It’s a Troublemaker
Where there is smoke, there is fire. Where there is trouble, there is rationalization. Bad decisions are most often the result of faulty reasoning (rationalization). An awareness of past poor decisions and the rationalizations that lead to them can offer one an opportunity for turning rationalization into reasoning for more favorable choices in the future.
The Real Reason
Recognizing that the reason is most likely just a rationalization, and not really the reason, leads one closer to the truth.
Rationalization is self-deception and the greatest victim of the scheme is one's own self. Consider the possible outcomes that may result from telling oneself an alternative story.
Warning signs of rationalization include Minimizing, Blaming, Negating, Comparing, and Explaining Away Problems. By recognizing the signs, awareness and reasoning may be sparked.
Rationalization is a tool to avoid emotions, thus identifying those feelings and accepting the emotions may lead one closer to reason and truth.
“Rationalizing is not a tool for penetration of reality but a post-factum attempt to harmonize one's own wishes with existing reality.” - Erich Fromm
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