Have you ever heard of the Law of Attraction?
2017 was the first time for me!
Judging by the name, I thought, “it sure sounds mystical!”
Apparently, I’m not the only one who thought that…
The first time I heard of the Law of Attraction
The first time I heard of the Law of Attraction, it was from someone I just met. I told them I was a Cognitive Psychology Professor, and we started talking about mental stuff. Then suddenly my new friend interjected, “I don’t believe in the Law of Attraction, tho!” Almost as if they wanted to assure me they didn’t believe in something wrong. Something not scientifically supported. Something mumbo-jumbo.
So I looked into it.
And you know what I think?
I think the Law of Attraction is awesome! I think it does a very good job of explaining some key aspects of being human.
But here’s the thing. This is TOTALLY not studied in academic psychology. It is not a scientific law. And I can certainly see why people might want to detangle themselves from it if they want to be taken seriously as a scientific-believing individual.
On the other hand, the Law of Attraction is a pretty popular topic. Tons of peeps find it a good way to understand their reality, and even more people are curious about it. I think we’re going to hear about it a lot more.
Well as your friendly fresh philosopher, I’d like to offer my insight!
Here I provide my own theory. A non-mystical psychological explanation of this popular idea. Turns out the Law of Attraction is a great way to understand yourself, whether you believe in the spiritual or not. Let’s dive in.
The Law of Attraction: What is it?
The Law of Attraction is the idea that your vibe, or the energy you put out, will be heard by the Universe. And the Universe will respond by sending that vibe right back to you!
What you “feel” creates vibes. Those vibes go out into the world. They bounce around. And they come back to you. They come back in the form of situations that generate more of your original vibe. Thus your feelings are validated.
You “attract” your own vibe.
The Law of Attraction is about feelings.
Do you feel beautiful? Then you’ll attract situations and people that make you feel more beautiful.
Do you feel like a loser? Then you’ll attract situations and people that remind you-you’re a loser.
My Story of Attraction (or A Time I Freaked Out)
I see a water filter on someone’s social media.
They just purchased one for themselves.
Well, I had been thinking about getting one. So I commented, asking a question about the product. I asked, “Was it expensive?” The response I got was NOT VERY NICE.
They told me, being unhealthy was more expensive than the cost of the product.
OMG rude! I was so offended. All I did was just ask about buying something which I WANTED to buy, and I get someone telling me I’m unhealthy if I don’t live his exact lifestyle.
So as you can imagine, I spent about half a day stewing about this. I felt very offended and judged and mad. And I thought about posting, but did not actually post, something like this:
Yeah, I guess I’m super unhealthy and I’m going to die unless I live exactly like you. Except oh wait didn’t you just literally buy this? So you’ve been unhealthy all your life. Best of luck to you with all that you do, ridiculous hypocrite!*
Definitely some negative vibes (*btw I did not actually post that).
Well my friends, this was a perfect example of the law of attraction, as I soon came to realize.
A Perfect Example of the Law of Attraction
When this guy called me unhealthy, he created a template of judgment, dislike, and hate. And I filled it (or I really wanted to). If I had responded to him, I would have sent to him exactly the negative vibe he sent to me. It is only human.
Because of the negativity he put out, all I wanted to do was respond with more negativity.
That is the Law of Attraction: Psychologically.
What you provide as possible ways of interacting with you, because of your mood, tenor, or general vibe, forms the only slots others can reasonably fill when they interact with you.
As others come to you, with their own energy, they automatically warp it to fit the shape of your energy on that day. I prefer to think of this as the psychological template that you’re using to interpret the world. And also the pathways by which the world is able to interact with you.
So far, this sounds like a story of how someone was a jerk to me. Well, I came to realize, I had a part to play in this attraction business too.
Actually, I Attracted the Negativity to Me
I’ve been meaning to get a water filter. But also I hate to admit that my water is “poisonous.” Hasn’t it been fine all these years? Might I actually benefit from adding a layer of protection to something I trusted? Well, that would mean admitting I was wrong! I’d really rather not.
It is actually a Freudian defense mechanism to reshape our own insecurities as being someone else’s insecurities.
When I asked about the water filter, I could have used any phrase. Instead of saying, “Was it expensive?” I could have said, “How much was it?” Or, “Wherever did you get it?” But I didn’t. I chose these words instead.
Why? Maybe because if this item were a bit pricey, that would actually be great for my self-esteem. I would be wonderful to have a reason not to get a filter (other than my own stubbornness).
Well, you know what, this dude totally called me out on it. He said, “Being unhealthy is more expensive.” Which is true. He made me face my inner BS.
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A Psychological Explanation of The Law of Attraction
Why did I attract this to myself? And how did I do it?
I made my inner struggle an outer struggle. This is something I can see in my words and my decision to write a comment.
In doing so, I attracted, or created, a psychological niche for our conversation. And it just so happened that our conversation filled that niche with the exact same vibe I put out.
This guy wasn’t negative. He was only a mirror of my own negativity.
Or, more realistically, I interpreted his words as negative. But I didn’t have to.
I put out inner blockages and calling things expensive. He put out inner blockages and calling things expensive. What I emitted came back.
On a deeper level, our mental concepts and the ideas we use to communicate tell us something subtler about ourselves. They tell us about our inner world.
We can use many different words, phrases, gestures, body language, emotions, and vibes to communicate. And the ones we choose are often the easiest ones to grab. The ones that are active in our psychological subconscious. Shiny. Easy to use. At the top of the mind.
Sometimes our consciousness picks up on things in our subconscious which we’d prefer not to hear. Things leak out.
And when they do, they get out into the world.
Actually, I’m pretty grateful that I had this exchange with someone I don’t even know. It showed me something about myself. It was hard to look at it, but there it was.
Personally, I want to know. I want to know about myself. Because I always want to improve myself. Keep exploring who I am.
And from now on, I’m just going to pay attention to the words and feelings that come out of me.
I’m going to pay attention to what I attract.
Dr. Erienne Weine
PS – New to the Law of Attraction? Here’s the famous book that put it on the map!
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