There is a weird and wonderful way to outsmart OCD. Weird because it’s uncanny and counterintuitive. Wonderful because it’s so amazingly effective.
In order to outsmart OCD it’s important to first understand it. It helps to know what makes OCD tick. So before we jump into ways to outsmart it, let’s reveal its true nature.
OCD isn’t a bully. A bully would try to humiliate you. OCD is obsessed about protecting you from humiliation. A bully would try to make a fool of you in public. OCD doesn’t want you to look like a fool in public.
Unlike a bully, the last thing OCD wants is for you to feel humiliated.
Bullies want to make you uncomfortable. OCD wants you to find comfort. That’s why OCD hates uncertainty, because it makes you uncomfortable. OCD persuades you to do compulsions or mental acts to get rid of discomfort. Unlike a bully, the last thing OCD wants is for you to experience anxiety.
Bullies try to physically and emotionally hurt you. On the contrary, OCD is like a bodyguard, constantly scanning the environment making sure nothing bad can happen or hurt you. A bully pokes and pokes until you bleed. OCD is scared of you bleeding.
Bullies enjoy picking on people. It brings them joy. OCD doesn’t ever experience joy. Everything is doom and gloom according to OCD. Bullies get sadistic pleasure out of putting people down. OCD puts you down not to inflict pain but to keep your expectations low so that you don’t ever feel the pain of disappointment.
OCD isn’t a bully. It’s a bodyguard on steroids.
Why Not Think of OCD as a Bully?
Because, if you think of OCD as a bully, you’re feeding a victim mentality. If you think like a victim, you’ll feel like a victim and then you’ll act like a victim.
What kind of people have bodyguards? Powerful people. People worth a lot. People with influence.
Is it better to think of yourself as someone who is important enough to be guarded or someone who is a victim and being bullied? Which mentality is going to put more oomph in your punch?
OCD is overly protective. Knowing this and using this weakness will be part of our strategy to outsmart it. Another personality trait of OCD’s is that it’s extremely competitive.
The More You Know About OCD, the Better You Can Outsmart It
OCD is Not a Good Sport
OCD doesn’t play fair. It doesn’t accept defeat. It won’t congratulate you on your victories. Your tendency towards negative self-talk plays right into OCD’s hands.
OCD is extremely competitive. The game never ends. Just when the game is tied, it scores again and keeps you in overtime. It wants to wear you down. It pumps its fist when you cry out, “give me a break!” Think about this for a minute. Why does it want you to lose?
OCD wants you to lose more than it wants to win. Why?
It doesn’t think your loss is harmful to you. On the contrary, it sees your loss as helpful to you. As long as you keep losing (giving in to OCD) then you will continue to see it as an authority. As long as you see it as an authority you will defer to it and by the grace of OCD supposedly be kept safe from harm or ill-will.
OCD doesn’t have much strategy in its game because, it can’t use logic or reason. It’s very reptilian in nature. Fight, Flight or Freeze. That’s all it can do, which isn’t much of a strategy. the only strategy it has is to cheat and lie. It tells you that if you do what it says, you will find peace of mind. That’s the lie.
It cheats by asking you unanswerable questions. The questions it asks cannot be answered with certainty. But, it lies to you and tells you that you can get to the bottom of it if you search hard and long enough. Cheater! You might as well be counting the grains of sand on a beach.
OCD doesn’t give up easily. It’s too competitive. All it wants is to make sure you lose. But, remember this, it can’t win unless you play. It can’t win unless you lose.
OCD is a bodyguard on steroids. It’s highly competitive and a poor loser. But, here’s something else about OCD that we can use in our strategy to outsmart it. It’s nothing like you.
OCD is not a mirror reflection of you. In this instance OCD sounds like a bully. Because, bullies always pick on people who are nothing like them. e.g., The jock picks on the nerd. You are the exact opposite of your OCD.
But, again, OCD isn’t picking on you. It’s trying really hard to think of all the things you’re not normally aware of. Why? Because it’s trying to prevent something bad from happening. It thinks about topics you don’t normally think about. It’s like having a second pair of eyes with a mind of its own.
OCD leaves no stone unturned. It brings up random questions that at first seem so bizarre. OCD actually searches for unusual questions and situations. But, it’s particularly fond of asking questions about whatever is precious and sacred to you.
It’s constantly scanning and searching so that you are never caught off guard. Because if you are caught off guard you will be uncomfortable. And OCD doesn’t want you to be uncomfortable.
OCD is hyper. It’s overly protective. It hates to lose. It’s constantly on guard and tries to think of everything. But, here’s something fascinating about OCD. It can’t learn anything new.
Figure Out What Makes OCD Tick and You’ll Practically Stop the Ticking
OCD is Clueless
OCD asks a lot of questions because it’s trying to protect you. And, it’s trying to protect you because it’s void of any information. It doesn’t know anything. It knows nothing. And worse, it can’t be taught anything.
Even if its questions are answered it will keep asking the same question over and over. Because it can’t absorb or hold on to information. It’s incapable of learning anything new. It can’t retain anything.
For example, for those of you who have unwanted, intrusive thoughts of harm, I just told you up above that you are nothing like your OCD. You probably got some temporary relief from reading that.
But, you won’t be able to retain that piece of good news. You might return to this blog everyday to read the above paragraph, “OCD is the Opposite of You.” It doesn’t matter how many times you read that paragraph.
In just a matter of seconds you’re going to go back to worrying that you are your thoughts. You’re going to think that because you think it, you’ll do it. Even though you’ve been reassured many times that you are not your thoughts.
OCD is on guard because it’s clueless. It can’t retain information. It can’t use reason or logic. It won’t leave any stone unturned because it can’t learn anything new. But, it won’t stop trying because it’s competitive and doesn’t give up. It’s on a mission to supposedly save you.
There’s one more thing to know about OCD.
8 Proven Ways to Outsmart OCD Will Soon Be Explained!
OCD is part of your brain. Which part of your brain? It’s not really fully understood. Is it an imbalance of glutamate, dopamine or serotonin? Is the amygdala enlarged? Too much white matter in the brain? Some kind of miscommunication going on in the prefrontal cortex or the basal ganglia? Researchers can’t say with certainty.
We’re dealing with a faulty alarm system—that we can say with confidence. Something in the brain wrongfully sounds off alarms and the body needlessly goes into fight, flight or freeze. The fear seems so real.
The toothpick on the sidewalk might cause someone to trip. Pick it up. You pick it up and throw it in the lawn. Wait. A baby could crawl on the lawn and pick up the toothpick and die from choking on it. Pick it up. Put it in your pocket and when you get home, break it into tiny tiny pieces and bury it in 12 inches of dirt.
That whole conversation is a true story of someone with OCD. This chatterbox in his head occurs because of some kind of abnormality or imbalance in the brain. But, listen carefully: Not everything is malfunctioning in the brain.
I’ve been healing from an elbow injury. (Racquetball is tough on the body!) For awhile it was all I complained about—all I thought about. Finally somebody said to me, “You’re not just an elbow. Your elbow is only one part of you.” Thank you dear friend. I needed that!
OCD is only part of a whole. There’s so much more to you. There are other beautiful parts of the brain that can function just fine. Your brain can be a lean mean fighting machine despite having OCD.
Now that we understand what makes OCD tick, how can you outsmart it?