How Sinister Thoughts Fester Into Actions in Otherwise Sound Minds

The aging process involves internalizing lessons that flow by as you live life. It takes discipline and wisdom to control emotions, intrusive thoughts, and negative outlooks. Making sound decisions requires an objective state of mind that is open to analysis.

You’ll encounter people whose minds have erected self-imposed barriers to good decision making. Those who allow their nefarious thoughts to mature into real-world acts will need understanding, help, and management.

This article is about understanding the triggers at play in the process of bad thoughts growing into bad actions.

They Convince Their Host They Are Normal

Normalization of negative and destructive thoughts is more common than ever. Almost any frame of mind can find fuel to its fire online. It is easier than ever to confirm biases, one-sided arguments, and hateful points of view.

One way that negative thoughts become normalized is by finding validation from others who share the same views. Online communities and social media platforms can provide a sense of belonging and support for people who feel marginalized or misunderstood. However, they can also reinforce harmful beliefs and behaviors, especially if they promote violence, hatred, or extremism. People who are exposed to such content may gradually lose their ability to critically evaluate their own thoughts and actions.

Another way that negative thoughts become normalized is by rationalizing them as justified or necessary. People who harbor resentment, anger, or fear may convince themselves that they have a right or a duty to act on their impulses. They may blame others for their problems or see themselves as victims of injustice or oppression. They may also adopt a worldview that is based on conspiracy theories, misinformation, or prejudice. By doing so, they can avoid taking responsibility for their own choices and emotions.

A third way that negative thoughts become normalized is by desensitizing themselves to the consequences of their actions. People who act on their negative thoughts may not fully comprehend the impact of their behavior on themselves and others. They may lack empathy, compassion, or remorse for the harm they cause. They may also deny or minimize the reality of their situation or the feedback they receive from others. They may even derive pleasure or satisfaction from inflicting pain or suffering on those they perceive as enemies or threats.

They Hijack Competitive Elements

Competitive triggers and tendencies have become easier to expose ourselves to with the ability to retrieve information instantly online. An unchecked competitive desire’s final destination is war. As a desire to win enters the picture, normalized negative thinking can be infused into the desire to compete and come out on top.

One of the ways that competitive triggers can hijack our minds is by creating a false sense of scarcity. We may believe that there is not enough of something to go around, such as money, recognition, or love. This can lead us to view others as threats or enemies, and to justify any means to secure our share. We may also develop a sense of entitlement, believing that we deserve more than others, and that they owe us something. This can fuel resentment, envy, and anger.

Another way that competitive triggers can influence our thoughts and actions is by distorting our perception of reality. We may become obsessed with comparing ourselves to others, and measuring our worth by external standards. We may also fall prey to confirmation bias, seeking out information that supports our views and ignoring evidence that contradicts them. We may also rationalize our behavior, making excuses for our mistakes and blaming others for our failures.

A third way that competitive triggers can affect our mental state is by eroding our empathy and compassion. We may lose sight of the human dignity and value of others, and treat them as objects or obstacles. We may also become indifferent to the suffering or happiness of others, and focus only on our own interests and goals. We may also dehumanize those who are different from us, and justify harming them or excluding them from our group.

These are some of the ways that competitive triggers can turn our thoughts into actions that are harmful to ourselves and others. By being aware of these triggers, we can take steps to prevent them from taking over our minds. We can cultivate a mindset of abundance, gratitude, and cooperation. We can challenge our assumptions, seek feedback, and learn from our experiences. We can also practice kindness, respect, and understanding towards others, and recognize our common humanity.

They Create an Enemy

Individuals who find difficulty in curbing their sinister thinking tend to start seeking out enemies to justify the acts they want to commit. The process of sinister thoughts turning into actions is revved up when there is an enemy present that justifies the performance of committed acts.

One of the common ways that people create enemies is by projecting their own flaws and insecurities onto others. They may feel threatened by someone who has what they want, or who challenges their worldview. They may also rationalize their own shortcomings by blaming others for their problems. This can lead to resentment, envy, and hostility.

Another way that people create enemies is by dehumanizing those who are different from them. They may use stereotypes, labels, or slurs to reduce the complexity and diversity of human beings. They may also deny the rights, feelings, or dignity of others based on their race, religion, gender, or any other factor. This can lead to prejudice, discrimination, and violence.

In addition, people create enemies by succumbing to peer pressure or groupthink. They may conform to the opinions and behaviors of their friends, family, or community without questioning them. They may also adopt an us-versus-them mentality that pits them against anyone who disagrees with them. This can lead to conformity, polarization, and extremism.

They Dehumanize Based on Status / Race / Class

An enemy that’s found or created through normalized negative thinking and a competitive desire becomes dehumanized based on their position and goals. Creating separation between us, the ones we love, the ones we protect, and those we’ve labeled as enemies is critical in acting in ways we would never act around those we deem on our side.

One of the triggers that can lead to dehumanizing others is the lack of empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It helps us to see things from their perspective and to respect their dignity and rights. Without empathy, we may view others as objects, stereotypes, or threats, rather than as human beings with complex emotions and experiences.

Another trigger is the influence of social norms and authority figures. Sometimes, we may conform to the expectations and pressures of our group or culture, even if they go against our moral values. We may also obey the orders of someone we perceive as powerful or legitimate, without questioning their motives or consequences. These factors can make us disregard our own conscience and rationalize our actions as necessary or justified.

A third trigger is the emotional arousal and stress that can result from conflict or violence. When we are angry, fearful, or in pain, we may lose our ability to think clearly and calmly. We may act impulsively or defensively, without considering the long-term implications or alternatives. We may also seek revenge or retaliation, rather than forgiveness or reconciliation. These emotions can cloud our judgment and make us more prone to aggression and cruelty.

They Encourage Assumptions of the Worst

An act deemed forbidden can be justified depending on the mis-observed triggers and false beliefs behind it. A misplaced and uneducated reason is effective in justifying actions that would never be taken otherwise.

A person may distort or exaggerate the facts to fit their narrative. They may see threats or enemies where there are none. They may rationalize their actions as self-defense or justice, even when they are clearly wrong.

Others may lose empathy or compassion for those who are different from them. They may view them as inferior or evil, not worthy of respect or dignity. They may justify harming them as a way of eliminating a problem or a threat.

Some may cut off contact with friends or family who could offer support or guidance by mistaking that support as contention. They may surround themselves with people who share their views or reinforce their biases. They may avoid any information or feedback that could challenge their beliefs or actions.

There are also those who experience a loss of control or stability in their life. They may face stress, trauma, or hardship that overwhelms them. They may feel helpless, hopeless, or angry. They may seek a way to regain a sense of power or order, even if it means harming others.

These are some examples that can lead a person to commit a malicious act and justify it in their own mind. However, these factors do not excuse or absolve them from the consequences of their actions. They simply make it easier for individuals caught up in these mental loops to take actions on their unhealthy thoughts. They are still responsible for the harm they cause to themselves and others. They still need to face accountability and justice for their actions. In addition, they still deserve a chance at getting help, healing, and understanding for their own well-being and that of society.

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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.