Ask the Psychologist Issue #1: Reciprocal Inhibition

Many people have been asking me lately, why are there so many angry people, who are so difficult to talk to in a reasonable manner. The answer is a basic psychological and physiological concept.

Reciprocal Inhibition is a psychological term, as well as a physiological term, that means you can’t have 2 opposite emotions or physical reactions occurring at the exact same time. Happy / Depressed. For over 50 years +, I used this knowledge in doing therapy with people. Now I explain that, if a person is Angry / Hateful, then they can’t be Calm/Logical / Reasonable at the same time. This concept can be applied to what some people call, Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is very real in many people. Too bad in this time of crisis, people still have “Too Much Hate” to See Straight and attack a problem, instead of a person, whoever it may be.

Therefore, people should find things to do while at home that make you happy and avoid talking on the phone to people that are angry and don’t contribute to you being happy. CHOOSE HAPPINESS in these dire times and look for the positive. As I have told patients over my total career — “For every bad thing that happens (no matter how bad), if you look hard enough, you will find 2 good things”. If you can’t, get someone to help you look for them.


Bart P. Billings,Ph.D.
COL SCNG-SC, Military Medical Directorate (Ret.)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist CA PSY 7656
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist CA LMFT 4888

—Director/Founder International Military & Civilian Combat Stress Conference
—Initial Enlisted Ranks and Retired as Medical Service Corps Officer with a total of 34 years in US Army
—Recipient of the 2014 Human Rights Award from Citizens Commission on Human Rights International & The University Of Scranton “Frank O’Hara Award” in 2016. (“Invisible Scars” & “Unhealthy Eating …” Books Website) (Combat Stress Conference website)
—Cell 760 500-5040
—Ph  760 438-2788


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