The Jonah Complex is named after the concept of ‘self-sabotage‘, which arose from the Hierarchy of Needs theory of the American psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow. The reason why it came to our language as the ‘Jonah Complex ‘ is the Prophet whose name is mentioned as Jonah in the Bible. Jonah is Maslow's inspiration.

May 29, 2024 - 00:47
May 29, 2024 - 13:55
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The Jonah Complex is named after the concept of ‘self-sabotage‘, which arose from the Hierarchy of Needs theory of the American psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow. The reason why it came to our language as the ‘Jonah Complex ‘ is the Prophet whose name is mentioned as Jonah in the Bible. Jonah is Maslow's inspiration.

Maslow referred to the reasons for running away from the tasks that people have in their lives, suggesting that they are caused by a fear of taking responsibility, gaining success, or growing up. We can see today's examples as follows: making up an excuse not to study a lesson that could be done if it was working, going late to a job interview that could be chosen if it was on time, or dealing with the phone so as not to start a job that could be finished if it started …

Maslow has devoted the last step of the Hierarchy of Needs pyramid to self-realization and argued that it is possible to reach this step through an individual's self-awareness, awareness of their responsibilities, and acquisition of various skills. The individuals who can realize these things will have realized themselves, but according to the Jonah Complex, there may be some negative feelings and thoughts besides the beautiful developments such as feeling good, the pleasure of success, Junking recognition, appreciation, or applause that this last step brings. Maybe it sounds incredible, but the greater expectations, responsibilities, continuities that people assume as a result of success, and anxiety/fear of the unknown are the main sources of the complex. Why should individuals stop themselves from doing something they are successful at? Very successful individuals can stand out by excelling in the environment in which he is located, which can lead them to exclusion or even isolation. On the other hand,  successful individuals will need to make an effort to have a new style in order to keep up with a new environment in the process, to master a new environment, and perhaps to keep up with this environment. In other words, being afraid of both change and innovation may be the most intense feeling of the Jonah Complex.

Another reason for the Jonah Complex is that negative emotions are reflected on social media as if they never happened. On social media, everyone hides their negative state as if they are in the most talented, most beautiful, most radiant life. Maybe people are fleeing there because they can reflect on the life they aim to live in the way they want on social media. After that, fake shares are made on social media as a result of the anxiety and fear caused by the Jonah Complex, which was entered to meet the expectations of the environment. In other words, we make it look like we are not, not like we can't, but like we want. The individual who witnesses each other's fake shares begins to take on responsibilities that they cannot bear with the depression of their sense of inadequacy. However, according to Maslow, a self-realized person does not need to live according to the expectations and shares of others!

A self-realized individuals are individuals who can be happy with what they have and strive to achieve their goals. The people who can achieve this can protect themselves from the feelings of fear and anxiety of the Jonah Complex. The Jonah Complex gives rise to this Decaying chain of negative emotions for the individual. After the first anxiety, a new anxiety appears, and another anxiety that it will also bring. These concerns, which are personal and minimalist at the first stage, can occupy a larger space in life unless they are recognized and accepted.

As a result of this complex, individuals begin to make choices and environments in which they can feel safe, where no one will have any expectations from them, and where their performance cannot be criticized. This situation can also push a person to become lonely. The individual ignores what they can achieve, focus on what they cannot achieve, push themselves down, and sabotage themselves.

For me, the Jonah Complex is an 'individuals' adventure of turning themselves into an apple wolf while they are an apple’. The way to stay an apple rather than an apple worm is for an individual to be objective and honest with themselves. Without looking at the motivation pages or fake posts on social media, when an individual realizes what they can do by getting to know themselves, they can completely stay away from the Jonah Complex. The last step of the Hierarchy of Needs is to be able to realize oneself according to oneself and not according to others.

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Rana Gülşen Pekel Merhaba, ben Rana Gülşen PEKEL. Çağ Üniversitesi’nde Psikoloji Bölümü 4. Sınıf öğrencisiyim. Deneysel Psikoloji, Nöropsikoloji, Fizyolojik Psikoloji, Öğrenme Psikolojisi ve Endüstriyel Psikoloji alanları ile ilgileniyorum. Lisans eğitimim boyunca EFPSA (Avrupa Psikoloji Öğrencileri Birlikleri Federasyonu) ile Mind the Mind projesi kapsamında uluslararası çalışma yürütüp bunun yanında Adana Güzelyalı Hastanesi’nde ve Rehber Klinik’te Klinik Psikoloji, Adana Adliyesi’nde Adli Psikoloji ve Adana Sheraton Grand Hotel’de İnsan Kaynakları alanlarında stajlar yaparak kendimi alanlar arası geliştirme imkanı buldum. Aynı zamanda psikoloji öğrencilerinin eğitimlere ulaşılabilirliğini arttırmaya yönelik oluşturulan bir eğitim platformunda Üniversite Temsilciliği ve Eğitim Koordinatörlüğü yaparak tecrübe kazandım. Lisans eğitimim sonrasında nöropsikoloji alanında uluslararası çalışmalar yapmayı planlıyorum. Sayedra Psikoloji yönetim kurulunda yer alırken aynı zamanda Makale Çeviri Koordinatörlüğü görevimi sürdürüyorum. İdeallerim doğrultusunda kendimi sürekli güncel tutuyor ve uluslararası çalışmaları takip ederek geliştiriyorum.