Making People Think You are Psychic – 5

Parataxic Distortion

This term means that when you see someone or something that reminds of someone or something in your past  you tend to build a kind of fantasy around that someone or something, as if it is what you know. For example, if you loved your father, the man who reminds you of him instantly gets your trust and affection just as if he was your father. You attribute all the traits of your father to this person without much evidence.

You y ‘find’ these traits because you are looking for them.  You become so focused that you discard all other evidence. If Bernice Plotz made your High School life unhappy, this woman who resembles her instantly gets your opprobrium.

You don’t like her and then find reasons why. Everything that this woman does that is vaguely similar to the behaviour of Bernice is enlarged to the extent that she is ‘just like’ Bernice although she may be nothing like her.

This kind of false overlay distorts perception. Unless you become aware of it, then it will effect you.

Many people judge others without thinking based on past experiences. This Parataxic Distortion will effect your perceptions. What you need to do is when you ‘instantly’ like or dislike someone, try to figure out why so that you  don’t lead yourself astray.


What do you think?


Written by jaylar

Story MakerYears Of MembershipContent Author


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  1. That is a rather pragmatic view, but what if these similarities were put there more like symbols to remind us of something we need to know or pay attention to? The distortion part would come in when people miss the real message and react to the false one. Lots of food for thought here.

    • I tried to be precises; it is seeing someone who reminds you of X and attributing the traits of X to the person. It is not seeing the person and accepting the resemblance but letting the person reveal as they are. Since most people do this, they don’t see what is in front of them. That is why it is a distortion.


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