Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Self-Regulation vs Self-Control

Through the self-reg courses that I've taken so far I've been working on deepening my understanding of "what is the difference between self-regulation and self-control?"  Here are some of the resources from the MEHRIT Centre and Stuart Shanker's work that have been supporting my thinking on this question:
This infographic on Self-Regulation and Self-Control from the MEHRIT centre has helped me to continue to refine my understanding.
Psychology Today article - Self-regulation vs. Self-Control 
I've also learned from reading other people's blogs about the same topic such  as this blog by Aviva Dunsiger on The Connection Between Self-Regulation and Self-Control.   

and The Visible Parent Blog Busting the Myth of Self-Control
My understanding is still developing; I'm a learner not an expert.  I'm sure if you ask me this same question six weeks or six months from now my answer will have changed based on my ongoing learning.  My current explanation, when people ask what's the difference is:
Self-Regulation is non-judgementally looking at your impulses and cravings and asking why and why now?  It takes into consideration the social dimension, external factors and hidden stressors.  With self-regulation we learn to be stress detectives.
Self-control is judgmental. It focuses on why you as an individual can't control your impulses and your external behaviours.  In self-control we ask what's wrong with me? Why can't I control myself?   Self-control focuses on internal factors and on learning to control your weaknesses. 
Self-control is about inhibiting impulses and cravings while self-regulation is about reducing impulses and cravings by developing awareness of our stress levels and learning how to return to a calm state when we are hypo- or hyperaroused.
Many times in our readings we are reminded that self-regulation makes self-control possible.  
How do you explain the difference between self-reg and self-control?
What resources have you found helpful in learning more about self-reg and self-control?

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