As our role models inspire us towards a particular goal, anti role models are also imperative by keeping us away from where we would never want to find ourselves at. Why is that?
Simply because, instinctively we tend to make our decisions on the basis of avoiding pain.
Pleasure associated with the idea of building a family might be replaced by fear of being lonely at an old age. Knowing someone who might have made “bad” choices in their life may strengthen our beliefs to pursue the directly opposite attitude or behaviour.
We make our decisions based on witnessing someone’s painful consequences rather than someone’s great achievements.
Imagine you have two uncles, one is very healthy, with lots of energy. You might admire him but not necessarily want to be like him. The other one’s life is a chaos, filled with suffering, most likely linked to use of alcohol or drugs. This anti role model may serve you as an electroshock when it comes to choosing between drinking or abstaining. The fear of experiencing the same pain as him may have encouraged you to follow the steps of the first one.
Filling your mind with “good” and “bad” role models
As shown above, having a good sense of observation and a critical sense may be the right approach to make the right decision. However, we may sometimes fall in a trap and being led to believe that our anti role model is in fact our role model. This is likely to be the case among the teenagers, but not always. Our murky core values may expose us to bad influences and result in lowering our standards even further. That’s why education is so important in building strong values and a great critical judgment.