“Pain is inevitable… Suffering is optional.” Buddhist Scripture
Self-defeating behaviour (maladaptive behaviour) is the idea that people knowingly respond to stimuli that will cause them to fail or bring them trouble. It is defined as “any deliberate or intentional behaviour that has clear, definitely or probably negative effects on the self or on the self’s projects” 1.
Psychologists have examined various theories as to why humans sometimes behave in a self-destructive ways. One proposed theory that answers this question is the Freudian argument, which states “people have an innate death drive that impels them to pursue their own …show more content…
We find ourselves even when fully aware deflecting the real issues of behaviour with a minimising techniques. “Effectively it takes away the possibility of choosing a healthier action or behaviour in the future…”5
e.g. Head in the sand, deflecting true emotions with humour, anaesthesia/drug and alcohol use, keeping busy as to not have time to reflect, passing the blame, and “there is no point anyway…”5
The Fear Factory
“Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge…”6
We are creatures of habit and the fear generated by change can often feel overwhelming. But ultimately this in itself can become a restrictive boundary to an open, honest and progressive existence.
All this deflection of true feelings, and the reality that we constantly disown or blame behaviour on any number of external influences, leaves us with little choice. “We lose the holistic nature of life and end up cutting the positive ties between the body’s psychical symptoms and the mind, we ignore the inner voice that wants us to be happy and healthy and make the right choices and farm out the responsibility on to the external forces onto which we place blame…”5 e.g. if only…
When working through the challenge of self-defeating behaviours it is important