Why People Want What They Want Even When It's Not Good
There is no denying the fact that at some points in our lives, we have been around people (friends, families, and acquaintances) who have made some head-scratching decisions that have made us question their sanity. They knew darn well that they should not have eaten that half a gallon of ice cream after complaining that they want to lose weight. They knew better but did not do better when they ran back into that abusive romantic relationship that shredded their hearts to pieces and continuously jeopardized their safety and mental well-being.
Yet, in her mind, she's already decided that the man who has wreaked havoc on her heart and shown nothing but red flags after red flags will be waiting for her in front of the church to put a ring on it OR he has constantly disregarded that she is no longer interested in him after five years of having nothing in common, but heated arguments, name-calling, hostile demeanors, and threats of orders of protection.
Perhaps, one stubbornly wanted to figuratively or maybe even literally test shark-infested waters. After all, one is used to getting what one wants no matter what, right? Well, although some sharks may not pose danger, there are others that do like a great white shark. You may only be on the lookout for sharks not realizing that you can run into a box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, stingray, or crocodile. Therefore, it is best to be armed with things like knowledge, facts, a plan, and even a backup plan before just diving into or staying in situations headfirst that are bad.
Sometimes, when you sit back to ponder on why your friend has been staying in that abusive relationship all this while, or why your favorite undisciplined nephew who rarely practices improving his skills can’t move on from that seemingly doomed dream of being an NBA star, even when he is just under 5 feet tall and sucks at basic movements, you find it all unbelievable to fathom. However, what you must know is, there are a lot of reasons why people act against their best interest when it’s bad for them.
It might not make sense to you, and sincerely, most of the reasons they do have don’t make any sense. Yet, it does certainly make a great deal of sense to them, and only a vastly superior argument or highly undesirable outcome would even make them stop and think about their position a bit. Hopefully, it doesn’t come down to the latter.
For this article, we decided to take a break from the tragic COVID-19 coronavirus news and delve into something different. Even throughout this reported pandemic, life still happens, and we wish to inspire you to get through it. Before we get started, let’s not pretend that we did not do some less than stellar acts that would put soap operas and reality TV shows to shame. Thus, this inspirational article may be a learning tool or chance to reflect on your past to stay focused and on a safe, healthy, and positive path and future.
11 Reasons People Want What They Want
Even When It’s Bad for Them
Have you been wondering what could be the reason why people want what they want, even when such things seem wrong and bad for them in all ramifications? We are going to be sharing some of the best-known reasons for this self-sabotaging behavior in this article.
What better reason can we start with? Over the years, we have come to understand that a lot of people do things that they don’t understand. People jump on things, careers, jobs, relationships, etc. because other people are doing it, and not because that is what they should be doing. A lot of people do things they know nothing about, and some are even unaware that they are hurting themselves in the process. This is why they would probably laugh it off or just shut you down when you mention it to them that they are probably getting hurt. Some people may have heard the old adage, “If you know better, then you’d do better”. Ah, if only things always worked that way. Knowledge is the foundation that we cannot afford to live without. Expand one’s knowledge base or be around people with open minds who aren’t afraid to learn as much as they can about anything and everything and learn something new every day. It may save you from a lot of negative issues.
The Need to Prove A Point
Another reason why people stay in abusive relationships, jobs, or do things that may tangibly hurt them without fully weighing the negative consequences is that they want to prove a point. They may want to prove a point to themselves or others. Now, we must strongly emphasize that some of these points are unnecessary, but they usually don’t care. They just feel the need to win the bragging rights and earn the right to tell you, ‘I told you so’. For instance, your friend who is in that abusive relationship might continue to suffer in the relationship, just to prove a point to you that you were wrong about their partner in the first place or that they can go the distance and stay together longer than Jane and John Doe despite ongoing emotional, verbal, and physical abuse and toxicity. Yes, people go that distance to prove a point that isn’t worth proving. Doing away with the need to seek approval or validation from others and focusing on building self-worth can help you to avoid negative outcomes.
Lack of Experience
A lack of experience regarding how things work out maybe one of the reasons why some people want what they want, even when those things are disadvantageous to them in a lot of ways. This may apply in life or business. When people are not entirely sure of how things may work out regarding what they want, they might make the mistakes of sticking around hoping things would get better when they should have left long ago. For instance, a seasoned business executive knows when to invest and when to pull the plug on investments when the business climate is not welcoming. However, an inexperienced business executive who probably thrives on passion would go all out even when the signs show it would hurt his/her business badly. Learning from your past experiences or the experiences and errors of others can be helpful in avoiding negative consequences.
Low Self Esteem
Low self-esteem is another reason why people want what they want, even when it’s not healthy. Some folks are suffering from significantly low self-esteem and they don’t believe they deserve better than what they are currently getting. We’ve heard of stories of individuals who would prefer to stay in relationships where they are constantly abused and merely tolerated because they think they aren’t worth having anything better from anywhere else for whatever reason. Building one’s self-esteem, self-worth, and self-image can help one to avoid (self) sabotage and connect with others who are not abusive, critical, and toxic.
Lack of Good Judgment
Good judgment is paramount to living a positive and meaningful life. Oftentimes, one’s intuition may kick in to help them make decisions on whether or not something is good or bad. However, there may be times when people ignore the outcomes of their past errors and experiences and repeat them based on faulty thinking or unhealthy biases. They may fail to adequately plan, miss important deadlines or appointments, make snap decisions, and justify their poor rationale with baseless and unsupported sound knowledge, facts, research, or expert opinions. Being aware of one’s biases, strengths, and weaknesses, avoiding snap decisions for major life events, and considering the possible outcomes of real-life scenarios can help build good judgement and avoid bad outcomes and consequences.
Absence of A Good Support System
The role that a good support system can play in the life of anyone cannot be overemphasized. When you have a good support system in the form of friends, families, acquaintances and mentors, you would likely be able to navigate nearly everything easily without getting hurt. However, when this support system is not available, there might be a tendency to make mistakes over and over. You might end up choosing things and pursuing dreams that are not even suitable to your person. For instance, your nephew who is just over five feet with no moves who dreams of playing in the NBA, may have been talked out of such an unlikely dream with a good mentor or family support around him from the get-go. As such, he wouldn’t waste his time pursuing the wrong dream. He may fail to heed your insight or different perspectives, however, he may recall it if he decides to use it, later. Without passing judgment, if you are unable to be surrounded by a good support system of people, work on developing a system of time management, skills, knowledge, organization, etc. in your life or business that can help you master getting to the next levels. Before long, you may find that others notice your hard work or your hard work attracts the right support.
Overestimating TheirAbilities or Incompetence
They falsely believe that they can handle stressful situations or overwhelming circumstances without proper coping skills, techniques, resources, or training. For example, they decide to lawfully buy a shotgun for home protection because they falsely believe they will automatically know what to do if they have to use it, but fail to have no knowledge on how to use it or get the proper and safe training from a knowledgeable and verifiable source. In this case, it can end up badly for them if they are faced with a situation where an intruder who is skilled with shotguns disarms or uses it against them. Regular self-assessments, improving one’s competency and skills in various areas can ensure that one does not overcompensate for a lack of skills or competency and bring self-harm or harm to others.
Another reason why people want what they want, even, when it’s bad is false beliefs. Some people grew up with some beliefs that they were meant to be something. Other people even formed these beliefs through instincts that they were just meant for a certain career, be with someone, undertake some projects, etc. when their innate abilities don’t support such. People like these would decide to hang on to such dreams, even, when it is looking like a lost cause. It does not cost a thing, but time to be honest with oneself first and foremost. Then, it can be easier to move forward to work toward self-improvement and relationships with others.
If the ego doesn’t make this list, then, it probably isn’t complete. The truth is ego could help in some ways, but when it is not properly directed, it could hurt you or others greatly and make you continue to do things that won’t be beneficial to you or someone else in the short and long run. Ego would make you refuse to admit your errors, encourage toxic and narcissistic-like behaviors, and sometimes, you may think you are better than others and your level of competence. This is why some people would refuse to give up on projects, relationships, careers, and other endeavors, even when it’s so clear they have failed. It’s like they have a sense of entitlement to operate with a lack of (reckless) disregard for the outcome of their actions due to a possible superiority complex. An (over-inflated) ego can have someone hurting the people who help them if they undermine someone else's abilities in comparison to their own. Putting one’s (over) inflated ego to the side can help to take off the blinders for mental clarity and utilizing empathy for better decision-making when dealing with others.
Instant or Short-Term Gratification
They want it and they want it now! And, perhaps they don’t care about or haven’t thought about the consequences so long as they get what they want much sooner than later. They may know that something (or someone) is not good for them, but they want what they want and the outcome is not up for debate. Perhaps, they have been deprived of a meaningful relationship, pleasure, or good things happening in their life for so long that they are willing to forego the repercussions and they feel that the instant or short-term gratification is worth it. One issue with this mindset is that pursuing unhealthy instant gratification may allow negative or toxic behaviors to become addictive. Demonstrating self-control and patience before making major decisions or having a conversation with others who learned valuable lessons from seeking instant or short-term gratification may help to deter one from the negative results of pursuing unhealthy instant or short-term gratification.
Mental Health Issues
Depression, anxiety, and abnormal psychological disorders are unfortunately a reality of life. Someone may suffer from mental health issues or know someone who is or may be. Someone with mental health issues may want what they want when it’s not good for them because they have undiagnosed or professionally diagnosed mental health issues. A licensed therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist can help people with mental health issues address the reasons for their unhealthy decisions or give them guidance on diagnoses or treatment options.
It is important to know that having strong beliefs in one’s abilities and intuitions is great, but, it is also important to put everything under review and decide if what you are setting up to do is worth it, else you’d end up hurting yourself and wasting a lot of your productive time. The bottom line is that anyone is encouraged to dig deeper into the reasons why they want something that is not good for them. It can be the beginning of opening the doors of self-awareness, self-empowerment, and living a better and more meaningful life.
Consider seeking trusted and verifiable feedback and opinions from more than one source. Ultimately, the choices are yours to make. However, sometimes, others who are wiser, more knowledgeable, and experienced can prevent one from suffering bad consequences and guide one towards people, places, and things that are better, good, or great.
Before hastily placing yourself mentally at the finish line that you've set for yourself, take the time to realize that there may be roadblocks, stumbling blocks, surprises, or unforeseen circumstances that you may be disregarding or overlooking along the way. Do not just blindly assume that everything is going to go well. Consider what may go wrong, but plan and create the ideal circumstances so that things have a better chance of going well regardless of any challenges at hand.