Self-destructive tendencies.

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Self-destructive tendencies.

Is there a rational reason that some humans (including myself) seem to be self-destructive? Is it one's upbringing? It society to blame? Or am I just being a little bitch for no reason?

(mod edit: moved to Philosophy and Psychology forum)

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Give us a hint what you mean

Give us a hint what you mean by self-destructive tendencies? You don't have to reveal anything particularly personal, but the nature of those tendencies would be important for being able to identify specific reasons.

I'll give you an example of what I mean. I have several self-destructive tendencies which I had no clue why I did them: Always being late, not following through on important tasks and commitments, letting life opportunities slip by when I could have taken them up, spending way too much time doing fun but ultimately pointless activities like playing video games or randomly surfing the net (like WAAAAY too much time), etc.

I might have asked the same question as you, and in my case, there was a rational reason why I was doing these things. The reason is because I have ADHD and was never diagnosed as a kid, so I had no clue about it. (Plus I don't have the hyperactivity symptoms, which is actually not a requirement of ADHD, even though it's in the name, which is obviously confusing!) Now I'm getting treatment for it, and my tendencies are way better since I got diagnosed.

Some people have anger issues and get in fights (self-destructive), some people are depressed and some are so depressed they are in danger of hurting themselves (self-destructive), etc. It depends on what you mean by self-destructive.

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Heh. You and I have some

Heh. You and I have some things in common Natural. Though for different reasons.

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Leisure activities - most

Leisure activities - most humans require a certain amount of leisure in order to be well balanced personalities.  After all, hunter gatherer societies do (did) not and do (did) not need to work all day to feed themselves.  We spent a lot more time in a relaxed society than in one where we have to work steadily.  Leisure activities are only self destructive if pursued to the point of not being able to care for yourself  or your families.  Gambling, drinking, addictions of all sorts might be examples of leisure activities that can be self destructive.

If you or someone you know is unable to care for themselves or others due to an addiction, it is time for you to seek professional help.  Either to help yourself or to understand how best to help the other person.  If you don't have the money, there are free or sliding scale options available in most communities.

Shooting yourself in the foot - aka, foot in mouth disease.  No one is perfect and everyone manages to do this more than once in their lives.  Apologize, make restitution if necessary, and move on.  Again, there are ways to learn how to communicate better and how to watch what you say.  I realize self help books can be harmful or not applicable or even risible, but they can also be helpful.  This might be a time to check one or a dozen out of your local library.

Missed opportunities - maybe.  Often, we don't realize it was missed until long after the fact.  Our ability to seize an opportunity appears to be random.  So I don't see the need to beat yourself up about it.  See The Invisible Gorilla for an in depth treatment of this idea.

Self mutilation, suicide, hurting others, etc - seek professional help immediately.

Did I miss anything?

Ah, religion.  And similar delusions.  Where we believe something "on faith".  Conspiracy theories.  New age crap.  I don't know how to convince people to give up their fantasies.  I've recently read a number of books on this topic and I can say it seems no one knows how to encourage people to give up their favorite delusions.  Mistakes Were Made but Not By Me.  On Being Certain.  Most people who give it up, seem to do so by convincing themselves, not by being convinced by others.  Not much help, I know.

I found all the referenced books at my local library.  You could get them via interlibrary loan, if they aren't at your library.  Many areas allow you to borrow books world wide for free or a small fee.  And many deliver to your door.  So you may not need to spend money.

Now I think I have covered everything I can think of.  Let me know if I missed what you were thinking of.



Natural - my middle son is ADHD, but has the slows.  It is more common in females, but not unheard of in males.  A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine has a chapter on ADHD.  I found it helped me a lot understanding what we went through when he was young.  Too bad the book came out only a few years ago long after my son had grown up.


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My two cents? I love data, I

My two cents? I love data, I love structure in data, I like reading stuff and can think of a few ways to make it interesting.  I remember skipping boring classes in high-school and going to the library (I know, a bit geeky but oh well) and that "pursuing my own interests thing" can work against you in today's society.  

The way it worked for me, I started doing extra work stuff.  For example, no matter where you work, I can guarantee you there are about 100 and one things that you can improve upon slightly.  So I used what interested me, effective structure, and just went off with a few side projects as a hobby.  Nothing major, but when I presented it to my superiors, they liked the idea and I got more and more "play"... eventually I ended up doing what I liked as my primary position because I was so much better at that over the shit they had me do to begin with.  

I have had 3 major jobs in my adult life, and it worked the same for every one of them.  Currently I am doing stuff well outside my "job description" but I enjoy it so much more because I have so much more input on it.  This is my way of turning what could potential become a bad behavior (distraction from your job) into something productive.  I am currently working on porting most of the internal knowledge base in a mobile format.  It's fun and looks like it will become my main job pretty soon.  I still enjoy what I do primarily, but this stuff I actually LOVE doing.  If I dicked around with it on my own, during work hours (like posting on this forum Smiling ) than it would work against me.


"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc