You’ve either spent rent money putting it all on black, drank a fifth shot of Jamo when your tolerance is set at a solid three, or sexted your ex-bae, again, knowing full well his/her new main-piece is in the same room — classic you.
Those and many other things classify as "stupid as shit" — and we all know this. But some of us just can’t handle ourselves enough to not do them, even when we know full well the repercussions are something we’d rather not handle at any point in the near future.
So, why do we do it?
QuickAndDirtyTips’ Ellen Hendriksen claims many people enjoy doing whatever they want even though they know it’s bad for them in the long run. She cites the journal Psychopharmacology and the idea stemming from it that two types of pleasure exist. One is simply enjoying something for the pure satisfaction of it, like sex, eating a delicious steak or cranking up the radio to 11 when a fire track comes on.
The other is rooted in the act of pursuit. The end game has little to do with why you’re engaging in whatever — it all has to do with the thrill of the chase. Like when you're sleeping with everyone you connect with on Bumble just because. The adrenaline you feel in the pursuit is what you’re after, and go for it accordingly, damning what can happen later as a result.
Both acts of pleasure, Hendriksen says, can make you do some really stupid shit sometimes.
If you’re not getting exactly what you want at the exact moment you want, you’re depriving yourself of said need. In her post, Hendriksen references the 1945 Minnesota Starvation Experiment, where healthy volunteers were starved for 6 months. The participants became so obsessed with eating that many of them read cookbooks or stared at pictures of food. Even after they were back to a healthy weight some years after the trials, many of them claimed to have thought about food more often than before.
Turns out, when you suppress desires, the intensity of them increases. Though it isn’t true for all people, for some it just means the whole cold turkey thing isn’t going to do much besides making your situation worse.
That doesn’t mean it’s cool to text your ex dick pics because you’re “weaning off of it,” though. You just have to figure that one out on your own.
One could also consider this reasoning the “YOLO Effect” — if that phrase weren’t as outdated as us using “bae” about 400 words ago. This, simply put, just means you really don’t give flying ants about what happens when you do something. Like, eating fourteen mango habanero hot wings is a terrible idea, but when you're already ten down, what's four more in the grand scheme of things? Screw the pain of the morning after.
There are, of course, thousands of other reasons why we do stupid things as an otherwise cognizant species. But the next time you're out questioning your own existence because of poor choices, maybe you'll now be able to identify why it's happening and steer clear.
Or not. Whatever.