THE DARK SIDE OF SELF-CONTROL

    585
    Peeking Over the Counter

    Every virtue can come with its own accompanying dark side: honesty with brutality, courage with recklessness, and self-control with rigidity. It is said that people who seek theory do it either because they need controlling their impulsive behavior or because they need loosening their rigidness.

    Compulsive people are apt to get just as little long-range pleasure as impulsive ones. Here is how:

    Media Partners

    1. A defense mechanism

    People who are strongly preoccupied with being in control may be struggling against more powerful temptations toward self-indulgence than most of us face.

    2. Rigid thinking erodes spontaneity or playfulness  

    For rigid individuals everything seems deliberate. For them surprise is dangerous. The future ought to be known. They tend to be less spontaneous compared to individuals low in self-control.

    3. All-or-nothing thinking

    Perfectionism (a high level of self-control) is a personality trait that involves habitually establishing lofty or unrealistic standards. Perfectionists compete against themselves, and nothing ever feels good enough
    to them.

    4. Avoiding the real issue  

    Individuals with high perfectionism may turn their attention to dieting to change their appearance as a way
    to respond to the experience of negative feelings in other domains
    (e.g., interpersonal or academic).

    Also, mental illness and perfectionism is considered as a positive trait. There must be a balance between expressing and suppressing our urges. Individuals who maintain this balance are more comfortable and healthy. In the words of Oscar Wilde, to get rid of temptation is to yield to it – enjoying a delicious piece of chocolate cheesecake!  Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that we shouldn’t underestimate the short-term self. What if the long-term self is misguided? Sometimes we deprive ourselves of perfectly good pleasures, including those involving love and companionship, because of the decisions of the long-term self.