I see this happening all the time among clients and friends~ and here’s why: Right choices almost never yield instant rewards, and all humans are reward-oriented!
We’ve grown up somehow believing that if we ‘do the right thing,’ we’ll get favorable or good results, and to some extent this is true~ but the payoffs for doing what’s good or right for us, are typically delayed.
The capacity to tolerate delayed gratification is a mature adult characteristic. Children don’t possess it, and it’s an exceptionally rare teenager who does. A lot of us are operating from our Id impulses~ that is, our irrepressible child-self. We want our chocolate cake, and we WANT IT NOW, whether it’s just an hour before dinnertime, or not!
Immediate need-satisfaction is an alluring, enticing concept. How many of us are willing to WAIT for a payoff that lies somewhere up ahead in the future?! The truth is though, that learning to tolerate delayed gratification is what builds character, a solid sense of ethics and Self, and enough impulse control to broaden our emotional development and expand our moral compass.
Solid, genuine morality is non-existent, unless we first have emotional development tucked securely under our belt, through having undergone considerable growth- oriented life experience. You cannot have moral development without emotional development~ or heinous crimes like the Sharon Tate murders would never have occurred.
People lacking in emotional development are not capable of EMPATHY. They can feel deep sympathy for an injured dog or person, but they cannot identify with nor RELATE to your inner experiences, perspectives or pain. When you try and reason with someone with BPD traits and hope they can see a situation from Your point of view and understand how you’re impacted by it, you predictably go round and round in circles, without them comprehending an iota of what you’re feeling or trying to convey. Many men have called me crying in frustration, due to these types of relationship experiences.
Often, doing the right thing, means leaving a tormenting, toxic relationship. The problem is, you’ve grown accustomed to pain from a partner’s abuse, and due to the fact this blueprint for your high pain threshold is a moldy leftover from your childhood, you’re addicted to living with anxiety and anguish. It's just what feels "normal" to you.
RIGHT behavior is self-affirming. Not only does it ensure your survival, it sets the stage for you to THRIVE, because you’ve managed to step away from self-sabotaging choices~ both in the Now, and in the future. You’re able to look honestly at your present condition or situation, and discern whether it serves you well or not. If it doesn’t, you take the daunting risk of making changes for yourself.
Yes, it’s gonna feel bad for awhile. Yes, you’ll be second-guessing yourself, because it’s feeling so shitty (mostly, ‘cause you’ve having to hang our with your own abuse toward You, without the distraction of abuse from another). You’ll be thinking, "I shoulda just bitten the bullet for another 12 years, kept my mouth shut, and stayed." Meanwhile, your physical health is deteriorating, because your significant other is basically dripping battery acid on your flesh every single day you remain.
Right Behavior, the stuff that sets you up for real success both professionally and personally, is something you must be willing to practice daily, in big and small ways. It grows and expands you, so that personal development and evolution can take place~ and you may be surprised one day in the not too distant future, that you’re liking and respecting yourself a little more than ya did the year before.
That’s always been payoff enough for Me . . . how about You?