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Shooting oneself in the foot: self destructive habits


Often in anger management people say outrageous things that willfully hurt themselves leaving one with the question “why would they do this?” there is a sense of bafflement. It also happens in public life where politicians or business people do something that leads to a similar shaking of the head and “Why?”

There are different levels of self destructive behavior. The most damaging is called Primary Self Destruction where it is almost a death wish. Corrective action could be taken but is blatantly ignored. It is accompanied by reckless behavior. Freud said it was a sort of death wish which is an innate drive which shows up in politics as martyrdom. There is a short term satisfaction of power followed by an unfolding of some self esteem issues. These people are socially aggressive, don’t respect co-operation and their analytical skills are over ridden by this emotional drive of ‘to hell’ with the consequences’.

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Others have a trade off where there is some benefit, but there is an opposite cost which gets ignored. And finally strategies which are counterproductive despite a laudable goal, they use negative strategies.

As with destructive anger there is often a cause of feeling less than, coupled with despair. A suggestion is that it could be called a ‘self defeating personality disorder’ choosing disappointment or failure when other options are there. Like in many situations the realization comes too late after their balloon has been pricked.

Source: National Post

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