“Pain is inevitable… Suffering is optional.” Buddhist Scripture
Self-defeating behaviour (maladaptive behaviour) is the idea that people knowingly respond to stimuli that will cause them to fail or bring them trouble. It is defined as “any deliberate or intentional behaviour that has clear, definitely or probably negative effects on the self or on the self’s projects” 1.
Psychologists have examined various theories as to why humans sometimes behave in a self-destructive ways. One proposed theory that answers this question is the Freudian argument, which states “people have an innate death drive that impels them to pursue their own downfall and death”2. This argument also concludes that people do harm themselves deliberately, even though they sometimes are not conscious of this. “Self-defeating behaviours are especially common when people feel that others view them less favourably than the people desire”1
Psychologists have constructed three models that explain different types of self-defeating behaviours, which are “distinguished by their varying degrees of intentionality”1
Three Models of Self-Destructiveness
There are three models that represent self-defeating behaviours on the basis of “intentionality.”1
1. Primary self-destruction - This model includes those human beings who deliberately and intentionally hurt themselves. Those in this group, usually intentionally choose an action that they know will bring harm to them.
For Example - masochism
2. The second conceptual model of self-defeating behaviour is called, “trade-off”1. This behaviour is done when a person knowingly makes a trade-off in a situation. It is when a person chooses a certain option that has some benefit but also has the potential to cause harm to the person as well.
For Example - When a person chooses to take up smoking. In a trade-off, the smoking harm to the self is accepted as a
Bibliography: 7. Jiddu Krishnamurti: world philosopher (1895–1986): life and thoughts – C. Williams (2004). 8. A solution-focused approach to rational emotive behavior therapy: Toward a theoretical integration. -Guterman, J.T., & Rudes, J. 2005 Psychology For Dummies – Adam Cash