Shooting Yourself in the Foot | Self-Sabotage


You have a big presentation tomorrow. Instead of preparing for it, you decide you
deserve some me-time. Before you know it, you’ve spent the entire
night playing Destiny. Guess what happens next. It’s called self-sabotaging and we all do
it to some extent. So let’s take a look at how and why we do
it. On the low end, we have self-handicapping. This is when you do something fairly small
that hurts your chances at success. It’s important to note that you’re not
doing it because it might lead to failure, you’re doing it despite the fact that it
might lead to failure. It’s a small difference, but an important
one. For example, drinking the night before a test. You don’t drink with the intention of bombing
your test tomorrow. But you drink knowing that it might cause
that. And you accept that risk for some reason. Or maybe you have a big paper or video due
tomorrow. And instead of working on it, you know that
it won’t really take you that long so you spend the night binge watching some youtube
series for the umpteenth time. And just like every time before, you’ve
waited until the last minute and have to rush. Maybe you do that so often you named your
fake production company after it… The thing is, we all do this to some extent. Whether you eat junk food before a race or
hit snooze too many times in the morning. Why? To protect your self-esteem. It’s a way to shift blame from yourself
onto something else. I didn’t fail the test because I didn’t
study, I was hungover! Sorry I was late this morning, traffic was
terrible. This video wasn’t the best because I just
didn’t have enough time to properly edit! I didn’t do my best this time, I just wasn’t
feeling on top of my game. It protects your self image because it’s
not your fault that you failed, it’s some external force. Now you may know deep down that it’s your
fault, but you’re not going to tell anyone else that. And over time, you will convince yourself
that it’s not your poor time management skills or poor study habits. Again, you don’t do these things in order
to cause failure, but you do them knowing the risk, in order to give yourself an out. So what about when people do it while knowing
the risk and knowing it will lead to failure? Well, we have a name for that, Masochistic
Personality Disorder. Because of the sexual connotations to that
word, there’s been a recent shift to calling it Self-Defeating Personality Disorder. This is when someone, on purpose, avoids or
undermines happiness and is drawn to situations that will cause unhappiness. There are eight criteria, and in order to
have the disorder, you have to tick the box on five of them, and you don’t do them as
a result of depression or abuse. They’re just part of your personality. KnowingBetter is not a clinical psychologist
and cannot diagnose or treat any disorders, if you feel you have this disorder, seek professional
help. So let’s get started! Chooses people and situations that lead to
disappointment, failure, or mistreatment even when better options are clearly available
Prime example? Someone who only dates jerks. Doesn’t matter how many times they end up
with one, how many times they’ve been mistreated and disappointed, they find themselves in
the same situation over and over. They just seem to find themselves attracted
to these people, for some reason. Why? Well there’s the sympathy and attention
argument obviously, but when it comes to this disorder, it’s because there is comfort
in unhappiness. Joy is fleeting and uncertain, you never know
how long it’s going to last and you can’t really force yourself to be happy. But unhappiness? That lasts as long as you want it to and you
can force it. Or, you find yourself only attracted to unavailable
people – whether they’re married or live thousands of miles away. You flirt at work all the time or text each
other constantly. Why? Because it’s safe. You can’t be rejected by someone who is
unavailable. I mean, you can be, but it doesn’t hurt
as much because deep down you knew it was never going to happen anyway. It’s a way to feel that little bit of happiness
without getting too invested, all the while knowing it will probably lead to disappointment. But it doesn’t have to be romantic. Maybe you choose friends who aren’t exactly
upright citizens. Or you have bad habits that you know might
get you fired or land you in jail. But you keep them anyway, knowing the risk. Rejects or renders ineffective the attempts
of others to help them. Rejecting someone’s help is rather self-explanatory. But how would someone render it ineffective? Well, let’s say you’re having trouble
with an assignment and a friend offers to come over the night before it’s due to help
you. You guys spend several hours working on it
together, and then the next day, you don’t turn it in because “it just didn’t feel
right turning in something that wasn’t really my own work.” You protected your “conscience” or whatever,
negated the help they gave you, and set yourself up for failure all in one fell swoop, congratulations? It doesn’t necessarily have to be as convoluted
as that. Whenever someone gives you worthwhile advice
you dismiss it because “they don’t know the whole story.” Or maybe you’re diet buddies with someone
but when you’re alone you eat junk food. Sidenote, if you’re on a diet and you have
a “cheat day” you’re also rendering everything ineffective, and deep down you
know that too. Following positive personal events, responds
with depression, guilt, or a behavior that produces pain. Hey I heard you just got a promotion at work,
congratulations! Yeah… I don’t really deserve it though, they just
had to put someone into the position… and it’s going to be so much more work, I really
don’t know how I’m going to handle it. I think I might just turn it down really. All three, depression, guilt, and self-sabotaging
behavior, all in the span of a few short sentences. First, they minimize the achievement by saying
it really wasn’t that hard or anyone could have gotten it. Then feel bad about getting the achievement
over someone else – this is where Impostor Syndrome fits in by the way, when you feel
like they made a mistake in giving you that promotion or spot in graduate school. And then blow it all up by completely rejecting
the achievement. You don’t have to do all three, but they
often come as a package. Why? Because again, happiness is uncertain. Depression is forever. Being the underdog and being sad is comfortable. Incites angry or rejecting responses from
others and then feels hurt, defeated, or humiliated. Have you ever played the “let’s see how
long it takes for her to text me out of the blue” game with someone you’re dating
or have a crush on? Yeah, there are no winners in that game. If they do text you first, meh. But if they don’t… You are inviting rejection. Why would you do that? Because A, happiness is uncomfortable, but
B, so that you can tell everyone that you just can’t seem to find someone who is as
into you as you are into them. You are self-sabotaging your own chances. Maybe they’re just busy… or maybe they’re
taking your silence as a rejection, so they distance themselves in response. Either way, there are no winners here. Rejects opportunities for pleasure, or is
reluctant to acknowledge enjoying themselves. Hey do you wanna go see the Emoji Movie? Do you want to go see It? Ehhh… not really. Too bad, we’re going anyway There, wasn’t
that fun? Ehhh… it was alright. We all know people who are like this sometimes,
but people with this disorder do it always. Nothing was ever fun, nothing is ever great. It was alright, it’s fine. This all goes back to happiness being fleeting. So you never want to admit that you’re happy,
because it’s like a wish. If you say it out loud it might disappear
or something. I understand how ridiculous some of this might
sound to most of you, and some of you might experience this occasionally. But people with this personality type experience
it constantly. Pleasure is uncomfortable, they want it, but
it’s actually kind of scary, so they seek out safer options or ways to distance themselves
from that pleasure in order to protect their sense of self. Fails to accomplish tasks crucial to their
personal objectives despite having demonstrated ability to do. Remember that example I gave of a friend helping
you with a paper and then you not turning it in? Well now you’re the friend. You spent all night helping your friend get
their work done, at the cost of your own. Or putting yourself in a position where you
no longer have the time you properly get yours done. Maybe you’ve procrastinated on making a
video so much that while you could probably still make it in time, and have on several
occasions done it in a single day. So you tweet out that there just isn’t enough
time to do it justice so… no video…. Is uninterested in or rejects people who consistently
treat them well. Do I really need to have an explanation for
every single one of these? Engages in excessive self-sacrifice that is
unsolicited by the intended recipients of the sacrifice. Self-sacrifice doesn’t necessarily mean
doing something heroic like jumping on a grenade to save the rest of your platoon. It can be something as simple as always volunteering
for the graveyard shift or doing the crappy chore… while you think that you’re doing
something noble for everyone, people just start to think that you enjoy it, so they
just give you the graveyard shift or expect you to do that chore. And now you can play underdog. But it can also go as high as admitting to
wrongdoings that you didn’t commit in order to protect someone else. It might get you fired or written up, but
in your mind, it was a noble sacrifice. Or perhaps even admitting to crimes that maybe
nobody got hurt and nobody saw you do it, the cops wouldn’t have found out if you
didn’t tell them, but in your mind it was “the right thing to do.” Most people would say keep your mouth shut,
don’t do it again, but keep your mouth shut. No! I must, I simply cannot live with this lie! What are you doing? You feel bad, you’re not going to do it
again, don’t shoot yourself in the foot! But before we end this, you might have noticed
I took several jabs at myself during this video. This is called Self-Deprecation and it’s
partially to be funny but it’s also another self-defense technique. It’s something that almost all of us do,
especially youtubers. I’m not saying that everything I make is
quality, ha, far from it. Because I never meet anyone at all. Why not make the most of that degree and catastrophically
disappoint your parents by becoming a Youtuber. Firstly, it’s a way to appear modest. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly,
it’s a way to brush off any potential criticism or negative comments. You can’t tell me I’m a loser if I already
said I’m a loser. You can’t call me fat if I constantly joke
about how fat I am. Please note that calling me a loser and calling
me fat hurts – always – but it’s a deterrent to you, like, you’re not going to bring
it up since I already did. It’s also somewhat of a defense if you do
decide to bring it up… like yeah, I know… that’s why I joked about it. All of these things are ways that we protect
out self esteem, our ego, and our emotional well being. Yeah, being sad and depressed isn’t fun. But going from happy to sad is even less fun. So there are people out there who would prefer
to just stay down here rather than ride the rollercoaster. And even if you don’t take it to that extreme,
you will do things to at least soften the blow of the eventual downhills. Whether you’re giving yourself an excuse
for it or causing it on purpose. So the next you’re contemplating procrastinating
on that paper, declining a party invite, or “just one more episode”-ing the night
before a test, you’ll know better. So what ways have you self-handicapped before? Let me know down in the comments, and don’t
forget to sabotage that subscribe button. Also be sure to follow me on facebook and
twitter, and join the conversation on the subreddit.

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. Having a habit that can bring me into jail might be self sabotage or maybe it's just that i disagree with that law prohibiting my habit because it's stupid on a really basic level! #legalizeit

  2. I've self-sabotaged my love life for YEARS by only being attracted to unavailable people. I know I do it, and I'd like to change that, but I don't know how. But this video was very accurate!

  3. my everytime i procrostrian or something im like fuck i need to do that thing i then i do that thing. btw after i wrote that i would feel bad if i woudnt do it so yea brb

  4. I am handicapping myself right now, wasting my time on YouTube.
    But I usually admit that procrastination is my fault (I blame ADHD sometimes).

    I also downplay my achievements calling it modesty. Maybe I know better now?

  5. Half the class decided to get a drink before the 2017 final engineering exam. You need to pass this exam and it test you over everything from thermodynamics, engineering management, physics, calculus, electronics, everything. If you fail you need to retake the entire course and you are allowed whatever notes and books you want and people still fail.
    I drank a white russian and got the highest score of the class ~57/110. Passed by a mile

  6. Fuck this hits too close to home 🙁 so many things i recognize in me, oh boy thats bad but oh boy thanks for opening my eyes

  7. I came here expecting to be called out, yet still felt more and more attacked with each example

    10/10 will watch until I bully myself into doing something productive

  8. I blew up a $100k trading account this year by leveraging too much with futures and for most of that I found myself intentionally taking stupid trades. I kind of enjoyed losing thousands in a day as much as I enjoyed gaining it. Maybe it was just because I knew I could afford to lose the money. I liked show my friends screenshots of huge losses and gains.

  9. I have several assignments due and homecoming is tomorrow as well as a performance I have and I have several things to prep for, instead I am gonna watch this and eat and go take a nap with me dog :,)

  10. Sabotaging your own video by leaving that little white crust in the left corner of your mouth was next level.

    Now I've sabotaged your enjoyment of the video.

  11. "Incites angry or rejecting responses from others and then feels hurt, defeated, or humiliated". Would love for this to be dove into a little deeper.

  12. I have a long term physical illness which comes and goes in periods, sometimes I overwork myself knowing I will get sick for the next few days, but that way i got sick by doing something important instead of getting sick when its out of my control.
    I didn't realise this until watching this video, now I'll keep that in mind. (And probably still do it sometimes because it is comforting…..)

  13. 4.45 is basically law in Sweden:Jantelagen. Don't Think you are speciall mate, anyone could have gotten that promotion if they wanted to mate

  14. i convince my self it a external force and my brains like it was you dummy shut the f up and do it right you screw up

  15. I don't do it to shift blame away from myself, I do it because I'd rather watch YouTube or play video games or do literally anything besides my homework.

  16. I would love for happiness to be some kind of consumable pellet you just happen to find on the street someday but usually it sneaks up on you. I'm no Sally Sunshine or Happy Harold, more of a Lugubrious Luke or a Bitchy Becky, but I am the happiest when I least expect it. Like when you tune to a random radio station and catch the whole 8 and a half minute version of Master of Puppets from the beginning (actual thing that happened to me one christmas eve after I got out of work

  17. like I knew I was a masochist in bed but apparently that bed is also a metaphor for literally every aspect of my life, to a degree of 8, out of 8.

  18. It's somewhat ironic that I watch this video when in fact I should work on a presentation which is due tomorrow but yeah what can you do😅

  19. SDPD describes me perfectly. In fact, I'm here when I should be studying for a test tomorrow.
    Two years in a row I've failed a course because last second I didn't turn in hundreds of hours of work.
    Self-destructive is how I would describe myself in one word. Being praised is awful.

    At least I lack the most sympathetic trait (self-sacrifice)

  20. I dated a girl over the Internet whom I met on Reddit because she lives in Wisconsin and I live in south Florida one step away from being a drifter. I quit my job every time a music festival comes around. I always have to cross the line. I am so attracted to sock people/women. I gravitate towards BPD. I turn down career offers that I would enjoy because I’m making enough money to survive delivering sandwiches at age 30 and I wouldn’t know what to do with success. Success is so much scarier than failure.

  21. I have a crush on my close friend and I helped her get a boyfriend. I didn’t study for tests fucked around in chemistry and realized I’m a huge disappointment to my parents. I didn’t to my math homework knowing I would get a 0 even when I was given the option to work on it several times. I don’t even try because I’m so afraid of failure that I write myself off before I even start. I put my friends well being before sleep, food, or myself in general. There’s a whole lot more but that’s what’s happened for me with self crippling.

  22. I was procrastinating and fucking myself up before watching this video by playing Destiny 2. I watched it, had an epiphany and did what I had to do before continuing to play. Thanks man.

  23. I ended up writing an 13 page paper, 4.1k words about psichoanalysis. I started at 8:30am and the assignment was due at midday. That was a close one. I never studied in my life also, always not studying or just reading a bit like two hours before. I still didn't fail, at Brazil's best school. I get pissed at myself and this situation, and I think I deserve to be punished, but I never am, wtf

  24. Not to be offensive because I do like your videos and greatly enjoy watching them, but you really are the definition of a professional smartass huh?

  25. Oh god imposter syndrome. I have that really badly right now. I'm one of the only main characters in the play who isn't a freshman, and I'm convinced it's because the teachers felt bad for me after an incident last year and I'm not actually talented

  26. This is definitely me… If I ever start doing really good I kinda freak out and go back to the comfort of being a fuck up and swaddling myself in depression. In college I finally worked up the nerve to ask out one girl I liked for a long time. She said yes and immediately I was unhappy. like if she said yes to me then obviously she doesn't know what she's getting into and so she probably isn't that great either. If she said no I think I would've liked her more. I left the date poorly organized and then when I was relieved it didn't fall through I blocked her on everything because I knew I'd regret it in the future and didn't want to come back saying sorry or begging. I cut myself off so I wouldn't cause either us any more emotional damage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment