Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Why do we want what we can’t have?

 Why do we want what we can’t have? 

I don’t know about you – but even as a young child if I was told I wasn’t allowed something, boy did I want it more than anything else.  Whether you're wishing for that one gooey piece of chocolate cake when your on a diet, or dreaming of that gorgeous guy that’s taken (not that I am!), I believe it's all natural feelings, and we should learn why we feel this way, and how we can avoid it (as i've written at the bottom). The story of Adam and Eve represents how us humans want what we can't have.. Eve had many fruits in Eden, but the only fruit she wanted to eat was the apple she was asked never to touch. 

So, why do we want what we can't have!?

1) Heightened Attention
This is the idea that once we realise something is impossible or out of our control, the desire escalates into an unhealthy obsession where the ‘forbidden’ is made to feel very important in your mind.

2)  Perceived scarcity
This theory is based on the knowledge that when something is scarce or in short supply, the value increases (or perceived value). Therefore, in terms of everyday, the last slice of pizza may become very appealing when it didn’t so much when there was a full pizza. This possibly happens because you think other people want this cupcake; your inner-brat will take over.

3) Psychological Reactance
Now it gets a bit sciencey. So psychology reactance is both a behaviour and an affective emotional reaction to feeling a lack of freedom and control over a situation. You could say that you want what you can’t have because precisely that – you can’t have it. Someone is telling you, you can’t have it, which is taking your control away from the situation. This reaction usually turns into a rebel behaviour where you fight or simply question why. This answers why there are often fingerprints on wet paint. Naughty, Naughty!

So, how do we get over this?

Question yourself… do you really want this? Why do you want it? Will it enhance your life? If not…let yourself have that little tantrum, and learn to let go. It’s important to always let go of the things you become unhealthily obsessed over, as you will feel happier. 
There are many strategies to deal with this detachment, such as replacing the obsession with a more positive activity, or project which will also act as a distraction. Self-care methods are also helpful, such as exercise and pampering, so go on, let go, paint your nails and put your feet up - I dare you!

I hope this helps, if not you found it interesting at least. 
Please let me know your thoughts and comments on this topic :) 

Izzy x

Reference List 
Harra, C.
People Triggers, (2010).
Moss, S. (2008).
Wallin, P. (2004).  Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating Behavior.


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