We cannot repeat ourselves how fantastic we are in situations in which, in effect, we do not shine: the best we can do is accept ourselves that way, with our strengths and weaknesses. Researchers define this ability as "self-indulgence," which means being forgiving of yourself. However, we have been taught that being self-indulgent is an undesirable trait, something that can lead to ruinous behaviors, so much so that the famous American dictionary Merriam-Webster defines self-indungence as that "excessive or unbridled gratification of their own appetites, desires or whims. " With this article we are going to see what self-indulgence is and some examples of it.
Meaning of self-indulgence
What is self-indulgence? Self- indulgence literally means self- indulgence , that is, a habitual or occasional attitude of understanding and benevolence or simply tolerance.
Self-indulgence is, then, the ability to forgive our mistakes, accept our behaviors and faults; Being self-indulgent to ourselves means treating ourselves with the kindness, love, and understanding with which we would treat a friend or child. It should not be confused with self-pity, since this concept is linked to people who feel guilty, avoid criticism and do not accept the truth about themselves. Next we will see how self-indulgence is considered in psychology, if it is positive or negative, what it is for and on what occasions to use it.
Self-indulgence psychology: positive or negative?
What is the meaning of self-indulgence in psychology? Is it positive or negative?
Be careful how you apply self-indulgence
The downside of self-indulgent behavior is it can camouflage a deceptive effort to hold positive feelings about oneself : when we indulge ourselves, in fact, we can easily obtain the object of our desire, or taste an exciting experience that is not available, but also a sensation. of almost ecstatic tranquility that before then could be painfully elusive.
The costs associated with this intemperance invariably come later, minor or severe, and can only rarely be avoided. We might discover, for example, that what, thanks to self-indulgence, we have chosen to help us feel better has damaged our lungs (for example, nicotine), our liver (for example, alcohol). We have developed diabetes or heart disease as a result of poor diet or food intake. These are the possible "costs" of negative or misunderstood self-indulgence: the price of our desperate attempt to make ourselves happy (or at least happier than ourselves) because our lives don't really satisfy us.
While misapplied self-indulgence can worsen your health and seriously affect your relationships or your budget, there are also advantages to allowing gentle nurturing and pampering behaviors. Self-indulgence is a tool that can help you accept your mistakes and faults. For example, you don't feel humiliated or incompetent if you forget a joke while acting in a play, or if you fail a rigor during a game. Self-indulgence reminds you that you are a human being and that it is natural to make mistakes. Self-esteem alone cannot induce you to acquire this attitude, because it forces you to always be the best; And thus, your inner voice would put you in difficulty, instead of giving you the appropriate load to achieve the objectives you seek.
How can we develop a healthy and indispensable self-indulgence?
It's easy: just talk to yourself in a friendly way . It is a technique used, for example, by the Marines when they have to overcome hard training, because it is proven that when you speak with kindness, it improves your cognitive performance, memory and concentration. In this article we talk more about what self-compassion is in psychology .
Examples of self-indulgence
Who among us has never allowed something and justified himself? Being forgiving means being willing to forgive, understand, sympathize, or punish someone less severely. But when this status is directed at yourself, you can lose the compassionate connotation and take on the meaning of satisfying your desires without feeling guilty.
Self-indulgence is a very common human characteristic. It reminds us that being wrong is human: our mind looks for a way to avoid the point of the situation, adapting and modifying reality at a conceptual level to obtain the best result at that moment. Being self-indulgent means treating ourselves with the kindness, caring, and understanding with which we would treat a friend.
Normally, self-indulgence is combined with small vices, such as making an exception when dieting , such as dessert or ice cream; or have a cigarette once in a while after we have quit, because perhaps we are having a difficult time. Therefore, self-indulgence can also be a form of weakness on some occasions, a force that can have a very negative and destructive value, precisely because it makes us give in to what we consider momentarily adequate to alleviate our wounds and face our frailties, although let us know that it is harmful, for example, to please ourselves, and to continue drinking, smoking or overeating, knowing that it is not good for us, without seeking help.