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Suddenly ending a bad habit - Input Junkie
April 24th, 2010
09:54 am

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Suddenly ending a bad habit
A while ago, it occurred to me that I was spending a lot of time inventing offensive things. I'd imagine someone saying something obnoxious, and then invent responses. Sorry, no examples come to mind, and I'm not going to invoke the habit long enough to come up with one.

As soon as I realized what I was doing, the habit was almost entirely gone-- making it conscious was enough for me to see that it was pointless. I'm not going to say that I never do it anymore, but if I start, I realize it quickly, and drop it.

I've got some habits which are considerably more intractable. It doesn't help to realize that video games are fake achievement, nor that living in a mass of clutter makes my life harder.

So, any examples of fast habit change? Any thoughts about invoking fast change?

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From:houseboatonstyx
Date:April 24th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
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I think that's one of the themes in 'cognitive therapy.'
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From:siderea
Date:April 24th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
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Std disclaimer: I am not your therapist; nothing in this comment establishes a clinician-patient relationship between us; any information about psychology in this comment is provided solely for educational and/or entertainment purposes.

The first example you give is one in which what a therapist would call insight effected the change, while the latter two are ones where insight was insufficient.

That's not uncommon: insight often is inadequate for behavior change. (And why insight-based therapies have a bad rap in some quarters.)

That said, it may be you haven't had the right insight. For instance, that video games are false acheivement isn't really news; you might investigate why false acheivement is attractive to you or meeting some need, and see if that answer suddenly changes things.

While a profitable exercise, my money bets that it won't. Another difference between you first example and the others is that changing the first was mostly rolling down hill, while the other two are rolling up hill.

The first involved using less energy, no longer spending it on a fruitless mental exercise.

Video game playing, however, is a deeply conditioning behavior. Stopping doing it means fighting with your brain's pleasure-reward subsystem, which is notoriously hard.

Having a different cleanliness/orderliness lifestyle involves doing more work, both physically and intellectually. It involves know-how skills which may have to be acquiried. It's actually very resource intensive.
From:dsgood
Date:April 24th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
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Clutter: possibly-helpful:
Clutterers Anonymous http://http://claeast.org 12-step group.

Messies Anonymous http://www.messies.com Uses the 12 Steps, but isn't a kosher 12-step group -- the founder isn't anonymous, and sells her books and other materials.
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From:houseboatonstyx
Date:April 25th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
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What about the Usenet group?
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