I came across this article written by Joshua Press, and I think it will be nice sharing it here.
This article came out of a casual night of perusing questions on Quora. I was new to the platform and felt like engaging in a few questions to feel it out.
I came across the question “what are 20 things that are not worth it? ” and I felt a hint of bitterness well up from less-than-satisfactory experiences and I thought: “oh yeah, I can answer this”.
It seemed like a great opportunity to exhume these feelings and perhaps turn them into lessons or personal reminders.
The list I came up with was, at times, controversial; but to my surprise, my answer had some modest success. I thought perhaps it may bring some value to others if I list and expand upon them.
Be warned, this is all based on my own experience and observations. Because of this, I am taking a more informal tone
What Are 20 Things That Are Not Worth It?
1. Dating people who have been traumatised or abused in the past who have not dealt with it.
We are supposed to be empathetic to victims and give them every chance we can. After all, it is not their fault what happened to them.
This is the appropriate response. But not all people try to — or even can — get better.
Hurt people hurt people. You need to be careful who you are vulnerable with otherwise you too will be abused.
Some of these battles are worth it, but if you leave yourself open to someone with resulting personality issues, like people who won’t fully commit (for self-preservation); play mind games (for power); make continuously poor decisions; have addictive behaviour; or punish you for the actions of their wrongdoers — it will take a toll on you long-term to say the least.
2. Collaborating or working with friends merely because they are friends.
I have been friendly with people and out of that affinity or mutual interest I have committed to agreements that ended up massive failures.
A few friends never fully paid me for work, people I have worked with had not cultivated a useful level of skill, and others simply would be flaky or entitled in contradiction to the effort they were putting in.
You should work with people based on their evident skills, reputation, and all-round professionalism. If you just so happen to get along well, then that’s great and more often than not, you will.
3. Having sex with someone because you felt pressured
Often women feel pressured to oblige in order to evade confrontation, or ‘do what is expected of them’, and men feel obligated to pursue, to evade the humiliation of sexual ineptitude. These are tragic motivations for something so intimate.
You must understand that your body is yours and you determine your values and the situations in which you might share that experience with, and with whom. Not cave to external pressures.
This is your inalienable right, and if you don’t feel comfortable about something then you absolutely must not give in because you are acting as if your feelings don’t matter. You might think you won’t remember these occasions, but they linger.
If you’re not advocating for yourself, who will?
4. Pursuing ‘spirituality’ for purpose.
Many people who pursue new-age spirituality for purpose seem to end up selling one of its ideologies, products, or become more confused. The enlightenment of this philosophy is often “nothingness”, “being” and the “non-self”. This can be an impediment to self-actualisation.
Self-actualisation is you as something defined, engaging in your talents and developing potentials. New age spirituality however, portrays you as something indefinable.
This can result in eroding your ambition and capacity to work on your skills to unfold your potential. It can take away motivation by taking away a sense of a value hierarchy that allows you to pursue some things over others. It replaces vision of the future with the eternal present. Many people are stuck in liminality and indecision because of this.
The ego is the devil in this brand of spirituality, which is really the individual identity/personality as opposed to a collective identity. A kind of tribalism that elevates animal over man, nature over civilisation, imagination over the concrete... you’ll see that the advocates for this philosophy will dress in a tribal style that reflects this.
5. Challenging people’s politics online.
Many things will threaten your values online, perpetually.
Unless it allows you to understand your own or another’s position with more resolution — it’s a waste of time. Almost always others won’t change their mind, so pick your battles.
Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter how many ‘libtards’ or ‘nazis’ you destroyed, you were probably baited, trolled, or unironically responding to a satire article anyway.
6. Ranting on social media.
Rants are emotional. The purpose isn’t necessarily to share carefully analysed information, but to purge. What sounds reasonable and effective when you are emotional is definitely unreliable in translating to those who are casually perusing social media. You probably look like an uninformed idiot that can’t control themselves.
It just provides cringe for your future self.
Good rants are usually bottled up contemplations of professionals that have analysed a situation for a period of time, which provides fertile grounds for cultivating eloquence and insight instead of tumbling out like hot diarrhea.
7. Drinking a large amount of alcohol, in any situation.
This is a surprisingly hard conclusion for people to come to. It’s like every time there’s a bad experience, poor decision, or bad hangover, any potential lesson learned suddenly vanishes from memory — but once you see this in plain terms it kinda makes sense, right?
Alcohol can help foster a good time but quite often ruins one. It seems to make people a little more open but also a little more like animals; invoking the usually suppressed primal drives of lust and aggression to combat the wounding but necessary moderation of daily civility.
8. Telling an addicted person in the middle of their habit to stop the object of their addiction.
In my experience, they will not be receptive.
If someone has an insecurity that has allowed for an addiction, which in turn has created an alternate reality in the mind of the addict that rationalises away any consequence of their addiction, they are in deep shit.
You telling them they have to stop something they won’t acknowledge because it means dealing with the very things they are willing to destroy their lives over to avoid is probably not going to go well.
These people must come to conclusions themselves and won’t ask for help until their illusion breaks down after some heavy persuasion by life.
9. Getting involved in a quarrel between two people in a relationship.
Do you really want to get involved?
You could become the scapegoat for their conflict. It takes a hell of a lot for people to break up sometimes, to the point of being delusional.
For example, some people will absolutely refuse to believe a partner has cheated even if they are told by multiple friends or even by the person who has slept with them themselves. Others will stay despite emotional manipulation or abuse. Steer clear if that’s an ethical option.
10. Social media.
It’s a good organiser for communication and contacts but it will take valuable amounts of time away from you. It’s designed to keep you engaged. Your brain will adapt to it and reward you for your engagement.
Over time this habituates you and creates dependency. Your impulses will be wired and your habits out of alignment with your own goals.
A study in 2012 estimated that businesses in the U.S. lose $650 billion a year because of social media, which could only be worse today. What could be the equivalent loss in your life?