Discomfort Intolerance Linked to Procrastination, Depressed Mood, Anxiety, etc. etc. | INFJ Forum

Discomfort Intolerance Linked to Procrastination, Depressed Mood, Anxiety, etc. etc.

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by sassafras, Dec 29, 2009.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 3 users.
More threads by sassafras
  1. sassafras

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Threads:
    173
    Messages:
    14,572
    Featured Threads:
    8
    Likes Received:
    45,303
    Trophy Points:
    2,376
    MBTI:
    .
    I think its interesting how many of us really have a hard time with procrastination, and how there seems to be a correlation between idealism and this tendency. At face value, it would make absolute sense. As idealists, we want the world to be ordered in a certain way and if conditions are not aligned to our specifications, subconsciously we feel like the whole undertaking is contaminated from the get-go. Particularly if we happen to be perfectionists or have other all-or-nothing tendencies, it's safe to say that this is exactly the point where we run into problems.

    Research shows that an irrational belief that life should be easy and free of inconvenience is the unique indicator of procrastination tendencies. Then we have a chicken and an egg problem going on with whether procrastination promotes or derives from lower self-esteem, depression, anxiety, etc. etc. It's a difficult knot to untangle and many therapists actually approach the problem of procrastination by trying to address self-esteem... the theory being that if you raise self-esteem, you raise self-efficacy and actually encourage the patient to do the things they need to do when they're supposed to.

    But the culprit behind the self-esteem and procrastination cycle may in fact be discomfort intolerance (a close cousin being Frustration Intolerance). How well do you tolerate uncomfortable situations? Do you think that being uncomfortable in a situation means that there is something wrong with you? That perhaps being uncomfortable is a sign of weakness, that "stronger" characters somehow experience the same situation with a lesser degree of pain?

    Take a moment to read this excerpt and see if any of this rings true with you personally:

    For a practical application of this theory, do you think that its possible that some of us may not have learned proper social skills because we couldn't bear the growing pains of learning these skills (although I'm sure this is not the case for everyone)?

    What do you guys think? Does any of this ring true for you guys as it does for me?

    Resources:
    Article from Psychology Today

    Procrastination and Tolerating Discomfort

    Limiting Beliefs: Frustration Intolerance
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #1 sassafras, Dec 29, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
    the, Faye and sookie like this.
  2. Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,380
    Messages:
    28,271
    Featured Threads:
    93
    Likes Received:
    22,774
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    Yep, pretty accurate. But i think who runs towards discomfort? It's normal to not want to be frustrated or experience discomfort for long periods of time, especially if the discomfort is ongoing. And maybe that's the reason why we avoid things, or procrastinate, because we are already an obsessive bunch, so we are more likely to experience things a little more intensely than most. So discomfort seems to last longer for us than others, at least from our perspective. May not be true though. Many people suffer through the frustration and discomfort of a thing, and grow from the experience.

    But i know that for me, i always, especially when i was young, had the impression that if anything did not go the right way, the world was gonna end. In the back of my head, there's the belief that there were serious consequences to myself or someone else is something was done correctly or completed on time. It was also the pressure of a deadline, the sense that if something wasn't achieved by a certain date or time, then nothing would ever be accomplished . . . at all. And there's the pressure of getting it right the first time or not at all, which falls into the "all or nothing" way of thinking you mentioned.

    So, i think you're right that discomfort is a part of it, and the unwillingness to tolerate frustration or even uncertainty, so we move into avoidance. But it's the motives behind the fear of discomfort which are key to getting over it. For example, if i had learned early on to accept that it was ok to fail or that things didn't have to perfect always, maybe i would've followed through with more things, rather than waiting until conditions were perfect before attempting anything.

    Hmm . . .
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #2 Gaze, Dec 29, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  3. OP
    sassafras

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Threads:
    173
    Messages:
    14,572
    Featured Threads:
    8
    Likes Received:
    45,303
    Trophy Points:
    2,376
    MBTI:
    .
    Simplistically, the twin powers in nature are always pain and pleasure; move away from pain toward pleasure. But pleasure often comes at the price of some pain; such as the frustration of the learning curve in a new undertaking, or the drudgery of cleaning the house so that we can enjoy the envy of a Mr. Clean commercial. We're intellectually aware that many of these discomforts are going to be momentary and non-threatening (even if the idealistic bunch tends to experience these intensely), so why do we react this way ? What is the belief or value that clouds this fact from us? I think we're either telling ourselves something or we see something that others do not.


    I had the very same experience, word for word.

    Hit the nail on the head there, Restraint, which boils over into another, somewhat related tangent: What conditions, experience and beliefs shape us into idealists? Is Idealism something that is learned?

    My personal experience, where all-or-nothing thinking is concerned, stems from my father. If I did good, I was praised and very well rewarded. If I ever did bad, however, I was strongly reprimanded, regardless of the "crime."
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Threads:
    132
    Messages:
    2,838
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1,989
    Trophy Points:
    802
    MBTI:
    Enneagram:
    4w5
    Yes, I completely agree with this. I've always had the all-or-nothing attitude as well. I've taken so many projects every year but in the end nothing gets achieved because I don't want to go through the trouble and discomfort of having to learn from the beginning. Maybe the reason is that in my head I already see myself playing the guitar like a pro, or knowing all about quantum physics like an expert in the field etc etc. And I know I'm capable of learning whatever I put my mind into but I lose interest very quickly and then feel very bad for having to abandon the project.

    I think some of us are just afraid of making mistakes and we prefer stayin in a condition that allows us to be comfortable but as a result we never learn anything about life because we are not experiencing what we should be experiencing and this leads to many of the ailments described above such as depression, anxiety and self-worthlessness.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    sassafras likes this.
  5. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Threads:
    540
    Messages:
    7,284
    Likes Received:
    549
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXP
    That is most interesting. I've never been able to articulate it, but that is indeed what I have felt. It's why I try so hard to push outside my comfort zone. The interesting thing they don't mention though is that your comfort zone expands as you gain experience. What may have caused you discomfort at one point will cause you considerably less discomfort the more exposure you have to it. In some cases, you may even come to enjoy it.

    Confronting the negative self talk is always the first step...and usually the hardest.
     
  6. OP
    sassafras

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Threads:
    173
    Messages:
    14,572
    Featured Threads:
    8
    Likes Received:
    45,303
    Trophy Points:
    2,376
    MBTI:
    .
    ... And yet, this is exactly where someone with a very low frustration or discomfort intolerance is usually screwed. Intellectually, they may know that comfort zones can be expanded, but it's the inevitable growing pains involved that can make these folks hesitate. I wonder if this is why some instances of depression or addiction are so difficult to treat by themselves. Maybe by knocking out these limiting beliefs can someone get a better handle on their self-esteem as well.

    Yes! I get this way with my writing, which is why I can never plan out my stories .. if I know how they're supposed to look like, how they're supposed to "feel," I get all overwhelmed because I intellectualize and I lose not only my creativity, but my interest.

    That's exactly what I was getting at, and this worries me :/
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #6 sassafras, Dec 30, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  7. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Threads:
    132
    Messages:
    2,838
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1,989
    Trophy Points:
    802
    MBTI:
    Enneagram:
    4w5
    Why does it worry you? At least you're beginning to understand why you feel the way you do and can do something about it. I'm not saying it is easy(because it is not) but at least this should serve you as a starting point to solve some of the issues that you might be having. Start small and then build your way up at a pace that is working for you. For example, if your working in a character for a story, start developing the character from the simplest forms and don't bother much about the big picture(I know this is so non-intuitive) but focus on what you can do right now, this instant. You could begin by developing its personality first the first week and don't worry about any other aspect until you're completely finished developing the character's personality. Then the second week focus in the plot of the story and so on, until you have the whole story finished but at a steady pace.

    Another thing I owe this attitude is the pace that our society is focused on. We live in practical, fast-result society where people expect to have their products as fast as possible. That's why we have developed drive-thrus in restaurants instead of walking into it and ordering there, we have developed 2 day shipping in e-bay products, we developed remote controls for our tv's because it's faster and easier to push some buttons than having to walk up to the tv and do it ourselves. All these comforts have made us to expect our own achievements the same way and when we don't we get frustrated and disappointed. Maybe what they say is true, "the best things in life are the one's we have to work hard for."

    What do you think?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,380
    Messages:
    28,271
    Featured Threads:
    93
    Likes Received:
    22,774
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    Good advice. Can relate to this.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. Faye

    Faye ^_^
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Threads:
    311
    Messages:
    7,276
    Featured Threads:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4,607
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Gridania
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4w5
    This has always been a very big problem for me, especially as a child. I was always uncomfortable, especially physically uncomfortable, more so than any of the other children. I have a difficult time with procrastination and of course depression and anxiety.

    I think that it all comes down to sensitivity, especially emotional sensitivity. There might be such a thing as an extra-sensitive person, I don't know. But, there definitely are more sensitive people.

    I can see how this might have affected social skill development. I need to go over all this stuff thoroughly before I can speak intelligently about it, but I appreciate the links.

    I don't feel like doing it now thuogh- how ironic.
     
  10. acd

    acd Well-known member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Threads:
    143
    Messages:
    15,117
    Featured Threads:
    11
    Likes Received:
    33,355
    Trophy Points:
    1,377
    MBTI:
    infp
    Enneagram:
    9w8 sp/sx
    Who says that the belief that life should be easy is irrational?
     
  11. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Threads:
    29
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    528
    MBTI:
    INxJ
    Enneagram:
    4w3
    I have a problem with dealing with uncomfortable situations only in certain cases. It's something that I try to catch myself on, but I do have a deep-rooted personality flaw in that I have a tendency to catch and hold onto depth in feeling, including negative, melancholy ones -- which puts me in the cycle you've described.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
    Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Threads:
    36
    Messages:
    2,538
    Likes Received:
    288
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    enfp
    Enneagram:
    -
    Growing pains and discomfort usually come from a little too well developed observation. If "proper" social skills are supposed to be the skills to not care about people suffering everywhere; um, chances are some future generations may severely redefine this terminology.

    Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince matches all that: discomfort intolerance with seeing everybody so suffering; procrastinated his duties of being gold and shiny (he failed deliberately); depressed, certainly, he's a darn crying statue; anxiety, yes, he would obsess his bird-friend to help people.

    Of course, he could have been like this general, following valour, giving a lesson to reckless idealists, killing 1500 indians in the Gandhi rebellion, for example. He knew his "proper" social skills well, was self-confident and pro-active - he ordered the fire, made sure his shooters wasted no bullets, calmly instructed them to aim with precision, not in a hurry. He was certainly very well qualified for his job. Later he said he would have helped any of the shot women and children, if they had asked him for help (which they didn't). See, he was ethical and honorable. A man of his word and firm principle. Not some barbaric subhuman. /btw, i'm not judging him, i pity him and all of us who still train people like him into this/
    [​IMG]
    Hope that didn't sound too negative :p:p...:p some dark humour, i admit :p
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Faye likes this.
  13. OP
    sassafras

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Threads:
    173
    Messages:
    14,572
    Featured Threads:
    8
    Likes Received:
    45,303
    Trophy Points:
    2,376
    MBTI:
    .
    Uhh... And sociopathic tendencies have what to do with the price of tea in China? You kind of ran off on a tangent here that I frankly do not understand.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. OP
    sassafras

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Threads:
    173
    Messages:
    14,572
    Featured Threads:
    8
    Likes Received:
    45,303
    Trophy Points:
    2,376
    MBTI:
    .
    Hmm. Define what you mean here by "easy."

    Little or no resistance in dimensions that satisfy basic human needs? Or little or no resistance in all areas of life to you and you alone? Or little or no resistance in life for anyone, anywhere, at all ? The latter two sound more like pipe-dreams to me and I doubt that is what you were going for.

    My point here is that a belief depends on how far an individual takes it and how that belief can either interfere with or enhance a present reality. And the beliefs that we're discussing are those that are hindering to an individual's quality of life by possibly introducing cognitivie dissonances that contribute to depression, anxiety, and other deeply disrupting conditions. If those beliefs are incongruent with the individual's present capacities and the practical application of that individual's goals, then yes, in this context, they can be said to be "irrational."
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #14 sassafras, Dec 31, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  15. sookie

    On Holiday

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Threads:
    109
    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFX
    What is coming up for me is something that I think is related to the present discussion but I am not sure how. You are talking about frustration level and discomfort. I think that it is safe to say that when something is too hard than we get frustrated. This is actually have to do with a theory on "Flow." This is a real theory on learning. I dont remember the psychologists name.

    If something is just right in difficulty we go into a state of flow. We loose track of time. The ideas and solutions just come to us. We know what steps to take to solve the problem and creativity is easier to access.

    If something is too hard we get frustrated and if it is too easy we get bored.

    I wrote about this yesterday.

    Here is something else to add into this. When we are learning something new are brain is operating cognitively. This means that your brain can only do one thing at a time. That is all. You know when you are doing something for the first time and someone can not even speak to you because you have to concentrate. This is because of how your brain is operating during that task.

    Once you can do the task and your brain knows what to do so to speak. It functions associatively. This means that it can do many things at a time. You can talk, listen, and do other things all at once.

    I used to be an atrocious writer. It was hard so I would get frustrated. I would have to concentrate so hard. Now it is much easier and I can go into a state of flow when I write.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. OP
    sassafras

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Threads:
    173
    Messages:
    14,572
    Featured Threads:
    8
    Likes Received:
    45,303
    Trophy Points:
    2,376
    MBTI:
    .
    I think I get what you're saying here; that the level of difficulty needs to be just right in order to get into that fantastical, productive state that is "flow" (and that is the correct term, if I'm not mistaken either). Obviously, if we're frustrated, that negative emotion often overrules the positive because our brain automatically switches focus to the "problem" signalled by the frustration in order to try and find a solution to eliminate the issue.

    But sometimes our brain reacts to things that don't necessarily require half the attention, so we get something akin to an overzealous security guard that gets everyone to evacuate the building every time he runs into something that is 'not completely right.'

    And we all get frustrated, but I don't think the goal is to avoid being frustrated at all... but rather, to limit the things that do frustrate us so that our brain recognizes that some of these things aren't that big enough of a deal to interupt whatever it is that we're doing at the time. That's where the "tolerance" bit comes in and you were touching up on that. How to build up that up, one small step at a time.

    Interesting insight on how we learn, sookie.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  17. sookie

    On Holiday

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Threads:
    109
    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFX
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. sookie

    On Holiday

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Threads:
    109
    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFX
    Apparently this Researcher is very well respected.

    "Martin E.P. Seligman, President of the American Psychological Association, describes Csikszentmihalyi as the world's leading researcher on a subject that is near and dear to his heart, positive psychology. He says Csikszentmihalyi's work on improving lives has been important in his own effort to encourage psychologists to focus on building human strengths. 'He is the brains behind positive psychology, and I am the voice,' says Seligman. Csikszentmihalyi is working with Seligman to engage young leading psychologists to focus on prevention and building human strength."

    This is taken from the web site.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
    Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Threads:
    36
    Messages:
    2,538
    Likes Received:
    288
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    enfp
    Enneagram:
    -
    For example, I'd say a game like poker is sociopathic, even though indirectly. It's not that sociopaths play poker; it's the game itself that would train anybody to become sociopathic within it. After all, this general would have surely helped women and children if they asked him. Now, pressing triggers, aiming right, it's not the same thing as cruelty, it's being professional. :p:p jk
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. OP
    sassafras

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Threads:
    173
    Messages:
    14,572
    Featured Threads:
    8
    Likes Received:
    45,303
    Trophy Points:
    2,376
    MBTI:
    .
    Ah, thanks for taking the time to elaborate but I still don't get what this has to do with Discomfort Intolerance, Procrastination, Anxiety or Depression, or frankly anything that has been discussed so far...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #20 sassafras, Jan 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
Loading...
Similar Threads - Discomfort Intolerance Linked
  1. Satya
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    1,900

Share This Page