What is a negative pleasure?
- It is something we do that brings us pleasure but is ultimately hiding or masking or keeping us from a healthy experience.
- Getting pleasure from a behavior or a situation that we know it is best that we avoid.
I don’t necessarily see a negative pleasure as something to avoid, but more as something to learn from in life. If we allow it to help us become more aware and conscious, we will become more than we are today.
We all have them!
We don’t even realize how much enjoyment we get from the misery of our negative pleasures.
If we are not careful, a they can easily become part of our identity.
Negative Pleasure Examples
1. Health Diagnosis
Even though a diagnosis can be important and helpful, sometimes we get one to prove that something is wrong with us. It becomes something that helps us label our condition, rather than working to see what we can change or heal in our lives. The negative pleasure point takes our eye off the ball of healing and out of awareness and consciousness.
2. Illusion Of Connection
Another one is saying “I miss you” or “I love you” but not showing it in any concrete way. It keeps people connected to you through the illusion of connection. The result is that we keep others at an arm’s length away from our heart.
3. Lost In The News Of The Day
Getting lost in the news of the day, even though most of it has nothing to do with our lives. It is a negative pleasure because we are consumed by the regurgitation of opinion and gossip, not by fact.
4. Junk Food
One of the ones I struggle with is trying to eat healthy but consuming far too much junk food. When I endure stressful emotional moments, I eat unhealthy food. It feels so good and is comforting and calming. However it distracts me from truly feeling and moving pass the emotional struggle I’m enduring.
5. The Need To Criticize
A common negative pleasure these days is feeling the need to criticize others. We ignore our shortcomings of what we do in our own lives. The need to criticize becomes an empowering moment we hold over others. It destroys people and ultimately ourselves in its wake.
6. Lost In The Fantasy Of Reality
Getting lost in fantasy to the point where we hardly know what reality is anymore or what is real and what is not, is a negative pleasure. We have an entire TV industry built on reality shows that are not necessarily reality .
7. Liking And Sharing On Social Media
Liking and sharing things on social media, but not having any significant person-to-person contact. Therefore, we end up seeing an anonymous person with a screen name as someone as real as you would meet in every day life
8. Shopping and Buying
Buying things we want but really don’t need gives us a high as a negative pleasure. It keeps us from feeling discomfort deep inside our mind body
9. Following The Crowd
Following the crowd even though we don’t really approve of what they are doing is one being practiced today. It helps us feel like we belong, when in reality, there is no authenticity to that connection
10. Things That Don’t Matter
Talking only about the weather or other common subjects of the day can be a negative pleasure when it keeps us numbing and avoiding. It becomes easier to talk about the fluff in life, than to focus on things that matter
These are just some of the examples that I can think of from the top of my head. You’ll find a much more in-depth discussion in my book, Overcoming A Mysterious Condition. Please note that chapter 15 discusses this subject.
Whatever your negative pleasure is, we first have to become aware that it exists. Many of these things hide in our unconscious mind so we don’t see them and ego, fear, and anxiety are accomplices.
The more we can hold them up to the flashlight of awareness, the more we can make choices in how we deal with them.