Last week my brother sent me a packet of ‘ Hershey’s Kisses’ and I finished 100 choco-pieces in just two days all alone. No matter how I want NOT to crunch it one after another, I was indulged in the packet completely. My mind wanted me to stop crunching while my taste bud wanted to have them all at the time. I was feeling satiated with my choco-love at the same time feeling strong distaste toward my craving. How can that happen?
Was it my guilty pleasure? May be…Yes!
And I am pretty sure many of us have our own set of guilty pleasures. And we love them, don’t we?
My love for chocolates and brownies; My best friend love for scrolling twitter all the time; My another friend attachment with couch and TV, my another colleague love of shopping are few of the pleasures that we feel guilty about after our long indulgence.
BUT STILL Why we do what we don’t like to do? Have you ever thought about it?
Psychology gives a lot of attributions for this. It says habits like this develop due to Low Self-Esteem or due to lack of internal motivation, due to lack of your will or due to your faulty learning.
So damaged is already done! We already have our pleasure which we feel guilty at the end.
So, let’s work on together towards this for now.
Firstly, GUILTY PLEASURE IS GUILTY. Let’s ADMIT IT!
I love the word ‘Guilty Pleasure’ but I doubt it’s meaning sometimes. How can something be ‘Guilty’ and ‘Pleasurable’ at the same time. If it’s pleasure, don’t hide it. If it’s comforting you, if it calms you, set a time for the pleasures. Schedule and Indulge in it. But if it is ‘Guilt’, it’s going to give you guilt no matter what. Accept it.
For example, you find twitter a ‘Guilty Pleasure’. You spend 5 hours a day in twitter. Every time you use it-get pleasure and later feel guilt about it, where will it take? Nowhere! First realize what is more important to you, getting pleasure from twitter or you being guilty having wasting time in social media?
Don’t lie to yourself. And Separate GUILT and PLEASURE. It should work.
Secondly, dilute your guilty pleasure with other forms.
How can you do that?
If you indulge in brownie like I do. Make Brownie your ‘Reward’. Every time you eat healthy for a month or get your work accomplished, give yourself a point as a ‘Brownie’. Here your pleasure won’t be guilt; it’s a diluted and became reward now.
Third, Have a friend to Monitor.
Why Guilty Pleasures are guilty? Because we feel guilty after the pleasure, exactly like I did after my 100 pieces of choco-crunching; I didn’t tell my mom about it. I felt guilt for bingeing unhealthy. Rather If I had my mom to monitor my unhealthy binge, I would have those chocolates eaten for a week not in two days.
Likewise, share with your friend the trouble you are having and let them help you make schedule or monitor your pleasures which you feel guilty about.
Lastly, Consciously Jot down all your ‘Guilty Pleasures’ and Watch out!
Make sure you have your lists of thing that you feel like doing but feel bad about after doing them. Make sure you understand it’s the guilt because they are harmful or negative or deteriorating for you; not because somebody say so.
If you think you feel good and healthy in your skin, you don’t need to validate the society which thinks skinner are beautiful by giving up your pleasure of indulging in healthy food. But if you think too much of shopping is not about validation but about your internal will, watch out. Make shopping schedule, try to buy it for purpose.
If something is being addictive. Try to seek help from your friend or may be professional. But if your pleasures are manageable, do it by yourself. Just make sure to list out them all and rank them in order of Goodness and Necessity.
You shouldn’t feel guilty about if it gives you pleasure. It’s either PLEASURE or GUILT. If it’s pleasure, you don’t need to validate the society or do not need to try to fit in if you don’t feel like.
But, if that is ‘GUILT’, make sure you understand the consequences and try to work on this rather than being guilty about it and doing nothing.
Now, In a Nutsell, my choco-love is my pleasure which I enjoy and which I am not giving up on. But me gulping ‘100 Pieces of chocolates’ just in two days is the GUILT. It’s not healthy and I will make sure to dilute my guilt in other forms now onwards.
So This 2017, why don’t you try to work on your Guilty-Pleasure?? I mean Guilt and Pleasure! 😀
About this Author
Kripa Sigdel is founder and Executive Director of Psychbigyaan Network Nepal. She is Psychology post-graduate student and passionate Psychology Promoter. Her interests lies Academics, Research and Counselling.