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wundayatta's avatar

In what ways do you punish yourself? Why?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) April 24th, 2010

When I’m depressed, I often want to punish myself by trying to rid myself of all the good things in my life: family, friends, home, job, etc. I don’t feel like I deserve anything good, and, in fact, I don’t understand how I could feel the way I do when I have so many blessings. Something is wrong. So I punish myself—or try to.

This question was inspired by this answer. I think our minds find the most perverse ways of trying to hurt ourselves—such ass backward thinking. It only makes sense when we are angry with ourselves or angry with the world, yet powerless to do anything about it.

In what ways have you punished yourself? What were the circumstances? Why did you do it? What point were you trying to prove?

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37 Answers

maddycarmichael's avatar

i hurt myself and don’t let anyone help me.
i do it because i can.

Fly's avatar

I force myself to wallow and/or stay angry for long periods of time. I won’t allow myself to get over things and move on with my life for quite some time- until I figure out a solution or forget what I was even upset about, usually. It’s sort of like a grudge against myself, in a weird, backwards way. Of course now I can think about it rationally and realize that doing so is ridiculous. But at the time there doesn’t seem to be any other option, so I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it. I also hold higher standards for myself than are realistic oftentimes, which makes it very easy for me to get this way. Everyone always tells me not to set such high standards for myself and not to beat myself up over silly things, but I can’t seem to help it. I am a perfectionist, so I get angry or upset until I can get it right, which is impossible some of the time.

Trillian's avatar

I used to beat myself up and hold myself to a very high standard. I still hold to my standards I guess, though I’m more realistic about them. I practice self denial and rewards because I’m a procrastinator. I have to force myself to get motivated sometimes, but no. I do not punish myself or feel that I’m less deserving of good things.
In fact, you’re one who helped me realize this. In our conversations and reading your questions and answers I saw some self destructive patterns in my own life. You helped me to cut my ex SO loose whether you realize it or not. I had continued to try to help him because I wanted to have with him something that wasn’t going to happen. And I felt responsible for decisions that he had made, or at least like a precipitating factor. I realized that I was settling for a man who held no value for me and that I did indeed deserve better.
Thank you.

wundayatta's avatar

@Trillian You’re welcome! And I want to thank you, too. I’m glad that anything I may have said was useful to you. But I really appreciate that you let me know. It makes it worth while.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I usually punish myself when studying, I set goals that when I am done with all my homework thats when I can go online and watch tv.

BoBo1946's avatar

when a person forget about himself, this will not happen!

snowberry's avatar

I punish myself by eating chocolate. Death by chocolate! Buah ha ha ha!

DarkScribe's avatar

Why on earth would anyone want to punish themselves? – Life does enough of that without any additional assistance.

snowberry's avatar

UNLESS it’s by chocolate. Case dismissed!

Lightlyseared's avatar

I go climbing on really hard routes that push my nerve and my ability. Just for the view from the top.

pearls's avatar

I have thought about this question and tried to come up with an answer, but I don’t believe that I punish myself. Like @DarkScribe said, life does enough.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t go out of my way to do that,unless I get the urge to cook ;)

ChaosCross's avatar

I used to smack my groin with a book, that did not feel good at all. But nowadays I don’t do that type of thing, I don’t really feel guilty for things most people do anymore.

Cruiser's avatar

I volunteer to chaprerone my kids school field trips.

partyparty's avatar

I wouldn’t say I punish myself.
I have been working hard in the garden all day, really hard work, but I have achieved. So I wouldn’t call it punishment.

Coloma's avatar

I never punish myself, I am far too indulgent to do that. lol

I can honestly say that I am overall neurosis free, I waste no time on guilt, worry, angst.

I think a lot of people are addicted to their suffering, over identified with their story, I utilize several mantras I have picked up over the years…my favorite is ’ What problem do I have right now?’

Not tomorrow, not next week, not in 5 minutes, but right now!

The answer is always…I have no problem right now! ;-)

netgrrl's avatar

Hmmm. I’ll pass, thanks. I’d much rather be kind to myself, and watch where I step, because the wild dogs in life seem to leave enough steaming piles of hurt to watch out for.

Perhaps… next time you feel like punishing yourself, do it by “forcing” yourself to a certain number of hours of community service or volunteer work? It’s hard to hate yourself when helping others. :)

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Sometimes, even though I know I don’t have any in the cabinet, I will intentionally not buy Tequila. Often, I suffer for about 20 minutes and then head to Hector’s for a much needed Margarita.

Oh, many times I’ll punish myself by reading some Q’s and A’s by Flutherites who drive me insane.

Draconess25's avatar

I used to view my self-mutilation as punishment, but then I realized that I enjoyed it.

pearls's avatar

@netgrrl Terrific answer….

BoBo1946's avatar

@pearls well…look who showed up…hey sport…have a great day!

Trillian's avatar

@netgrrl You rock. I humbly bow before you. (That’s twice in one day. I’m going to need knee pads….None of you guys need to take that in any double entendre way. @Cruiser, I especially mean you!)

thriftymaid's avatar

I don’t punish myself. You seem to be overthinking.

PacificToast's avatar

I keep myself from even trying to cheer up. It’s awful.

slick44's avatar

Mope around feeling sorry for myself.

Ron_C's avatar

I listen to Rush Limbaugh. That is punishment for almost falling asleep at the wheel. 10 minutes of Rush and I’m so pissed that I am awake for hours.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

In what ways have you punished yourself?
That story was the worst thing I’ve done. Other times I’ve gotten myself stupid drunk in order to keep myself from talking, acting, feeling but that one time I made a big action I knew would be forever.

What were the circumstances?
Total disbelief that a person I’d trusted so completely and after a long time of not believing in romance anymore would let me down. Confusion and anger because there was no explanation given to what they most certainly knew was a horrible blow to me.

Why did you do it?
I didn’t trust myself to stay away from them. I feared I’d keep reaching out and embarrassing myself by asking for their love so I did the one thing I knew if they learned of it would be unforgivable and so they’d never take me back and I’d never have to be in the position of having eaten crow or chance they’d play me all over again.

What point were you trying to prove?
That I was betrayed at having been open, honest, clean, faithful- the things told to me that were most valued by the person who hurt me. I wanted to prove to myself I could be just as imperfect as anyone else so I’d never have the opportunity to fall for someone who liked the “old” me. Now I’m again the “old” me but with a black mark against my character.

DominicX's avatar

That’s not the kind of thing I do. When I need to focus on something important, I’ll restrict my “fun” activities, but that’s not punishment, that’s just necessary. :)

I agree with @DarkScribe on this one.

Scooby's avatar

I joke with my female next door neighbour that she can tie me to the trellis & beat me with a big stick while naked in the back garden! :-/
I think she may be up for it??? ;-) Lol…..

anartist's avatar

How do I punish me?
Let me count the ways.

cyreb7's avatar

@Neizvestnaya That brought tears to my eyes… Thank you for sharing such a deep and emotional memory with us. That is very brave of you. If only i could be so open…

On another note: @Thesexier I have been trying to do that for so long, but I just can’t seem to stop distracting myself. I try really hard to do my homework, but sometimes I just can’t bring myself to do it; no mater how hard I try, or how much I think: “STOP. Do your homework now!” I just don’t have the experience in self discipline needed to get things done in a proper time.

WolfFang's avatar

The only “punishment” I do is for my own well being, like in martial arts training, I do intense training/work outs etc. If I mess up on a rep or move, I make myself do double after.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I don’t “punish” myself really. But, I’m like Thesexier with studying and setting goals.

noname's avatar

i used to cut the area inbetween my fingernails so it wouldnt leave a scar…. others might notice that…. i think before i had quit that i had done each side of each finger 21 times…. punch myself in the face…. smash my hand with my fist…. but in highschool i found the most useful thing in destroying my future self was getting d’s and f’s…. i have a IQ of 132…. it wasnt like i couldnt… i just knew this was going to be very effective… later in life i got alot of good things going formyself and seemed to leave the punishments behind….. but now in my thirties….. ive resorted to not eating… wich leads to many health problems…. and not sleeping… wich ironicaly will lead to not only destroying my brain function but early onset of type 2 diabities and heart disease…. i was starting to pick out places to cut big this time…. but i probly wont build up the energy to do it… why bother….. for those many of you that cant understand this kind of thought process…. its very hard living in a world that is filled with such greedy people…. willing to destroy humanity for themselfs…. im a entertainer that has helped many people grow and be strong…. do many charity events and give everything that is left of me…. i dont hate humanity…. i dont hate myself…. but a long time ago… i relized that killing myself was a cheap way out…. and not a punishment at all…. living…. now thats a punishment…. watching the world decay while those with the willpower to save it get ignored and slandered for others personal ego and gain….. nothing we can do to change it….. its human nature…. im going to use a fake email to sign in for this site… and wont be back to read others responces…. but i felt i should leave my mark here….

Ron_C's avatar

Well, according to his statement @noname will not return to this site. If he has any human nature left, his curiosity will bring him back to check the response. In that case, I would like to suggest that noname see medical help immediately. If this a joke, it is not funny and it’s pretty pitiful. Either way noname needs real help, real soon.

likipie's avatar

I never realized it before I lost him, but I have a tendency to keep myself from being happy. Whenever I get in a position where happiness may be an option, I get the hell out of there. I hurt myself over and over and I refuse to stop. It’s my body and my life should I not be allowed to do with it what I want? It may hurt me, but I’m not going to stop.

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