General Question

wabbit's avatar

What motivates you to do the “wrong” thing?

Asked by wabbit (40points) August 17th, 2012

I generally try to do the “right” thing, but sometimes I intentionally do the “wrong” thing? Do you do this too? If yes, why?

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24 Answers

blueiiznh's avatar

Being misinformed
Having significant vulnerabilities.

bongo's avatar

Sometimes it is more fun to do the wrong thing. (I only do that when it doesnt hurt anyone else though – things like drinking more wine or eating more chocolate not big things. I will go as far as I can out of my way not to do the wrong thing if it affects other people!)

Coloma's avatar

I don’t do any wrong things. Of course I cannot predict how I might behave in dire circumstances. If I was starving, yes, I would be motivated to do the wrong thing and steal food, if it meant the difference between life and death. However, I am not sure that self preservation would really count as doing the “wrong” thing.

I am very naturally a person of decent integrity and do not believe in being deceitful or manipulative to get my wants and needs met.
I may have just done the wrong thing by eating a giant pot brownie at 11 am. Hahaha
Well…I couldn’t resist the gift given me yesterday by a friend and since I am not working today I really have no-thing important to do, but I am going to be sailing along for the rest of the day now. Too late, it’s done, the weekend starts early today! lolololol

6rant6's avatar

An interesting thought experiment: How does it feel when you are wrong?

The answer of course, is that we feel exactly the same way as when we are right. Generally, our beliefs come with a subliminal guarantee from our genetic past that we are right about everything.

For most of us, I would think that covers doing the wrong thing, too. Circumstances combine to impel us toward behavior which we are convinced is “the right thing to do,” even as we label it “wrong.”

Me, I’m just lazy.

gailcalled's avatar

I can imagine myself doing something harmful or generally immoral to others only if people or animals were in jeopardy. Protecting my family and Milo would take precedent over any ethical strictures.

philosopher's avatar

People that constantly attempt to use or manipulate me. Sometimes I want to annoy them as much as they annoy me. LOL. I usually just ignore them.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled Yes, I agree, now why don’t you let me ship you a few rattlesnakes to keep on standby if you have need of a little viper tossing in self defense. lol

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma: Too kind.

Edit; Change “animals’ to “mammals and fowl who are minding their own business.”

fremen_warrior's avatar

I’m a do-gooder and nothing can change that. Unless my survival is at stake.

Roby's avatar

Doing the right thing is staple with me. Even if it means that I will have to suffer sometime by doing so. You can never go wrong in the long run by always doing the right thing. And you will always sleep better with a clear conscious.

flutherother's avatar

This is Edgar Allan Poe’s Imp of the Perverse.

wundayatta's avatar

I never try to do the wrong thing. Does anyone? Seriously? Isn’t that the definition of a sociopath?

I don’t really think about right and wrong as much as I think about hurting others. I try to never hurt anyone. Indeed, I try very hard to avoid hurting people.

However, sometimes my actions do cause pain for others. Sometimes that is because I make a mistake. Sometimes that is because I place my good ahead of others. I’m selfish, in other words.

When I cause pain for others, I try to acknowledge what I have done and take responsibility for it and fix it. I try to learn from the experience so I never cause anyone pain by doing that again. Sometimes, I can’t avoid hurting others, and that can lead to a dissolution of a relationship. That’s sad. You can call me wrong, but I don’t think I am wrong. I just have different priorities from you. I’m sorry it had to come to this. Let’s be mature about it and move on with the least amount of further pain possible.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Not being able to do things right. Circumstances, wrong choices, stupidity, investing in the wrong people/situations, not following wise guidance. That’s just the start of the list.

Pandora's avatar

I will back pedal on a promise if I feel the person is taking advantage of me or if they hurt or are offensive to a close family member. Most of the time I will be up front about why I had a change of heart but sometimes I’ll keep it to myself if it is just going to cause a lot of aggravation.
Sometimes I may also have to lie about why I can’t keep a promise if I feel the person will not think my original reason important enough and their feelings may be hurt.
An example would be not being able to go to an event because I am very tired and so I may say I’m feeling ill instead and I have a stomach bug.

bookish1's avatar

@6rant6: “Generally, our beliefs come with a subliminal guarantee from our genetic past that we are right about everything.”
That was very eloquently put! I was just going to say something crude about the mind being like a monkey that is driving an elephant…

I have certainly wronged others but it is something I never want to do. And sometimes, I avoid that to the point of wronging myself. I’m still trying to find a balance. Sometimes, however, others don’t even enter the equation, and I am just doing wrong to myself. I used to be self-destructive, but now it is just force of habit. I’m working on it!

freesoft's avatar

I’d say that first of all right and wrong is purely subjective. However, there is general consensus through laws on the perceived idea of right and wrong. In terms of doing the wrong thing, the main causes would definitely be poverty, greed, selfishness, etc. For the little wrongs things we do on a day to day basis, I think it might be from convenience.

YARNLADY's avatar

Only in terms of the lesser of two evils, such as intentional omission of something.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

When my patience breaks of someone who purposely troubles me, I’ll sometimes bite back. I don’t like to because I’m pretty good a wrecking havoc and hate to feel regret after.

augustlan's avatar

For minor wrongs (say, not being productive around the house), it could be laziness or being in too much pain. For major wrongs, it would have to fall into the lessor of two evils category.

Bellatrix's avatar

It’s all about levels. I am usually a pretty kind and considerate person and I try not to be small minded. So I wouldn’t do anything to harm anyone in a real way, not even someone I don’t like.

Still, there have been times when Jimminy Cricket is chirping in my ear, ‘you really shouldn’t say or do that’ and I know I am probably being a bit petty but I do it anyway. The person will have severely pissed me off for me to be mean and nasty, but if I figure they deserve it, I have been known to act. I have been quite wicked on occasions. Nothing harmful or major but I will do something I know is going to get that person bent out of shape and that my more mature side says “you shouldn’t have done that”.

And if you mess with someone I love and seriously hurt them, stay out of my way because all bets are off.

Berserker's avatar

Mostly because I’m an asshole.

Nah, I’m usually a decent person, and I try to stay out of people’s business, and out of their way. A little rude and unfriendly, and that, intentionally, but decent otherwise. Or so I think.
I can be happy, or at least productive enough, solely relying on my own and not getting anyone involved. Sometimes I do wrong intentionally, but I figure it doesn’t hurt anyone, or at least not significantly. Therefore, it is not called out, and no repercussions are experienced. I know that doesn’t really justify anything, especially when something not getting back to me doesn’t mean it didn’t affect someone, but all I do is jaywalk and steal coffee cream from restaurants. I mean jeez. I do admit though, that keeping to myself in order to specifically not fuck anyone over, when such a scenario might present itself, is done for my own good rather than for the welfare of others. It’s the best I can do.
What motivates me to do the wrong thing is usually convenience, if I can afford to get away with it, or anxiety, which always leaves me enough time to think and therefore not be a Darth Vader, anyways.

Doesn’t mean I ain’t never curvestomped anyone, though.

Jayy's avatar

Some men just want to watch the world burn…

HowNow's avatar

Because we sabotage our own success.

Somewhere, in our history, people were made to believe that they don’t deserve good things, being successful, etc. They don’t realize these thoughts actually set into their subconscious and now attempts to defeat our successful intentions throughout life.

If you give it some thought, you can recall at least once in your past where you attempted to do something, you were excited about it, you told someone and they said “Oh that’s too hard. You will never be able to do that” and we may believe it. Or, at the very least, it added doubt into our minds about the probability of our success.

Why won’t I be able to do that? Because I’m not good enough, smart enough, good looking, etc.

People may do it intentionally or unintentionally but either way, it’s how we let it affect us.

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