What is a Self-Defeating Behavior (SDB)?
An SDB is any thoughts or behavior that effect a person's motivation and personal growth, along with having a negative impact on their relationships with family, friends and work environment. Examples of SDBs are through out our culture:
Getting inappropriately angry
Alcohol and drug abuse
One person defined SDBs as, "It is something you do, and after you do it you are worse off." The definition of SDBs is:
"A self-defeating behavior is an action or attitude that once worked to help an individual cope with stressful experiences, but that now works against the individual to keep him or her from responding to new situations in a healthy way."
To be classified as a true SDB, a behavior or thought must have worked for you at one time or another in your life, or at least led you to believe that it worked. You believe that because a SDB worked in the past, it will continue to work in the future. For example, a man walking down the street on a winter's day in February. He is hit in the head by an icy snowball. Not wanting to endure this type of pain in the future, he picks up a garbage can cover that he finds laying in the street. He holds this garbage can cover in front of his head to avoid any future icy snowballs. However, this man is very much afraid of the pain of an icy snowball, so he continues to carry this garbage can cover in front of his head through the summer months also. As a consequence, people then stay away from him. The garbage can cover is like abusive behavior. People use abusive behavior to solve problems or handle stress or take control. But all these are only a temporary solution. In the long run the behavior fails, leads to more problems.