Question of the Week: January 26th, 2016

Do you think of yourself as an impulsive person?

During winter break, my mother bakes a thousand cookies for gifting, and there are always hundreds left over.  But even though the cookies are great, and even though I’m underweight, I tend not to eat very many at a time.  This is the opposite of my boyfriend, who will keep on eating them unless he commits to stop.  He is impulsive where I am very much not impulsive.  But I’m not sure it’s better, because it means I frequently hesitate to do things that I like.

This is actually something I use to worry about in relation to asexuality.  I think I used to be aesthetically attracted to men before I was really aware of it, and part of the reason I wasn’t aware of it was because I always refused impulses to look at people.  Well, and now I don’t really worry about it.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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7 Responses to Question of the Week: January 26th, 2016

  1. Sciatrix says:

    I will overthink anything–including whether or not I am an impulsive person. Heh.

  2. luvtheheaven says:

    I feel like maybe Food addiction: is a bit of a different phenomenon from impulsivity in other aspects of life. I can certainly be known to eat more cookies than I should at times. Yeah, I guess I can be that person. But that doesn’t mean I’m really impulsive in other ways. I’m hesitant and afraid of missteps a lot of the time. I’m much less of a thrill seeker and more of a introverted person who carefully considers things, costs and benefits, pros and cons, before taking risks. Impulsiveness, at least how I’ve perceived it, is marked by doing things that involve a different kind of risk, and I’m more on the paranoid end of that spectrum, more likely to be afraid of taking risks even when the risks are small. Doing something just because it’s going to feel good in the moment is what that eating example can be like, true. 😛 Because you can’t resist the taste… you want more. But people wouldn’t call be “impulsive” over sometimes overeating. They’d call me other names lol. Impulsivity would be more marked throughout other facets of my life, and in that case I believe I’m really much more likely to resist the majority of my impulses.

    But… But I don’t know lol.

    • Siggy says:

      Yeah, “impulsivity” in food doesn’t necessarily extend to impulsivity in other matters, so well maybe cookies weren’t the best example. My bf is more impulsive than me in other ways too, most notably in exercise and spending money.

  3. Hollis says:

    Yes and no. I’m impulsive about smaller things a lot of the time, but overly-cautious when it comes to large things.

    • TreePeony says:

      Me, too! I don’t think at all about simple things (for example,trying out new foods even when cautioned against them), but when it comes to major life decisions I think for days, weeks, months. I’m still thinking about whether to just bite the bullet and marry for the sake of physical safety and financial stability even though I don’t want either a husband or children, and it’s been years since I understood my own sexual and romantic interests (or, rather, the lack thereof).

  4. I’m not sure abstaining from cookies makes you less of an impulsive person. It sounds more like since you have easy access to cookies there isn’t such a mystique or appeal about them. For your boyfriend, however, cookies are like forbidden fruit. He’s making up for “lost time”. A grad student at Penn State University did an experiment with children in homes where junk food was banned vs children who had access to unhealthy snacks at home. When left alone with a tray full of forbidden goodies the children who weren’t allowed junk food at home went to town on the sweet-goods. Children who had access to junk food at home were more like “meh,” and just nibbled. For me, when I have a good chunk of change saved up in my bank account I don’t have the urge to shop or buy anything, and actually loathe going out of my to visit stores. There’s something about having green that makes me a homebody, but once tuition is paid and my wallet is in tears, suddenly I “need” new clothes, I’m craving chinese food, there’s this movie out that I’m dying to see, OMG I just found the best thing on Etsy, and why does know me so well? So what is it about having less money that makes me suddenly impulsive? Probably the same thing that makes your boyfriend say, “just one more cookie”.

  5. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    I feel your familiy about the cookies (though I’m the one who does too much baking). Anyhow, I’d call myself middling on the scale. Most of the time, at least, I can curb impulse buying by asking myself if I really need that stuff. Then again, I traveled across the Atlantic to see Transformers 2 with a fellow fangirl, so … results inconclusive? I tend to keep my promises, so I’m usually careful about those.

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