Why You Should Make a "Stupid List" ASAP
Updated: Jan 27
In this post I'm going to tell you why you should sit down and create a personal "stupid list" at your earliest convenience. The quick version is everyone has things we are vulnerable to doing when we're in bad head space that are really stupid, that will hurt ourselves or others. We need to specifically plan on not doing those things at those times. If I have your attention, read on.
ALWAYS DO WHENEVER
There are things in life it's perfectly fine to do anytime, no matter what you are feeling. Brushing your teeth, for example. It's hard to imagine that brushing your teeth can ever do any kind of damage, to you or anyone else, under any circumstances of any kind. Listening to music is another example. This will almost always be okay.
NEVER DO WHEN UPSET
Then there are things it's generally okay to do, but you should plan on never doing when you are upset. There's usually nothing wrong with drinking a bit here and there, but some people should decide never to drink when they are depressed or angry or lonely. It's just not going to end well if they do. There's nothing wrong with sex, but jumping into someone's bed just because you're feeling blue is often going to turn out badly.
NEVER DO AT ALL
Then of course there are things you need to decide to never do at all. Some things are always going to blow up in your face. If you are married, I strongly recommend you decide that, no matter how unhappy you are in your marriage, you will never, ever have an affair. (If you're not convinced this is a fantastic life guideline, I encourage you to discuss it with someone who works regularly with relationships where an affair has occurred -- or better yet, with someone who has been through it.) If you are an alcoholic, you may well need to consider never having another drink of alcohol.
It's one thing for you to think, "I should probably try hard not to punch anyone." "That's an idea. But to write down,
Don't punch anyone, ever...
that's a plan.
We have all weaknesses, blind spots, and vulnerabilities. Make sure when you get into bad head space, you have made a specific plan not to keep falling into the same patterns over and over again.