Anyone remember that movie “He’s Just Not That Into You”?
Whenever it comes on and I happen to be in a channel flipping (AKA mindless/stupid/lazy) mood, I end up watching a little bit of it. It’s mostly for the half naked scenes with ScarJo and BradCoop. But it’s also for some of the fun dialog. And to torture myself by trying to will Jennifer Connelly’s freshly botoxed face to make an emotion – any emotion – by spastically wiggling my own eyebrow and nose muscles like some short circuiting android (now I know how football fanatics watching a superbowl feel).
(“Come on, Jen! You can do it! Al-most-got-… ah. I give up.”)
But that wasn’t the most annoying part.
Nor was Gigi, the affable, over-the-top, chubby lead character.
In fact, the bothersome bit wasn’t even remotely romantic. It was how Gigi believed (in “aha moment” form, no less) Long’s logic when he claims that women are drawn to save-it-till-the-last-minute drama. Now, don’t get me wrong – we are crazy. And I’m not gonna deny it. But the analogy he tries to draw between “saving a deadline for the last second” and “waiting for the phone to ring and a dude to be on the other end” because we thrive on the drama is ridiculous. ’cause – yes – it’s mostly us estrogen ridden coven o’ nutsos who do the latter thing. But everyone (gender-generally speaking) does that former thing. I even know a few dudes who refer to it as “Back Against The Wall Syndrome”. Having suffered from this my whole life, I often wondered WTF it was. And, today I found out. Sure enough, it has nada to do with ovarian tension. Instead, it has everything to do with goal-spanning and where you are between each goal.
Or, as science more eloquently puts it:
“The closer you are to reaching a goal, the less tolerant you are of interruptions.”
And, as an experiment they did showed, it applies in vice versa fashion as well. That is, the further away you are from your next goal – the more willing you are to welcome those progress hiccups. What they did, was try to make airport folk take a survey – once before their first flight, and then once when they deplaned before their connecting flight. Even though they had the same amount of time before flight one and two, they were more amenable to taking some time to do it after that first goal was reached. Every damned time. (Maybe it was all that recycled oxygen? #experimentalvariable) But what happens is that it’s like this perceived break you experience following an accomplishment. A time reward. And I suppose – a sort of endorphin-reward system that happens in your brain’s task-completion file. This makes sense, given that our brains do function on “reward” of some sort – and get angered when we feel slighted, even by life and reality itself. I suppose what happens in procrastinators (or those “save it till the last minute” people he describes in the flick) is that either this time-between-tasks process gets warped (so the perceived time feels longer) or the shorter-term goals build up. They either have to get knocked down first – or they also get similarly deferred in light of that “I have all the time in the world ’cause I just did a good task” misconception. And it’d be funny if it weren’t so sad and relate-able, ’cause this is exactly what my manipulative brain does to me. In fact, I’ll subconsciously make up new tasks just to avoid the ones I really need to do. That way, when I line ’em up and knock ’em down later, I can go to sleep feeling accomplished about running three times today and cleaning my house instead of signing up for summer class.
Which I could’ve done instead of watching Scarlet’s enchanting derriere while I shoved fruit into my face.
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