Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

December 5, 2012

3 Reasons Why Good People Do Surprisingly Bad Things.

 Life can go sideways pretty quickly when you’re dealing with other people. At times you can find yourself scratching your head, confused, and outraged over the behavior of the people who you are dealing with. It doesn’t seem reasonable.  Or even logical.

And you’re left wondering “what the heck happened?”

It’s important to remember that the same irrational behavior you find unacceptable and confusing in others is the same way you are wired to behave.

At times others watching you are left scratching their heads horribly confused and frustrated by your brand of craziness.

There are three common responses that cause people to do things that are wildly out of character. If you find another person in one of these situations (or force that situation to happen due to your own behavior) you should expect people to act “bad”.

Here is why good people do bad things:

1. Desperation.

Being desperate is the worst of the irrational defense mechanisms .

When a person feels like they have to go to extreme measures, they often will.  At the expense of everything and everyone around them.

The side of their brain that’s fuels addiction and wild feats of heroism kicks into gear and tells them that it’s time to do something crazy. That’s not usually a good way to respond.  Then again they are thinking clearly.

Desperate people can destroy their lives horrifically quickly.

2. Boredom.

Boredom is a powerful motivator. When your brain feels like it’s slowing down against its will, it will tell you that you need excitement that you don’t really need.

People, when overly bored, will find all kinds of unnecessary and harmful behaviors that supplement their otherwise bland existence — especially if they are used do a fast paced lifestyle.

Slowing down is strange for them. Instead of enjoying the silence, they tend to create chaos.

3. Ignorance.

Ignorance will drive people to do harmful things that destroy the rest of their life. Lack of awareness about options and opportunities and people who can help force people to do things that are damaging and have long-lasting consequences.

People who don’t know, don’t know a way to escape from the problems in their life. They tend to implode, self-destructing as a way to unleash the pain and frustration they feel inside.

If you’re observing this, remember that facts and figures don’t necessarily mean better information. Knowledge has to be interpreted through understanding. Through them feeling like you care.

Most good people given normal stress do good things.

They might not choose the painfully tough heroic option, but most people do enough to be valuable to those around them.

But it doesn’t take much unexpected pain to push normal people into survival mode — where they often harm themselves and anybody around them.

Remember that the next time you’re in a situation where the people you’re dealing with don’t seem reasonable.

They might not be.

Instead of calling them idiots, take the time to see what’s tearing their heart out. Try to help heal the pain. They are probably just in crazy need of someone to care about them.

That person could be you.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.