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We humans are not the best at applying reason-driven cost-benefit analysis in real time. Instead, an event suddenly takes place and we're pulled deeper and deeper into an emotional response.


The consequences of that tendency can be large, and various.

Rather than assess, say, the entire context of an argument with some stranger at the DMV, sizing up whether the exchange is worth it at all, we burrow in with a voice that gets louder and fists tha clench tighter.

That can feel satisfying, even necessary in the moment. But when the dust settles and logical thinking returns--far too late to be of use--we realize what a wasted of stress and energy it was.

A recent Reddit thread asked people to share their most memorable examples of these ill-advised moments. Hopefully, reading this will help you avoid sliding into one in the future.

lizzetter asked, "'If it costs you your peace, it's too expensive.' When has that advice held true for you?"

Sitting Duck

"Ever fight over a parking spot and win, and then realize as you're walking away from the car that it will be left unattended for who knows how long?" -- DougFordSucksFightMe

"I've never understood people getting so worked up over a parking spot unless it's in the city or something like that where parking spots are rare and you may have to walk an hour to get where you need to go" -- ParkityParkPark

The Bottomless Supply of Trolls 

"Winning arguments on Reddit. Nine times out of ten I just let it go, because otherwise I will literally spend all day on a pointless argument with someone who doesn't even have a face." -- Alex_Duos

"For me, it's all about the stubbornness to entertainment ratio. If I'm going to be arguing online with some other a**hole, I damn sure better be enjoying myself, or else it's just not worth it." -- Smegma_On_Demand

Sometimes Ya Just Want Something Nice 

"I had a 20 year old Saturn that I intended to drive until the wheels fell off. Well even though COVID has meant I basically never leave the house, I bought a new car in 2020."

"I've put about 1500 miles on it so far, and that's it. But the thing is, even though I rarely drive it, when I DO drive it I'm no longer asking myself the question "Is today the day the wheels fall off?" every time I leave town."

"Some may argue buying a new car I've hardly driven is a stupid move. I say I'd rather be stupid and happy than smart and miserable."

-- m31td0wn

Not Worth Zombification 

"Work-life balance in my job. Nothing is ever on fire, nothing has to be dealt with at 11 at night or on the weekends regardless of who's sending a Slack at those times."

"I protect my evenings and weekends with a ferocity."

-- Fearless_Lab

Un-tethered 

"My husband's family has money. When we were first starting out, we were encouraged to ask his grandparents for help, but we didn't want to. When we bought our first home, they were 'offended' that we got a mortgage from a bank instead of using 'family money.'"

"Twenty years later, we are happy in our own little bubble. We have no stake in any family drama, and we only visit when we feel like it. We don't owe anybody a damn thing, and even though it sometimes sucks to be the poor relations, the peace of mind is priceless."

-- yer__mom_isloveley

LET. IT. GO.

"I used to carry around a lot of hate."

"I had a few people that I relished the idea of provoking into a fight so I could do serious harm."

"It took a while, but eventually I learned what it was doing to me, and realized that they probably didn't give me a second thought. They were getting free real estate in my head."

-- ApolloThunder

Two Solutions: Generosity, or Buying More Fries 

"When my girlfriend swore up and down the drive thru that she wasn't hungry and didn't want anything, then snacks on my animal fries the whole way home."

"Being hangry enough to brake check the whole thing on to the floor wasn't worth the fallout. One of my ugliest moments as an adult and should have just taken the fry tax."

-- InevitablyEngine

Like the Trolls, They'll Keep Coming

"Bad customers. I've learned over the years to turn away difficult clients/jobs. Some people won't be happy, regardless what you give them. I don't need that anxiety no more." -- 12vElectronics

"I'll have to learn to do this better. I cut a some clients a few years ago and things dramatically improved. They were talking up too much time for the reward. Others have now crept into the system though. I'll have to start a cull again. The 80/20 rule springs to mind." -- StingerMcGee

Enough Is Enough 

"My relationship with my brother. I grew up with the 'blood is thicker than water' mentality, but he treated me in ways that made me feel worthless. I haven't spoken to him in about five years."

"He can think whatever he wants about me, but I don't need to hear it."

-- PlasticineRobot

It's a Third of Your Life

"Work environment."

"This past year I resigned from a job (one in my field) that was literally causing me to have full-blown panic attacks from stress for a job that pays less. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest. No job is worth being unhappy."

-- Iamjackslama

Extrinsic Motivation

"Playing a high level sport. Played baseball since I was a kid, very good at it, started to get scouted by universities and even some Pro teams."

"Eventually I got a scholarship for it to go to a school in the states (from Canada) as I got older though I realized I didn't love it, just enjoyed being good at it and seeing my parents happy."

"When I got to university it was a total struggle, I'm not one to need motivation to practice or workout but I hated my team, hated my coaching staff, didn't like the school either but kept going because I didn't want to disappoint anyone."

"Fast forward to Covid with no baseball and all this free time on my hands to pursue other passions and fun things I couldn't while always playing baseball. Now because of the pandemic I've realized there's so much more than just trying to make others happy."

-- awkarfnar

Carrying More Than Your Share

"Taking care of other people/ friends mental health constantly. I didn't mind venting but I definitely let people vent to me too much and the worry kept me up at night."

"Thankfully my friends don't do it as much anymore and it's much calmer"

-- Idiotic_oliver

The Weight of Ethics

"Working jobs where the company's activities were detrimental to society, the environment, or both."

"Yeah, evil jobs may pay better, but I sleep better knowing what I do improves the world in some tiny way."

-- Nonsenseinabag

Less

"Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. I've been downsizing quite a bit over the last few months in favour of minimalist living and I honestly feel so much better after getting rid of so much stuff."

"I've already gotten rid of close to 50% of my things and it is like a huge weight has been lifted. Why the hell did I have so much useless crap?"

-- EHXKOR

Cost-Benefit Analysis, Explained

"I wanted to wear a top hat at my wedding. I like hats, and when else am I gonna wear a top hat?"

"But my wife was adamantly against it. She is about a head shorter than me, and all of my family is taller than her, and a top hat would make it even more apparent."

"So I didn't wear a top hat. Any benefit I'd get from it would have been outweighed by annoying her, and I decided it wasn't worth it."

"But there were compromises. It was my idea to get a bouncy castle in, which was a very popular addition on the day!"

-- lankymjc

Decluttering

"Past failed relationships. When the ex tried to reconnect after three years and a break up text that said 'We're done.' I spent so long wondering what I did wrong and it took a while to realize it wasn't my fault at all but theirs for trying to control things."

"They sent an email but the only thing I saw was the title and it just sits unread in my inbox. I don't need to reopen that past when my present and future are going great."

-- Ellysian14

So What's It For?

"Home insurance and home warranty."

"I pay for a service. When I call to make a claim and use the service it is denied, 100% of the time. So then I have to spend a week arguing about why it shouldn't be denied, or why I should get my money back. Not worth it."

-- Whooplaah

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