Fixing The Issue Of Always Wanting What You Can't Have
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Health and Wellness

Fixing The Issue Of Always Wanting What You Can't Have

How to rid yourself of this never-ending dilemma.

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Fixing The Issue Of Always Wanting What You Can't Have
Maria Delajuana via flickr.com

We always want what we can't have.

For most of us, it seems it has been a problem since birth, a dilemma that can leave us feeling empty, unfulfilled, and hopeless. And regardless of your life's path, this idea and others like it apply to most, if not all of the negative thoughts we harbor about ourselves. Fortunately, even in the darkest of circumstances, there's usually a simple fix. Most times, it's honestly just a matter of understanding your emotions and adjusting accordingly. Now this may not seem so simple at first, but it is with practice.

First thing's first: take the meaning of the phrase literally.

"I always want what I can't have." This phrase speaks so much truth for all of us. But the way that many of us tend to interpret it is completely wrong, and we miss the true meaning. Here's the thing:

More often than you'd think, we do not desire someone or something because of pure desirability. Desirability increases exponentially once we know we can't have the person or thing of concern.

You see, you may enjoy certain people or things but still be just fine without them, and yet once a line is drawn to say that you cannot have them, your desire is amplified dramatically. You can keep this yearning in check by realizing that it's simply a side effect.

We always want what we can't have.

"The grass is always greener on the other side."

I tell my sister all the time, there is no truer phrase to have ever existed than this one. A perfect example is this:

When you're at home, you may dream of being on vacation, but after a week spent away from home, you're extremely anxious to return. And yet the day after you arrive back home, you're missing the five-star resort you just came from.

Now of course, this exact scenario doesn't play out this way every time you travel, but I'm sure you understand what I'm referring to. And this very same mind trick plays out in every aspect of our lives- in the foods we eat, our daily schedule, what we decide to do for entertainment, etc... the "other" option(s) always seem(s) to be better.

The thing is, while we often feel like we hate change, our minds love variety. But it's important to remember that our mind naturally plays these games with us when thinking about relationships, self-concept, and major life decisions.

You break up with someone, and all of a sudden, it's like you forgot why. And so you get back together with them, which turns into a quick and easy reminder as to why you broke up in the first place.

The fact is, sometimes regardless of the situation, we long for what we don't have, whether it's worthy of longing for or not.

But this is a very calming thing to know when you're emotional. If you realize that you're only upset because your mind is playing tricks, you can fend feelings off.

We always want what we can't have.

"Comparison is the thief of joy."

My friend Alex, a fraternal brother of mine and a fellow Odyssey writer, shared this phrase on Twitter just last week, and it applies perfectly to what I'm getting at.

You may have the most amazing personality, the best girlfriend, and some great talents... but if you compare any of these to what you see in other people's lives, you will manage to find that you're coming up short one way or another.

After thousands of years of progressing, the human brain is hardwired to seek improvement and to see what it can do better. You may be smarter, more talented and more personable than someone else, but take one look at something they're better at than you (maybe they have a sense of humor you know you'll never have) and you're likely to put yourself below them. It's a destructive way of thinking, but it fades away once you learn to focus on yourself.

We always want what we can't have.

Applying This Knowledge

OK so at this point, you might be thinking, "This is great and all, but understanding that my feelings are a side effect won't help me. And being told that I should focus on myself won't get me to do it."

But if that's how you feel, here's what you may be missing: it's a lot easier to combat our negative thoughts when we understand where they come from. Fighting negativity at the root goes a long way towards destroying it. We will never completely eliminate our negative thoughts, but we can always work on them to become much happier.

With practice, this knowledge can help you immensely. It may not happen today, or tomorrow, or even next week, but over time you will learn and you'll notice a real impact.

We always want what we can't have, but that doesn't mean we can't have what we want... Literally.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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