Overcoming The Desire To Take The Easy Way Out

Overcome The Desire To Take The Easy Way Out
Source: OakleyOriginals – Flickr

Do you sometimes take the easy way out?

We all do.

Have you ever wondered why that is?

Have you ever wondered what to do about it?

Why Do We Take The Easy Way Out

So here’s the deal.

We humans all like pleasure. There is nothing wrong with that.

When we take the easy way out, it is to feel good.

That’s it.

When we are taking the easy way out, it means that we are usually harming ourselves in order to get the good feeling we are seeking.

The example of someone who has a bad experience and then gets drunk or overeats are classic examples of this.

But taking the easy way out does not necessarily have to be this obvious.

When Feeling Good Is Taking The Easy Way Out

There is nothing wrong with feeling good. There are some important positives to feeling good. One positive is that it can be an indication that we are healthy.

Feeling good can tell us when we are doing good work.

However, feeling good has a downside: we are conditioned to seek pleasure outside of ourselves.

We live in a world of rewards and punishments that engage us even if we do not want them. We have to interact with the world and its existing structure just by being alive.

For highly sensitive people, dealing with the challenge around the rewards and punishments we live with can be daunting because they were not designed for us. One of the observable differences between HSPs and non-HSPs is how HSPs have a more internal locus of control whereas non-HSPs are more apt to seek outside rewards.

This situation makes feeling good and interacting with the cultural rewards structure difficult for HSPs.

When HSPs Take The Easy Way Out

Even if we are not seeking a lot of external rewards, we HSPs may still take the easy way out sometimes. We are human after all, and life is hard.

Some days, we are like everyone else, we just don’t feel like doing what we need to do. Like exercise.

But I think it is a complicated issue for highly sensitive people and a hard issue to navigate socially.

We need more rest and more frequent rest, so we may feel that we are copping out when we are only taking care of ourselves.

We may overextend ourselves in order to do our jobs to pay our bills which may cause us to neglect ourselves because we are exhausted.

It may seem that no matter what we do we feel that we are taking the easy way out somehow.

And we may be perceived that way by others which doesn’t help.

The Conflict Between Survival And Excellence

For highly sensitive people, excellence is more attractive than survival as a motivation. Excellence is less adversarial.

However, the world we live in is more survival oriented.

Many of the rewards and punishments in our culture relate to our survival (real or imagined). They require an aggression that runs contrary to the nature of highly sensitive people. Our gentler natures make it appear that we are abdicating our responsibility to others when we are not.

A survival oriented world often treats people as resources to be used to serve survival. HSPs do not do well in survival schemes. We tend to be slower and more conscientious. War is not our thing and often seems like taking the easy way out anyway.

As a result, not only do we not respond to the external rewards we are surrounded by but we are also unlikely to perform when we need to be highly aggressive rather than highly conscientious.

Coming To Terms With It

We HSPs have to come to terms with our different natures and a cultural system that often will not reward us. The way to do that is to create a way of life that is designed to meet our needs and talents.

We need to take up the challenge of finding work that provides us with satisfaction, enough rest, and enough financial support.

We need to recognize our greater need for health care and make sure that we get what we need.

We need to make sure we are around people who support our well being rather than drag us down.

When we do these these will will have found a way to be in the world that lets us function well so that we do not have to take the easy way out.


  1. says

    Taking the easy way out, an interesting concept. “Easy” can be subjective as my easy is different than another person’s who is still different than the next. What I strive to do (and am successful and not) is do what is best for me. If I am tired, I need rest. I put off exercise until the next day. And then I try to do the exercise the next day. There is no point in forcing myself through it as it will be counter productive and unhealthy for me. I had an interesting week- ups and downs. Felt sad and then great. Felt scared and then joyful. Felt worried and then peaceful. What I enjoy is that, in my past, I would have covered up these “bad” feelings and surpressed them. Now- instead- I actually embrace them and allow them and feel them. I feel them so that they can be released and let go of. Is this the easy way out? Not to me, but it sure does work better than pushing feelings away. Have a healthy day!

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth,

      You are so right about easy being subjective. I think it is also not always easy to figure out what is and is not taking the easy way out because there are so many different standards for behavior that make it hard to figure out. Pople with macho standards will have different ideas than people who do not.

      I like your idea of simply engaging. I think that is probably the best and most complete way of engaging with life.

      All the best,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *