Hi, Hello, and Hola, friends! Happy spooky szn! Fall has got to be one of my favorite seasons. The changing leaves, the nice breeze when you step outside, the smell of pumpkin spice. I AM ABSOLUTELY HERE FOR ALL OF IT! I already have my costume ready to go, so stay tuned for that, among many other exciting things!
So today’s blog post is going to be about how we, as humans, want things that we know we can’t have. That could go for the kind of people we are into, the kind of things we’d like to experience in our lives, etc. Before I begin, though, I’d like to present you with a question:
How often are you attracted to things you know you can’t have?
If you said not very often, you’re either lying or you actually have strong will power (kudos to you!).
But as I’ve said before, it’s in our human nature to really go after things that we know are a risk. Depending on the kind of person you are, you may be a bigger risk taker than most and it also depends on how you define and reify the term “risk”. I’ll get into that in a separate blog post, but what I want to talk about in this post is this thing called the scarcity principle, why it’s important, how it’s applied in your life and how you can be on the look out for it!
So let’s dive in!
What on earth is the Scarcity Principle?
The scarcity principle is a persuasion technique. You may have even seen this principle at play and never even realized how it has influenced your decision making, while shopping. Take a look at these examples:
Look familiar? This kind of persuasion technique is used so much because it literally works!
Now that you understand what the scarcity principle is, I’m going to go into detail about why it’s important and how some aspects of it, aside from shopping, are super applicable to people and how life works, in general.
Why the scarcity principle is so important.
The scarcity principle can be applied to just about anything in life. How? Well, we, as humans, like things that we know we can’t have.
It’s in our nature to literally make our lives much more complicated than they need to be. I don’t know if it has to do with our need to prove to people that we are better or if it’s a means for us to make our lives interesting. I honestly, don’t know and I’m not one to talk, because I know I do it for either one of those reasons, depending on the situation.
But some people, don’t even fall for the scarcity principle. I, like the rest of the world, fall for it. hard.
Lately, it almost feels like the scarcity principle has been applied much more in my life and I know it. Sometimes, it’s provoked by external circumstances, like someone telling me about a specific person. Other times, it’s literally provoked on myself, if that makes sense. Like I’ll walk into my own mental trap of the scarcity principle.
So let’s take a look at one example: my tumultuous love life.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been stuck between 2 people… For the sake of privacy, I’ll just refer to these people as person 1 and person 2.
Person 1 is this ball of energy. They’ve been my friend for a while and just recently, moved two hours away. They’re a real sweetheart and definitely someone who makes the effort to talk to me. I really admire them because they’re always there to lift me up whenever I have a bad day or need to rant. I start to look to them more, talk to them more because well, I kinda miss them.
Person 2, on the other hand, is really cute and has eyes like you wouldn’t believe. We go to the same school. Needless to say, this person makes me swoon. On an interaction we had, they disclosed a lot to me. And yet, even that isn’t enough to steer me away.
So undeniably, there’s a problem… and I found myself being attracted to both of them. But I never really understood why until these series of events happened.
Understandably, I was attracted to person 1 because of how sweet they are and their willingness to talk with me, even while they were working.
I was attracted to person 2, because– aside from the fact that they were absolutely beautiful–for the past couple of weeks, I noticed subtle nonverbal cues between us. I really felt that this was going to be a thing that would develop really nicely. After one interaction with person 2, I was swooned by how polite they were.
However, as time went on, person 2 wasn’t interested in me. It was clear, but some part of me still wanted them. Some part of me wanted it to work. Despite what my friends were telling me, I wanted them more.
With person 1, I started noticing little changes in their communication behavior and how they would just compliment me out of the blue, making more opportunities to talk. Plus, they weren’t close by, they were far away and despite all of this, I still wanted them, as well.
What was wrong with me?
So earlier last week, I started thinking about what it would be like if I visited person 1 and how that visit would go. I’m not gonna lie, in my mind, it sounded like an awesome time filled with cuddling and sleeping in the same bed. I thought about facetime-ing them, at some point during the week, and bringing the idea up to see what their reaction would be.
We never really get around to facetime-ing or anything because we were both extremely busy with school and work. But about a day, after the fact, they brought the same idea, of me visiting, up all on their own.
Person 1 then begins to tell me that they really like me and all of this left me feeling… surprised. The next thought I had was literally, I don’t think I’m interested anymore…
Granted, there was another big issue at play here and it’s definitely not something I’m at liberty to discuss.
But the point is… This persuasion tactic is so powerful. That we, as sound minded individuals, would go to all the ends of the earth to find something super unattainable. Yet, when it shows up within our grasp, we refuse it for whatever reason. It could be that we didn’t even want the opportunity with the person as bad or that we didn’t want said product in the first place.
In the end, I realized that neither one of these people were good for me.
While person 1 is amazing on paper and makes time for me, there is this thing that I have an issue with and ignoring it wouldn’t be in my best interests. So I think it’s best that I stay friends with them, in the long run.
Person 2, on the other hand, hasn’t expressed interest in me, has been really weird with me, and that’s not the best way to spend my time. I’ll hangout with person 2, being that we are friends and all, but aside from that, they’re not a good person for me to be involved with.
I noticed the scarcity tactic the moment that I had disclosed to my friends about both of these people. My friend pointed it out to me the moment I told them about person 1. They asked me if I had thought about this person in a romantic way at one point and I said no, but realizing the sole fact that they moved away, made my attraction to this person that much deeper. It was in that moment that my friend basically said, “OH MY GOD, KAREN YOU WANT THEM BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT HERE!”— and that’s when it clicked.
Through realizing that, I learned a little bit more about myself.
So my take away for all of you is, take stock of the amount of times you go after things that you know you can’t have. Try figuring out why it happens, what you can do about it and really think about its affect on your life. Do you really need that thing or person?
Are these feelings you’re having, as a result of some big change in your communication dynamic with the person?
I challenge you to explore that and learn more about yourselves in the process!
Sending a ton of love and light your way,
To catch up with me on all my adventures, follow me on Instagram: @adynamicmentality!