Impulsive people


Impulsive people operate from the pleasure principle. Their life is haphazard, lacking goals and plans, shaped by chance encounters and luck. They avoid anything painful or important and live only for the moment. They are disorganized and undisciplined and resent interference, even if it would improve things for them.

They want what they want and they want it now, with no delay and no compromise. They only do what they want to do. They only do what feels good.

Impulsive people have no sense of limits and poor self-restraint. They have inefficient self-management skills, or lack them altogether. They act without thought, spontaneously, without planning or foresight. They want to be free, to live without rules, to do as they please when they please.

They are impatient and are unable to delay gratification. They cannot stand to be frustrated or discomforted in any way, so they avoid pain, conflict, confrontation, responsibility and effort. They live in the present with the attitude, if it feels good, do it, if it feels bad, avoid it, deny it, or anaesthetize it.

Their faulty self-regulation and need to feel good in the present, leads them into addictions of all types, (drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, spending) and to escapism and chaos, to thrill seeking, opportunistic sexual interludes, and trivial excitements that may cost them their job, marriage and others’ respect.

Their life may be a constant search for instant feel-good experiences, so like a spoilt child they give themselves whatever they want, overindulge themselves, and can never deny their slightest whim or urge. Their behaviour is spontaneous and uninhibited.

Their urges come naturally to them and so therefore must be natural and right so they feel no need to control or limit them. For example, the obese impulsive, when warned by her doctor to lose weight or her health will suffer, will still refuse to deprive herself of the pleasure food gives her with the excuse that she’s always been big and that’s just the way she is. She doesn’t believe she should have to do anything to change and expects the medical profession to “fix” any health problem that her overindulgence produces.

Impulsives are not given to goal setting, making plans, or following through on any that they might make. They believe in luck (good luck) and that all they have to do is “be” and opportunity will knock, that they don’t have to do anything but wait and see and all good things will come their way. They are supremely and unrealistically optimistic.

With this fatalist attitude they are not good at sustained effort. Researchers have found that impulsive people have faulty attention and information processing