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Why people self-sabotage, and how to stop it

People sometimes choose to say and do things that defeat their own goals. The science of self-sabotage explains why and offers solutions.

Self-sabotage occurs when we want to achieve a goal and then go about getting in our own way, as if to make sure what we want does not happen. Rationally, it is hard to understand why anyone would do that. In reality, all of us self-sabotage now and then, in varying degrees.

Psychologists study self-sabotage because normal people do it even though it is maladaptive, which seems puzzling.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2019, with the headline 'Why people self-sabotage, and how to stop it'. Print Edition | Subscribe