Select Page
Share on:

A few days back I was having a conversation with my friends about being hurt by everyday (hopefully not intending to belittle anyone) comments by peers. You know, the teasing kind made by your friends that are for just kicks and giggles.

I know that those remarks are not meant to be taken seriously. If you took everything to heart, no one would be able to make it beyond one day without breaking down. (This isn’t to downplay manipulation or toxic comments, just talking about the ones that are teasing and you know they don’t mean to depreciate you. If it genuinely hurts you, let the other person know.)

That made me wonder why we take some light-hearted remarks literally but not others.

It’s because somewhere you’re already hurt about that topic and even the smallest of comments hits you like a ton of bricks.

It hurts more if you’re already sore.

I first came across this idea in a book called ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’.

It said, “All variants of voluntary effort – cognitive, emotional, or physical – draw at least partly on a shared pool of mental energy.”

To put it simply – mental, emotional, and physical effort share the same energy reserve to an extent. All three kinds of tasks use energy from the same pool.

This is why, when you’re already hurt about something (that is, have depleted your energy pool), the most insignificant comments are more burdening because the resources are already low. You already believe something negative about yourself to be true and the comment jut adds to it.

You might think that you throw around the term “mental energy” as a metaphor, but it’s a very real thing backed by science. The nervous system aka your brain consumes more glucose (the primary source of energy for our body) than most other parts of the body. Mental activity is therefore much more energy-consuming than we think and emotional stress drains your energy. Literally. Quote this to anyone who tells you mental health and mental energy are just trendy terms.

Moreover, it’s not that being physically exhausted will affect you physically only, and mentally exhausted will affect you mentally only. Since the energy reserves are the same to an extent, being mentally tired could lead to you being more tired physically and vice-versa. 

This means being tired, hungry, and sleepy can lead you to make bad decisions and respond poorly to situations (PSA no one wants to hear – This is why quality sleep and nutrition are crucial).

Recap for memory:

  1. It hurts more if you’re already sore.
  2. If your energy pool is already depleted (mentally, physically, or emotionally), it’s gonna be harder to perform other tasks efficiently. 
  3. And mental energy is a real thing.

P. S. As mentioned earlier if someone passes ill-intentioned comments that talk down to you, speak to them about it and tell them you’re not gonna accept any sh*t from anyone.

Still haven’t subscribed to my newsletter? Subscribe here to get the blog post in your inbox every Sunday. I’m also gonna talk about stuff randomly there, so make sure you don’t miss out 🙂

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x