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Impulsive people: their 5 characteristic traits and habits

Impulsive people: their 5 characteristic traits and habits

June 24, 2021

To what extent are we able to control our most emotional and passionate side? Most human beings are able to master their impulses, since experience and learning teach us that sacrificing everything to satisfy a need immediately does not usually compensate.

However, in some cases this is only half learned. And is that there are a lot of impulsive people , people with serious difficulties when confronting this kind of desires. In this article we will see what are the habits and features of this type of psychological profile and how their actions are explained.

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This is how impulsive people are

Among the features, habits and propensities of impulsive people highlight the following.


1. They do not tolerate waiting well

One of the most important psychological traits is the ability to the delay of gratification , which has to do with what is our limit at the time of refraining from enjoying in the present to be able to enjoy more in the future. It is a characteristic that is absent in children of a few years of age but that, as we grow, it is being improved.

Impulsive people tend to have a greater capacity to delay gratification than small ones, but relatively low to be adults. This is evident in their propensity to manage their money, consume food and even interact with other people (often we must make sacrifices to improve our social insertion).


  • Related article: "The delay of gratification and the ability to resist impulses"

2. They fall into procrastination

Procrastinating is the habit of leaving for another day what should be done in the present (or even in the past, and has not yet been done). That is to say, constantly postpone an obligation or responsibility .

Normally, this goes hand in hand with a sense of loss of control, as if a mysterious force pushes us to not perform a task even though we rationally know we should do it now. In many cases, this action is rationalized after a while, creating a pseudo-rational argument that allows us to feel better about ourselves.

Impulsive people are remarkable procrastinators, and that is why it is very frequent that they do not comply with their commitments within the agreed deadlines, on the one hand, or that they do it badly, due to bad time management.


3. They show compensatory behavior

The fact of constantly giving in to impulsiveness adds to the problems that life already presents to us. Faced with situations of frustration , impulsive people show a greater tendency to fall in compensatory behaviors.

These types of actions are a way of release anxiety in an unreflective, automatic and immediate way . For example, touching your hair a lot, walking in circles, or, typically, eating.

And is that unplanned visits to the kitchen are a habit that marks the day to day of impulsive people. The possibility of "getting distracted" by consuming sweet or high carbohydrate products is very seductive for those who feel anxiety and stress but can not find a way to end the source of this state, since that would mean meeting medium or long-term goals.

On the other hand, in some cases these compensatory actions can become so serious that they are clinically significant, evolving to, for example, trichotillomania, bulimia nervosa or cutting (phenomena that can have many other causes).

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4. They are prone to anger

The conflicts in which it is easy for our emotions of anger to express themselves are a trap for impulsive people, since it is difficult for them to maintain a constructive attitude that allows transforming the conflict into a fit between positions with their own interests. In other words, they fall into anger easily .

That means that in a conflict the non-impulsive part starts from an advantageous situation, since its range of possible reactions is greater and, at the same time, it can better predict the behavior of those who are characterized by their impulsiveness.

Of course, another implication of this is that impulsive people are bad at mediating discussions, since they will easily position themselves against someone.

5. Tendency to impulsive purchases

All marketing in general aims to give commercial outlet to products or services by making sure that conditions are met so that what is offered is available and irresistible.

Impulsive people are unusually easy to convince to pay for something they did not even think about when they started their shopping round . Something as simple as a suitable packaging or a catchy slogan can be enough to make them take action. The same goes for "occasional offers", as they add a reason to buy at the moment without thinking much.

How is impulsivity explained?

There are several theories that try to give an explanation to the phenomenon of impulsivity. One of the first and most remembered, for example, is that of Sigmund Freud, according to which impulsivity is the embodiment of the force that the id has on the ego and the superego.

However, today The most accepted explanation is that impulsivity is the consequence of an underdeveloped executive system. The executive system is the set of neural networks that intervene in the management of attention and in the establishment of objectives.

While for the short-term goals is enough with the influences of the limbic system, those that are long term depend on abstract reasoning processes that sometimes do not have enough force to make the satisfaction of a need postponed.


6 Signs You’re Dealing With a Toxic Person (June 2021).


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