Why do we hate Repetition?

It’s no mystery that people seem to hate repetition. Often, repetition is directly related to impatience. You can tell that a person is impatient if they get angry after repeating themselves a few times. Our tolerance to repetition may be all different but we all know it’s a bug that’s buzzing around us.

Doing things over and over can be a very daunting compared to doing new things.

What are some reasons why someone would repeat?

  • If we created something and lost it, we’d have to redo it. That’s a form of repetition.
  • If we told someone something but they didn’t listen or forgot, we’d have to repeat ourselves to them.
  • If we’re renaming 1000 images, we’re doing the same things over and over.

Could Repetition be Linked to Boredom?

Opposite to repetition, experiencing something new can be an exhilarating experience. Oh, does it make us excited or what? Remember how curious we were as children, eager to see the world and what it holds? I still remember the first time I saw squirrels in the world, I was going all hyper and excited because I had never seen it. Gradually as we see it more, our minds just don’t seem to get as excited. This article here explains why we get excited about new things.

Seeing as even our brain cells are trying to save us time by remembering an experience and knowing how to handle it better or quicker the next time (thus why we get better each time we practice something), perhaps those annoyed emotions are also trying to tell us something.

Perhaps the Mind’s trying to stop us from Wasting Time

As I always say, emotions are much like physical pain, it exists to help us survive better. Think about when you’re renaming a thousand pictures or redoing the same things on Photoshop to a picture. Perhaps the fact that we’re doing the exact same thing is considered a waste of time by the mind. Perhaps it’s the motivation for us to do something about it.

That’s why we have programs like irfanview that can help you name three thousand pictures at once without you doing a single thing. That’s why we have the copy and paste key, because we can’t be bothered to retype the entire thing again! If humans didn’t hate repetition so much, these useful tools may not even exist.

Notice how writing lines at school is a punishment, that some kids have to write out the same thing fifty times? If people enjoyed doing it, then it wouldn’t be a punishment.

Imagine this Scenario

Say if you were collecting food in the wild and you finally got yourself fruits and nuts, and a rabbit. Then, someone thief comes along and takes it, leaving you with nothing. Now, you’d have to repeat the entire process and do it all over again. Now, that’s a terrible experience, isn’t it? If the result of repetition is losing something, then that’s likely to be be main reason why we hate it so much. For example, we spent work in doing something but it was lost, so we’d have to redo it.

As I explained in the grief article, we hate losing because that often means it’s a disadvantage. If repetition is caused by loss, then

Some Advice to deal with Repetition

Say if you wrote an assignment and lost it, at first, you may feel that it’s impossible to fight the angering rage, that you simply cannot do it again. Give yourself some time (if you have it!) to came down and think about it, you may realise that you feel much better after a break. I find that if I am moving one site to another which requires a lot of repeated work, I tend to take breaks in between. It helps your mind relax a little and not get so worked up over repeating yourself.

If you find yourself not dealing well with repeating yourself to someone else, try and figure out a plan for them to remember, such as self email, sticky notes and etc. Usually, it’s just an unfortunate clash because often, the other person didn’t intend to purposely forget just to piss you off.

If you must do small repetitions like rename things or give 2000 pictures the exact same effects, I’m sure there are ways that programs can handle it automatically!

Remember that we rely on our emotions to help us live better, at least that’s what I feel their intentions are. Maybe people were able to invent so many brilliant things because of our emotions. We invented entertainment because we hate boredom. If we were completely happy and fulfilled just staring at grass all day, we wouldn’t have any movies, TV shows or songs.

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