We seem to be living through an era where discomfort is to be avoided at all costs; even to the point of rewarding when a reward is not warranted. There is an unspoken assumption that emotional and physical pains are to be instantly fought with, resolved or at least countered with self-gratifying rewards. After all, it’s unacceptable to ever feel sad, disappointed or sense any discomfort or pain.

With the best of intentions of not having their feelings hurt or experiencing discomfort, are we unintentionally harming children, teens and ourselves with excessive codling and false unwarranted praises? Could this approach result in children, teens and adults having an unjustified sense of entitlement?

“It doesn’t matter if I try or not, if I put in any effort or not, if I have the talent or not, if I succeed or not; I deserve the same reward either way.”

I am not here to question the value of being kind, encouraging, and compassionate, especially to those needing support while dealing with a variety of personal and life challenges. The intention of this paper is to answer one thought provoking question.

“Could the relentless avoidance of pain and the continuous pursuit of pleasure lead to greater pain experience and reduced overall ability to experience pleasure?”

The answer based on the latest scientific knowledge of dopamine seems to be YES!

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