I’ve picked up this trick recently when talking to someone about a piece of media or something that I’m passionate about.

When you tell someone “you HAVE to watch this, it’s so good!” the natural reaction most of the time is not for them to get enthusiastic, but instead to feel like they’re being given a chore.

Rather than that approach, try saying “I think you would really like ______, because _______.” It shows that you’re thinking of them in the equation and not just being a pointless evagelist for your latest binge.

Because human psychology is tricky like that, a la this question from a user on Reddit:

What was your biggest “well now I don’t want to do it” moment?
byu/Z00W33M4M4fk inAskReddit

So, what puts us off? Let’s find out.

1. Instant greed.

For my 18th birthday my parents bought me 18 lottery tickets. It’s a sort of tradition in our family. Didn’t win anything except another three tickets.

The day after my party, my best friend and I were out shopping and I decided I wanted to exchange them for the other tickets so we stopped at the nearest gas station.

I won $500. As we were leaving I was considering splitting the money with my friend. Until we got in the car and she told me to buy her a new phone. I was silent for a moment out of shock and she added “that money is mine too, I drove here”

I gave her $10 for gas. We’re no longer friends.

– teenytinybearcub

2. Negative reinforcement.

I was a pretty quiet kid.

I wasn’t shy I just knew when to shut up.

Whenever someone went “oh she does speak” or “oh wow I thought you were mute” always made me want to shut down

– mother_of_squid

3. Out of my league.

Nobody wanted to coach Little League when my sons started about 7 years ago or so. So if I wanted them to play, I’d have to coach.

I’ve been doing it every year including All-Stars and the program is pretty big now but I wanted to stop soooo many times and it all is related to the parents. They are unbelievable. Your kid is not as good as you think they are.

I’ve had to physically stand between a 14 year old umpire and a parent approaching him screaming. Are you out of your fraking mind? First off, it was a strike. Your son is out. Second, he’s 14 and are you out of your fraking mind?

– I_Liked_WaterWorld

4. Control freaks.

My mother always tells me something obvious whenever I try to do something, then immediately starts bragging to anybody nearby that I would’ve never figured out how to change that tire/wash those dishes/vacuum that rug if she hadn’t told me how to do it.

It has become a common thing recently to just drop whatever I’m doing and leave it unfinished until she does it herself.

I hate having anyone hover over me just so they can treat me like a brainless moron who only exists at their personal amusement.

– djb2589

5. Horsing around.

A big name trainer came to the barn where I kept my horse. Totally different discipline, but I had absolutely no problem with her and her dozens of students being there.

I happen to be pretty good at certain things that this trainer simply could not do. She was very well known, but not necessarily GOOD at her job. So she had me give her students pointers from time to time. I love all aspects of the sport, and I enjoy working with younger riders, so I gave them pointers. You can see where this is going- before long, I was essentially teaching her students. She was getting paid hundreds of dollars for me to teach her students.

One night, she used my horse for one of her lessons, and got mad at me because her student couldn’t ride it properly. Imagine a banjo player trying to squeak out a tune on a clarinet. It’s not that the student *COULDN’T* ride it properly; she just didn’t know how to finesse the situation. Essentially the trainer thought that since I was working with the student, the student should be able to ride my horse perfectly. H*ll, I couldn’t ride my horse perfectly.

So I pretty much stopped coming out when I knew they would be there, and if they were there, I stayed away. As much as I loved working with the kids, that ruined it.

– Dustin_McReviss

6. Lazy bones.

When you’re in the mood to clean or wash the dishes then your mom calls you lazy and tells you to do it

– NotoriousMediocre

7. Total embarassment.

Back when I was younger, my mom would always ask about girls. Like all young boys, I didn’t know sh*t about girls. I needed guidance, so of course I’d tell her what’s going on. Instead of helping, she just teased me about it, pretty relentlessly.

When I got my first girlfriend, she made a point of embarrassing me in front of her, because “that’s what mom’s are supposed to do”. Not just once, every chance she got.

Since then, she hasn’t met anyone I’ve dated, and I haven’t answered a single question about my love life.

– MyNameIsRay

8. Social pressure.

When someone says “want to hang out? it’s not like you’re doing anything right now.”

Doing nothing suddenly sounds more pleasant than hanging out with you

– tthetrainn

9. Numbers don’t lie.

According to youtube statistics, x% of my viewers aren’t subscribed, so subscribe if you haven’t.

I mean, it’s probably right, but it makes me not want to.

– securecontainpeanut

10. Bless up.

When I was a kid my dad suddenly got really into Catholicism and made us all start going to mass on Sundays. He made my two older sisters go to catechism school and they did their first communions. They hated it, but being the youngest sibling I thought it seemed like a cool big kid thing to do, so I was excited to do it too one day.

A few years later my best friend started going to catechism school and was getting ready to do her first communion, and I wanted to do it with her because I thought it would be really fun to be in the same class and do all this stuff together. My dad, who several years before had gotten into screaming matches with my sisters over their resistance to catechism school, was suddenly putting mine off. I kept approaching him saying, “Dad, I want to do my first communion with [best friend,] will you please sign me up this year?” He would say “sure” and then nothing would happen. I would ask him again, and the same thing would happen. I brought it up A LOT.

He put me off for an entire year, and my friend of course finished her catechism schooling and completed her first communion. Suddenly he remembered that I hadn’t done my first communion yet, and one day he said, “you need to start going to catechism and do your first communion.” At this point I was 10 and wanted nothing to do with it, so I refused. He screamed at me and shamed me about it big time. I’m still mad about it.


– budgetbears

11. Pretty/petty.

My mum and I had both been thinking that what with the pandemic, and with how our house is situated so that it’s quite visible when entering our village, we should decorate the house more than we normally do for Christmas. Nothing fancy, just a few more lights outside.

Then we got a village-wide email from a very well-meaning lady saying that since ‘Christmas is going to be a little bit different this year’ she was launching Operation: Light Up [Village] and wanted us all to put extra effort into the Christmas decorations.

We both instantly went off the idea. We’d really wanted to potentially cheer people up on their drives home, but not if this woman was going to think she was the sole factor in making this happen.

We eventually did decorate the house, and even brought some new multicoloured lights to do it, but it was later than usual, just so that we could make sure we weren’t doing it at the same time as the Operation.

– MightyMeerkat97

12. Tis better to give.

Not a “well now I don’t want to do it” moment rather than a “now I don’t want it” moment.

Whenever I was gifted something somewhat expensive or hard to find, that person always tries to guilt trip me about how expensive or hard it was to get/buy.

It results in me feeling bad for ever getting it in the first place.

– poppint

13. Yeah, obviously.

When I clearly have the left turn blinker on and the passenger says, “you’re gonna wanna take this next left”.

– jhubauer

14. Down, down.

I’ll happily go down on people I’m dating pretty much any time they like, but I swear to God, if I feel your hand on the top of my head…

No. Just no.

– Portarossa

15. Where’s the fun?

When I turned 18 (legal age to drink), I stopped drinking alcohol.

It didn’t seem as much fun, when I could just go to the local pub.

– harvsnova

That all makes sense to me. Remember, there’s usually a better way to get what you want.

What sorts of things put you off of doing stuff?

Tell us in the comments.