I don’t see this as much different than “Don’t let your boys be s i s s i e s! They need to “toughen up””… parents sending their boys to “boot camps” and whatnot.
Or a more anarchistic version would be the old “Jackass” show.
Or post 2011 Youtube, “challenges”.
Or “cringe memes”.
It’s desensitization. It has a place in societies I suppose but it always reaches levels of absurdity somewhere.
Oh, I think it can be ridiculous and psychologically harmful. I watch my putting himself through various torture tests. Not physical but rather what can he psychologically handle.
He seeks things to shock himself with and then shock others with and his friends, such as they are, play one upmanship to shock him too as he shocks them.
A lot of it is part of a growing up process – “bury your feelings”.
Girls do it too in their own socialization in their own ways.
Is it good? I’d rather a society without it. But with my nephew, I observe and make observations that sometimes make him think, when I think he’s moving too far into the “sociopathic humor” dept, reminding him of his conscience a bit and so far, so good, although not totally what I’d want to see..
I suppose a bit of it helps with objectivity. If you can face horrible or strange things with a distanced perspective, you can carry on and survive. Still, it’s not without costs sometimes, although when utilized properly, it can make you more understanding and compassionate.
So far, I see it as a ritualized expression of a basic psychological need of many.
I’ll give an example:
Have you known people that said:
“If I didn’t feel pain, I’d feel nothing at all”?
Much of existence can be hollow. You learn young “You don’t get what you want” and everybody learns that in some fashion.
So, “no point in wanting” is often a product of this. This can be good (a state of peace) or bad (numbness but wanting to feel).
One common adolescent habit that stems out of this in suburban USA and other relatively safe places: cutting.
That’s a direct “need-to-feel pain to feel at all”.
In others, it can be drug use, which is a very common self flagellation.
Remember too the release of endorphins.
“self‐harm may be a way to decrease the negative emotions that are exacerbated by maladaptive emotional coping strategies, such as rumination, self‐blame, and helplessness. “
In short, they’re “doing something” instead of feeling helpless.
Its goal point is set after death, which allows them to “put up with” just about anything in this life.
Coping skill. Is it good or right? Would I suggest it as a good treatment for excessive rumination, self-blame and helplessness?
Nah. There’s better ways.
My suggested treatment? I M P R O V E S O C I E T Y.
Environmental enrichment (EE). Go ahead. Call me a socialist. I can handle it.