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The Pros And Cons Of Having An Extreme Do-It-For-The-Story Mentality

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do it for the story

It’s ideal for all stories to have a beginning, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when a person gifted/afflicted (depending on how you look at it) with an extreme “Do-It-For-The-Story” mentality truly embraces the DIFTS lifestyle.

For some people, it can be as early as middle school, where they figure that the laughs they get from giving the substitute teacher a wedgie during class are worth the expulsion. Or maybe it’s not until that freshman year of college that the DIFTS bug bites. Sure, streaking through the quad resulted in an indecent exposure charge, but it also garnered several fraternity bids.

While the origin stories may vary, everyone knows at least one person with a constant compulsion to do crazy shit just for the opportunity to tell tale of it later. Hell, maybe that person is you.

If it is, then you know that living with an extreme DIFTS mentality takes commitment. This isn’t a weekend here or there of providing occasional entertainment for your friends; this is a 24/7 job. While it comes with its pros, it also, obviously, comes with its cons. So let’s take a look at them, shall we?

Pro: To some people, you’re a legend

These people have heard tale of your debauchery and need you around for any and all ragers, soirees, and throwdowns. They feed off your ridiculous antics. If they’re DIFTS types themselves, having you around energizes and motivates them to hone their craft. If not, they live vicariously through you and rely on your stories to serve as conversation starters and awkward silence fillers.

Whatever the case, those who bask in your legend status will be first to cheer you on as you go full send from roof to pool.

Con: To others, you’re a dangerous loose cannon

At worst, these people despise you. At best, they tolerate you. But know that being around you makes them nervous.

You may be quick to dismiss such people as wet blankets not worthy of your time, but it’s nice to get invited to a sorority formal or a wedding every once in a while.

Pro: Your storytelling cures hangovers

“So, what’d you get into last night?” The morning after a night out, people are going straight to you for the scoop. Now is your time to shine. As you weave your depraved tapestry, they sip their Gatorade and munch their leftover pizza. And a few laughs, “you’re kiddings,” and “no you didn’ts” later, everyone is ready to start their day. The restorative power of a good “last night” story truly is a wonderful thing.

Con: You’re faced with the pressure of consistently one-upping yourself

The danger of constantly having a story to tell is that people will expect more and more out of you. That story about how you banged the Sig Chi president’s mom was cool four weeks ago, but at this point it’s old news.

There’s only so far you can go before you’re suddenly committing a crime worthy of the electric chair, so the key to maintaining the illusion of bigger and better stories is variety. Mix in a hookup story with a destruction of property story. Then, the following week, hit ’em with a humdinger of an account of how you instigated a full-on bar brawl. Keeping things fresh is doable, but it’ll certainly take its toll.

No matter how desperate you get though, never, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, make a story up. Sure, you can embellish a little bit — all great storytellers do. But to completely make up a story is to spit in the face of your entire existence.

Pro: You can channel your predilection for risk-taking into a successful and profitable career…

Look at all the big success stories. All of them, to some degree or another, are rooted in risk-taking. As an established practitioner of the DIFTS discipline, you’re well versed in taking risks. As long as you can find a way to constructively channel that ability, you can make a pretty good life for yourself.

Con: … if you can manage to stay out of jail

A few public intox charges won’t sink any career opportunities. But throw in a couple DUIs, some drug possession charges, and an assault case or two, and that barrier to entry just got a whole lot sturdier.

Sure, you’ve made some risks that have paid off, but you’ve also been reckless and gotten yourself into trouble. Depending on the degree to which you’ve been reckless, you might be looking at no career at all let alone a wildly successful one.

Of course, snagging that big-time career doesn’t mean you’re scot free and can let your reckless flag fly. But you’ve seen The Wolf of Wall Street.

Pro: You’re a people pleaser

At the end of the day, you’re performing. And, as a performer, you’re pretty in tune with your audience. With their likes and dislikes. You understand the importance of keeping people happy.

Con: You’re in need of constant validation

The classic sad clown deal. You’re nothing without your audience. Because you’re looking for a reaction. Anything. A laugh, a gasp, sometimes even a disgusted groan is enough. Without that stuff? You’re pretty much miserable.

So why do you feel like you need to be the center of attention at all times? I don’t know. A shrink would probably have a better answer than I.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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