“Treat Yourself Culture” is Misused

People treat themselves for the reward, not for doing something worth a reward.

Graphic/ Gianna Pompeo

People treat themselves for the reward, not for doing something worth a reward.

Gianna Pompeo, Staff Writer

Nowadays, people treat themselves for the sole purpose of receiving a reward, which has created the culture known as “Treat yourself culture.” This culture is something that is used to reward oneself just with the intention of rewarding oneself. Whether it be a significant or a trivial accomplishment, rewards are important because it plays a large part in self-love and self-improvement. However, people are beginning to misuse these little indulgences making it less of a reward and more of a way to merely get through everyday tasks. This overuse causes “treat yourself culture” to be more of a disadvantageous activity than it is a helpful and lighthearted one. Whether good or bad, treating oneself comes in many different forms for many different people.

One way that people treat themselves is through spending money for personal items. Many find spending money to be a way of treating themselves. These objects that are bought are relative to the person, but they likely include getting food and drinks, investing in makeup or manicures and pedicures or purchasing clothing. All of these have benefits in regards to how these activities make people feel. Food and drinks can make people feel full and happy. For example, a multitude of high school students get coffee after school as a way to reward themselves for a hard day. Self-care hobbies can be considered a mental or physical reset for many. Clothing can provide many different ways of expression. These all are ways to treat oneself, but when they are overdone people end up with less money, more things and still the same need for treats as they had before. 

Another way that people treat themselves is taking time to themselves. Alone time, away from responsibilities and worries, can be very refreshing. Using this treat for the purpose of a reset or being kind to oneself after stressful events has great benefits. This treat can also be used for not only a reset, but an avoidance of responsibilities. Treating oneself can easily be beneficial, but a change in the motivation behind the treat can cause more issues than before. Labeling alone time as a treat and yet using it as an escape defeats the point of the treat. The treat becomes more common and, therefore, more pointless as it is not used for a treat anymore. Treats become less and less helpful the more they are used.

On the contrary, some people treat themselves by doing the opposite of alone time: spending time in social settings. Feeling the need for a treat can lead to a sense of needing sociability. Getting out of the house to see friends and family or meet new people in new settings is a very motivating activity. Treating oneself with social activity is very rewarding and provides people with that short-lived happiness they are seeking from a treat. However, this leads to the same issue of avoidance and, therefore, more issues after. In avoiding tasks through this so-called treat of social time, people end up more stressed and needing to treat themselves because of the stress. If getting through normal activities can only occur if one knows they can treat themselves after, the culture has clearly been misused to the point of being unhelpful. 

In any form of treating oneself, there is no one to decide the benefits or downfalls of it. The capacity and frequency at which people treat themselves varies per person. Many fall back on treating themselves because they feel a lack of control, lack of motivation or a lack of happiness within their lives. Of course, treating oneself every once in a while or when one is feeling down is completely healthy. The overuse of “treat yourself culture” causes the treats to be less important, as the things people are rewarding themselves for also become less important. Treating oneself in moderation and in regards to the specific tasks one does is the best way to keep “treat yourself culture” as a beneficial and productive activity.