People have habitual patterns. These patterns have a pull to them. They’re physical. When I go to make coffee, I have my little way of getting the beans, grinding them in the grinder, tapping out the ground beans to a certain rhythm…
One problem is that these patterns make you unconscious. They’re numbing, even if efficient. People like efficiency, but no one really wants numbness, or a living death.
Another problem is that habitual tendencies make it hard to do something different. Think of a problematic relationship, and if it has some habitual qualities- always rushing to fight about x, always tensing up when y is suggested. It’s not that YOUR way is wrong and you’re crazy; it’s that if you want to “improve a relationship” or get over something, having an addiction as far as what you feel or think or do can make that really difficult.
Today I had a moment of noticing this in a conversation, and holding back.
Generally, I think of holding back as bad, cowardice. If you’re about to go into a habitual argument, with the natural feeling of being justified, the joy of being able to go back into that argument, holding back can be good. I was so glad I did.