Why too much of a good thing can be a bad thing

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One of Aesop’s most quoted lines goes, “It is possible to have too much of a good thing.”

Happiness is generally perceived to be a good thing. We spend a great deal of time pursuing things we believe will make us happy. It is also a common belief that we can all benefit from becoming happier. With the numerous studies available that show happiness and positive emotions are important, how can happiness become a bad thing?

Dr. Robinson (2018) published an article that talks about 12 Good Things That Can Go Bad. She shares how too much exercise can damage our joints and even lead to osteoporosis in women. On the other hand, sleeping beyond the recommended eight hours can increase the risk of heart problems.

Activities like having sex, washing your hands, and eating healthy food, when done excessively, can all lead to serious health problems. She even explains that drinking too much water, to its extreme, can lead to death.

Riggio (2013), in his article Too Much of Anything is Bad For You, talks about how things such as self-confidence, conscientiousness, and intelligence, when taken to an extreme, can become maladaptive behaviors.

Self-confidence can come across as arrogance or narcism, while a person who is overly conscientious, can be perceived as a perfectionist.

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