A few weeks ago, before Christmas, I did a very silly thing.
It was two days before Christmas and I had gone to my stylist’s hoping she would be free to twist my hair as this was the only free day I had. Unfortunately when I got there, she was just starting someone’s hair so she asked me to wait, promising that it wouldn’t take long.
I always carry something to read everywhere I go, so I figured I could manage the wait, since “won’t take long” to me meant about an hour. One hour passed and I was still there.
Now, there were two other salons I could have gone to on the same road. One, I had tried before, and they did an excellent job. The other, with better ambience than these two, I had only tried for weaves, never natural hair, so theirs could even have been better. Did Joy get up and go? Nehi. I couldn’t go. How could I, when I had already spent an hour waiting? My one hour must not go for nothing o.
Then two hours passed. Restless, I sent my best friend a BBM message, and she totally thought I should leave. I said I would, but I still couldn’t get up. If I left, the two hours I had already spent would be a complete and total waste! So I stayed, and three hours after I arrived there, it was finally my turn. I got home late, hungry, tired and angry with myself.
I failed to realise that the hours I had spent and which were keeping me from leaving were already wasted! I could have left and gone to a place with several stylists, where I would be assured of immediate service. Why did I stay?
Thanks to a cherished client whose work I totally enjoy editing, I know that there’s a name for this: it’s called Sunk Cost Fallacy. It’s why you sit through a movie even when, 10 minutes in, you already know it’s crap but you see, you paid hard earned money for the ticket, so you might as well. You don’t realise you’re merely adding wasted time to wasted money, thereby increasing your total loss. It’s why companies pour in money into a project and refuse to accept when it’s not working. They’ve already invested too much into it and that makes it harder to abandon it even when it’s clearly going nowhere; they pour even more money into it instead.
You buy a mediocre book with your money and even when, 20 pages in, you know it’s bleh, you are determined to finish reading it so that your money won’t be wasted, never mind that there are several outstanding books out there more worthy of your precious time. Does this sound familiar?
How many people do you know who stay in relationships for no other reason than “I have invested too much to leave now. If I leave, all the years and energy I already put in will be lost”?
The man hasn’t kept any of his promises in five years, is cheating on you, disrespects you, but you stay, because he has nearly used up all of your kitty credit so you must protect your investment. My sister, please get up and leave that place!
She really doesn’t want to be with you anymore and certainly doesn’t want to marry you, but you hang on to her and endure the misery, bitterness and rancour because you have spent so much money and time on her and her family already. Sorry broda, bad market dey pain, but you’re better off letting go!
Ask yourself sincerely, is this relationship making you a better person? Are you really happy? Do you see a fulfilling future here? Do you have any concrete reason for remaining with this person apart from the time you’ve already spent which you don’t want to go down the drain?
You know what to do. Tell yourself the truth, cut your losses and get on with your life. It’s not worth it.