hidden hit counter Late Harvest: Purging the Negative

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Purging the Negative

I don't know why I committed to write in this thing once a week, but it's turned into more of a diary than anything, except that other people can read it, though fortunately for my tender ego, not many do... I read other peoples blogs and many people write about external stuff. Perhaps someday I will do that too, but right now that's not my habit. When I start editing the film again, I will write about the film, which is what this blog was supposed to be about.

For tonight, I have a need to purge some negative thoughts through a possibly misguided psychoanalysis of myself, and you, my dear reader, may absorb these negative thoughts and the therapy as well. I don't promise it will be organized or make any kind of rational sense, but I do promise it will be long winded and straight off the top of my tubular head.

I've noticed that in the company of specific people, I am sensitive to specific kinds of criticism. Despite the previous sentence having the word 'specific' in it twice, this is a general statement brought on by a specific situation which I am specifically avoiding discussing directly.

I also notice that what gets through to me varies based on who is critiquing. Person A could say "your pants look stupid" and it wouldn't bother me, but if Person B said the same thing, I might collapse in a paroxysm of shame and embarrassment. It wouldn't even have anything to do with how well Persons A and B dress or even how much I actually value their opinion. Instead, it would likely be to do with the fact that I had worn those pants specifically to impress Person B. At my worst, I might not even have liked the pants in the first place, and in this case my reaction would be anger and indignance layered over that shame and embarrassment.

I have a lot of armour. That armour is carefully disguised as other things. I use charm and a grandly projected, but moderate sense of humour, along with a very astute, and mostly subconscious grasp of what drives other people to like me. It's not so cool, but I am motivated greatly by being liked.

I love to be loved.

I have lots of other motivations that are more important, ultimately, but in my personal life, this is probably one of the biggest gears in the old clock. It's my Achilles heel. Pardon the comparison with Achilles, who I have little in common with besides the heel.

This incredible need for approval expresses itself as a strength because I am very good at winning people over, particularly if I am not trying too hard. It expresses itself as a weakness when I do try too hard, because I can and will make myself look like an ass, but more importantly, because somebody equally crafty can manipulate me via that desire for approval. Even if I'm aware of the manipulation, I will allow it to continue in exchange for continued approval. This is patently a character flaw because it means I disempower myself. If you think about that it will bend your mind a bit. I mean, you can't disempower yourself unless you were empowered to begin with.

There was an article in Adbusters at some point about "the awful distortions necessary to achieve fame" and how people who seek celebrity are expressing a kind of psychological disorder. That disorder has something in common with what I'm talking about. I don't know if I buy it, that fame-seekers are psychologically ill, but I can see how disorders, or disturbances in the life force of the individual, can make people act in ways that aren't right. And when you mix two or more people who have compatible disturbances in their life forces, you get crap like codependency, situations where victims return to abusers, or in large groups, things could happen where larger scale antisocial or criminal behaviour expresses itself in a cultural way.

I'm getting all ethereal because it's 1:40am, I haven't had a full nights sleep in days, and I've been thinking about the crazy happy culture at the candy factory.

Back to me. I am realizing gradually that this completely self-induced lack of sleep, and the perpetual state of being behind on this, that and the other; and that item as well; plus the thing I forgot about more than a year ago; also that list of things I promised to persons x, y and z, which I'm currently making excuses about: all this lateness and total irresponsibility, which is everywhere, and accompanied by a slavish work ethic, is at least in part, an expression of this insane desire for approval. By allowing this need to take over my persona, I keep myself from doing the things I say I want to do, I reduce my impact in the world, and I spend time writing self-referential crap like this instead of doing something to improve the world, which, in my heart, I really want to do. In the end, all this pandering always collapses on itself and I am forced to fall on my sword to save my honour. Well, fuck that!

Therefore, I hereby add to my series of commitments, the mother of all those other commitments I made way back when, that my number one priority is not being liked, or being approved of, but taking care of myself mentally and physically. I will do that by projecting myself honestly into the world, by cultivating and holding onto friendships with people who hold me to my commitments, by clearing issues with others, by telling the truth, and by giving of myself without expectation.

I'm not there today, but tomorrow is a new day.


Blogger shellz said...

Geez, you sound like Scarlett O'Hara. How very dramatic and Scorpio of you!

9:58 AM, March 28, 2006  

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