July 26th, 2003
|04:29 am - Are you ready to be liked?|
Today's wannabe-philosophical angst is preceded by birthday greetings for irinaauthor. Have a great one, hopefully possibly even in the company of your extremely cool gift. :-)
There are lots of people who I have met through LiveJournal and through fandom who I like in lots of different ways. Please don't go jumping to conclusions; I'm not sure that these necessarily include romantic ways, though they certainly are wonderful ones in which to like and be liked, so long as there is genuine reciprocation. Romance is not the be all and end all of friendship.
Oh, and SEX SEX SEX SEX. (Ha! That got you to look at this lj-cut, didn't it?) There, I've said it. It's incorrect to say that it isn't a related issue to this discussion, but it would also be wrong to overstate its importance - at least, in the discussion I want to have right now. For me, I currently think of sex as being a subset of romance; sex is not the be all and end all of romance, much as romance is not the be all and end all of friendship. I know this isn't the way that everyone thinks about it and more power to you and your partner or partners if you all have a different attitude towards it which works for you. My current attitude isn't necessarily the attitude towards it that I want to have all my life, either. However, I don't want to focus on this one issue in this discussion.
Friendships can be tricky when people decide they want different things, but I hold it to be inalienably wrong to try to hold that people shouldn't be free to want different things from a friendship, or to coerce people to change their behaviour when they truly do want different things from a friendship.
I've noted that from time to time I've been poor at gracefully accepting a compliment; particular examples were that expetesso and black_dog both left wonderfully kind remarks on this journal which I never acknowledged at the time. It took me an awfully long time to Friend them back and I felt bad about taking so long to do so, simply because I felt awkward about not having responded to their awfully decent comment in the first place.
Sometimes I find it difficult to be liked, that I somehow don't feel confident that those who say they like me possibly could. This comes after, despite my flaws and failings, demonstration and confirmation that there are people who genuinely do like me. It's a strange thing to find difficult and I don't know how to learn how to find it less difficult. Maybe it's all tied up with not liking myself; the old "if I don't like myself, how can anyone else like me?" saw.
Furthermore, I get the impression that I'm not alone in this; there are some of you who I like a lot but get the impression that you might not be comfortable being liked by me, or that I might like you in a different way to the way you like me. No names, no pack drill; this isn't intended to be a prelude to a declaration of great and t00by love, I'm more interested in a discussion of a general point. If I like you and you like me but we like each other in different ways, then that's simultaneously slightly sad and perfectly OK. I have a feeling that it would benefit us all to work on the good parts of slightly mismatched friendships being better than the bad parts being bad.
The general issue, as rambly, unfocused and 5am as it is, is that of being ready to be liked. If someone were to surprise me with an expression that they liked me in a way in which I didn't think they liked me - and, no, this is not me intending to fish for compliments (*) - then I hope I could learn to accept it in the spirit it was intended. I also hope that as a human race we can all improve on this front so that more compliments do not get mis-taken. (No, I haven't been stonewalled recently; that's not a hidden agenda here.)
Of course I have specific individuals in mind when making this post, but the general discussion is what's important here. I'll only start with the specifics of who I like, how I would like to like them and how I would like them to be liked by me when I know how people feel about the generalities. If you suspect that there might be a specific coming your way, please don't think that I'm particularly looking for your views on the matter; I'd like to treat this as generally as possible. After all, there could be a specific coming to any of you - and also to some who aren't on the friends list. It's an aspect of human nature that we all need to think about for ourselves and where I think we can just about all benefit from trying to improve.
I went on holiday with my family to Virginia in 1987 and we went to the Busch Gardens theme park one day. There was a queue for the dodgem cars there, and an entertainer in the queue who called himself Hans and cheered those waiting up with his wacky antics. He had a purported game show called "Fishing for Compliments" in which players put their hands into a bowl full of fish-shaped pieces of paper and drew out one which had a compliment thereupon. Definitely a purported game show rather than a practicable one, but it has always stuck with me ever since. My mother drew what was apparently the star compliment: "You are worth more than silver and gold."
While we're doing this blockquoted lj-cut sidebar, let's do the "which of the 100 most populated US cities have you visited?" dammit-it's-not-a-meme:
1 New York City, NY 8,008,278; Nimbus - 2003 and the World Puzzle Championship, 2000
2 Los Angeles, CA 3,694,820; GSC 5, 1996
5 Philadelphia, PA 1,517,550; visiting aunt in Virginia, 1987
12 Indianapolis, IN 781,870; before visit to games con, 2001 (+/- 1)
15 Columbus, OH 711,470; games cons, 2000-2002
21 Washington, DC 572,059; visiting aunt in Virginia, 1987
39 Atlanta, GA 416,474; GSC 5, 1996
90 Chesapeake, VA 199,184; visiting aunt in Virginia, 1987
94 Richmond, VA 197,790; visiting aunt in Virginia, 1987
I'm somewhat surprised that Orlando, FL and Atlantic City, NJ(?) don't make the list, as they would definitely have been counted as places visited. All these numbers definitely look very low to me; I guess this is just the difference between counting city limits and counting metro areas.
On top of those nine visited, I've definitely passed through at least six others on Greyhound buses. :-)
I'm still not in a great mood. Definitely a better mood than I was 15-16 hours back, though; after all, while I meant what I said earlier, I was literally blowing off steam. Rule #34b of LiveJournal states that you shouldn't take anything that anyone who says that they're mad or that they're blowing off steam too seriously. (Rule #34 of LiveJournal states that you shouldn't take anything that anyone... says... too seriously, full stop.)
Have caught up with my Friends page; I've looked at about 60 Friends' journals since before I left for Nimbus and just about everyone's journal since two or three days ago. While it's great to read about lots of other folk's Nimbuses, it makes me wonder about other Nimbus experiences I could've - or should've? - had, whether I'd've enjoyed them or not and whether I'm truly capable of enjoying a Nimbus which did go differently-better in some respect. If I'm not, then what can I do about this? What can I realistically expect to get out of a Nimbus at all? What should I be looking for?
Still pretty gloomy thoughts, I admit, but I expect to have fairly gloomy thoughts for the next few days - all a part of the feeling bad I mentioned a couple of days back. However, I know that with time, it'll pass; hopefully, there'll be a few interesting and positive thoughts among the gloom as well. Maybe something completely unexpected will come along to cheer me up tomorrow, like a discussion of a much beloved but half-forgotten 1980s computer game. (Not such a discussion, though, as it wouldn't be unexpected - something like that discussion.) Oh yes, I've taken photos of the souvenirs I've brought back from Nimbus, which I'll post soon.
*drums fingers* Let's finish with a Tim Vine gag. Life's always had it's ups and downs. I was born in a lift. (That's a joke which works on a number of levels.)
Current Mood: angsteroo
Current Music: Ocean Loader remixes
So I guess I'm on the main filter then, given all the comments you've sent today/yesterday/whenever. :)
Well, I realize that you weren't fishing for compliments, but I have a *strikes pose* GREAT AND T00BY LOVE FOR YOU!
Well, perhaps not that dramatically, but meeting you was great; IRL you're exactly like on your LiveJournal - that is, quite odd in some ways, but always popping out with things that are just so interesting and/or funny that it's endearing. ;)
Thank you. :-)
I will be happy to go with "very British"; while I acknowledge it's a bit of a cop-out, there's more than a little truth to it, based on who my TV role models over the years have been. (Can't expect you to have heard of them, but the Brits will: Johnny Ball, Fred Harris, Richard Stilgoe, Tim Brooke-Taylor and so on. Heck, there are even bits of John McCririck, Chris Eubank and Gyles Brandreth, who are widely thought of in terms of hatter madness...)
See, the thing is that when it comes down to seeing people face to face, we realize we do not know them at all. As you said, nothing on LJ should be taken to seriously, and it ends up as a series of momentary impressions of a person that can never be the correct and full picture.
Having said that, and keep in mind that people in general scare me, there is the fact that you were so busy! I can see why, but you were always zooming around and I kinda felt bad if I even had to ask you something because I didn't want to distract you (e.g. the room mess on friday). If I hadn't had these inhibitions I'd probably grabbed you and dragged you off to Downtown Disney with us, or told you off for running yourself ragged in that way. That's where the not-really-knowing-people part comes in (and the being an overbearing mother-hen...).
That's also the liking people in different ways part comes in. No matter who I am dealing with, I cannot shake the impression that I might go on their nerves or that I might like them better than they like me. And that's actually a really sad thing, that I'd rather seem distant than over-friendly. That I feel embarassed when I like a person - and we're talking about all degreers of liking here. Though I guess it's more a sign of modern society relies on business and casual relationships and doesn't appreciate close human contact. Might be a reason a lot of us feel so out of sorts a lot of the time.
I definitely agree with what you say, particularly the third paragraph.
Room mess on Friday - mess in terms of getting people into the right rooms, or mess in terms of large amounts of luggage and small amounts of space? I know I had rather untidily left a pile of old clothes out of the way underneath the washbasin, largely caused by being in a rush in the mornings, but can't remember the room being too bad otherwise.
No matter who I am dealing with, I cannot shake the impression that I might go on their nerves or that I might like them better than they like me.
Oh, absolutely. That's a large part of it.
Your third paragraph is extremely insightful; I agree with it fully.
Oh gosh, no, I meant the "getting people into the right room" part. See, I know I had nothing to do with it, but the fact that the problem first cropped up when I tried to check in made me feel a bit bad. *eyes
shoebox flat* Let's not talk about actual messes, eh?
First off, thank you so much for the thoughtful birthday wishes! We are, in fact, going to see my penguin tomorrow. I'm very excited! And now, on to your entry:
I somehow don't feel confident that those who say they like me possibly could. This comes after, despite my flaws and failings, demonstration and confirmation that there are people who genuinely do like me. It's a strange thing to find difficult and I don't know how to learn how to find it less difficult
I don't think it's a strange thing at all. I imagine it's a more common issue than you think. I know I've had similar issues before, and I'll bet all but the most well adjusted (or egotistical) people have, to varying extents. About sixteen months ago, I came home from class one afternoon, and before I could go inside, I heard my four housemates through the door (including the girl who, for the past three years, I'd considered my best friend) talking behind my back. The adage is true: one should never eavesdrop, because she won't like what she hears. I walked in, confronted them all, and moved into my boyfriend's apartment until the school year ended.
Now, I didn't particularly respect these girls or care for their opinion of me, except for my best friend. The memory of her words stayed with me, and for over a year, I was suspicious of my friends, old and new. I was sure that they weren't telling me how much they disliked me because they didn't want to hurt my feelings, but it was just a matter of time before I was dumped. When I found myself being suspicious of Steve that way, though, I realized that it was time to force myself out of these paranoid thoughts. Those girls were simply not worth the angst.
I think you're probably right in that it could stem from not liking oneself. After all, if you don't like yourself, why should anyone else like you? It's easy to become trapped in that way of thinking, but difficult to get out. It could also have to do with trust, which is what I think my problem was. If your trust has ever been betrayed then it can be difficult to trust people again. In either case, then IMO the important thing is to remember that most of the people you know are both nice and honest. If they tell you they like you, then they actually do like you. They wouldn't lie. And if they do, like my former friend, then they're not worth your respect anyway, and why should you care about the opinions of someone you don't respect? It's not the kind of thinking that you can change overnight, but if you pretend it's true - just fake it for a while - sooner or later you'll start to believe it. Barring that, perhaps talking to a counselor would help. I know I considered it because my problem with trusting friends began interfering with my relationships and happiness.
Wow. This has to be the longest comment I've ever written. Thank you for such a thought-provoking entry!
the important thing is to remember that most of the people you know are both nice and honest. If they tell you they like you, then they actually do like you. They wouldn't lie.
True and worth repeating.
Barring that, perhaps talking to a counselor would help.
I've long considered that. Trouble is, I've never really been sure how one would start. Would "I know I'm not as happy as I feel I could be or should be, but I don't know whether I'm clinically depressed or just dissatisfied with my own nature and personality - and if it's the latter, is there anything I could or should do about it?" be a good way to start?
Thank you for such a thought-provoking entry!
You're welcome - and thank you for taking the time to reply!
I think that's an excellent start. What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that if you're dissatisfied with aspects of your life, then you should take steps not to feel that way, because it sucks to be unhappy. That sounds simplistic, I know, but why continue living in unhappiness if there are professionals out there who specialize in helping you work through issues that you can't work through alone? (I'm using "you" generally here, not necessarily you in particular, although if you suspect you have depression, a visit to a doctor is the very best thing you could possibly do for yourself.) Therapists and counselors know how to help people figure things out, they can determine whether you have clinical depression (and if so, they can give you medicine to help straighten out your brain chemistry, in conjunction with talk therapy), and their entire profession is about helping clients untangle their problems and become the happy people that they want to be. A good therapist or counselor will listen to what you say, help you set your goals for the therapy, and keep you on track for accomplishing those goals. It really does help, and I know we would all be here for you too.
First, ta for the postcard.
The only thing I can advise is that YOU do things. Much though everyone in this list is supportive, at the end of the day we can't get you a job, invoice people on time, ask for money rather than shell it out, do work on time, arrive at places punctually etc. etc.
If you're content at being stressed, poor, awkward etc. then fair enough. However, I don't think you do. If you really want to do these things but feel you somehow "can't", the way to crack that is to do the "little things add up to a lot" approach.
P.S. I've just popped outside with hardly anything on to feed the neighbour's cat when a huge shower started and now I've got a fever. That'll teach me to get the pussy damp.
The only thing I can advise is that YOU do things.
Very true. Not easy to read, but absolutely true.
Perhaps I'm settling for too little at the moment; my current thinking is that I have the MSO web site to "get on with" and that will keep me going for... well, at least the next two weeks until the event, the week and a half of an event and probably a week or two afterwards. Certainly that's what I'm paid for. After that, I need to find something else and the "find"ing part is meant literally.
Perhaps you should make sure you use protection the next time you're playing with someone's pussy.
Chris, I'm now well past a dozen unposted comments to your last few entries. Can't work out what would be helpful for you to hear from me. Just wanted you to know that I'm not completely ignoring you, merely that I can't find something constructive to say.
I keep looking on uk-scrabhble to see if anyone is posting updates from Nottingham, but nobody seems to be doing so... :-/
Thanks, Erick. :-) I appreciate it all the same - and I appreciate it from anyone else who has tried to post and not worked out what to say. Fairly often I start a reply to someone else's post and then abandon it because my desire to avoid saying something wrong or something unhelpful exceeds my desire and ability to say something right. So, yes, I've often been in the same boat.
Here's to all the people in that situation, whoever's post they're replying to.
|Date:||July 26th, 2003 12:13 pm (UTC)|| |
Born and raised in California
1: New York: 1981
2: Los Angeles: Multiple
3: Chicago: Twice
5: Phildelphia: 1981
6: Phoenix: Lived: 1978-1982
7: San Diego: 1977 and 1987
8: San Antonio: 6 long weeks in 1978 (AF Basic Training) and stop in 1982 on way to MS then to DC
11: San Jose: Multiple
13: San Francisco: Too many to count (Lived 93-94)
14: Jacksonville: 2002
17: Baltimore: Lived between DC and Balt (82-88)
21: Washington D.C.: Ditto
22: El Paso: Drove through on way to SA (1982)
23: Seattle: Wedding 1998
24: Denver: Post-Basic Training (1978) 12 Weeks
28: Portland OR: Multiple (Lived Corvallis - 1994-1999
30: Tucson 1982 - Driving to MS
31: New Orleans - Multiple - 1982
32: Las Vegas - 1977
33: Cleveland - Visit friend at school - 1997
34: Long Beach CA: Water ski tourney - 1977
37: Fresno - Multiple trips to S California
39: Atlanta - Fly in - 1977
40: Sacramento - Multiple trips from Bay Area to Tahoe
Also, lived in Davis CA (10 miles) 1989-1993
41: Oakland Ca - Multiple - Lived 1977
42: Mesa AZ - Same as Phoenix
46: Miami - 2003
47: Colorado Springs - Visiting Relatives - 1968
48: St Louis - On way to H2O Tourney - 1979
50: Santa Ana CA: Multiple - Disney nearby
51: Pittsburgh: Multiple - Relatives nearby: 1982-1988
54: Anaheim: DISNEYLAND!!! Multiple
56: Tampa - Multiple - 1999-2003
60: Aurora CO: Same as Denver - 1978
62: Newark NJ: 1981 (Same trip as Phillie and NY)
66: Riverside CA - Same as Anaheim
68: Bakersfield CA - Multiple
69: Stockton CA - Multiple
79: Glendale AZ - Lived 1978-1982
84: Fremont CA - Multiple (Bay Area)
85: Scottsdale AZ (same as Phoenix - 1978-1982)
90: Mobile AL - On way to DC from MS 1982
93: Richmond VA - Multiple while living in DC
103: Orlando FL - Present - Disneyworld, Universal, Sea World!!! :)
|Date:||July 26th, 2003 01:33 pm (UTC)|| |
Excellent post. As someone who always bitches about un-even friendships I could really take a bit of that to heart!
|Date:||July 27th, 2003 12:06 pm (UTC)|| |
Speaking of liking, though not in a great and t00by love way, but more in a "you seem like you're cool/interesting/someone I'd like to hang out with" kind of way. Which, now that I think of it, isn't really "liking" per se as I don't know you well enough...
Errr, well I'd wanted to talk to you at Nimbus. But since you seemed so busy and you kept mistaking me for Anya, I couldn't quite figure out how to say "No I'm not Anya, but I read your lj!" without a) sounding weird and stalker-ish and b) taking up your time with long rambling explanations.
How embarrassing, I shall go now.
Hi! :-) Thanks ever so much for dropping by. Not embarrassing at all.
Sorry for not making the time to talk to you and for being so dense to confuse you with Anya all the time. (On the other hand, I managed to confuse dancingrain
once, which was a kind of unimpressive mistake.)
Happy to talk further here and now if you like! :-)
|Date:||July 27th, 2003 05:54 pm (UTC)|| |
Meme means something specific, and it's not that.
Does the "dammit it's not a meme" comment mean that you will join me in championing the erradication of the gratuitious use of the word "meme" on lj?
Perhaps not. I've considered railing against the madness, but then I had other things to do.
On the subject of the meat of your post, it's certainly a valid issue, but one I can't really comment on, as I only recognize your name from comments on other peoples' journals. One could say I am a chronic lurker. One could alternately say that I came late to livejournal and I will likely never "know," much less meet most of the HP people whose journals were the ones to get me interested in the phenomenon in the first place, but all things have their season, or something.
|Date:||July 28th, 2003 11:35 am (UTC)|| |
The antimeme meme
Is there anywhere a clear statement of when something viral isn't a meme? Is the problem with this case that there's no fixed text being transmitted?
(See also the comments
last time I brought this up.)
Re: Meme means something specific, and it's not that.
|(Link)|Does the "dammit it's not a meme" comment mean that you will join me in championing the erradication of the gratuitious use of the word "meme" on lj?
We're both long behind bateleur
and slightly less long behind amuzulo
in that queue. :-)One could alternately say that I came late to livejournal and I will likely never "know," much less meet most of the HP people whose journals were the ones to get me interested in the phenomenon in the first place
I would say "It's never too late", though that wouldn't be being completely honest - I've felt that way too. Sometimes you get the feeling that "this person has 200 people on their Friends list; how am I ever going to make any sort of impact on them, why might they ever want to know or pay attention to me?" The figure of 200 is also a very movable feast - it tends to float just ahead of whatever number you're at at any particular moment in time. :-)
Hmm - I've read this post several times now, and I still don't quite understand what you're asking; though I can see that there's definitely *something* here which you're trying to understand about yourself/other people.
Nimbus means very little to me - eg. the first I heard of it was what I've read in your journal. I don't really know what to say about it - apart from that sometimes we have inaccurate ideas of what something's going to be like, and assess our experiences against what we imagined it to be like. When the two don't match we feel disappointed. I think that might be part of it. I think another aspect might be that you were working very hard, and consequently you were just too tired to appreciate it the way you thought you would. All that said, there's not too much point dwelling on it - you know which bits you liked, and I'm sure you'll be able to work out which bits weren't so fun, so that you can go for more of the former and less of the latter in future events. Maybe all you need is to book your own room - I find sharing a room with anyone for any length of time very trying (strangely, I don't have the same kind of problem when I'm camping) - because I've not done it for so long and I like my personal space, particularly when I'm stressed.
There are times when I'm not particularly good at accepting compliments either - how can people possible think nice things about me? And there are times when I find it difficult to see what other people see in me.
What I found really helpful in overcoming this, was rejection. That will sound quite odd - hmm, and this is a public post, so I'll have to watch what I write.
I had a crush on someone for around nine months. When I finally told him how I felt it ended in rejection, I tried and suceeded for a couple of days in telling myself that 'there was no way anyone'd ever like me' and in so doing didn't feel hurt - that was my way of protecting myself. After that couple of days, I realised that what I was telling myself was just not true - there are all kinds of appealing qualities about me (intelligence, common sense, friendliness, loyalty, warmth, gentleness - the list goes on..) - which was great, inspite of the fact that understanding that made me realise that rejection hurts. The guy I liked wasn't interested - fair enough, but it hurt. Why couldn't something go right for me for once? Had I been too demanding/not deserving enough?
Similar things have happened to me since (in the sense of other people being nasty making me think good things about me), though I can be outwardly very shy, I do have some level of confidence, which comes from a place that no one else can touch with hurtful remarks/rejection etc.
I don't really know you well enough to say whether I like you - I certainly like what I've seen so far in terms of your journal entries. I've never seen any of your flaws - but I doubt seeing a couple of those would make me dislike you - we're all human and I'm incredibly forgiving.
I've read this post several times now, and I still don't quite understand what you're asking
You know, I might not actually have been asking anything, just trying to organise my thoughts on the topic without a definite conclusion, or even a definite single issue to resolve. :-)
sometimes we have inaccurate ideas of what something's going to be like, and assess our experiences against what we imagined it to be like. When the two don't match we feel disappointed. I think that might be part of it.
Absolutely that is. It's hard to try to get accurate expectations in advance, particularly when (a) it was the first media con I'd been to and (b) it was the first such con that had been organised. Sometimes it's hard not to have expectations, too - when you daydream something might happen, it's an effort to remember what is realistic and what is unrealistic. Sometimes it's hard or displeasant to be honest with yourself and easier or more pleasant to keep living the idyllic version of things - and this applies very generally to much of life here. It's a personal weakness that sometimes I find this hard to the point where I sometimes let myself down here.
I don't really know you well enough to say whether I like you - I certainly like what I've seen so far in terms of your journal entries. I've never seen any of your flaws - but I doubt seeing a couple of those would make me dislike you - we're all human and I'm incredibly forgiving.
What a pleasant, honest way of putting it! (No, not sarcastic.)
Re: Ottawa Convention
Ooh, well spotted! Thanks, Mike.
I chatted to Nick quite a lot at Nimbus. He'd do a great job of the Games and Sports at Convention Alley.
The way things are looking, I estimate it's less likely than not that I'll be there. Only time and finances will tell my situation, of course, but if I can only get to North America once next year then I think I'll go to Columbus, OH for a games convention in April instead - plus swing by the New England area to catch up with lots of nice people if I can at all swing it.