Discussion in 'January And Everything After' started by RSharp, Jul 1, 2012.
Damn. Well, there goes my attempt to change the minds of internetpeople.
I guess I'd better get to it. I have to suppress this powerful feeling that tells me that I am worse at everything than anyone else.
You'll find that alcohol helps.
mum, how old are you?
Not really, actually. Most of the time it only made me more depressed.
I'm 25, though I guess I do sound a lot younger. (And feel older, considering that I'm already fearing growing old.)
That's a bummer, because for many alcohol is a magic drug that gives you - by which I mean me - a much-needed social-lubricant crutch that enables you - me, again - to push down that nagging little voice that says "don't talk" or "don't dance" or "don't have fun".
That means you'll either have to find some other substance to use as a crutch, or go without. Which means it'll be a little bit harder to push yourself. BUT IT WON'T BE IMPOSSIBLE. You just gotta do it.
**Note: Substance dependence can be really bad. Don't use substances unless you have been advised by a doctor (an actual doctor) to use said substance.
ex. A doctor prescribes anxiety meds so that someone can go about their normal life.
I figure that would go without saying, but you never know. Better to play it safe.
Having been there and still finding myself there, let me try to part words with you as someone who is in a similar position, albeit I'm not actually interested in entering a romantic relationship and I'm younger.
Lack of confidence is the biggest problem in any relationship, and I do mean any. I have systematically ruined and destroyed numerous friendships because I just did not like myself and couldn't fathom, for the life of me, why anyone else would like me either. This included my family, whom at the time I was convinced only put up with me because they had to and the whole "blood is thicker than water" thing and the law.
This kind of self-destructive mindset is generally the root problem for practically anything. (Gross generalization, I know, but from my personal experience, this has been proven true.) The worst part is, it's extremely difficult to climb out of this rut because, well, it's just not easy. I can't really pinpoint why since trying to figure out the human psyche is impossible, what with everyone being different, but that doesn't change how hard it is to try to think positively about yourself. It's a long, constant process you need to work at because your brain wires itself in a way that becomes your method of thinking, and trying to change that wiring takes time, but it's far from impossible. (Look up Neuroplasticity, which kind of explains all of this scientifically and more effectively than I could ever try.)
That's not to say the way you're feeling is invalid, because it's not. If you feel a certain way, then you feel a certain way, and no amount of rationalizing or applying logic is going to change that you feel a certain way about something. You're allowed to feel the way you feel, no one can fucking tell you otherwise and they shouldn't. However, if you, personally, do not like the way you feel, that's when it's important to start thinking about how to change that feeling to something you find more pleasant.
Not having any confidence in yourself is one of the worst things to feel ever. Ever! Because it generates numerous other unpleasant and negative emotions, which then feeds into this constant vicious cycle of kicking yourself until you're down, and then continuously kicking yourself even after you're down, and trampling on whatever's left because you deserve to feel that way. It's this personal belief that you have no worth, and anyone who thinks you have worth is crazy or you fooled them.
At least, that's my method of thinking. And about five years ago, I realized just how positively insulting this way of thinking can be to others. If you have no self-worth, then anyone else who "claims" to see any in you is either: A) Stupid, B) Has been fooled by you somehow, C) Is lying to you, D) Some other explanation that basically runs along the lines of "No matter what they say they're wrong because I have nothing of value to offer, so clearly, they must be crazy or fall in one of the three previous categories or some other similar category". There's probably numerous other interpretations or manners of viewing this situation, but I'm not other people who can see this differently, so please note this is simply how I realized I viewed these situations as. This is not something that will generate a healthy relationship. This is something that's going to eventually grate on the other person's nerves and patience until they get sick of this and decide to cut things off with you because they don't want to be around this kind of person who is, inadvertently, portraying both them in a negative light.
So, that background history being said, I was always surprised and suspicious when people befriended me. In fact, I never allowed myself the chance to even call or consider someone a friend until they explicitly told me this was what we were. I occasionally still slip into this frame of mind, but for the most part, I've managed to push away from that. How? Positive experiences.
Like everyone else here has stated, pursuing your interests and finding like-minded individuals will do wonders to helping you feel more comfortable about yourself and being around others. I had an experience like that a couple of years ago that ended up being the catalyst to my finding more confidence in myself and to building up a sense of self-worth. Let me put it this way in an example that may seem pretty stupid: Before this experience, I absolutely loathed leaving my ears uncovered. I always kept my hair long since it would hide them. It wasn't due to me thinking my ears looked stupid, but rather, because I didn't trust something wouldn't happen to them. After that experience, I began tucking my hair behind my ears, tying my hair back without covering them, cut my hair short again, etc. It was a big deal for me, since I had always been extremely rigid about that kind of thing, but now, that stress had basically melted away.
Being an excruciatingly painful fatalist in real life, I would have never expected that I could live that sort of experience and come out so much happier and, for lack of a better word, changed for the better. It took a lot of effort for me to even attend the event that resulted in this change, but I'm glad I tried because the results were more than worthwhile.
Now, I'm more or less a realistic person. I realize this won't work for everyone. I understand that, for others, there are limits to what they're willing to try, and I respect that. It's difficult to take the first steps when the results and the factors are mostly unknown, when the possible effects can lead up to something negative, when something terrible may or may not happen. These are perfectly valid fears. Some may be exaggerated or blown out of proportion, or even unrealistic, but that doesn't change the validity of the fear to you, and coming to terms with that is important. What's also important, though, is how far are you going to let these fears control you.
Now, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a few years back. Its grip on my life was a strong one, but frankly, I know I got off lucky compared to others who suffered more severely due to its effects. I still have to struggle with it every single day, which is one of the reasons why I don't generally go out often and why I usually hesitate to do things I'm not sure I'll be able to at least 80% enjoy. On the flipside, I'm a very curious person. I love socializing. I love talking to people and learning things from them, even if their likes and opinions are vastly different from mine. I enjoy trying new things, albeit this occasionally clashes with my anxieties, so I have to work at finding a healthy balance between the two. I'm also very self-critical but I have gone a long way since I'm now willing to admit I do, in fact, have qualities, and acknowledging them does not make me self-absorbed or deluded. I still need to work on my self-image, I still need to improve my sense of worth, but I don't think I'm undeserving of friends anymore, and I can believe people can come to care for me. Sometimes that confidence falters, but I realize it's also a mood thing in my case, so maybe there's some of that as well for you?
At any rate, I know this is going to make me look stupid to a lot of you, but let me find you a quote from Fruits Baskets that I think explains the situation perfectly.
Call me naive, but when I first read this at around the age of thirteen, this really rang true with me. It suddenly explained a lot of things for me, as well. It's like how sometimes, people will do things and not realize they've been doing it until they're called out on it. Just because something seems obvious to you doesn't mean it is for someone else. This is why the world is so diverse and varied: We all see things differently. We may have similarities, but there is no two person who is exactly the same, and that's what makes interacting with others so worthwhile.
So yes, things won't always work out. There's a variety of reasons for that. You can't pin all of it on insecurities, because for some people, that wasn't why, but it definitely doesn't hurt you to try working on them and improving yourself and getting to feel good about being yourself. This isn't easy to make into reality, obviously, because even I have some pretty bad lapses at times and periods of intense self-loathing. But overall? I think I like myself considerably better than I did five years ago. And yes, it was thanks to outside influences, but in the end, the change happened because I acknowledged the event and its positive influence on me. I decided to work with what it had given me. It hasn't been easy, and it's still not easy, but I won't stop because I like what I got out of that event and I wish to experience similar situations in the future.
So my advice is: Try it. Try going out and finding like-minded people. You won't believe much in yourself at first, nor will you fully trust they like you for you at first either, but if you don't try at all, then you give yourself no chance to changing that opinion. And yes, you will worry you'll find someone you think you can trust, and then suddenly, it'll turn out they were just using you. But you know what? There are a lot of people out there who aren't like that. They're real. I mean, you can even look at this forum for a start. And if you do decide to try it, obviously it's good to take precautions. Don't instantly tell your life story to someone you just met. Stick to topics you're comfortable with. Try to find what limits you're willing to push and which ones you don't want to touch at all.
Most importantly, try to find just a little faith in yourself. It doesn't have to be a lot. It really doesn't. But a little faith is better than none, is what I discovered. I used to think no one would ever like me, and then I made a friend in grade nine who really helped me grow as a person and who opened my eyes to my own behaviour and the trapfalls I was setting up for myself. That key friendship was what generated the start of my desire to change my mindset, and then, I experienced that key event I alluded to above, and I have grown since then. Am I done growing? No. (... Okay, physically speaking, I have, but emotionally-wise, I still have a long way to go.) I still trip up a lot, too. But you know what else I've discovered? I'm willing to pick myself back up. I never would have thought that possible before, but it is. So I'm rooting for you,
mum, because there is no way you have nothing to offer. I have never, in my life, met someone with nothing to offer. Maybe they didn't have something they could offer me, but they had something to offer, regardless to who or for what.
And that was my two-cents, I'll go back to lurking this thread, now.
I cannot come close to creating a reply that is worthy of the post you've just made, but I want to make it clear that it is possibly some of the most relevant information I have ever been given. What you are describing from earlier is basically how I've gone through most of my life feeling.
The lack of self-confidence being a source of many problems is definitely true for me as well. I can't count how many situation I have messed up despite knowing that I was acting against all logic because of that. The realization that acting this way is insulting to people is familiar as well, though it only made me less likely to interact with people by the simple logic that; if I don't interact at all with them, there's no problem for them.
One thing that I found interesting is your statement about sticking to comfortable topics when talking to people. I think this may be reversed for me. I've never had any problems talking to anyone about how I'm feeling and what I perceive to be the problem - if anything I've been doing it way, way, waaay too much, even going so far as to make it the first topic I conversed with someone about (Which obviously doesn't give a good impression, unless maybe you're a psychologist I guess). I can't give any reasonable explanation for this, but I do find it odd.
I know what I need to do to proceed. It's.. it's finding the courage to actually do something that will be difficult.
One thing I realized, and an important one I think, is that I am ashamed of several of my hobbies, which obviously makes it difficult to imagine sharing it with other people. I'm afraid of being stigmatized because, well, I feel that I should be.
If you don't mind my asking, what are they?
They must be something truly horrible like collecting Nickelback swag or juggling baby animals.
Not really anything I should be ashamed of. Well, at least not to the degree that I am.
My hobbies are basically:
It's probably quite obvious which of those I'm not too fond of. I can even catch myself in being envious of other people having other hobbies, which of course makes no damn sense.
I get feeling sheepish about your hobbies, even when you don't have a reason to. Hell, there's still stuff I feel sheepish talking to my husband about. (That's on me, by the way, not any brushoffs I get on his part.) All you need is to find a community you can talk about that stuff with. On this forum there's The Cooking Thread, the I Like to Make Things thread for crafts and other artistic endeavors, and entire subforums devoted to Japanese culture and technology. Head into any one of those, read, make posts, ask questions. People want to hear from other people who share their hobbies.
Lemme break this shit down for you.
- Yeah, anime and manga's gotten a bad rap. One of those "they only pay attention to the bad ones" kind of things. But the way I see it, as long as you aren't one of the obnoxious people that jumps on people at conventions and breaks their spines or anything, it's aaaaall good.
- HEY MAN PAINTING IS GREAT GET OUT OF HERE
- uh. so this is the thing about bf and programming. there's a looooooooot of people on bf that do programming. not to mention programming is cool and useful and amazing. so no shame, bro.
- EXCUSE ME BUT COOKING IS AN AMAZING PASSION AND OBVIOUSLY WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT AT GREAT LENGTH
this is my way of saying that there is nothing wrong with your hobbies qurl what'chu even talkin 'bout
I've tried to take part in communities regarding things, even if it wasn't very much. I always seem to feel fake when I try. Thinking that I'm not really interested in the things like they are, but I just am doing it because I have nothing better to do. I can scaresly imagine actually doing it in physical life where people can actually see and stare me down.
Yeah, I am sure that my idea of how bad it is is worse than what most people think. But it still puts me at unease. I have the feeling that if I let anyone in the physical life know how I really am that they'll never speak to me again, ever
If they do it, maaaan they weren't worth knowing.
And you can snap-snap tap-tap to that.
My conclusion from reading your posts,
mum, is that you need to see a therapist.
Because that sounds exactly like the kind of thing I had stuck in my brain that my therapist helped me with. And since I'm a person who likes to project himself all over other people (mmmmhm), obviously the solution that helped me is the correct solution for everyone!
Of those, only Anime will occasionally get odd glances still. And even then, you'd probably be surprised. Giant mechs fighting or sweeping romances are both cool and mainstreamed a bit by pixar and the like making animation not a niche for the public at large. You can also find dedicated social groups for it easily, and a lot of them will probably understand what you're going through pretty well. Just find them and drag them out to fun other shit because the thing we're trying to get you to do is go out and interact with new situations until it becomes not scary/difficult.
Painting.. depends what you paint! It's always a conversation starter, but I knew an art school girl who painted and it was all the most distressing suicidal chibi stuff I'd ever seen. Awesome girl, just took me back a minute when I first saw her gallery and immediately wanted to dial a mental health professional. This is a strong candidate for shit though. Go to art open houses, talk about art. These people are awesome if you can avoid rolling your eyes too much!
But coding is totally a thing with groups, but I wouldn't lead with it if you want to get out more. We're looking for things you can do with other people out in the world, not something you could do with the BF crew online. But seriously, coding is awesome.
Cooking is also awesome, and you'd be fucking stunned how common a hobby it is these days. Everyone in my operations shop cooks. Half our hallway conversations are cooking related.
Basically, your hobbies do not involve burying body parts at any point, you're fine. Own the shit out of those hobbies. Seriously, explore the art scene because they're amazingly interesting people. And from my experience they're absolutely amazing at infecting you with going out at random. Said art school girl somehow conned me into hanging out at a hat store for three hours trying on their entire inventory. I fucking hate hats, but it was hilariously fun.
Liking anime/manga barely counts as embarrassing anymore. Hell, the girl who works at the coffee shop I frequent on the way to work outed herself as a anime fan to me just the other day.* I mean, sure, 90% of anime is horrible garbage that I wouldn't inflict upon a bad dog. Guess what? So is 90% of everything else.
Also, you know who likes anime and manga? Girls. Just saying, dude. You already got an in.
* That was a great conversation. It started because I made some weird off-handed Akira reference, because I don't just play a pop-culture obsessed nerd on the internet... I actually am one in real life.
"Oh! I didn't know you're into anime!" she said.
"I'm not, really. I've seen Akira and a couple of other non-Miyazaki movies, but that's it. The last series I watched all the way through was Star Blazers."
"What's Star Blazers?"
"It was an anime that was shown on Canadian TV in the seventies."
".... there was anime in the seventies?"
And that's when my hip broke.
You're worrying too much. A hobby by definition is something you to do to fill time. It's just a hobby, not a job. No one's going to accuse you of faking anything.
If you're uncomfortable with a physical group (something else I completely understand), go with a forum. Since you say you've had bad luck with dedicated forums in the past, go with THIS forum. Plenty of room for dabblers in here. This is a gaming forum first and foremost, and even though my preferred games are not exactly hardcore (Sims 3, Harvest Moon, Okami, Zelda), no one has ever told me to shut up and go back to my pretender's corner. If you do x hobby at all, you're not pretending. You might be a beginner, or just dip your toe in it now and then, but if you do it at all, that counts. Stop worrying so much. No one's going to judge you nearly as harshly as you judge yourself.
Or just go back through each forum and Like 5 out of every 6 posts. Bribe your way to love and affection!
Elyscape has made it this far on his charming personality?
I was introduced to Anime by a former linebacker for the Rams, who loaned me Akira and and bunch of other classics. I kind of doubt anyone ever made fun of him for it. I mean and lived.
I see what you mean. Sometimes, it's really difficult to know what other people are fine with in terms of conversation. The only reason I know is because, when I was four, I was painfully oblivious to social cues and the only reason I became remotely socially adequate was because I spent an inordinate amount of time observing others in the hopes of trying to understand them. (Not the best of endeavours to undergo since it's near impossible to fully understand anyone, but the effort has helped me enormously even if I slip up often.)
But what I want to point out that's very, very important: If you think this way, you think this way. That's okay. Want to know why? Because you realize there's something about the way you're thinking that you personally disagree with, and you can change that. You can! Really! It's not an impossible task or goal. It's a reasonable one, and it can be done, albeit it takes time. Like I mentioned before, Neuroplasticity may be a subject that can interest you in this regard, and by extension, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
Now, in terms of comfortable subjects to discuss, this is where we differ. I generally stick to safe topics at first because that's what I was told to do, but what I mean by "safe" topics isn't the weather or things like that. That's polite conversation. What I mean by safe topics is, if you have a hazy idea of what the other person may be interested, broach the subject with them. Stick to that for a while. And then gradually slip to other things that are "safe" to discuss with that individual. This is not as easy as it sounds, but with practise, it becomes easier to use. I personally don't think there's anything wrong discussing the topics you've mentioned, but again, it's a case-by-case kind of thing, and if it's something that hits too close to home for the other person, it may be best to avoid until you get to know them better.
Another thing I'm going to disagree with you on: Not interacting with others as a solution. I have been there. It does not help. It does nothing but make you feel miserable about yourself. You sit there in your corner and go "I suck." and then the self-loathing kicks in again and the worst part is nothing ever changes. At least, from my experience. The only way to change things is to try things that can help stimulate that change. Maybe the first attempt won't work. Maybe the fifty-seventh attempt won't work either. But if you keep learning from new experiences and analyzing what works and what doesn't for you, and the general patterns of your social interactions that you find don't work regardless of situation, then the next step is to try finding methods to work on the things that aren't helping you.
As for finding courage: That's not easy. I can't actually help you there since the reason I even took the first step was because the event I participated in was just that strong of an interest for me. So I think what may be a good motivator for you, in this situation, is finding something you're really, really interested in, and that you think you can attend and try, and going for it. Usually, self-satisfaction of that sort is the best push to trying new things. There's nothing wrong with that and hey, who knows, it may be exactly what you need to get the ball rolling!
And I don't know anyone who isn't ashamed of at least one of their hobbies, nevermind why. Example that comes to mind: Otomen. That manga is about this manly guy into really girly things. Shame abounds everywhere. A personal example: I am into otome games, for crying out loud. Otome games. Most people hear "dating sim" and write you off immediately. I love reading. I can assure you, there were many, many people who tried making me feel bad about that, but that was one damn hobby I wasn't going to let anyone tell me was bad. Some people have a hobby of finding difficult math questions online and trying to solve them, and get looks for that. I think if anyone here tried telling someone they weren't close to they read a thread/played a game about dating pigeons, they would be labelled a lunatic. I was friends with a guy who loved pressing flowers. He never talked about it at school because that would have been shameful. I knew someone who spent their free time knitting sweaters for their cat.
Sometimes, even innocuous, seemingly "normal" hobbies are met with derision and looked down upon. Don't let that stop you. You're allowed to like what you damn well want to like. Some things might be considered odd by a good number of people, but believe me, you are never the only one into something. And if you are, well, you'll end up talking about it to someone else who'll be all "Wow, that sounds awesome!" and they'll pick it up as well.
I'm not trying to say your sense of shame isn't valid, because like I mentioned before, anything you feel is valid. All I'm trying to do is show you, as best as I can, that what you may consider to be a shameful hobby may not be viewed as such by someone else. And then again, a hobby you may not find shameful at all may be viewed as such by someone else. Everyone sees things differently and reacts to things differently, and trying to please everyone on that front is fucking impossible because you never know WHAT will please anyone.
Well fuck, someone forgot the checklist.
I mean really, we only give serious shit to Lum, because he ruined DAOC.
This feeling. I know this feeling. This is the feeling that has dictated my life for forever.
If you're interested, it's not fake. It's not. That niggling doubt in the back of your mine? Complete and utter liar.
You don't have to be hardcore about a hobby to be into something. You do not have to be a number 1 fan. I never played any of the Fire Emblem games but I still think it's an awesome series based on what I heard and watching my brother play through Sacred Stones. I like knitting but I haven't actually tried past that one time, and I'm not likely to start any time soon until I get off my ass and go for it. (Eventually. One day.) The only hobbies I have ever been hardcore about is reading. I live and breathe by books. I have been ridiculed for it. And you know what? Those people can bite me, I will keep reading anyway. (... Okay, no, I'd rather they didn't bite me, but I digress.)
This fear of feeling fake is, again, related to that sense of self-worth. Because you lack value, in your eyes, anything you do is, by default, not the real deal. Or you're fooling yourself. Another vicious cycle you'll find yourself stuck it, but again, you can get out of it with some effort.
I remember feeling embarrassed about liking anime as well. I wouldn't discuss it with my parents or siblings. Then, lo and behold, my siblings got into it when they found out, and my parents are big fans of Studio Ghibli films, so they know about anime, even if their understanding of anime is mostly "Oh hey, they cry waterfalls, right? I always thought that was hilarious." I mean, I recently watched Paprika with my mother last year and she enjoyed the movie! Found it super trippy, but then again, I found it trippier than she did.
What I'm trying to say is, people can surprise you. I mean, there's always the risk some of them will find your hobbies to be shameful, but generally speaking, a good chunk of people nowadays won't. Maybe it's not something you feel comfortable discussing with people you know in the physical world just yet, and that's fine. Take your time. Find one you feel less ashamed about, and discuss it with someone you trust. Or, alternatively, go to conventions near your area. Go to local museums if you like paintings. If you're not ready to meet people just yet, I still say you should start going out, if only for yourself, and to get used to the idea.
That, or find a friend who very much plays a similar role and who ends up helping you figure things out about yourself that actually enlightens you in the long run.
Ah, sorry, I think I misunderstood you then. I understood your post as you wanted to start out talking about topics that were safe for you, not for the other party. Of course, not doing what I did and talk about your problems at every opportunity is good - I just wanted to clarify that I never have had any problems doing it, since I thought you meant that you had.
Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying it is a solution. I know it's not a solution. It has been what I've been doing for a good part of my life though, even if I am finally starting to be able to stop step by step.[/quote]
This is a tough one for me. I've tried many things for hobbies, but I've always had trouble getting them to "stick". I'd start on something in the hope that I would find it interesting, only to loose interest eventually. Thus I've never really found anything that I really wanted to do more than anything.
I know I should be positive and say that I just haven't tried enough things, and that I need to continue trying new things, but I'm just not sure there exists anything that I'll be completely imersed in and dedicated for like a lot of people are for their hobbies. (Not that I think it is a problem not having it like that, but it would make it easier to focus)[/quote]
That's a thing; I haven't actually ever been chastised by anyone for any hobby I've had, although that could very well be because I've never really interacted with anyone regarding any of my hobbies.
I understand. I know that what I feel about my hobbies is incorrect, since it only applies to me. If I take a theoretical person and give them the same hobbies as me, I don't have any problems with them at all. It's only because it is mine that I see them that way. Naturally this is all just another result of low self-esteem I have.
Unrelated: I just posted some paintings in the I Like to Make Things thread if anyone wants to see them.
In August last year I actually went to one for a lead-in session for the first time in many years, but the response I got from her was basically that I wasn't willing to accept help.
Things have changed a lot in the past 6 months though, so it might be worth trying again soon.
Going back to yesterday, my take is that the desire for closure stems from viewing your life as a story. A lot of things happen in real life (people dying suddenly, getting dumped without knowing why, not being there when a loved one goes through a crisis) that make for really shitty stories. But that's because life isn't a story, it's just a bunch of stuff that happens.
When someone asks for closure, what they're really saying is "re-write this scene so that it fits into the larger arc of the narrative." And it usually fails, because life isn't an arc. "And then she had an aneurism and died" is considered a cop-out ending to a short story, but it's actually the most true to life. What happened is what happened, and longing for it to fit into The Hero's Journey will only make you miserable. Expectations are the seeds of disappointment.
Oh, I definitely try to only talk about topics that are safe for me as well, but finding mutually safe topics can be more of a chore than it's worth, at times, so I'm occasionally willing to make concessions if it means having an interesting conversation.
Okay, now we're entering territory I'm very familiar with. Humans, I have realized, are, for the most part, creatures of habit. We have routines. We have comfort zones. And as unpleasant as it is, sometimes, negative mindsets happen to be that comfort zone because that's all we know. I'm not saying any of this makes logical sense, because often, it doesn't. (At least, not to me, not exactly.) The fact you're managing to move away from that at all, even if it's just a tiny step, is fantastic though. Reward yourself for that.
No, seriously, congratulations. I'm not being sarcastic. I know from experience (past and present) how difficult it is to shift gears when it comes to viewing the world and trying to figure out why you view things the way you do. As my therapist once told me, sometimes, the why isn't important. It isn't relevant anymore. It happened, and now you're stuck with it, so the question is to figure out how to untangle yourself from that. If you've even managed to take half a step, even if you got pulled back, you still managed to take that half-step. Or that full step. Or that full but small step. Or a huge leap. Or whatever you succeeded in doing. That's encouraging. Reward yourself for that. I know that sounds dumb and is more difficult to realize since natural tendencies result in us punishing ourselves for our failures, but at least start by acknowledging whatever progress you've done. Because you've made progress. Asking for advice here is a step. It really is.
You know what? That's okay. Some people are like that. I realized I was like that when it came to romantic relationships. Really. It's terrible.
Sometimes, you like something but it won't stick and your attention and interest will wander and go somewhere else, and you know what? That's fine. You may not find a hobby you'll ever be fully immersed in. But then again, I don't remember anyone saying that to have a hobby, it has to be something you're 100% dedicated to, and this is an unrealistic goal we force upon ourselves. And you know what? That's not something we should feel ashamed of. Won't change the fact we are ashamed, but knowing this is true is a double edged sword: On the one hand, relief to know we're not doing something wrong. On the other, shame because we still feel like we're doing something wrong. The cognitive and emotional reality aren't meeting on the same level, and that's what needs work. That's really it.
And then I realize how much effort and work that's going to take and I despair. But sitting here despairing is just as exhausting.
That could be a reason, or another is that people already know you have that hobby and it just never really bothered them. One of the fears in play, here, is the possibility of it happening at all, and I know that feeling well.
Now this is something I understand completely.
The paradox of "If someone else does/likes/has X, it's fine and they're cool, but if I do/like/have X, I am a horrible human being." This frame of mind baffles and confuses me even as it's one I uphold almost every single day of my life. It's a chore to deal with. It's a chore to fight. It has shaped up my self-image and sense of worth and everything related to who I am. The reason? If I don't have a problem with X, and I don't have a problem with someone else who likes/has/does X, why, in regards to this knowledge, do I feel shame when I do/like/have X? Is it because, deep down, I find X repulsive? No, this has not been the case from what I've realized. Is it because I feel like I'm an insult to anyone associated with X? Ah, we're getting close to what might be one of the reasons.
I think the issue here, though, is this: Are you willing to keep doing/liking/having X even if you feel shame over it? If yes, then I think it's worth fighting as hard as you can to try to disassociate yourself from that mindset. If no, well, discover if the no is related to the mindset, and if it's not, stop the hobby, I guess? There's no right answer, there's no wrong answer, there are simply responses that may or may not work for you, and trying them out is the only way to find out what works best. Nothing will work perfectly, of course, but we all already knew that, even if it's difficult to fully grasp the concept.
We expect perfection from the world around us and from ourselves. If either or both fail to achieve that perfection, then we believe something is fundamentally wrong, and the reality is that that's not the case. The trouble is successfully accepting that truth. And damn, let me tell you, I'm still working at it.
If I could buy art I would buy yours. Those are gorgeous.
The phrase "being a pussy" has nothing to do with gender. It's only relatively recently that the term took on any non-feline meaning.
So not that interesting I guess.
Nute and his role as an anti-wallowing device is required. There's a reason why Elyscape had to split the "dealing with depression" thread off into "dealing" and "venting/not dealing". We have a lot (a lot!) of people willing to encourage and empathise and that's very cool, but at times we've veered dangerously into "enabling" (for want of a better word) territory.
mum - my hobbies are watching rugby, playing miniatures games, playing boardgames, playing computer games. The crowd from the first section generally consider those who indulge in the rest to be man-children (they might have a point in my case). I am amazingly sensitive about how I'd be perceived by a prospective partner (you have tiny metal men in your bedroom? What?) and it's funny how I rank each of my hobbies on the social scale of acceptance.
Intellectually I know that's complete bullshit - I am not my collection of Trollbloods or my Netrunner data pack. They're just interests, partly things that take up the time I have because I'm not in a relationship. But I can still totally understand the fear of coming across as a complete freak because I do something other than watch Downton Abbey or go clubbing every weekend.
Although if they have any standards then my painting is going to turn them right off. "Tabletop standard" yeah right
I firmly maintain that nobody grows up, they simply get bigger/nicer toys.
That whole thing where my mom and I had a talk and it looked like she was starting to be a better person for good?
Yeah, it didn't last. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted, I guess.
Sometimes the only thing you can change in a given relationship, is yourself.
Your hobbies are awesome, your paintings are awesome, don't be ashamed. PEACE
True story: I was hanging out with a good friend of mine, and she was complaining about a really bad headache. I made some smart-ass fuckhead "man the fuck up!" comment to her. She went home to take some aspirin and have a lie down. I felt somewhat shitty about the comment because she was obviously in pain, and migraines/cluster headaches aren't funny. Unfortunately, she never woke up. Died of a brain tumor she didn't know about.
Moral of the story: Shit happens. It sucks. Life goes on.
Those are fantastic hobbies to have. Cooking is one of those universally appreciated skills, because no matter what our cultural or personal background is, we all have to eat and we tend to appreciate those who make it a more pleasurable experience. Painting is a great conversation piece and demonstrates you have depth of character and imagination. If you happen to run into someone with no appreciation for art, then you can cross that person off the list, because who wants to talk to someone with no appreciation for art? Programming may not be fun to talk about, but it will put food on the table (which you can cook), and having a job definitely helps with relationships. There are still those who look down on anime, but again, screw them. For those that don't, it's something to talk about and appreciate together.
All I like to do is play computer games and occasionally read. My artistic skills extend no farther than doodling pictures vaguely resembling animals during tediously long meetings, and cooking for me is "put steak in pan, try not to burn, take out of pan". Bring on the artistic cooks who can code up an anime app, I say.
Don't think hiding when you get married behind spoiler tags means I won't demand pictures later, buddy.
Some levity for this thread: an economist breaks up with his girlfriend.
Spoiler Alert for Jane Eyre (can I spoil a book that old? I guess)
I told her that if we were in the same situation, I would not marry her. I would set her free to go be with someone else. She got really upset at that! I guess sometimes attempts to be noble can come across as condescending.
Separate names with a comma.