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Making your own reality

In a friend's LJ where he said he was depressed because someone didn't find him attractive, oakthorne posted a brilliant reply that I thought bore saving:

The path to misery is taking subjective opinion as objective fact.

The cult of youth and beauty is a substitute for depth. You are too anxious to recriminate yourself for imagined failings of appearance. Does that let you off the hook, somehow? Is that easier than admitting you aren't comfortable simply being who you are?

Your reality is shaped entirely by you. Why do you *want* to be considered unattractive? What is the lure? Because, if you put as much credence into times that people told you - flat out, without hinting or vagueness - that you were attractive as you did when people hinted or maybe even flat out said otherwise, you'd have no choice but to accept yourself as unattractive.

Why is it so comfortable to imagine yourself as undesireable? Does this mean that you don't have to put any effort into social situations, that you don't have to get out there and meet people, talk to people, become vulnerable to them? "Oh well, I'm ugly anyway" stinks of sour grapes, brother-mine. It's a bullshit cop out.

I'm sorry if I've offended, but I don't let people talk about friends that way. Not even if the person doing the talking is also the one being talked about. I call bullshit.


( 11 comments — Comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 31st, 2006 07:36 am (UTC)
Um, I ran Gaylaxicon in San Diego. :D
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 31st, 2006 08:13 am (UTC)
LOL! I figure if I was invisible for the most part, then I did a good job running things behind the scenes. (I did host the Saturday night movie night, if you went.)

I hope you enjoyed yourselves!
Jan. 31st, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
You WERE Gaylaxicon!

Every once in a while some Rocky cast member will say, "Hey, that Gaylaxicon show was fun. Let's do the next one!" And then I have to patiently explain AGAIN that it would involve a lot of air fare. ;)
Jan. 31st, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
Hee! I'm glad they enjoyed themselves.
Jan. 31st, 2006 07:36 am (UTC)
The path to misery is taking subjective opinion as objective fact.

I found this comforting, and I'm going to remember and use it.
Jan. 31st, 2006 07:37 am (UTC)
Jan. 31st, 2006 08:22 am (UTC)
As an UGLY person .....
Well I have thoughts on this particular intersting piece of writing.

first off we rememeber the negative as a whole becuase it is a genetic modification that serves as a life saving device. If you eat a plant with bad effects than it is good to strongly store that for future use. If this little animal here packs a powerful bite or sting or smell than Remembreance of that fact is essential. If this tribe or group of people hurt you and reject you than indeed it is a good thing Biologically to remember that. so you avoid that territory and avoid the danger.

Humans like to pretend that they are not animals. We are animals. animals with more developed brains that science has shown are still quite primative in thier functioning and lack the complexe structures of some other highly developed brains say like dolphins and grey parrots. which have existed longer than we have and have enjoyed that time to develop more to the act of thought and not just instinctual existance. That why we need so much sleep becasue there is so much to process that cannot be properly processed while in an active state. Anyway We are possesing of a conscious nature but still very much a nature that is Founded and Supported throughout by Instincts. Like remembering danger and discomfort. and the need to breed (or engae in sexual activity. Being told you are Ugly or other negatives to your appearance, preformance or deseriability provoke reactions from both of these basic instincts. Something which as much as a race we have accomplished and as bright and thoughtful and insightful as we are still influances us to some level. One can recognize something on a intellectual level that does not change how one feels on the emotional level. both of which in the case of humans and other intelligent species are very valid to the phsyche as a whole.

Another factor that goes into such feelings of ugliness that people usually do not think of is. Do the people who compliment that person back it up. do they provide Postive PHYSICAL contact to reinforce that. telling someone they are attractive is only a teaser. especially if that person then does not show attraction. but indeed the person that declares the lack of desirable apperance backs it up easily with aversion to the person. Now i am not saying that Positive Physical Experiance = sex. it can anc should entail simple touch or closeness. Hugs. touching hands or arms or any other non sexual part of the body in a casual manner. sitting or standing close but comfortably near the person in question. showing desire to be around that person. these things help to make the person feel desired and desirable they makwe this person's instinct level register that they are indeed not useless to the gene pool. It is this kind of unconditional contact and such that makes pets so desirable. as they give without restraint and give that social contact that Humans as herd/group animals so desperatly need. Simple look at the parralles in the rest of the primates or other socail animals. The outcasts the Undesirables often die without the support of the group. they often if they survive become dangerous and aggressive or live long sick lives kowtowing to any but the least threatening encounters because of thier Instinctual loss of self worth. self worth based on the instinct of desriable mate status.

So as you may or may not see with this. It is not so easy once you are reduced to the level of "Ugly" to recover simply by applied thought and intellectual rationale. Most people that consider themselves ugly were also often ostrisized from the group as children for whatever reason. As i know some drop dead gorgeous people that feel they are ugly for they did not fit in when they were younger and had recieved that negative input to such self worth.

I think that is one of the attractions for many tot he fur fandom and other such fandoms. It is like being accpeted into a new pack/herd and there are others like you there. it is the place you belong and belonging is an very big part of the human psyche for we are social animals after all. no matter what we do to disguise it
Jan. 31st, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC)
Humans are social animals, it is difficult to get around that. The need for social acceptance is in our genetics, and feelings of rejection are more difficult to overcome then some people assume. Reality is not entirely what *you* make it. Unless you're a hermit living isolated from all contact, reality is a matter of shared perception, and we all influence it for better or for worse. To deny this is fail to understand the connections each of us has with the rest of humanity.

That being said, it is certainly possible through training and mental disciplin to recognise that in terms of your own personal hapiness, the perception of reality that matters most is yours. Excercising that as a practical matter when you may be the subject of ridicule by your peers is an entirely other matter, however. While it is a worthy goal to strive for, it is not fair to criticize those who have yet to reach this state for weakness or self pity. Culture is a powerful force, and pitting your own will against that of all those around you is not easy.
Jan. 31st, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
If a person understands how others influence their opinions of themselves, they are one step closer towards creating their own reality, IMHO. Given that, as you say, in time one can develop ways of dealing with outside forces in a more positive, productive way. (This is assuming that there isn't a neurochemical imbalance issue involved.)
Jan. 31st, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
Because, if you put as much credence into times that people told you - flat out, without hinting or vagueness - that you were attractive as you did when people hinted or maybe even flat out said otherwise, you'd have no choice but to accept yourself as unattractive.

I read this about 5 times, and I think the last word in the sentence is supposed to be "attractive". I think this is a great set of remarks and I whole-heartedly agree.
Jan. 31st, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
Probably a typo, 'cause I think you're right.
( 11 comments — Comment )

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