February 3, 2010

That’s the thing we should all have more of, really.

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, Guilt, Nerdiness, The Happy, The OCD, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 8:19 am by Dagny Taggart

That feeling?  That the person you’re talking to will pretty much always be on your side and assume that you’re coming from a good place?  That’s what we should strive for with the people we keep close to us.

And maybe  you’re all like, “Duh.”

Or maybe you’re all like, “Oh, I had cloying for breakfast.  Leaving now!”

And that’s fine, I suppose.

I think some people, at least, get this feeling from their parents, first.  Because parents are supposed to tell you when you’ve messed up, and how to not mess up the next time, but some parents manage to do that without making you feel like a bad person.  They treat these things as mistakes, as things you simply didn’t think of.  Other parents don’t really focus on the whys of your actions, or might openly assume that you’re the sort of person who would deliberately try to make their lives more difficult.

So you go through life trying to hide the bad bits, the parts responsible for things you suspect might be less accepted in your society.  You’re so used to people looking for flaws, that it’s hard to let anyone in to where they might see them.

And if you don’t have the kind of relationship where you just know that someone knows you’re a good person, if you don’t know that they think that of you, any criticism they utter is going to be that much harder to take.  Because anything they say might mean that in addition to being a bit lazy from time to time, they also suspect you eat babies for profit.

If, say, you’re also adept at reading lots of extra into things.

But I have a theory – and that theory, is that we can have more of these people who think the best of us… if we trust them to think the best of us.  Maybe it’s not just being awesome and hoping that someone will come along and see it.  Maybe it’s being awesome, and expecting that they already do.

Which is a hilariously terrifying suggestion.



  1. Brian said,

    Risk aversion isn’t confined to the negative. In many cases, the safest thing is to assume that people will think less of us; it’s that classic tendency to lower the bar in order to manage potential disappointment. And like most habits, especially the long-standing ones, it’s really, really hard to break. And scary.

    It’s worth mentioning, though, that it doesn’t require knowing you all that well to recognize the awesome.

    And just for the record, nobody suspects that you eat babies for profit. At most as a hobby, and strictly part time. Because trying to profit from it would be wrong.

  2. Lemon Gloria said,

    Yes agree agree! It took me a long time to get to where I just don’t include in my life the people who are likely not to think the best of me. It’s the reason I can blog about all kinds of touchy things – because if you’re going to think less of me for them, then you’re not my kind of person. So the criticism from the people who might think you eat babies for profit? Doesn’t actually matter. Those people are the ones who feel bad about themselves, and go out of their way to pull you down in an attempt to feel better.

    Also, doesn’t anyone know about the overpopulation problem in the world?

    Also also, I think more people than you might suspect recognize your awesomeness.

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