March 26, 2010

My head is a scary place

Posted in *cringe*, 8-ball - pool not narcotics, Project: Fail, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why at 8:08 am by Dagny Taggart

So, about two years ago, I joined my second 8-ball team.  I was invited to join – scouted, even, because it was an all-female team and they needed a player with a relatively low handicap.  So I started to play a second night, which everyone thought would help my game a lot.

Except… it didn’t.  My record for that season was abysmal – I became, essentially, cannon fodder – whenever the other team put up a really high handicap player that would be a risky match for our high handicap players, I’d play, because I was probably going to lose anyway, and that left our skilled players to play matches they’d win.

The captain at the time – we’ll call her Regina, was pretty obviously disappointed.  She’d relied on two other teammates’ reports of my abilities, and seemed to think that they’d exaggerated.  A lot.  And she is, apparently, the kind of person who doesn’t see much reason to spend time on someone who can’t offer what she wants in return.

I took it personally – which didn’t help my game any, at least not on the nights I played with that team.  So when she moved away, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, glad that I’d be able to relax and enjoy my nights with that team.

Regina came back for a visit last night – when I heard she’d be there, I was on edge.  I wondered whether she’d still sit there, silently (but obviously) judging my skills and finding them lacking all over again.  Fortunately, I won my match, extra nerves notwithstanding.  I even made a couple of killer shots in order to do so.  And Regina was very complimentary.

But what struck me, was that I’d convinced myself that she was someone I wouldn’t be friends with, that she didn’t like me at all.  And that I didn’t like her very much.  And then, when she showed up, she came over to give me a hug, and seemed genuinely happy to see me, warm and friendly.  She asked questions about my life that showed she’d cared enough to remember.

It’s so easy to demonize someone – my brain is apparently quite capable of tunnel vision in the negative.  Which is kind of scary, when you realize how easy it therefore is to spend entirely too much time thinking negative thoughts, when we could all just relax and focus on what we can enjoy about each other.



  1. vvk said,

    It’s easy to vilify people when you get tunnel vision… and it’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re scared… and it’s easy to be scared when you’re under pressure. But that’s all part of being human. We all do it.

    What pisses me off are the people who exploit this part of human nature. It’s a favorite tactic of some in the political and religious arenas, but you also see it in more day to day interpersonal interactions.


  2. Lemon Gloria said,

    VVK is always so insightful. Big hugs to him. And to you, of course.

    I find people with low affect, and people who aren’t warm up front very difficult. I assume all kinds of negative things – things that are totally unfair and often completely wrong. But some people are just reserved, and it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. I’m sure there are people who wonder why the hell I have to run around hugging everyone and what on earth is wrong with me, now that I think about it.

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