Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Page 3 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by kleenestar on Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:34 pm

reboundstudent wrote:But then.... why are you friends with them? If they are not objectively unique and awesome, why are you choosing Person A over Person B? Is it just because Person A happened to be there?

I think "objectively unique," "objectively awesome," and "awesome" are three very different things.

I don't particularly value "objectively unique." One of my dearest friends is a medieval historian, and one of the things I love about her is that she's introduced me to a ton of other amazing medieval historians. She's actually more interesting to me because she is less unique, since she gives me access to this whole community of brilliant, like-minded women who all happen to be very cool.

I don't think "objectively awesome" is particularly meaningful either. Compared to me, she's an amazing writer, and I love it when she writes things for me. Compared to some of the authors I'm friends with, she's reasonably good. Compared to one or two really brilliant ones, she's no more than mediocre. So I don't even know what "objectively awesome" would mean, let alone care much about it. The way she interacts with me around writing makes me happy, and that's all that matters to me.

I do, however, think she's really awesome. She and I fit together really well!

Finally, as far as how we met: it wasn't like I was sitting around going, "Should I be friends with her or with this other person?" We were introduced by a mutual friend and got coffee together and had a great conversation, and I said to myself, "Okay, I want to see this person again, I had such a good time." So then I made some time the next week and we did it again, and then again, and then suddenly we were really close friends. But the initial spark was definitely a "she just happened to be around when this mutual friend was there and he thought we would like each other." There's nothing wrong with letting serendipity bring you joy!
kleenestar
kleenestar

Posts : 289
Reputation : 204
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by LadyLuck on Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:57 pm

RBS wrote:But then.... why are you friends with them? If they are not objectively unique and awesome, why are you choosing Person A over Person B? Is it just because Person A happened to be there?

This might sound awful but to a certain extent...yes. To give an example from my personal life - I do really wish I knew more people who were competitive Magic: the Gathering players, so I'd have more people to do serious practice with. Technically speaking if I could swap all my friends out for new-and-improved versions that were exactly the same but could do serious practice with me, sure I would. But the fact of the matter is, *I can't do that*. Those "new-and-improved-friends" people don't exist. Suppose I compromise and swapped even just a few out for actual real people that could practice MtG with me. But that's no guarantee said people would want to practice with me - after all, such skilled individuals often have long lines of people who want to practice with them. There's also no guarantee they even want to stay friends with me! I suppose what I'm getting at is that while you may feel you are "replaceable" with some other specific person...there's a reason they're friends with you, and not that other person. You might not know or understand the reason, but it IS there, because otherwise they'd just be friends with the other-you. And even if other-you does come along, I don't think it immediately follows that they stop being friends with you, people are perfectly capable of being friends with multiple people. Now if people ARE in fact dropping you as a friend as soon as "new and improved" comes along, uhmm well that's a whole 'nother conversation... (that probably involves "get new friends")

LadyLuck

Posts : 48
Reputation : 45
Join date : 2014-11-18

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboundstudent on Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:48 pm

ElizaJane wrote: And what they were saying to me was, "I don't think this friendship is actually worth anything.  I wish it was, but it's not."  And it felt like a horrifying, ugly judgment against not just them, but ME: that I was shallow, or looking to trade up, or fake, or not very emotionally deep.  I didn't want a different friend.  I wanted THEM.  People aren't an objective score based on adding up their skills and traits.  Friendship is about fit and feel, and all kinds of intangible things contribute.  They were my friends because they made me happy.

I am sorry that you experienced hurt feelings, and that does sound like a really hurtful situation. I obviously can't speak for your friends, but for me, when I say that, I actually don't mean that my friend is shallow or not emotionally deep or anything generally, just specific to me.

Like... I wasn't attractive enough for several of my exes. But I wouldn't call them "shallow." I don't think their specific reaction to me could be generalized; I fully believed they would be plenty accepting of a woman who is attractive, but less than perfect. Similarly, I think my friends do experience deep friendships, are emotionally connected, and wouldn't trade up their other friends. They just are shallow/willing to trade up with me.

nearly_takuan wrote: Well, that's where the self-deprecation might be hurting you a bit; if you're going so far out of your way to lower everyone's expectations of you and insist that you don't have anything to offer them because some person they aren't friends with can do a certain thing better than you, it's not that surprising that they'll eventually just agree that it'll be...not easier, but less difficult/draining, to replace you with Better Reboundstudent, even though they don't know Better Reboundstudent as well and Better Reboundstudent doesn't have much of a reason to want to spend a lot of time with them at first and Better Reboundstudent already knows loads of people who are better than versions of Reboundstudent's friends.... wait, how are they actually going to replace you with Better Reboundstudent?

Ah, but that's the geographic/demographic key. It's totally easy to replace me with Better RBS, because what I am is very common place. And that's kind of my point about being average... I don't have anything to offer them, so why would they view me as special or non-replaceable? They can get a better version of me from just walking down the block, if they value the things that I have.

As far as "Is it a bad thing if they're only with you because all the other awesome people didn't happen to be their friend first?", I'd say it is, because really, if you're only friends with me because Awesome RBS is too busy, are you even really my friend in the first place?

I have this lady friend who I refuse to introduce my boyfriends to, because whenever I do, they fall instantly in love with her. And with good cause! She has all the things that make me vaguely interesting, except she has them more and she has other awesome things as well. One of my exes actually wanted to date her first; when she turned him down, he settled on me, the Lesser Version. Need I describe how damaging that is? Even if he had genuinely liked me, I was always going to be 2nd choice.

kleenestar wrote: Finally, as far as how we met: it wasn't like I was sitting around going, "Should I be friends with her or with this other person?" We were introduced by a mutual friend and got coffee together and had a great conversation, and I said to myself, "Okay, I want to see this person again, I had such a good time." So then I made some time the next week and we did it again, and then again, and then suddenly we were really close friends. But the initial spark was definitely a "she just happened to be around when this mutual friend was there and he thought we would like each other." There's nothing wrong with letting serendipity bring you joy!


And perhaps this is why your perspective and mine have trouble meeting, as I have never had a friendship grow out of serendipity. My friendships have been the result of me pursuing the other person, hard. I'm the one approaching, I'm the one initiating further contact, and I'm the one who does the lion share of maintaining the friendship. It's never been a mutual thing; I don't think I've ever rejected a friendship overture myself. So it is very much picking people, and then trying to get them to like me.

I could stop pursuing period, but then I'd have no social contact at all, so I suck it up and do my best, but I feel the "uniquely awesome" would help tremendously in feeling as if I'm not trying to charm the uninterested.
reboundstudent
reboundstudent

Posts : 460
Reputation : 261
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by kleenestar on Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:59 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
kleenestar wrote: Finally, as far as how we met: it wasn't like I was sitting around going, "Should I be friends with her or with this other person?" We were introduced by a mutual friend and got coffee together and had a great conversation, and I said to myself, "Okay, I want to see this person again, I had such a good time." So then I made some time the next week and we did it again, and then again, and then suddenly we were really close friends. But the initial spark was definitely a "she just happened to be around when this mutual friend was there and he thought we would like each other." There's nothing wrong with letting serendipity bring you joy!

And perhaps this is why your perspective and mine have trouble meeting, as I have never had a friendship grow out of serendipity. My friendships have been the result of me pursuing the other person, hard. I'm the one approaching, I'm the one initiating further contact, and I'm the one who does the lion share of maintaining the friendship. It's never been a mutual thing; I don't think I've ever rejected a friendship overture myself. So it is very much picking people, and then trying to get them to like me.

I could stop pursuing period, but then I'd have no social contact at all, so I suck it up and do my best, but I feel the "uniquely awesome" would help tremendously in feeling as if I'm not trying to charm the uninterested.

See, it's fascinating that you assume "serendipity" means "I wasn't the one approaching / initiating contact / maintaining / etc." Yes, a mutual friend introduced us, but I was the one who said, "Okay - you and me, coffee, Thursday" (or whatever day it was). I absolutely picked her! She has a zillion friends and is super extroverted and I could easily have interpreted that as "potentially uninterested," but that's not how I see things - and these days I think we both feel really lucky to have the other one in our lives. We definitely go through phases where one of us is doing more maintenance work than the other, but part of what makes that work is that when I'm doing it, I trust she'll pick it up when I'm having trouble, and when she's doing it, I don't step and do it for her - I trust her to do it well.
kleenestar
kleenestar

Posts : 289
Reputation : 204
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboundstudent on Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:15 pm

kleenestar wrote:See, it's fascinating that you assume "serendipity" means "I wasn't the one approaching / initiating contact / maintaining / etc." Yes, a mutual friend introduced us, but I was the one who said, "Okay - you and me, coffee, Thursday" (or whatever day it was). I absolutely picked her! She has a zillion friends and is super extroverted and I could easily have interpreted that as "potentially uninterested," but that's not how I see things - and these days I think we both feel really lucky to have the other one in our lives. We definitely go through phases where one of us is doing more maintenance work than the other, but part of what makes that work is that when I'm doing it, I trust she'll pick it up when I'm having trouble, and when she's doing it, I don't step and do it for her - I trust her to do it well.

Well I interpreted "serendipity" as "We just naturally fit together" (as in you were mutually interested in being friends.) I'm saying that I'm doing the pursuing/approaching/maintaining because the other person won't. Like they have no desire to-they either don't want to build a friendship with me that badly, or don't want to maintain one that badly. So every friendship I've had, I've had to kind of force them to be my friend.
reboundstudent
reboundstudent

Posts : 460
Reputation : 261
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by LadyLuck on Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:42 pm

Just curious, what do you mean by "force them to be my friend"? Do you mean they just never initiate contact with you? You invite them to stuff, but never vice versa? Do they not reciprocate ANY social contact you make? Or do you simply think they only reciprocate the bare minimum that manners dictates? I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea. I just assumed that if someone didn't want to specifically be my friend, they'd give some kind of sign of a "no" - they would somehow be busy every time I tried to contact them in any way and/or just not reply.

LadyLuck

Posts : 48
Reputation : 45
Join date : 2014-11-18

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:49 pm

reboundstudent wrote:Ah, but that's the geographic/demographic key. It's totally easy to replace me with Better RBS, because what I am is very common place. And that's kind of my point about being average... I don't have anything to offer them, so why would they view me as special or non-replaceable? They can get a better version of me from just walking down the block, if they value the things that I have.

Say you have a friend who likes that you're good at sewing. I don't think it necessarily follows that their desire to continue a friendship with you depends solely on your ability to fill the friend-who-is-good-at-sewing slot in their life, and I don't think they'll ditch you just because they've met someone who is better at sewing. Because, implicitly, most people would also value these things:

  • The extent to which you are generous with your sewing talents
  • The appreciation you have for their talents, and presumed unwillingness to swap them out for someone "better"
  • The knowledge and trust you have for each other, which you've both had to spend at least some time developing regardless of who did more of the work

These things can usually only be satisfied by someone who is already a friend; at the most pragmatic level, the return on time-investment for constantly "upgrading" your friendships is really low. Then add back in the fact that most people are emotional creatures and glorify intangibles like love and loyalty....

reboundstudent wrote:As far as "Is it a bad thing if they're only with you because all the other awesome people didn't happen to be their friend first?", I'd say it is, because really, if you're only friends with me because Awesome RBS is too busy, are you even really my friend in the first place?

"Only" is a pretty strong word to use here. Maybe if I met Better RBS first, and Better RBS wasn't too busy to have me in her life and hadn't rejected whatever type of relationship I attempted to establish, I would have had a diminished interest in meeting and befriending Actual RBS. That seems like a reasonable outcome to expect in a parallel reality where that's the case. But, I don't think that necessarily implies I view Actual RBS as a consolation prize or runner-up. (There are definitely people who think that way, but there are also quite a few who don't.) Part of this is because I value and appreciate Actual RBS's availability, instead of resenting Better RBS's lack of it. Yeah, it's not just in your head—a lot of it is in other people's heads.

reboundstudent wrote:I have this lady friend who I refuse to introduce my boyfriends to, because whenever I do, they fall instantly in love with her. And with good cause! She has all the things that make me vaguely interesting, except she has them more and she has other awesome things as well. One of my exes actually wanted to date her first; when she turned him down, he settled on me, the Lesser Version. Need I describe how damaging that is? Even if he had genuinely liked me, I was always going to be 2nd choice.

Again, a lot of this depends on him. Maybe you would always be his second choice, which I agree is icky and hurtful. But sometimes you're just the second person to be someone's first choice. Am I making any sense? :/

ETA: Ergh, sorry. I just realized a lot of stuff I've been saying here is a lot more like advice than discussion. I'll stop here.
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by waxingjaney on Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:01 am

reboundstudent wrote:
If I disappeared tomorrow, they literally wouldn't notice; I'm very easy to replace.

You're just a regular everyday normal gal?
waxingjaney
waxingjaney

Posts : 488
Reputation : 285
Join date : 2014-10-03

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by kath on Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:54 am

Rebound, this is kinda going back a ways, but I think also sometimes ... there's just like ... nothing else to say. Please tell us what we should say. Should we not reply? Not "this isn't a real problem, shut up" - totally with you there. But I think there are ways we could respond that are not "you're right, I hate you" that you would accept, and I would like to know what they are because I can't think of them (not because they don't exist). Here are some thoughts:

So someone will say "All my problems are Y". If I'm looking at Y, and I'm like "well, I dunno, Y seems OK to me, but I do have thoughts about X and Z ... so here they are ... " ...  Should I say nothing? (that workds great online but you might get less responses). There's also ... like, saying "Looks are my problem." is one thing. Saying "I'm feeling really down about my looks right now, does anyone have tips on makeup, food, clothing, or exercise tips they could share" might work, but it might be something you consider manipulative because you aren't saying "I am ugly", you're just saying "I feel ugly". Is that the case?

Sometimes people are trying to help, because they actually don't think that Y is the problem. You can say "I'm only looking for advice on Y, please don't comment on my X or Z" or even "I want to rant about how much I have my Y" - you may not get a lot of lot of responses to that, because I don't think I could say anything to that in good conscience other than "I'm sorry you're feeling so down" or something similarly honest and not addressing the issue.

Also there's this interesting tension between objectivity that is fascinating. I agree with a lot of people here - like Kleenestar and GJ - that objectivity is for a lot of this stuff just not meaningful to me, so I can't really respond to the insistence on standards. Not because they aren't important to you, but because I don't think they're inherently important to everyone, and I don't care about them in that context, so I don't have advice for how to meet them or think about them. Also, there's the thing where I can't give you objective advice about anything. I can only give you subjective advice. I might think it lines up more or less well with the average, or be more or less logically sound / consistent with the universe, but with something like looks, the objective standard isn't actually objective. It's just the average of everyone's subjective opinion. I also like don't evaluate my friends objectively either. I can have a comparative mindset for myself sometimes (I'm working on it), but it's really not a way I think about my friends or other people I admire, so I have like no overlap in experience there to talk to you about it. All I can say is "well, not everyone thinks about other people that way".

I do think someone saying "I suck at this" and one responding "well I think you do it well" and getting back "who cares about your opinion, that's not objective reality" is also very dismissive of the other person's lived reality. They aren't saying you're objectively great at it, they're giving you their opinion (which you may not have asked for), I think in this case talking about the specific hurdle you are trying to deal with and talking about what they can say that will help you (without asking them to say "yes, you suck at that" because at this point you can assume they don't agree with that and won't want to lie to your face). If you say "I'm just venting, can you listen and just be like 'that sucks'" - then you aren't asking them to say they find you ugly, just agree that what you are experiencing sucks. If you want specific advice on how to look better, great. If you want advice on how to identify a specific problem, you need to accept that some people may attribute the problem differently, and you can take or leave their attribution or advice and let them be, in your opinion, wrong. If you want advice on a specific thing, you can ask for that (how to dress your specific shape - which you have asked for, and you didn't have people saying "don't bother trying to dress for your shape" even if you din't find the advice made a huge difference).

But I also agree with GJ about how I tend to use "that's all in your head" -- I try not to do it dismissively, but when either we're talking about things where their entire existence is in one's head, then it's factual. I might try to use a different phrasing, depending on the tone of the discussion. The other time I use is is when I think someone is applying a particular frame of thinking to something that may not be helpful / isn't as objective universal as they think. Then I might be like "you perceive this that way, I perceive it very differently, so I don't think we can argue that it is inherently one way or the other for all people" and sometimes also "maybe this idea / phenomenon has no objective reality to begin with, so to suggest that it does and it's X doesn't go without saying / isn't something to reasonably base a worldview on"
kath
kath

Posts : 352
Reputation : 159
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboot on Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:59 am

ElizaJane wrote:Marty, have you ever read the book "Thanks for the Feedback," by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone?

It's a fantastic book about how to process solicited and unsolicited feedback, and may have value for you.

One thing they do is to separate feedback into 3 categories (and I totally have the labels wrong, because I don't have the book with me now):

1. Affirmation ("you're doing great!  Keep it up!")
2. Development ("Here are concrete steps you can take to be better")
3. Performance ("At your current level, this is how you are doing compared to expectations.")

We all need all 3 kinds of feedback sometimes, but there's a real cognitive dissonance when you want or need or expect one kind of feedback and you get another.  If you want performance feedback and get development feedback, you can feel like you're inadequate, because there are all these things to improve.  If you want development and get affirmation, you're frustrated and annoyed.

Friends, for the most part, are best at affirmation, so that's what we get.  It doesn't mean they're being dishonest or disingenuous, it just means they're trying to encourage you rather than evaluate you.

If you're actively looking for development or performance feedback, you might need to phrase questions differently.  One of the book's recommended questions for development feedback is, "What is one thing I'm doing or failing to do that is getting in my own way?"

ElizaJane brought up a good point about the type of feedback you want and how you might need to phrase things differently. RBS, could you maybe write out answers you would like to hear and maybe we can come up with ways to phrase questions/statements to get you there?


(SIDENOTE: I have to chime in on there being no objective standards of beauty, quality, etc. Otherwise every professional critic, would agree when they read books, play games, wathch movies/shows, review a fashion or art show, etc that it is great or terrible for the same reasons. They may agree on some points, but never everything. And even when they agree on points it may be for entirely different reasons.)
reboot
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by Guest on Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:03 am

Yeah, I am puzzled by the idea that someone has to have unique positive qualities to be worthy of friendship.

My best friend is funny, loyal, hard-working, reads Robin Hobb, makes amazing cupcakes, and puts a lot of effort into her relationships. There are lots of people who have some or all of those qualities (there are lots of people who make better cupcakes). Maybe I would like those people too, maybe not, but she is my BFF and everyone else can get their own. <3

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboot on Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:22 am

embertine wrote:Yeah, I am puzzled by the idea that someone has to have unique positive qualities to be worthy of friendship.

My best friend is funny, loyal, hard-working, reads Robin Hobb, makes amazing cupcakes, and puts a lot of effort into her relationships.  There are lots of people who have some or all of those qualities (there are lots of people who make better cupcakes).  Maybe I would like those people too, maybe not, but she is my BFF and everyone else can get their own. <3

I agree. People are friends with me, not because I am unique or particularly interesting, but because, for whatever reason, they enjoy my company. I like them because of who they are and because their personalities fit with mine, not because they are talented, unique, or "special". Their surface accomplishments can be the same as the next person's, but that next person is not them, so I am friends with one and not the other or potentially both.

It is not so much picking friends, but rather meeting somehow, having our personalities mesh, one of us reaching out to spend more time together, getting to know each other, and at some point transitioning from acquaintance to friends.
reboot
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboundstudent on Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:30 am

LadyLuck wrote:Just curious, what do you mean by "force them to be my friend"? Do you mean they just never initiate contact with you? You invite them to stuff, but never vice versa? Do they not reciprocate ANY social contact you make? Or do you simply think they only reciprocate the bare minimum that manners dictates? I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea. I just assumed that if someone didn't want to specifically be my friend, they'd give some kind of sign of a "no" - they would somehow be busy every time I tried to contact them in any way and/or just not reply.

Yes, I always initiate, they never do. I invite them to stuff, they don't invite me. They show up (usually) when I invite them, but that's about it. If I stop initiating, they never pick it up on their side.

Which, ya know, I would read as a "soft no"... but then if I see them, or I'll hear through the grape vine, that they "really value our friendship!" and "miss hanging out!" Yet never lift a finger to initiate anything. The impression I get is that they consider me their "nothing better to do", "she does all the work" friend, not valuable, easily replaced.

Plus when we do hang out, they frequently seem exasperated, frustrated, or outright annoyed by me.
reboundstudent
reboundstudent

Posts : 460
Reputation : 261
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by Guest on Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:28 am

Plus when we do hang out, they frequently seem exasperated, frustrated, or outright annoyed by me.
Well, maybe they are. But it's unlikely to be because you didn't meet some arbitrary standard of specialness that would justify them wanting to be your friend. That just isn't how most people work. Perhaps they get frustrated because they feel they have to explain or justify their friendship with you in ways that most people would leave unspoken; perhaps they like you but just find you a lot of work to be around?

I must admit, if I was friends with someone who threw even the tiniest nice comment back in my face, or responded to my asking for advice with "I am too crap to help you, find someone else", I would swiftly stop being friends with that person. On the other hand, I have friends and acquaintances that I like fine, but that I can only handle in small doses, and I know I am that person for others sometimes too. And that's OK.

Here's a question: with your friends, what is it about them that you like, that makes you want to be friends with them?

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboundstudent on Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:56 am

embertine wrote: Well, maybe they are.  But it's unlikely to be because you didn't meet some arbitrary standard of specialness that would justify them wanting to be your friend.  That just isn't how most people work.  Perhaps they get frustrated because they feel they have to explain or justify their friendship with you in ways that most people would leave unspoken; perhaps they like you but just find you a lot of work to be around?

Well, except they start out as exasperated and annoyed most of the time. Like I don't even have to say or do anything, they show up already prepared to be annoyed. And if they find me frustrating and a lot of work, okay fine, then don't be friends with me. Don't accept my invites, don't tell people you value my friendship. I mean what sense does it make to say "Oh I really like her, except for who she is. Who is she is annoying and a lot of work-but I still value my friendship with her!" Why in the world would you like someone that you also find both exasperating and frustrating every time you're around them? Sounds more to me like people not willing to be honest about disliking someone and trying to save face.

embertine wrote: I must admit, if I was friends with someone who threw even the tiniest nice comment back in my face, or responded to my asking for advice with "I am too crap to help you, find someone else", I would swiftly stop being friends with that person.  On the other hand, I have friends and acquaintances that I like fine, but that I can only handle in small doses, and I know I am that person for others sometimes too.  And that's OK.

I'd argue 1) If someone has made it clear they are junk at something, why are you asking them for advice? Honestly that strikes me as kind of a jerk thing to do. "Hey I know you said you suck at this thing, but I am going to ask you to help anyway, thus putting you in the awkward position of being unable to refuse without looking like a jerk while simultaneously being unable to actually help." If my friend says they're junk at math, even if I think they're fine, I'm not gonna ask them for math homework help... that really sends the message that I think my opinion overrides theirs.

And as far as throwing back a tiny nice comment, again, isn't that kind of about respecting a friend's boundaries? If they've said "Hey I really don't like receiving compliments," but you continue to compliment them and then just upset that they don't react well, isn't it kind of you who is being disrespectful in that scenario because you're blatantly ignoring their stated wishes about how they want to be talked to?

I mean, that's one of the things that drives me crazy... People know I blame my looks, and I have stated plainly that these are my beliefs, but instead of either changing the subject OR trying to emphasize with me, they choose to argue with me instead. That says, to me, it's not about respect or even wanting me to feel better, it's about being right. I mean, what exactly is the purpose of arguing with me when I say "I know for 100% certainty this is why my relationship ended" and a person who was not in the relationship jumps in to say "Nope it absolutely wasn't that." How would they know? How does arguing with me benefit anyone? Why not just nod and have a little sympathy?

embertine wrote:
Here's a question: with your friends, what is it about them that you like, that makes you want to be friends with them?

It's because I view them as special. I think there is no one else like them. There are two groups. A) The person who is just particularly talented at something specific or B) The person who is a unique and new combination of traits that you wouldn't find elsewhere.

Because they're unique, I find them interesting and engaging to be around. They give me things to talk about and new perspectives on ideas, or new hobbies, or new insights.
reboundstudent
reboundstudent

Posts : 460
Reputation : 261
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by Guest on Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:02 pm

I find them interesting and engaging to be around
I feel that way about my own friends, but I don't think they necessarily have to be completely unique in order for me to gain new perspective from them. Do you think that people don't feel that way about you?

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboundstudent on Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:12 pm

embertine wrote:
I find them interesting and engaging to be around
I feel that way about my own friends, but I don't think they necessarily have to be completely unique in order for me to gain new perspective from them.  Do you think that people don't feel that way about you?

But I would argue they are completely unique, at least to you. You picked person A over Person B to put time into because there is something unique there, even if that uniqueness is just the connection you share. There is something about that person in particular that's makes you drawn to them, or else you're arguing that your friends are all essentially interchangeable with all the other people in the world.

No, I don't believe that my friends view me as interesting or engaging to be around. Like I said, I think they choose to be around me because they feel uncomfortable being the bad guy who rejects someone, and because they have nothing better to do.
reboundstudent
reboundstudent

Posts : 460
Reputation : 261
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by Mel on Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:19 pm

<mod> Hey all, this is getting pretty far off the original topic. Can we return to the discussion about people saying, "It's all in your head," why that happens, how to tell whether they're right, and how to respond?

Thanks! </mod>
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by LadyLuck on Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:03 pm

Well ok, to get "back on topic"... I'm pretty sure we've well covered "why that happens". On "how to tell whether they're right"... that's tricky. In theory, if something actually is "all in your head", said thing is likely affecting your perceptions/interpretations of the world around you. In a sense, depression is "all in your head" - reality isn't objectively different for depressed people, they just perceive and interpret it differently.

And I suppose one way all this talk of objectivity could help, is to know which things are in fact subjective (and thus "in our heads"). From a "meta"/philosophical point of view, there's no such thing as objectivity/objective reality, or if it is, its a highly elusive concept. We can come up with "fake objectivity" via what my philosophy friend termed an "inter-subjective agreement" - while we can't be sure the sky is blue in the abstract, we can be sure that we're both perceiving a thing we call sky, and we can agree that it appears to be this color called "blue". What this means, however, is that everything is "in your head" by default, its just a question of degrees. Something can be said to be "real" by virtue of enough reasonable people agreeing in their subjective perceptions of it. Since "objectivity" is contingent on a large number of people agreeing on something, it thereby follows if there's significant disagreement, barring some kind of mass delusion, its just not objectively true.

So, the verdict on "IS there ever enough evidence to overturn the "It's in your head" accusation?" - since everything is "In your head" to some extent, the question seems to more specifically asking 'Can I ever "prove" that something is objectively a real thing and not just my imagination?' ie "Yeah its in my head, but is it outside my head too?" The answer, in philosophy terms, is that yes you can - but only if everyone else agrees with you. That's because your only real way to find out about the world without it being filtered through our own (probably biased) perceptions is by asking other people. So even if you do have some "evidence" that something is true, it simply doesn't count if you can't at least theoretically convince a large number of reasonable people that it constitutes evidence. You can attempt to prove that some opinions are not "reasonable", but that's a tricky proposition, because one needs to do so in an even and unbiased way.

LadyLuck

Posts : 48
Reputation : 45
Join date : 2014-11-18

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by kleenestar on Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:23 pm

For me, I often find that people hear "it's all in your head" when in fact what I'm saying is "both-and."

For example, the reality of weight discrimination in America means that fat people (like me!) get treated in various shitty ways, whether that's in dating, employment, or just plain existing. At the same time, I know a lot of very happy fat women who have great jobs, fabulous relationships, and wonderful day-to-day lives. (Hell, I am one!) So I often find myself wanting to push back at either type of totalizing narrative, particularly when it comes to tying statistical generalizations to individual experience in ways that erase the experiences of others.
kleenestar
kleenestar

Posts : 289
Reputation : 204
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboundstudent on Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:00 pm

kleenestar wrote:For me, I often find that people hear "it's all in your head" when in fact what I'm saying is "both-and."

For example, the reality of weight discrimination in America means that fat people (like me!) get treated in various shitty ways, whether that's in dating, employment, or just plain existing. At the same time, I know a lot of very happy fat women who have great jobs, fabulous relationships, and wonderful day-to-day lives. (Hell, I am one!) So I often find myself wanting to push back at either type of totalizing narrative, particularly when it comes to tying statistical generalizations to individual experience in ways that erase the experiences of others.

I get that; I admit that when I've been on the other side of these situations (with general people, not just you Kleen), I often don't hear a "both-and." If I did, that would make a lot more sense.

Cause the thing is, I DO believe that my situation is not enough to generalize about X trait, and yet X trait making things in my life difficult and yet not too deeply impacting other people's lives who also have X makes complete sense.

A parallel might be... both of us take the ACTs. I get a very low score in math, and average scores on everything else. You also get a low score in math, but otherwise fantastic scores. You get into College A, I don't. If I were to say "That low math score is what made College A reject me," and you said "Well I had a low math score and I got in," we'd both be right. It's just that you had fantastic enough scores to compensate. My math score just happened to be the final nail in the coffin. It's when either of us try to claim that our experience is the general truth ("Low math scores mean you don't get into college!" "Low math scores don't matter!") that I think conflict begins.

Do you think a good way to avoid this happening is to make it clear that you're speaking about an individual experience that does play into a larger social narrative but isn't true for everyone? Then again, that still doesn't quite combat when people still want to argue about your own experience; for example, I say flat out "I am unattractive in combination with being overall average, and that's why I struggle." I'm not quite sure how I could get any more individual-experience than that...
reboundstudent
reboundstudent

Posts : 460
Reputation : 261
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by Mel on Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:33 pm

reboundstudent wrote:A parallel might be... both of us take the ACTs. I get a very low score in math, and average scores on everything else. You also get a low score in math, but otherwise fantastic scores. You get into College A, I don't. If I were to say "That low math score is what made College A reject me," and you said "Well I had a low math score and I got in," we'd both be right. It's just that you had fantastic enough scores to compensate. My math score just happened to be the final nail in the coffin. It's when either of us try to claim that our experience is the general truth ("Low math scores mean you don't get into college!" "Low math scores don't matter!") that I think conflict begins.

Do you think a good way to avoid this happening is to make it clear that you're speaking about an individual experience that does play into a larger social narrative but isn't true for everyone? Then again, that still doesn't quite combat when people still want to argue about your own experience; for example, I say flat out "I am unattractive in combination with being overall average, and that's why I struggle." I'm not quite sure how I could get any more individual-experience than that...

I think you've hit the nail on the head here... When someone talks about something in simplified terms, "X was the thing that made me fail," it does come across to me, and I'd imagine a lot of people, as if they're saying, "X is the only thing that made me fail, without X I would have been okay," which logically leads to implying that no one could succeed with X (because if X is the only problem and automatically made you fail, then how could anyone else with X succeed?). I would imagine you'd get less* push back/"It's all in your head" using phrasing like, "I'm not especially good looking/thin/other physical quality, and my personality doesn't seem to be engaging guys enough to make up for that," rather than "guys don't like me because I'm not good looking/thin/etc.", for example. That both allows that there are other contributing factors, to deflect the "but I know other people who are X who've succeeded" protest, and allows a little more room for the other person to agree without feeling as if they're saying they think you're horrendous looking.

*No way to guarantee you won't get any, of course, short of never saying anything negative about yourself. Razz
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by Guest on Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:35 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
A parallel might be... both of us take the ACTs. I get a very low score in math, and average scores on everything else. You also get a low score in math, but otherwise fantastic scores. You get into College A, I don't. If I were to say "That low math score is what made College A reject me," and you said "Well I had a low math score and I got in," we'd both be right. It's just that you had fantastic enough scores to compensate. My math score just happened to be the final nail in the coffin. It's when either of us try to claim that our experience is the general truth ("Low math scores mean you don't get into college!" "Low math scores don't matter!") that I think conflict begins.

Seconding what Mel said about this, I think part of where we get disconnect is when you take this to the level that says, "And I can't get better at math, so I'll never be successful," whereas maybe the real answer is to try to go from average to fantastic somewhere else.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by Mel on Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:46 pm

ElizaJane wrote:Seconding what Mel said about this, I think part of where we get disconnect is when you take this to the level that says, "And I can't get better at math, so I'll never be successful," whereas maybe the real answer is to try to go from average to fantastic somewhere else.

To be fair, I think RBS has considered this and had trouble finding an area where she feels she's able to be "fantastic". Which is a legitimate frustration.

And it makes me think that another way to avoid the "all in your head" problem is to start out by making the venting about how you think/feel about things rather than an objective truth. e.g., "Other people don't like this about me," is always to some extent going to come across as making assumptions about what's in other people's heads, which is easy for people to see as possibly just a problem with your interpretation. But if you say something like, "I feel like I've tried all the advice I can find on how to be more attractive to guys, and none of it seems to have made a difference, and that's so frustrating," especially if you make it clear you're not looking for more advice, just commiseration, how can someone argue with that? They can't (shouldn't) tell you that you don't feel what you say you're feeling. You're focusing on the side that is in your head, and that, er, heads off that criticism.
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by reboundstudent on Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:22 pm

ElizaJane wrote: Seconding what Mel said about this, I think part of where we get disconnect is when you take this to the level that says, "And I can't get better at math, so I'll never be successful," whereas maybe the real answer is to try to go from average to fantastic somewhere else.

Maybe this is a subject for a different thread, but why is there an assumption that you can get fantastic somewhere else? Building off the "all in your head," that often comes coupled with "well the improve these other things!" Which isn't illogical, but I'm always curious why there's a belief that things can be improved. Is it just that people feel pressured to give some kind of advice, regardless of its practicality? Is it the belief that literally anything can be improved, by anyone (and if it doesn't improve, you just haven't found the right method)? Is it discomfort over the idea that all-over mediocrity may be the realistic ceiling for some folks?

I ask that last one because I don't think anyone will deny that we live in a society drenched with the idea that we are each special and unique, and anything can be accomplished by pulling up our bootstraps, and I wonder if/how those social messages contribute to this experience.
reboundstudent
reboundstudent

Posts : 460
Reputation : 261
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant] - Page 3 Empty Re: Why Do We Tell People It's All In Their Heads? [Discussion/Rant]

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 3 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum