Playing Dating on Hard Mode {DISC}

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Post by gaboz on Fri May 29, 2015 10:58 am

Pagliacci wrote:
Andrew Corvero wrote:
tl;dr: maths for dating skills is a trade I'd gladly make. The consequences of being bad at math are practically nonexistent.

That's definitely true. But you never know what others might think of you.

Sure I do. I've had a coworker tell me the only reason the company keeps me around is so that everybody else has somebody to laugh at, and two others say they need to start a spreadsheet so they have an up-to-date log of all the stupid shit I say. I've had a professional tell me I need to realize that socially I'm 20 years behind and I'll never catch up. I've had a crisis hotline tell me that the life I described simply wasn't worth living and that it's probably too late for me to do much to change it. I've had a psychiatric nurse quite literally laugh in my face when they found out I had no friends and had never had a girlfriend. I had my mother screaming at me day and night for years about how much she hated me and wished I was dead.

Frankly, I'd be much better off not knowing.

Man what a bunch of a-holes. but now im curious, what did you do with that knowledge?

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Post by reboot on Fri May 29, 2015 11:13 am

Pagliacci wrote:
Andrew Corvero wrote:
tl;dr: maths for dating skills is a trade I'd gladly make. The consequences of being bad at math are practically nonexistent.

That's definitely true. But you never know what others might think of you.

Sure I do. I've had a coworker tell me the only reason the company keeps me around is so that everybody else has somebody to laugh at, and two others say they need to start a spreadsheet so they have an up-to-date log of all the stupid shit I say. I've had a professional tell me I need to realize that socially I'm 20 years behind and I'll never catch up. I've had a crisis hotline tell me that the life I described simply wasn't worth living and that it's probably too late for me to do much to change it. I've had a psychiatric nurse quite literally laugh in my face when they found out I had no friends and had never had a girlfriend. I had my mother screaming at me day and night for years about how much she hated me and wished I was dead.

Frankly, I'd be much better off not knowing.

Not on topic, but some workplaces, like some families, are fundamentally toxic and often, due to economic necessity, they are as hard to escape. Here is some advice If people where you work feel comments like that are appropriate, it is not you who is the issue.
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Post by Guest on Fri May 29, 2015 11:43 am

gaboz wrote:
Man what a bunch of a-holes. but now im curious, what did you do with that knowledge?

It led me to the brink of suicide. I've had pretty constant suicidal thoughts for a long time (nearly nine years), but having thoughts is one thing, and having a plan is another. I've only ever put together specific plans twice, once shortly after the thoughts started (when the main issue was the abuse I was getting at home) and once after all the stuff I talked about above had worn me down. Obviously, I didn't go through with either. The second plan was stopped when I checked myself into hospital and I was put in the psych ward. The worst stuff at work stopped after that, admittedly, because word spread around and people seemed to realize it wasn't a joke anymore, but I still clearly don't fit in there. I can still count the number of times I've had lunch with coworkers on my hands, despite having been there four-and-a-half years. I still get things happening like finding a half-eaten peach in my cup when I come back to my desk, or even as recently as this week, someone putting a grape on my seat in hopes that I'll sit on it.

Overall, I'd say that now I've more or less given up. It still seems abundantly clear to me that the world doesn't want me in it. All of my pain and isolation has turned me into a depressed, angry, socially incompetent person who nobody wants to be around. To give you an example of what I mean, not long ago I went through a period of 17 months (April 2013 to September 2014) in which I didn't receive a single personal phone call or text message. Most people couldn't imagine going two days without one. Even after that long drought finally broke (because someone saw how depressed I was about it and felt sorry for me), I've gone for two periods of more than three months each without one. What does that say?

reboot wrote:
Not on topic, but some workplaces, like some families, are fundamentally toxic and often, due to economic necessity, they are as hard to escape. Here is some advice If people where you work feel comments like that are appropriate, it is not you who is the issue.

Isn't it? I've been rejected and abused my whole life, from my family, to school, to work. They can't all be wrong. I'm the only common factor.

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Post by reboot on Fri May 29, 2015 12:23 pm

Pagliacci wrote:
reboot wrote:
Not on topic, but some workplaces, like some families, are fundamentally toxic and often, due to economic necessity, they are as hard to escape. Here is some advice If people where you work feel comments like that are appropriate, it is not you who is the issue.

Isn't it? I've been rejected and abused my whole life, from my family, to school, to work. They can't all be wrong. I'm the only common factor.

Abused people, particularly child abuse victims, often feel that way, but past abuse tends to make people vulnerable to future abuse. People with a tendency to abuse are great at picking their vic.

I do not want to derail this topic any further, but you might consider looking into a support forum for victims of child abuse. Here are some resources
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Post by Kaz on Sat May 30, 2015 7:17 am

I'm not sure I'd say I'm playing dating on hard mode so much as that I'm trying to play the multiplayer co-op game of dating and there's no one on my server. *wry*

But... mm... I do find "this is really hard for me in a way it isn't for other people" to be potentially dangerous. It doesn't *have* to be, there's ways of treating that fact relatively neutrally, but it can very easily slip into self-pity and thinking that you are somehow uniquely worse off and everyone around you is much luckier than you are. For one, bitterness is not attractive and you can easily slip into a very toxic mindset this way, for another, thinking like that is probably going to be pretty miserable and do you really want to be miserable all the time?

So I like to balance "this is harder for me than it is for other people" out with reminding myself that there are things that come easier to me than to other people, that I've been really lucky in certain aspects of my life, etc. I also forbid myself from making comparisons like "well I'd rather be good at X thing I'm not than Y thing I am" because I have no real way of judging what *not* being good at Y thing would be like and what kind of toll it'd take on me. I have l33t maths skills that many people are jealous of - end of sentence.

Thinking about it, having a healthy self-esteem is probably key in this process. I've gotten myself to the point where I basically like being who I am and wouldn't want to trade with others, so from that point of view it's easy to say "well, the dating pool issue sucks and the disability stuff *really* sucks, but that's just how life is and I'll figure out a way to deal".

Which... is honestly the problem I'm seeing with a lot of people who make these complaints, you know? If you think nothing you can do or are is of much value and you wish you could be someone else, it's going to be hard treating "dating is harder for me than it is for others" in the way I mentioned. But then focusing on dating problems is fixating on the wrong problem, because dating someone isn't going to fix your self-esteem. Even if you do feel better while dating someone, it's a band-aid on the problem - if you break up, you'll be right back where you started with the additional pain of a break-up to work through. Whereas if you work on bettering your self-esteem, you're in a much better position to cope whether or not you end up dating someone.

And ofc this is particularly important if you're throwing the words "forever alone" around. It's not at all unlikely I'll be "forever alone" myself, and as a result pinning my hopes and happiness on dating is the single worst thing I could do, since there's such a big chance it won't happen. So I try to combat loneliness by building up friendships and the like, which is not as complete a fix as dating but has the advantage of not being an all-or-nothing shot with a very small chance of success, and actively deprioritise dating when pursuing it would entail real negative changes to my life.

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Post by Guest on Sat May 30, 2015 11:20 am

Kaz wrote:So I like to balance "this is harder for me than it is for other people" out with reminding myself that there are things that come easier to me than to other people, that I've been really lucky in certain aspects of my life, etc. I also forbid myself from making comparisons like "well I'd rather be good at X thing I'm not than Y thing I am" because I have no real way of judging what *not* being good at Y thing would be like and what kind of toll it'd take on me. I have l33t maths skills that many people are jealous of - end of sentence.
I think the only factor that might put this logic off balance is that dating and many, many, many facets of human existence rely on having good social skills. It's far more important a skill than, say, being good with computers and networks to use a personal example. I'd probably trade social skills for computer skills because social skills can get you many more places in life beyond even dating than knowing how to plan a effective and efficient computer network. I'd trade the skills simply to not feel 24/7 awkward, honestly.

But you can't trade of skills or the ease with which you can build them. So it's a tough shit situation. And I take solace in that fact. You may want to trade, but you can't so you get the fuck on with it and use what you have to it's fullest extent... And hopefully try and make up for your less than stellar skills along the way.

Of course, this is all assuming your dating woes are specifically related to social skills. But I don't think I'm playing hard mode. I think I'm playing Bloodborne and I need to git gud. Wink


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Post by reboot on Sat May 30, 2015 11:32 am

One thing that helps me to keep myself from feeling uniquely disadvantaged is to remember that I have no idea what mode any person I see out and about is playing. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing someone who has what you want and assuming it was easy for them to get.

For example, I have a friend who is quite beautiful and has a easygoing, natural looking social grace about her. She also has rheumatoid arthritis, chronic depression and struggles with suicidal ideation Looking at her and her relationship history if I did not know her, it would be easy to think she was playing on easy mode. But since I know her and her situation, I know that nothing has come easy for her.
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Post by PintsizeBro on Sat May 30, 2015 3:01 pm

reboot wrote:One thing that helps me to keep myself from feeling uniquely disadvantaged is to remember that I have no idea what mode any person I see out and about is playing. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing someone who has what you want and assuming it was easy for them to get.
This is something I try so hard to express. Not because I want to tell people, "I did it, that means you can do it too!" But because I want them to understand that even though I'm happy where I am now, I really struggled to get here. I'm not just some douchebag who was handed everything on a silver platter and has no sympathy for others because everything was easy for me.

I also think it adds some perspective. Why do girls like assholes? Actually, they don't.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Sat May 30, 2015 3:17 pm

Kaz wrote:I'm not sure I'd say I'm playing dating on hard mode so much as that I'm trying to play the multiplayer co-op game of dating and there's no one on my server. *wry*

I think for me it might be a bit of both? I'm too secular for most religious/"conservative" people but too uninterested in drugs and/or sex for most secular/"liberal" people. (Of course I'm well aware those aren't the only two options, but they are the most common.) But even when I relax my own search criteria to almost nothing, there are still very few people interested.

Kaz wrote:But... mm... I do find "this is really hard for me in a way it isn't for other people" to be potentially dangerous. It doesn't *have* to be, there's ways of treating that fact relatively neutrally, but it can very easily slip into self-pity and thinking that you are somehow uniquely worse off and everyone around you is much luckier than you are. For one, bitterness is not attractive and you can easily slip into a very toxic mindset this way, for another, thinking like that is probably going to be pretty miserable and do you really want to be miserable all the time?
Just addressing the bolded bit: this isn't a choice I get to make. If it were, I'd be a practicing Protestant and fascinated by breasts. (I agree that it's a potentially toxic/histrionic mindset, of course.)

Kaz wrote:Thinking about it, having a healthy self-esteem is probably key in this process. I've gotten myself to the point where I basically like being who I am and wouldn't want to trade with others, so from that point of view it's easy to say "well, the dating pool issue sucks and the disability stuff *really* sucks, but that's just how life is and I'll figure out a way to deal".
Interesting.

I'd give everything I am to be someone else. Razz

Some friends/family have expressed that they're glad I'm me and all that other It's A Wonderful Life bullshit, but why does it have to be me? Couldn't someone else be me instead?)
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Post by Andrew Corvero on Sat May 30, 2015 3:25 pm

Why do girls like assholes? Actually, they don't.

Not in the long term, no (unless they get into a dysfunctional relationship, of which sadly there are many).

In the short term, though, even an asshole can get a lot of sex if they're attractive and charming. That's because they are attractive and charming, though, not because they're assholes. Their good superficial qualities can attract some people, but in the long run they either end up alone or (sometimes) become abusers in a dysfunctional relationship.

This is also true for women: attractive women who have a nasty personality may attract a lot of people, but who would want to be with them for more than a little time?

In my humble opinion the genuine assholes are the ones who treat people like crap and do not care about other person's feelings. Some of them are successful at dating.

I actually think that the idea of having sex just for the sake of adding a notch to your bedpost, while not caring about the feelings of the person you're having sex with is by itself pretty assholish.

Don't get me wrong, sex can be great, and I have nothing against people who only want sex from their relationships. If they're not assholes, though, they still care about the person they're having sex with as a person. I'm not saying that they have to be in love or even friends with their sexual partners, but some consideration for their emotions and a basic respect for their humanity is required not to be, you know, assholes.

Some people can be complete assholes and still have a lot of sex, but if they're truly assholes I don't think that they leave a string of satisfied, happy people in their wake.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Sat May 30, 2015 3:30 pm

Andrew Corvero wrote:
Why do girls like assholes? Actually, they don't.

Not in the long term, no (unless they get into a dysfunctional relationship, of which sadly there are many).

In the short term, though, even an asshole can get a lot of sex if they're attractive and charming. That's because they are attractive and charming, though, not because they're assholes. Their good superficial qualities can attract some people, but in the long run they either end up alone or (sometimes) become abusers in a dysfunctional relationship.

This is also true for women: attractive women who have a nasty personality may attract a lot of people, but who would want to be with them for more than a little time?

In my humble opinion the genuine assholes are the ones who treat people like crap and do not care about other person's feelings. Some of them are successful at dating.

I actually think that the idea of having sex just for the sake of adding a notch to your bedpost, while not caring about the feelings of the person you're having sex with is by itself pretty assholish.

Don't get me wrong, sex can be great, and I have nothing against people who only want sex from their relationships. If they're not assholes, though, they still care about the person they're having sex with as a person. I'm not saying that they have to be in love or even friends with their sexual partners, but some consideration for their emotions and a basic respect for their humanity is required not to be, you know, assholes.

Some people can be complete assholes and still have a lot of sex, but if they're truly assholes I don't think that they leave a string of satisfied, happy people in their wake.

I could be wrong, but I think his point was going to be that some women have trouble finding suitable partners as well, and the dudes who find them tend to be asshole types. Given the (appearance of a) choice between Date The Asshole and Be Forever Alone, some of those will try to suck it up and do the former.
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Post by PintsizeBro on Sat May 30, 2015 4:04 pm

It can actually go a lot of ways, which isn't helpful to anyone reading my post. Razz

Andrew isn't wrong. There are charming, attractive assholes (both men and women) who are good at attracting people initially, but drive them away pretty quickly with their behavior.

You're not wrong either, n_t. Women who are afraid of being Forever Alone might settle for guys who treat them badly because they think they aren't good enough to attract guys who treat them well.

But the perspective that I remember the most is that it's really easy to judge someone when you don't know very much about them. Doubly so if it reinforces something you already believe about the world and how it works. If you believe that women like assholes, when you see a man who's successful with women, you're going to look for reasons to believe he's an asshole.

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Post by Kaz on Sat May 30, 2015 7:39 pm

MapWater wrote:
Kaz wrote:So I like to balance "this is harder for me than it is for other people" out with reminding myself that there are things that come easier to me than to other people, that I've been really lucky in certain aspects of my life, etc. I also forbid myself from making comparisons like "well I'd rather be good at X thing I'm not than Y thing I am" because I have no real way of judging what *not* being good at Y thing would be like and what kind of toll it'd take on me. I have l33t maths skills that many people are jealous of - end of sentence.

I think the only factor that might put this logic off balance is that dating and many, many, many facets of human existence rely on having good social skills. It's far more important a skill than, say, being good with computers and networks to use a personal example. I'd probably trade social skills for computer skills because social skills can get you many more places in life beyond even dating than knowing how to plan a effective and efficient computer network. I'd trade the skills simply to not feel 24/7 awkward, honestly.

I suspect you're underestimating how many underlying abilities there can be when it comes to something like "building an effective and efficient computer network". I'm pretty sure my maths skillz involve basic things like pattern recognition and being able to think in certain logical ways, dissect problems into their components, a lot of really basic skills those of us good at it don't even think about but where losing them would be a real handicap.

But really, I'm casting my net wider. Sure, social skills are very important. But then there's stuff like - I'm lucky to be well-off, of an upper-middle/lower-upper class background. I'm lucky to have been able to go to college for not just one but three degrees. I'm so lucky to have a loving and supportive family. I'm lucky to not be dealing with any sort of chronic pain condition or serious illness. I'm lucky to experience dysphoria only to a very mild degree most of the time despite being trans*. Etc. These things are *also* important. I may have all the problems dating, I may seriously struggle to actually function the way our society expects an adult to thanks to autism which is freaking *terrifying*, but when I step back it's - not that bad, could be worse, can be grateful for the shit I don't deal with and the luck I've had.

reboot wrote:One thing that helps me to keep myself from feeling uniquely disadvantaged is to remember that I have no idea what mode any person I see out and about is playing. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing someone who has what you want and assuming it was easy for them to get.

For example, I have a friend who is quite beautiful and has a easygoing, natural looking social grace about her. She also has rheumatoid arthritis, chronic depression and struggles with suicidal ideation Looking at her and her relationship history if I did not know her, it would be easy to think she was playing on easy mode. But since I know her and her situation, I know that nothing has come easy for her.

I think this is really what I was trying to get at and didn't entirely manage. It's not that you tell yourself there are good things in your life so you're not allowed to complain. It's that your life most likely doesn't *uniquely* suck. That all around you there are people dealing with things you couldn't even dream of - just as you might be dealing with things they can't dream of. That in the end, you're just another human trying to do the best you can with this messy thing called life, the same as anyone else.

nearly_takuan wrote:
Kaz wrote:I'm not sure I'd say I'm playing dating on hard mode so much as that I'm trying to play the multiplayer co-op game of dating and there's no one on my server. *wry*

I think for me it might be a bit of both? I'm too secular for most religious/"conservative" people but too uninterested in drugs and/or sex for most secular/"liberal" people. (Of course I'm well aware those aren't the only two options, but they are the most common.) But even when I relax my own search criteria to almost nothing, there are still very few people interested.

Tell me about it... I'm ace myself, extremely sex-averse, pretty *touch*-averse and attracted solely to women. I'm nonbinary/genderqueer of the "please err on the side of female" variety, so my best bet is dating homo/bi/panromantic asexual women... but there's no asexual meetup scene where I live nor where I'm moving to and I found out the hard way that I'm too flaky for online dating and long-distance relationships. I'm pondering trying to date lesbian/bi/pan allosexual women, but I expect "no sex ever and I do mean ever, also probably no kissing and cuddling is unlikely" is going to be a real issue. This is not even touching on potential gender issues.

I mean, there are advantages - the reason I wouldn't say that I'm playing dating on hard mode per se is that I'm pretty sure that if I met a compatible person and knew they were compatible I'd have pretty decent chances from there. Part of that is actually thanks to my sexual/romantic orientation: any hypothetical compatible person will most likely be dealing with the same dating pool issues I am and therefore pretty likely to try and give me a chance, we'd most likely already have a subculture in common, chances are anyone who manages to figure out an asexual identity is at least reasonably introspective and thoughtful in specific ways (which I'd like in a partner), etc. So if my server ever gets populated, I expect things to run reasonably well from there on! Just... that's a very, very big "if". Shrug

Kaz wrote:But... mm... I do find "this is really hard for me in a way it isn't for other people" to be potentially dangerous. It doesn't *have* to be, there's ways of treating that fact relatively neutrally, but it can very easily slip into self-pity and thinking that you are somehow uniquely worse off and everyone around you is much luckier than you are. For one, bitterness is not attractive and you can easily slip into a very toxic mindset this way, for another, thinking like that is probably going to be pretty miserable and do you really want to be miserable all the time?
Just addressing the bolded bit: this isn't a choice I get to make. If it were, I'd be a practicing Protestant and fascinated by breasts. (I agree that it's a potentially toxic/histrionic mindset, of course.)

Kaz wrote:Thinking about it, having a healthy self-esteem is probably key in this process. I've gotten myself to the point where I basically like being who I am and wouldn't want to trade with others, so from that point of view it's easy to say "well, the dating pool issue sucks and the disability stuff *really* sucks, but that's just how life is and I'll figure out a way to deal".
Interesting.

I'd give everything I am to be someone else. Razz

Some friends/family have expressed that they're glad I'm me and all that other It's A Wonderful Life bullshit, but why does it have to be me? Couldn't someone else be me instead?)

To which I can only say... I'm really sorry you feel that way. It sucks. I've been there and it sucks. Most of my teens, if you'd given me three wishes my first one would have been "I want to be a person who likes themselves" - not I want to like myself, I didn't think it was possible for *me* to like myself so I just wanted a whole new personality. Sometimes it feels like a miracle I've managed to develop the self-esteem I have now.

But it wasn't a miracle. It was a lot of hard work and a very good therapist and learning how to think about things and people and myself differently. I'd say it probably took about five-ten years from my lowest point to the point where I'm at now. But I did it. So it's - these feelings don't *have* to be set in stone. They can be extremely difficult to tackle, you might not be able to deal with them effectively on your own, I totally understand and sympathise. But I do really find it sad to see you not just express this sort of self-hatred but treat it as something immutable/reflecting objective reality. Sad

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Post by Andrew Corvero on Sat May 30, 2015 8:10 pm

If you believe that women like assholes, when you see a man who's successful with women, you're going to look for reasons to believe he's an asshole.

It's basically circular reasoning. "Women like assholes. This guy is liked by women. So he must be an asshole, which proves that women like assholes". A classic logical fallacy.

Despite all my hangups and anxieties about relationships luckily enough I've never believed that "women only liked assholes" (probably because I've known more than a few funny, charming, clever and likeable guys who were very successful with women).

I just believed that a very selected few women (one, maybe two or three) could have ever liked me because I was too weird and damaged for "normal people" to handle and I needed someone really special who was willing to put up with me.

Or, at some times, that I was doing something wrong or lacked something but I couldn't understand what (good looks? confidence? emotional stability? the ability to read emotions perfectly?).

I'm trying to challenge these thoughts as well. I know that there's nothing "wrong" with me. I might need to work on my style, or on my confidence or in dealing with my emotions but I'm not "wrong" or "damaged". Not more than others.

I'm also not someone who can only be liked only by one or two women on the entire earth, because that's highly improbable.

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Post by ReploidArmada on Sun May 31, 2015 12:29 am

I wish I had the mental and emotional strength to combat my abject loneliness and despair, but I'm just not there yet... I've worried for a very long time that I'm just someone who's never going to find anyone, and that I'll just have to live out the rest of my life as the unloved, unlovable single virgin that society likes to ridicule all of the time, it seems. I still struggle with feelings of desperation with regards to my complete lack of love life...

I'm *hoping* that, since I'm actually seeing a therapist again, I'll be able to once again start taking small steps down the road towards recovery, and begin working to rebuild my self-esteem, self-image, and my confidence. But, I've been depressed for over eight years now, and even when I was seeing a regular therapist, I had a persistent feeling that this process was going to take years longer. I can't help but see myself in this same situation another five or ten years from now Sad

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Post by jcorozza on Sun May 31, 2015 9:28 am

PintsizeBro wrote:
But the perspective that I remember the most is that it's really easy to judge someone when you don't know very much about them. Doubly so if it reinforces something you already believe about the world and how it works. If you believe that women like assholes, when you see a man who's successful with women, you're going to look for reasons to believe he's an asshole.

I'm just going to save this for every time the "women only date assholes" claim comes up on DNL prime...
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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:01 am

Kaz wrote:To which I can only say... I'm really sorry you feel that way. It sucks. I've been there and it sucks. Most of my teens, if you'd given me three wishes my first one would have been "I want to be a person who likes themselves" - not I want to like myself, I didn't think it was possible for *me* to like myself so I just wanted a whole new personality. Sometimes it feels like a miracle I've managed to develop the self-esteem I have now.

But it wasn't a miracle. It was a lot of hard work and a very good therapist and learning how to think about things and people and myself differently. I'd say it probably took about five-ten years from my lowest point to the point where I'm at now. But I did it. So it's - these feelings don't *have* to be set in stone. They can be extremely difficult to tackle, you might not be able to deal with them effectively on your own, I totally understand and sympathise. But I do really find it sad to see you not just express this sort of self-hatred but treat it as something immutable/reflecting objective reality. Sad

...Huh. Self-hatred is not really what it feels like to me, I guess. It is just knowledge that I don't have anything to offer. Knowledge that took a long time for me to learn, and longer still to recognize. Everyone else just knew automatically. Common sense. Zero potential; no need to think about it or gather more data, it's just plainly obvious from the start. Didn't see it 'cause I'm a dumbass, but I don't hate dumbasses.

Feels like dodging responsibility to say it, and maybe it is, but it's not my fault I'm what I am. Nor anyone else's. What's to hate other than the circumstance? But I do hate that. How you don't is beyond my comprehension today.

"Objective reality" is almost an oxymoron; reality is squishy and messy and horrible, and humans prone to bias and limitations of perspective. Objectivity is impossible. But you can get close. In aggregate all the biases can be reasonably expected to balance each other out. It's the Law of Wikipedia: the opinions of consensus may not truly represent the facts, but they're close enough, often enough. Get enough evidence together, and even a dumbass has to get a clue eventually.

For all I know I only like the idea of having a partner, anyway. How would I know? Maybe it's like Lewis Black with candy corn: you're only curious until you figure out that every observational-humorist has a gripe about an oddly-specific food (or mockery thereof).
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Post by Andrew Corvero on Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:03 am

It is just knowledge that I don't have anything to offer.

I'm sorry, I just don't think this is true.

From what I've read here you seem to be clever, well-spoken, articulated, able of introspection, polite and compassionate. Those are good qualities that not everyone has, and that are of some interest to some people in partners.

From the foundation of those good qualities that you already have I think you'll be able, through time and effort, to improve other qualities too, like a career about something you're passionate about, a good sense of humor (yes, it can be learnt), charm (it can be learnt, too), the ability to respect one other's boundaries, the ability to offer emotional support, to be reliable, etc.

I'm not saying that you'll magically learn these good qualities overnight. It will take time and effort. But I see the potential there for a lot of growth and to cultivate good qualities until you'll feel like you have plenty to offer.

This "knowledge" that you have nothing to offer is simply not true. Everyone has something to offer. Not everyone can be attractive to everyone else, of course, and some people will have a harder time finding someone who can appreciate their good qualities.

But your "knowledge" that you have nothing to offer isn't a real knowledge. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy that holds you back. If you believe that you have nothing to offer you do not find any motivation to show the good qualities that you already have or to improve the ones that you have the potential to improve.

What's to hate other than the circumstance? But I do hate that.

You can hate circumstance and still want to improve, to grow past where the circumstances have brought you.

A man hangs from a tree branch, an abyss under his feet. He's come in that position through a series of circumstances, and he rightfully hates that. It's pretty horrible position: if he slips up only sure death awaits him. He's justified in his hatred of those circumstances.

He also thinks he doesn't have much: he can't move too quickly or the branch will snap and he'll plummet into the abyss, he has no access to a rope, the rock before him doesn't look like he'll be able to get any good foothold to put himself up. It's a pretty desperate situation.

But the man knows that everything is at stake here. His life is on the line. So he slowly swings his feet until he's able to put them against the rock. And then he starts to push himself up. Slowly. Painfully. Fighting his many fears (he might lose his hold on the branch, the branch might break in two, he might lose all of his energy and give up, his fingers may wear out, his feet might wear out, etc.)

We don't know if the man will be able to get back to safety. What we do know is that he has decided not to give up.

To quote a poem by Charles Bukowski:

nobody can save you but
yourself.
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
situations.
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
force
to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly
inside.

nobody can save you but
yourself
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don’t, don’t, don’t.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
being?
do you want to experience
death before death?

nobody can save you but
yourself
and you’re worth saving.
it’s a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.

think about it.
think about saving your self.”

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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:13 pm

Kaz wrote:I suspect you're underestimating how many underlying abilities there can be when it comes to something like "building an effective and efficient computer network". I'm pretty sure my maths skillz involve basic things like pattern recognition and being able to think in certain logical ways, dissect problems into their components, a lot of really basic skills those of us good at it don't even think about but where losing them would be a real handicap.

But really, I'm casting my net wider. Sure, social skills are very important. But then there's stuff like - I'm lucky to be well-off, of an upper-middle/lower-upper class background. I'm lucky to have been able to go to college for not just one but three degrees. I'm so lucky to have a loving and supportive family. I'm lucky to not be dealing with any sort of chronic pain condition or serious illness. I'm lucky to experience dysphoria only to a very mild degree most of the time despite being trans*. Etc. These things are *also* important. I may have all the problems dating, I may seriously struggle to actually function the way our society expects an adult to thanks to autism which is freaking *terrifying*, but when I step back it's - not that bad, could be worse, can be grateful for the shit I don't deal with and the luck I've had.
I've been told I underestimate skills I possess before. I think the people that have told me that are wrong, but let's just say they are right: I'd still prefer the social skills. People don't lie awake at night because they lack pattern recognition or cannot process plans in top-down or bottom-up structure. But I have good reason to believe that they may be a little more hung up on the fact that they feel like when they communicate, nothing feels right or that they can't do something as simple as order take-away or call the doctor without being able to express themselves properly.

It's all fine and well - and certainly more beneficial for most - to think about how they are lucky as opposed to unlucky. However, it just ends up leading me to focus on the specific things that are pretty terrible about myself. You run out of 'lucky' things that aren't just platitudes or extremes. I just don't think me being lucky that I was also born upper-middle class family, for example, makes me feel much better about the fact that talking to people day-to-day is like an exam where you're docked marks for every little flub until you run crying from the examination room.

nearly_takuan wrote:...Huh. Self-hatred is not really what it feels like to me, I guess. It is just knowledge that I don't have anything to offer.
This. I've been questioned before in a similar vein to addressing what I have to offer. Both work-related and to do with relationships. I can never really come up with anything that isn't a lie or a vague non-answer devised simply to escape the questions. I even had a script at one point. I forget the specifics, but it was focused on changing the subject as quickly as possible. But at the same time, it's not 'hate'. It's at best a lack of knowledge and positive introspection (something I don't even fully understand, to be fair) and at worst the truth: I'm just not all that good a product. There's not much, if any, to sell.

nearly_takuan wrote:For all I know I only like the idea of having a partner, anyway.
One of my greatest personal fears is that is that this is true for me. It raises too many obstacles for me to want to even think about. I already feel like a disappointment to my parents that I just don't function correctly - if it's a case that a relationship would end up being some kind of Draconian-level torture for myself and the poor woman that is somehow involved with me, I don't know what I would do. I don't feel like I have the option of 'just trying out' a relationship to see if it would work when I can barely pick-up the phone to call for a fucking pizza. I'll only hurt and disappoint potential SOs.

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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:24 pm

MapWater wrote:People don't lie awake at night because they lack pattern recognition or cannot process plans in top-down or bottom-up structure. But I have good reason to believe that they may be a little more hung up on the fact that they feel like when they communicate, nothing feels right or that they can't do something as simple as order take-away or call the doctor without being able to express themselves properly.

It's all fine and well - and certainly more beneficial for most - to think about how they are lucky as opposed to unlucky. However, it just ends up leading me to focus on the specific things that are pretty terrible about myself. You run out of 'lucky' things that aren't just platitudes or extremes. I just don't think me being lucky that I was also born upper-middle class family, for example, makes me feel much better about the fact that talking to people day-to-day is like an exam where you're docked marks for every little flub until you run crying from the examination room.

I'm not disputing your feelings about this at all, but people DO lie awake at night because they lack that ability. Maybe not directly, but it does happen. There are people who couldn't succeed in school and are working minimum-wage jobs with no way to move up because they lack those kinds of logistical and organizational skills. A lot of them lie awake because they're working 2 jobs and still can't figure out how to make enough to feed their kids and pay rent.

I understand that you don't think that's a fair trade, but there are a lot of folks on the other side who feel the same way -- like the ability to deal well with people doesn't make them feel better about the fact that they come from poverty and don't have job prospects, and they have no time for rest or enjoyment or a social life because their labor isn't viewed as valuable.

Again, I'm not trying to say your feelings about this aren't valid, because they are. But every human being has a tendency to underestimate the value and impact of what we have and overvalue the things we don't have.

I'm not really good at social, either. I have the same feeling that every conversation is an exam, and making phone calls terrifies me. I have to brace myself for every one. But I have the time and space to do that, because my intellectual abilities lets me hold down a job that can feed me and my kids and afford a house in the suburbs. I might be happier if I traded in my abilities with math and logic for social skills. But I might also be terrified and buried under stress and worry, because my salary would be so much lower, and I'd have a harder time navigating things like personal finances "that others find so easy."

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Post by Guest on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:43 pm

ElizaJane wrote:
MapWater wrote:People don't lie awake at night because they lack pattern recognition or cannot process plans in top-down or bottom-up structure. But I have good reason to believe that they may be a little more hung up on the fact that they feel like when they communicate, nothing feels right or that they can't do something as simple as order take-away or call the doctor without being able to express themselves properly.

It's all fine and well - and certainly more beneficial for most - to think about how they are lucky as opposed to unlucky. However, it just ends up leading me to focus on the specific things that are pretty terrible about myself. You run out of 'lucky' things that aren't just platitudes or extremes. I just don't think me being lucky that I was also born upper-middle class family, for example, makes me feel much better about the fact that talking to people day-to-day is like an exam where you're docked marks for every little flub until you run crying from the examination room.

I'm not disputing your feelings about this at all, but people DO lie awake at night because they lack that ability.  Maybe not directly, but it does happen.  There are people who couldn't succeed in school and are working minimum-wage jobs with no way to move up because they lack those kinds of logistical and organizational skills.  A lot of them lie awake because they're working 2 jobs and still can't figure out how to make enough to feed their kids and pay rent.

I understand that you don't think that's a fair trade, but there are a lot of folks on the other side who feel the same way -- like the ability to deal well with people doesn't make them feel better about the fact that they come from poverty and don't have job prospects, and they have no time for rest or enjoyment or a social life because their labor isn't viewed as valuable.

Again, I'm not trying to say your feelings about this aren't valid, because they are.  But every human being has a tendency to underestimate the value and impact of what we have and overvalue the things we don't have.
You're right - it was presumptuous to make that generalisation. Even worse, I mentioned having a proclivity towards that kind of behaviour only a sentence before actually following through with it. Sorry if that offends anyone. I don't want anyone to feel like they can't worry about, well, anything. It's not fair nor true to life.

ElizaJane wrote:I'm not really good at social, either.  I have the same feeling that every conversation is an exam, and making phone calls terrifies me.  I have to brace myself for every one.  But I have the time and space to do that, because my intellectual abilities lets me hold down a job that can feed me and my kids and afford a house in the suburbs.  I might be happier if I traded in my abilities with math and logic for social skills.  But I might also be terrified and buried under stress and worry, because my salary would be so much lower, and I'd have a harder time navigating things like personal finances "that others find so easy."
I guess I'm focusing more on the doors the social skills would open by themselves than the setbacks of whatever I'd lose. Perhaps it's because I grew up around people who made a living out of being smooth talkers and brilliantly calibrated people when it comes to social situations. As intimidating as it was being in that environment when I felt like my foot was permanently lodged in my mouth, I wanted to be those people instead of he social leper I was and am.

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Post by Robjection on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:45 pm

Sounds to me like the bottom line is, the grass is greener on the other side.

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Post by KMR on Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:16 pm

MapWater wrote:I don't feel like I have the option of 'just trying out' a relationship to see if it would work when I can barely pick-up the phone to call for a fucking pizza.

I struggle with seemingly-basic social interactions like this too, but I've also had and maintained romantic relationships. In my case, my social anxieties/awkwardness are situational and context-specific. It's not like I fail at every single facet of every kind of social interaction I've ever been a part of. And it's not necessarily the case that social interactions are a hierarchy where struggling at one type of interaction automatically means failure at others. I find it helpful to break down the different facets of social interaction into ones where I flail versus ones where I can function:

-I'm really awkward around strangers, but I'm more at ease around people I know well or have had at least some previous interaction with.
-I'm extremely nervous and shaky when talking on the phone, but I'm more composed during face-to-face interactions.
-I'm very withdrawn and afraid to speak up when I'm in large groups, but I'm a more active conversationalist in small groups and one-on-one.
-I'm terrible at small talk and various social niceties, but I can have great in-depth conversations on topics that manage to engage me.
-I'm very bad at thinking of questions to ask people and thinking up topics to start conversations, but I have much less of a problem responding to questions/topics that others initiate.
-The first 5-10 minutes of an unfamiliar social interaction are really scary for me, but if I can get through that period, I feel much more comfortable during the remainder of that interaction.
-Interactions with some people always feel awkward and forced, but there are other people whom I just click with and open up really quickly to.

So while my struggles with these aspects of socializing do pose specific challenges for me in certain situations, they're not necessarily prerequisite skills that prevent me from socializing successfully in other contexts. My general difficulty in interacting with strangers doesn't actually say much about my ability to interact with friends and acquaintances, or even other types of strangers with whom I might get along better. Knowing how you react to different kinds of social situations can be useful in giving more specific targets for self-improvement than just "improve social skills," and also in thinking of ways to adjust your environment (whenever possible) to play to your social strengths and minimize your social weaknesses.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:53 pm

Andrew Corvero wrote:
It is just knowledge that I don't have anything to offer.

I'm sorry, I just don't think this is true.

From what I've read here you seem to be clever, well-spoken, articulated, able of introspection, polite and compassionate. Those are good qualities that not everyone has, and that are of some interest to some people in partners.

Thanks, but those are things one offers coworkers, acquaintances, or customers, no?

Andrew Corvero wrote:You can hate circumstance and still want to improve, to grow past where the circumstances have brought you.

So, I know you're trying to be encouraging and stuff, and I don't mean to be ungrateful. But...this is something I have been fighting for a few years and I only ever lose ground. I guess I am just tired now.
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