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NeantHumain
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13 Aug 2005, 12:49 am

I have often thought about my way of approaching the world. I know I have some character flaws: I'm kind of lazy; I'm a little self-indulgent; I become bored easily; I tend to take mild setbacks and frustration for failure; and I have troubling motivating myself and persisting towards goals; and, once I strongly desire something, I can't stop that desire until it's met; and I am quick to conclude people dislike me. I have been described as shy, goofy, uptight, immature, and serious all the time. Intellectually, I am constantly feeding myself knowledge; and, creatively, I often come up with original ideas. My raw intelligence is advanced, but my personality leaves so much to be desired.

Personality matures through the problems encountered in daily life. Everyone is sensitive, to varying extents, to rewards (impulsives) and punishments (anxieties). When a person consistently feels rewarded for persisting in achieving goals through sensual pleasure, social acknowledgment, and resolved anxieties, they develop a healthy sense of confidence in themselves. They learn to adapt themselves to future rewards and develop coping strategies and emotional states to keep them on task. When they experience overwhelming anxiety, they only develop avoidant coping mechanisms. When they accomplish tasks without feeling pleasure, they are conditioned to avoid making the effort in the first place and may rationalize withdrawal and other self-defeating strategies. They receive few stimuli to push personality development to a higher level of maturity and thus remain near an infantile state of psychological development.

Sensitivity to reward that has not been able to mature results in impulsivity and addiction. Sensitivity to anxiety leads to social minimalization. A person with a predisposition to volatile emotionality will, even under these conditions, probably have experienced a variety of emotions of varying intensity. This will, at least, give them some basis to develop empathy with what little rewarding social interactions they do get. This may only lead them to understand the depth of their problem more crushingly.



jb814
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13 Aug 2005, 11:15 am

Are you rewarded by social acknowledgement? I can take it or leave it myself as I usually find it patronising. I got the feeling you'd seen my case notes.



adversarial
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13 Aug 2005, 6:18 pm

I spent some time being forcibly 'acculterated' to engaging with social validation and I carried this fallacy with me for a long, long time. I never succeeded in the medium-to-long term in obtaining social validation and 21 years or so later, I finally think I understand why. I seriously did try to achieve it; I thought that it would answer some central questions to my life (feelings of alienation, not really 'belonging' and all the rest of it), but it was simply too big task to manage while trying to do other things.

I was not really 'designed' to need validation through the usual social mechanisms, because I lack the skill or personality formation to do so. This could be considered a 'defect'; it probably is.

There is certainly evidence of weakness on my part in allowing myself to be conditioned into thinking I need it, but 4 1/2 years of such influence will take its toll.



Sarcastic_Name
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13 Aug 2005, 7:58 pm

I gave up on social acceptance two years ago. It was the beginning of my constant depression, but at least I was honest with myself in admitting it's a waste of my time. I can socialize, but validation is something I'd only expect from a girlfriend. I hope I'm not mis-using that word.


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13 Aug 2005, 8:13 pm

I think setting up too high of expectations can more or less guarantee one of failure. And black and white thinking can keep one calling many situations "failures" when still something can be gleaned from them. I like to think of it as a Chess move: even when you have to retreat, always attack-- so that in essence, it isn't a wasted move.

Neant, have you ever considered some kind of social skills training or something of the like? (When I had my assessment at Judevine, they suggested this for me as well.) :)


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animallover
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13 Aug 2005, 8:43 pm

I find I can be socilable, but it is so much work - I'd rather sit at home and watch the weather channel . . . I get no enjoyment out of it whatsoever . . .



CockneyRebel
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13 Aug 2005, 10:32 pm

I wonder if that's why I feel the need to look and act like Austin Powers.