Good morning, my dear loyal reader! I hope you are having an amazing hump day! Do you have anyone to hump? If not, my inbox is always open! I kid, of course. I know all my wonderful readers are getting lucky on this chilly Wednesday!
In a recent post, I mentioned that conversations have been getting deeper for me as of late. I’m still enjoying that, but I had a strange realization about perception during a talk with a friend recently and I wanted to share it with you all and see what you think.
While my usual writing style is fairly goofy and full of jokes, I expect this to be a bit more serious and subdued, so if you’re looking for jokes and humor, there’s a chance you’ll be disappointed. But better that your disappointed by a blog than in bed, right?
Last joke. I promise.
I follow a simple philosophy that perception creates our reality. If you truly think something, truly believe it, then whatever it is that you put that faith into is real. Even if it’s only real to you, it’s real.
If you truly believe that there were once giant pink dragons that ruled the sky and we never found their bones because they floated away, then that is exactly what happened. Me (or anyone else) saying differently does not change that it is real to you.
DISCLAIMER: This entire concept may also be used to look at religion as well, but that’s not where I am going to be taking this post. I dislike discussing religion in an open forum because it can be too easy to offend someone by mistake and I never want someone to be hurt or upset by my words or actions. So any parallels that can be drawn are purely coincidental.
Unless you truly believe I’m making those connections on purpose, in which your perception breeds your reality. Hmm…
In my mind, humanity has infinite power to create. But we do not have the power to destroy something someone else has made. All we can do is change it. Yes, shattering a glass changes it to a very large degree. But to someone with the right mindset, all you did was create something new and opened new possibilities of something that was once just a drinking device.
But even destruction is not where I am going with this philosophical meandering. I got lost on a tangent. You know how I am.
We have endless capacity to create in this world. What we truly think and perceive is what we live. The concept of the world being a prison of our own making is quite fitting actually. If you see the world as a cold heartless place with no comfort or solace, then you are living in that hell. If you see it as a warm happy place full of love and joy, I want some of whatever you’re smoking. But also, it is those things. To you.
It goes deeper than just a simple glass half full or glass half empty concept of optimism and pessimism. I’m an optimistic person. I try to see the good in people, in myself, in the world. But I truly believe that there is very little good to be found. So it isn’t a direct comparison.
Where am I going with all of this rambling, you may ask. And it would be fair to ask because there’s a chance none of this has made any sense and you’re sitting there wondering why I’m drunk at 7:30 on a Wednesday morning. I’m not, but you could be excused for thinking so.
Where I’m going with this is somewhere personal for a lot of people. I’m going to call out a behavior that many people are guilty of, including myself. It’s not inherently a bad behavior, however. But it can be if someone does it for personal gain, much like most things.
One of my friends is struggling with a lot of self esteem issues right now. She doesn’t think she is attractive, she doesn’t think she is worthy of friendship, or anything good, of life itself at times.
And she’s not.
Because that is the reality that she has built for herself.
I personally think she is a very pretty young woman, and she can be kind and caring and a great friend. I think she deserves the best things in life.
And she does.
Because that is the reality that I have created.
Where we run into issues is when those concepts clash. I’ve tried to be a good friend and reassure her that she’s a good person. I’ve told her that she’s pretty and any man would be lucky to have her. I’ve told her that the world is hard and she’s doing her best in it.
But nothing I can say will ever shatter the reality she’s in. Because I can’t destroy anything. I can’t break her perception. Her reality is her prison.
And that sounds very ominous. But it doesn’t have to be, right? The problem is that there are no words that I can put together in any order that will ever change her mind. I can talk until I’m blue in the face and she will still say she’s not worth my effort.
Yet I still try, because that’s what friends do, right? We try to change our disheartened companions mind, try to persuade them to just abandon the negative thoughts and feelings because we don’t want them to be sad or suffering. In a way, it’s noble.
In reality, it’s futile.
I have seen many posts on this very site where a person (usually a female) is being hard on themselves. “My butts too big.” “My boobs are too small.” “I hate that I have glasses.” So many times women have said these types of things. And it never fails, majority of the comments to these posts are “You are beautiful, you shouldn’t have those thoughts.” “Your tits look great! Don’t be stupid!” “Glasses are hot, what are you talking about?”
Yes, men have these posts too, seemingly less often. Something about men not wanting to expose their self doubts and stuff I suppose, and rarely do women flock to those posts in droves to compliment the poor guy like men seem to do for a girl.
Call it a White Knight Complex. We want to step up and help make you feel better! That’s noble on the face of it. Some men want to do it so they can turn it into something manipulative. Much less noble. But it never fails.
And it never works.
Nothing you say, LITERALLY NOTHING, will change her mind. In her opinion, she has a flat ass, small tits, and dorky glasses. That is her reality, her truth, her world. No words, or even actions for that matter will change how she feels about that.
What will change is that she will start to push away those who go against her reality. And who can blame her? Why would your opinions about HER be more valid than her own? There is no world where they are. So she withdraws and the thoughts continue.
Maybe we need a new approach. Instead of trying to replace her reality with your own (especially when you don’t even know this person and are just being a “nice” guy online), we can just not do that?
I don’t know the answer. Maybe there isn’t one. Or maybe there is and I’m just not smart enough to see it. That’s very possible.
Is validating their issues a good approach? It doesn’t feel like it, in most cases.
“I have a flat ass and saggy tits!”
“You sure do. Wanna get tacos?”
That seems like a bad way to do it. You may get beat, and rightfully so. Now, if this is a spouse or partner and they have these issues, you can work with it a bit more I think.
”I have a flat ass and saggy tits!”
”I know you don’t like things about your body, but I still love you for who you are.”
Thats better, but still not perfect. And not something you can say to random strangers without fear of getting the pepper spray.
It feels weird to write all of this without offering some type of actual solution. Hell, if you know the answer, reader, please enlighten me. Because I’m at a loss.
But I wanted to bring it up because it’s on my mind and I’m trying to figure out how to help people. And also because it’s something I see all the time. And something I’ve done in the past. So I’m trying to figure out how to make the world better without overwriting your reality and replacing it with my own.
And of course men will always try to use flattery and compliments, sometimes even outright disregard a persons thoughts in an attempt to make them feel better, get a response, get their dick wet, or whatever their motive is.
And that is the unfortunate part of this philosophy.
They won’t change. Because their perception shows them being noble and in the right, so they don’t need to. And no one will ever convince them otherwise.
Interesting concepts for an early morning. Hit me with your thoughts, reader! Am I onto something here? Am I full of shit and way off base? How do you handle friends with those types of self esteem issues? And does it work?