Saturday, March 24, 2007

LOOK AT YOURSELF

I came across something of a revelation in thought recently. It's not something entirely new to me, I first came across it about 2 years ago; a book claiming that social anxiety is the product of an increased ability to think of yourself in terms of the third person. An interesting hypothesis I thought at the time, and one that could be partially true, but it was nothing more than free-flowing thoughts making their way around my mind without any real depth of knowledge, experience or inclination. So that is what it remained, an incomplete thought that I could possibly explore further when then new peaces reveled themselves.

Then something happened. I wish, for the life of me, I could remember what it was, but I can't. Maybe I was reading a book, or maybe it was some kind of social experience, or maybe God came down from Heaven and said 'Mico. I come forth, with a great treasure. You are to hold the secret of social anxiety as I present it to thou.' I'm pretty sure the latter didn't happen, and neither am I going to claim to hold the secret to social anxiety, but somewhere in the past couple of months I was suddenly overcome by an understanding that I never previously possesed. It was the understanding, that for my entire life, I have been acting not for myself, but for the image of myself. The image that I perceive others to hold. An image from a third person viewpoint.

I have no idea what I'm talking about. My thoughts come in waves, rippling through my body like a tidal emotion. I long for them to speak to me, but they don't. Instead, I feel them. The choice to decipher these thoughts is left up to me, and if you bare with me, then that is what I'm going to attempt to do now.

You see, when you perceive yourself in the third person, looking at yourself from an external viewpoint, the viewpoint of your peers, your enemies, your Gods, or whoever, you are encouraging the idea that you are acting to please. 'Acting' and 'please' are two important words here. From this viewpoint you can only do right if the audience is approving. But what happened to your own approval? And this is exactly where self-esteem comes in! You need to be able to stand there and approve of your own actions. Anytime you give that decision over to someone else, you're giving them all the power you have and you leave yourself with nothng.

The truth is, it's OK to be wrong. It's OK if someone dissaproves of your actions, so long as you approve of them. Take yourself away from the third person and ask yourself, what do you want. Refrain from asking yourself 'what would look cool?', or 'will my friends approve of this?'. Ask yourself 'what do I want?.' It's not selfish. And neither is it uncool. In fact you'll find it to be the exact opposite. Individuality and the confidence to display it is an extremely attractive quality. If you have strong opinions, or act in ways that some people find offensive, some people will hate you. But so what? People will hate you anyway for being whatever way you are. Everyone is hated by someone.

Wow, struggle is the word of the day. This isn't a good attempt at getting this one out of my head and into an understandable language. I obviously need to go away and think about this one, but I thought I'd lay the seed for thought. What you sow, you reap.

What do you want.

Oh, and wait. Just so happens that I was reading an article this very morning relating nicely to this subject. Check it out at Violent Acres.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kirk said...

Yeah, I've read about his, people assume a persona, a false self, which they act out, masking their true selves. I've also been trying to cultivate a 'fuck you' attitude that lets me at least function in public without anxiety, building a wall between me and others that gives me some freedom to act without outside approval. But behaving exactly as you like might be very eccentric, you don't really know how others might perceive your 'oddities', it depends how truely introverted and 'careless' you are willing to be, despite everything.

I often wish I was the master of my own actions and thoughts but I feel like I answer to others in everything I do. It's very difficult to snub your nose at public opinion and go completely on your own path. Being your own judge is a true kind of freedom but you invite strong resistance aswell, which is not good if you're sensitive.

I also have trouble 'letting go' and letting things happen as they may, as if I have to try and control the near future to gain any sense of security...

4:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say, I clicked the link over from the forums and I like your blog. You're very intelligent. I also like the song it's named after!

11:37 am  

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