Friday, December 17, 2010

self-loathing

there are plenty of reasons we don't like/hate other people.  most people don't get along with others because they're different.  they don't fit in some way, they create awkward situations, they're annoying in some way, they don't adhere to similar principles, they are too uptight, they are too easy going, they are too stupid, they are too pretentious, they are overly polite, they are ridiculously rude, they smell/don't have proper hygiene, they're boring, they're too out there, they're crazy, they have terrible taste in music/film/literature/art, they have no ambition, they have too much ambition, etc.

however, sometimes there's a reason that's deeper than all of those that make you feel a certain kind of hatred for someone.  perhaps hatred isn't the word i'm looking for, hatred sometimes implies that you actually care about that person's unwell-being, whereas i'm thinking something more like loathing.  where it's not like a burning hatred, but like an ugh-like feeling.  like the feeling you get when you get up for bed and get ready to go outside in freezing weather to go out for the day for work or whatever.



growing up, there was a phase of my life where after years of introversion, i taught myself social norms.  i won't get into the reasons for the sudden decision to do so, but i will say that it did reinforce the fact to me that insecurity isn't only particular to the "uncool", but manifested in different ways.  throughout the process, there were growing pains for sure, but i luckily had friends that were positioned to help me along the way, and were eager to do so once i sought out their aid.  i consider myself to be a rapid adapter and improviser to various circumstances, and i was able to put on an almost completely different persona in a pretty short period of time.  i suppose this was my very first experience as an "actor".

there was another kid however, who was also a bit awkward.  he reminded me a lot of himself, in pushing to be socially acceptable.  unfortunately, he was doing it "all wrong".  he didn't have the advantages or support group that i had, and was doomed to failure from the get go.  i saw a lot of myself in him and was turned off.  i would sometimes think to myself, "ugh, you can't do that man.  you're trying too hard."  part of me hated the idiots who humored him by making him believe that they accepted him when they were actually just keeping him around for their amusement, laughing at him behind his back.  but another part of me loathed him because he was showing traits that reflected how i was in his position, what i saw as weak and stupid.  i would not humor him in the same way that others did, but i didn't help him along either, partly because i thought he should figure it out on his own, and partly because i thought he may have been a lost cause in that regard.  because of that, he saw me as an enemy, someone who was "hindering" his progress to becoming "cool".



thinking about it now, i regret my actions; i probably should have reached out, but i didn't want to because i hated what i saw of myself in him.  sometimes, whatever weakness or struggles that we have, we magnify in others and criticize them more harshly for it, whether they deserve it or not.  we think that because we have overcome them, they have no excuse for struggling through them.  but the truth is, we are the most specialized in helping those people.

other times, we see ourselves in other people, and see those same struggles.  and desperately want to save them from it, as if doing so would redeem our own mistakes.

i wonder what triggers the difference.

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