Monday, September 24, 2007

The boomerang effect.

I am discussing my issues with a shrink and it all comes around the idea that everything should and should not make sense at the same time. No,. this is actually my idea. Together we came into the conclusion that the fact how deadly seriously (or accurately) I take things is the most serious problem here. And I do agree with that. I already know that. I just need something to persuade myself to act different (see one of my previous posts) and while most other people would JUST act without asking, I needed a whole analysis on how everything balances in thin air, a whole justification that it's ok to pretend and not take someone's words and critics too hard but even act like you listen to him or say something pretentious to show you somehow agree yet his logic do not match to your case or even try to disagree as a game but not taken seriously, even let a second mind analyze your discussions and his/your reactions to your little fake game. It's even fun to think it like this, ironic my brother would say. Anyways, this is a game I already started playing especially towards the people who annoy me with their presence (as I can't struggle trying to be honest with them anymore, they won't listen really) and perhaps I will still be honest with true friends. Yet, here I am honest for all of you (because it's a blog of my thoughts that just come in my head) and even more honest by announcing to you that I will become more pretendious and less real in social situations, especially against those cases of people and conditions which normally make me struggle. Oh yes, I will be a shameless actor and it's fun, really fun!

Thus I still have this feeling that things are serious and not serious at the same time. And I am one of the few still being hurt by trying to make a sense out of all these. For most people there is no time for caring but they wouldn't show that. They would pretend they are also caring as I seem I am pretending too. Because I thought that what I see in other people and think I don't have it, I may still show it or may have it too as it's natural. It's natural to care more about yourself and only make the sense or pretend making speaking of sense (logoi?) that matches what makes you feel good, not what is definitelly there. So maybe I am just pretending and don't know it or maybe it seems to the others that I am pretending. But why do I care about what others see upon me. Do they ever tell me? What matters more? What if at that moment feel fine with what I am or what do I pretend? What if everything makes the perfect sense to me and I try to place a sense to every thing, the right and the wrong ones (who could tell what is right or wrong anyways?). Isn't that people do? The difference that I tried to be far too critical, far too precise, concerning my choice of what is right and what is wrong.

And they tell me about grey. Grey is popular. Everyone talks about grey. So I already knew about grey before people telling me. It's a catch up phrase to say that not everything is black and white but there is grey too. But who defines grey? Who defines what's right, wrong, too much, too few, who defines balance?

So balance would be to be not that much serious yet not extremely funny. Funny, I mean unserious, not caring, indifferent, reckless. The other side. People talk about sides and that there needs to be balance. Well, I think this balance (at least concerning my case) is too thin. I know now! For people who take things seriously and ideas accurately, everything must make a perfect sense. The balance is thin. One little step and everything is wrong. And sometimes I see contradictions. For some other people, whatever they like is the balance and everything they dislike should be criticise as extreme. But it's easy for them to not see their inaccuracy and lightly believe and feel everything is alright under their own logic and they even work fine in their case. In their case I would easilly see my blatant mistakes and blame myself. But that's overanalyzing and criticising every side of my life. My shrink says it's like every day in my life I give exams about my life and every way I act/everything I do. It's a very nice and accurate analogy I think.

So, let's return to the contradiction. For me, balance is like two opposite forces dragging me. I even visualised that oneday in my mind (and thought of something I'd like to paint one day in my computer, two angels of opposite philosophies dragging me from both sides and me not being able to decide whom to throw down and where to go. Crazy!). There are many cases where we say that A brings B and B brings A or A and B have their possitive and negative sides and someone need to get the best from both. And that drives people to converge into the popular "Pan Metron Ariston" which for some reasons I dislike, not because I am extreme and they are balanced, but because it's too general and people can use it and think everything is fine with them and yet at the same time using this overrated ancient greek proverb to criticise me for being on the edge.

A brings B and B brings A. Personal example. If I think it too much that I MUST do something, if I am oppresive with myself and fear of negative results, it won't work. I will get anxious and not function properly, thus producing what my anxiety wanted me to avoid. E.g. I should be social, I should be calm, yet by thinking that I SHOULD be calm, I become anxious and am not calm. A dead end. A vicious circle. I think we all know the classical phenomenon. I also call it the boomerang effect. Also we said I should stop being as serious. What happens here is I get anxious about not succeeding in being less serious, so I become more serious about becoming less serious. Crazy!

I become more serious about achieving my goal to become less serious. So I am still more serious. What to do. Ignore becoming less serious. Stop caring about the results. Easy to say but hard to do. In some other cases there is me not trusting myself of letting me go with the flow. I mean,. I have seen another case where I need to do programming work on my computer. But I am lazy and surf the net or play some games instead! Yet I am anxious that for yet another day I won't work on my programming job but instead be seduced to play some nifty new games because it's nicer than coding. So I get serious about my programming job. Yet when I am getting too serious it's a struggle and so starting to work becomes a more struggling idea and it's even more struggling that I will not do that and play games instead. A crazy vicious circle! So one solution is to just let myself do the lazy stuff instead (inet, games, etc), to willingly select to not work for today and relax, because that anxiety about working is what drives me to not work. The anxiety about doing A has the exactly opposite results to not do A. Boomerang. Yet, I have another anxiety there. That if I leave myself to play and do fun stuff for the pretense that I need to relax so that I have more mood to work, maybe the same will happen tomorrow and after tomorrow. Yet another vicious circle! And I float around these things or these things float in my mind and so I am always anxious when I sit down to work on something creative.

How can someone escape from this dead end?

There are two primary solutions I know:

  • Starting is everything. My fear/anxiety of not starting working on something makes the situation so unbearable that works as a boomerang effect and I will never start actually working and as long as I see that I didn't start, I will think that the same thing will happen the next day and will be dissapointed even more that I will be fed up of thinking about working so that I will avoid working. To break this cycle I should shadow these feelings and JUST DO IT! If you don't, the unfinished job will still be there annoying your mind. Just finish the damn thing!

  • Just do exactly the opposite of what your anxiety says (this is similar to the technique for fighting the struggle of OCD compulsions). Is it the anxiety that you won't work on your programming projects but instead being seduced to play some nifty new games on your PC? Just allow yourself to not work and play games for a day or two without caring much. Relax and forget everything! Your problem is not really a problem. When you take it seriously it becomes a problem and your anxiety has the exactly opposite effect of what it's supposed to fight. So just pretend it doesn't matter you and even do the opposite to break the cycle.

The 1st solution reminds me of obsessions followed by compulsions. I must work, I must work, I am not working enough, I am not productive enough, I wasn't good enough. It's what works wrong in extreme doses of anxiety and produces the opposite effects. Sometimes it works for an instant but doesn't kill the cycle of anxiety. If I finish my first computer project, I will start making plans for another one, yet oppresing myself to JUST DO IT for another damn time. The problem is solved only temporarly.

The 2nd solution is something to be taken with patience and self-trust, because your first thought is "But if in that problem I just allow myself to not work and play, then I will do the same thing the next day and the day after tomorrow and after three days I will see I haven't worked and become anxious again and even more anxious than if I had JUST DONE IT!". Something scares you away from this sollution because if it doesn't work, you've just lost another 3 days of productivity.

Personally I have tried both solution. I understand the logic of both. I understand why both sound good and perfect yet both make no sense at the end because of their flaws and my thoughts bouncing from one to the other. Lately, I do some mixed shit, like both having open a compiler (for programming/work) and the net and working for few minutes, switching to browsing the net, switching to playing some game, switching back to working, not the best but sometimes worked. Because I feel I both relaxed and done a small portion of work instead of nothing. Though it feels mixed.

It feels like a dead end in the thing people call balance which is for me a very thin line I have to balance on. I can't find that balance everyone talks about but noone really cares about. Maybe I just shouldn't care too and enjoy the moment no matter if it's right or wrong or grey or anything. And pretend it's the right thing for me if anyone asks me!

I have discovered that I am defined by two personalities. A deadly serious and perfectionist self yet a funny, simply crazy and unorganized fellow. And they usually are in a conflict.


glenn said...

Με είχες ρωτήσει κάτι πριν μερικές μέρες. Στείλε μου π.μ. για να σου πω.

synas said...

Άσχετο, αλλά έχεις κατά λάθος συνδέσει τη διεύθυνση της debby με το όνομα Παράγραφος.

Optimus said...

Ω ναι, μάλλον γιατί το blog της κάποτε λεγόταν "Παράγραφος" αλλά αυτό έχει αλλάξει πια (βάζω συνήθως τα ονόματα των blogs στα links και όχι των συγραφέων).

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