Monthly Archives: March 2012

Irritation at inauthenticity

One aspect of getting to know someone well is getting to see their inauthenticity – getting to see the difference between how they appear to present themselves to others publically and how they actually appear to be with you ‘privately’- on the many occasions you have met them. This can occasionally express itself as a feeling of irritation towards them.

Its interesting to ask ourselves what is under this feeling of irritation. It may be that the irritation is caused by that person not appearing to fit with a certain belief we have, perhaps a belief that goes something like this: “You should be authentic at all times and in all places”.

But why should we impose this belief on our friend or lover? Isn’t up to them how they behave? Besides, if we did not have this belief – perhaps we wouldn’t get so irritated.


Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Observation


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Sita Sings the Blues

Review by Metacritic –  Metascore 94/100


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Why do we feel vulnerable? How did vulnerability evolve? Questioning beyond Brené Brown’s TED talk

Brené Browns talk on vulnerability now has over 3.5 million hits, making it one of the most frequently viewed talks on TED.

One of my passions for years has been trying to understand what it is that is actually open to being ‘hurt’ when we are emotionally ‘vulnerable’. Its clearly not our physical bodies we are talking about – so WHAT is it?

Many psychologists say its our ‘self-image’ that is hurt in these situations. But think about that a second. How can you HURT an ‘abstract’ concept like a ‘self-image’?

“People are so accustomed to reacting to threats to their self-image that they rarely stop to consider how odd it is to regard their mental image of themselves as something that can be damaged by another person’s inconsiderate behavior or disparaging remark.” (Mark Leary – The Analogue-I and the Analogue-me, 2009)

It seems that somehow during evolution or during our childhood years we learned to experience emotional ‘hurt’ to our self-image, almost as if it were physical hurt to our body. How might this have happened? (Some speculations here.)

When this realisation is made – that our ‘selves’ are NOT a solid body but rather a very much ‘unsolid’ abstract thing – then perhaps we can experience emotional ‘hurt’ in a different type of way e.g.:

“Someone says something to you that is rude or designed to hurt. Instead of going into unconscious reaction and negativity, such as attack, defense, or withdrawal, you let it pass right through you. Offer no resistance. It is as if there is nobody there to get hurt anymore. That is forgiveness. In this way you become invulnerable” (Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now, 1997).

Synopsis of TED Talk by Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

TEDxKC talk synopsis: In our anxious world, we often protect ourselves by closing off parts of our lives that leave us feeling most vulnerable. Yet invulnerability has a price. When we knowingly or unknowingly numb ourselves to what we sense threatens us, we sacrifice an essential tool for navigating uncertain times — joy. This talk will explore how and why fear and collective scarcity has profoundly dangerous consequences on how we live, love, parent, work and engage in relationships — and how simple acts can restore our sense of purpose and meaning.


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Why does a guy who looks mature and caring turn out to be immature and cold? [Or: Why are men assholes?]

[My answer to a friend’s question]

Say a guy is immature and cold to a woman he has met – perhaps after they have had sex or been ‘intimate’ in some way (I’ll use the expression ‘have sex’ – but it might be ‘less’ than that).

Why might the guy behave in this way?

Here are some possible reasons:

i) Perhaps the guy was trying to deceive the woman: He behaved in a mature and caring way SO that he could have sex with her. Perhaps he believes that if he just sleeps with her, he will be happier (for a little longer than it takes to have an orgasm). Or perhaps he believes it will boost his self-esteem. Or perhaps he likes controlling or ‘conquering’ woman in some way.

ii) Perhaps the guy actually genuinely thought he was interested in the woman he was with (or wanted to believe he was) – but actually – he mostly only had sexual desire for her. Then – after sex – he suddenly realised he was mainly only interested in her sexually. In this case the guy was “deceived by his own desire.”
This could happen e.g. if a guy allows his sexual desire to ‘magnify’ other aspects of a woman’s character/personality – such that the guy becomes convinced that he likes many more aspects of the woman than he would do if he was not ‘horny’. For example – he might find what she says ‘interesting’ when he is horny even though he may not if he were to meet her when he is not so horny. Another case might be if the guy is quite moralistic or religious – he may not be willing to admit to himself that he is ‘only’ or ‘mostly’ interested in a woman sexually and so he might want to convince himself that ‘more’ than just sexual attraction exists, by ‘pretending’ to himself that he is interested in other things about her too (apart from her body). Unfortunately – he only realises that he wasn’t so interested after all – AFTER they have had sex.

iii) Perhaps the guy genuinely liked the woman at the beginning – but later he found things out about her that he did not like – and so he then seemed to change his behaviour to being immature and cold. For example, he may have found out that she was quite racist or narrow-minded and/or that she simply had very different opinions from him about things that were important to him.

iv) Perhaps the guy IS mature and caring most of the time– but there are certain unconscious interpersonal or situational triggers that cause him to ‘react’ in quite an immature way – and he has no control over these.

v) Perhaps the woman initially idealised the guy – and THOUGHT he was mature and caring and later – when she saw things more clearly – found out that he REALLY was actually immature and cold.

vi) Perhaps the woman liked the guy a lot and was interested in a serious relationship but actually pretended to him that she was more interested in just ‘having fun/sex’ in order to ‘attract’ him to her (i.e. SHE deceived him). The guy may have thought that she genuinely was interested in just having fun/sex, but later became quite confused/shocked/annoyed when she started behaving in a more ‘serious’ way with him.

vii) Perhaps the woman tried to convince herself that she was just interested in ‘having sex/fun’ even though she was actually interested in something more ‘serious’ (perhaps because of pressure from friends/society to behave in this way). And she presented herself this way to the guy and they did have sex. Later – when she is communicating with the guy – she behaves in a ‘serious’ way with him – and forgets that she initially gave him the impression that she just wanted to have fun/sex. The guy gets confused and starts acting immature and cold.
…. And there are probably many other possibilities …

* Note – everything could be ‘reversed’ by gender above – I am just following the ‘stereotype’ that men ‘give love in exchange for sex and women give sex in exchange for love’. It does seem to be that men have a somewhat higher sex drive in general so there may be some truth to this stereotype. However, in many situations the reverse could also be true too.


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Friends with cognitive benefits: Mental function improves after certain kinds of socializing

Talking with other people in a friendly way can make it easier to solve common problems, a new study shows. But conversations that are competitive in tone, rather than cooperative, have no cognitive benefits.


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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Social connection


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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Perception



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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Spiritual humour


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A failure or failing is a stigma before great success, a ‘heroic obstacle bravely overcome’ afterwards

(Why do many lifestyle shows in the style of Oprah mostly interview people after they have overcome an obstacle, solved a problem, or survived an ordeal, and not during it?)



Perhaps one of the biggest secrets of them all?

Weird is normal.



Sometimes a good question can better direct your thinking than a thousand answers



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