4:30 p.m. - 2001-09-17
You want to make freinds? Tell them that their image is real.
"Your car is off the hook"
You want to hurt them? Give their fantasy's foundation a little kick.
"Why would you spend so much money on a car?"
You want to control them? Give them what they want, then hurt them. It is an easy formula that we are all suseptable to as long as we try to live our lives outside of ourselves.
I am in search of a remedy. I think it begins with a heavy dose of reality.
Here is an example. I took a Salsa class for almost two years. I was getting pretty good. It seems like a healthy hobby, social interaction, fun, you build your confidence and meet new people. I was the sweet guy in the class. Women loved to dance with me because I played a gentleman role and always made them feel comfortable. We told each other how much improvment we were seeing, gave encouraging words, and it was an interaction we looked forward to each week.
I loved dancing. This is what I told myself and everyone else. I added dancer to the list of things that defined me. Weighttrainer/fitness enthusiast, "I can bench 275lbs.", ex-fisherman, "I lived on that boat for three and a half months", ex marijuana farmer, "indoor and outdoor!", and now dancer.
One thing that I noticed though, was that many of the women who were among the top in the class had individually taken a hiatus and returned with their confidance shot.
Now, these women were good, they could keep up with almost any leader, and many of them took several lessons a week. They all seemed to have found a love for dance that they turned into a lifstyle. I would ask them what where they had been and would usually get some variation of a simillar story. Some hot shot leader had dissed them some how, from not asking them to dance, to making comments that if they lost 10 pounds they would be on the floor all night, to just being critical of their tecnique.
It usually took the women a couple weeks before they would even return to class, and then more time to start feeling good about themselves again. I had simillar experiences. I was considered one of the better leads in the class and I reveled in it. But I'll be damned if my whole week couldn't be ruined by having some hotshot come to class and woo all the women.
It took me a long time to realize that it wasn't dancing that we loved, it was the fantasy it let us live out. I was going to be the hero and make my follower feel like a princess on the floor. She was going to be that princess and be swept off her feet, and dance so beautifully that all the best leaders would be waiting their turn to twirl her.
It was all well and good until a more handsome, more gracefull prince threw me into the shadows, or this same prince was not as impressed by her as she had hoped.
My enjoyment of dancing depended on me being able to live this dream, and that depended on many people doing their part to allow it. If I really loved dancing, and there are people who do, I wouldn't give a shit who was better or worse than me or what they thought of my skills.
The truth? There is a part of me that loves to dance, but I think that part of me is no match for my ego. Yet.
The worst part about this senareo is how we lose ourselves it the bullshit. I couldn't possibly admit that I was threatened by some other guys abillity. I couldn't admit that I was jealous. So I became angry at the people who were not helping me to maintain my world. If my girlfriend was impressed by somone elses abillity, I had to shoot him down. Point out that he had been dancing for 8 years longer than me, magnify flaws in his personality, or worst of all, start kicking down HER world. This was part of the price I had to pay in order to stay afloat in my bullshit. She paid too.
The pain is not worth it. The truth may hurt you at first, but the lies hurt on installments. Forever. When they told you you could be whatever you want, they lied to you. You can pretend to be whatever you want, but we can all only be the same thing. Human. It's plenty good enough.