Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Honest Therapist

It's not as bad as it looks.
Despite one of the common social messages around pairing and relationships, finding a partner is not generally as simple as encountering and choosing to spend the rest of your life with them and having beautiful babies together. Partnering with another person is a mutual choice, so in addition to choosing, one also has to be chosen. And, especially in an area where there are a lot of people around, going unchosen for a long enough time can leave one with the feeling that they are unchooseable in that they lack more or less, all of the qualities that people are looking for. Feeling undesirable eventually comes to feel like an objective state that a neutral observer would confirm, if they were being frank.

This often leads to a certain level of discomfort in others, as while many people understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that it's not for an individual to dictate to others how they will be seen, there is also a general expectation that everyone will see themselves, at least, as beautiful and possessed of an attractive personality. And so it's easy for us to see pathology in people who publicly acknowledge a mental picture of themselves as undesirable - hence an anonymous poster referring to Connie Sun's cartoon as "self-hating." But it's possible to have a feeling of something yet understand that it doesn't accurately reflect one's reality - even if acknowledging it is somewhat cathartic.

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