Wow. Really?


It’s interesting that the darkest parts of my shadow side are so firmly embedded in the way I think of myself and the way I present myself to the world.  The most recent example illustrating this occurred immediately after I published my first post. 

I sent an email to several friends, gushing excitement about the new blog and asking for feedback.  I then hit send before attaching the link.  I do this sort of thing ALL the time- excitement short circuits my normally logical thought process. 

 I have some growth to do in that area. 

So, I head to Costco to pick up some dog food shortly after I hit send.  I’m now mobile on my Droid (another LOVELY device that I have no earthly clue how to operate to its true potential-yet).  I think I’ve figured out the email thing on my phone, so I’m pretty proud of that.  One of the people I emailed saying she didn’t see a link on the email.  Shit.  Of course, I sent it to EVERYONE.  I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot, trying to figure out how to cut and paste the link onto a new email.  Not working.  I get a little frustrated.  I think “Screw it.  I’ll just send a new email to everyone.”  I haven’t taken the time to figure out how to sync my contacts to my phone, so it takes a few minutes to figure out how to resend without manually typing in all the addresses .  This little victory thrills me.  I often make things harder on myself because I’m impatient with my learning curve- especially related to technologuy-  but that’s a topic for another post. 

I type the link in and write in the body of the email “I am an incredible dork.  Here’s the link.”  Hit send.  I’m kind of laughing in maniacal glee that I figured it out.  I check my Sent folder to make sure the email was sent…. nothing.  Okay, now I’m pissed.  Cursing my phone, I go back to the email containing the link.  I send the link to everyone and their dog AGAIN, but this time in the body of the email, I simply write “The link might help.”  Send this one.  Check my Sent folder, and OF COURSE both goddamn emails were sent. 

See what happened there?  My first instinct after making a rather common mistake is to IMMEDIATELY ridicule myself before anyone else can do it.  This is a well developed and widely used defense mechanism for me.  A lot of my friends are pretty sharp;  we give each other shit all the time, saying it’s all in the spirit of good fun.  If I take the lead and head off the sarcasm before it starts, I can hopefully stop the comments from others dead in their tracks. 

I do this because those comments are HURTFUL. 

What part of me realized after sending the dork email was that I was being disparaging to myself.  This is HUGE- I noticed it right after I did it.  My response time is improving.  Part of me was relieved when I thought the dork email didn’t get sent.  I then sent a less emotionally charged email with the link in it.

The very definition of irony:  Calling yourself an incredible dork while trying to promote a new blog about how you are trying not to always be so hard on yourself.  

Now, I really am kind of doofus sometimes, especially when it comes to doing anything remotely technical when I’m in any sort of elevated emotional state.  I have a wide goofy streak to my personality.  But it doesn’t need to be exaggerated for the sole purpose of ridiculing myself.   So this forces me to examine the whole idea of sarcasm.  When I make fun of myself, a part of me cringes underneath the laughter.  When I make fun of other people, a little part of me is grateful to deflect the criticism so I’m not the target.  When other people make fun of me, I grin and bear it while I’m screaming inside “Fuck you!!  I’m not perfect! Who the fuck died and appointed you the authority anyway?” 

Remind me again what part of this sarcastic banter dynamic is fun?  Cuz I don’t see it anymore.  It’s interesting that I react so strongly when someone else berates me in the same way I berate myself numerous times every day.

There’s an additional layer to self-depricating behavior.   I make the joke at my own expense,  and then I wait for someone to be kind enough to  tell me it’s not true.    When Icriticize myself before others can criticize me, part of me is asking for constant validation from others that I’m not as fucked up as I think I am.  Another level of approval seeking.  Blech.

Language is immensely powerful.  I have a friend who facilitates classes on the powerful intent behind words we use.  I think I ‘ll be taking it. I know the first step is to become more conscious, and I’m improving there.  And I know I don’t want to hang around some of those incredibly negative, snarky people anymore.  

Change is coming, and I may be leaving some bodies behind in the dust.

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~ by dancingwiththeshadow on March 18, 2011.

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