My Problem With Proactive Bonding.

TLDR: It comes with conditions, it’s inorganic, in many ways lazy and a massive red flag depending on who you ask.

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Proactive
(of a person, policy, or action) creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.
 
 
Bonding
 
 
The establishment of a relationship or link with someone based on shared feelings, interests, or experiences.
 
 

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(And because this is a personal post I don’t believe I need to answer questions like:

“What about people who’re waiting for the other person to make the first move?”

I don’t care. This post is about me.)

If we’re going to connect, we’re going to connect. No need to shower me with compliments and all other associated embellishments.

I would rather hear about the things you enjoy, even if they’re things I don’t find particularly interesting. Who knows, I might actually learn something and begin to have a newfound appreciation for your niche interests.

See that’s what often happens when people are authentic. People are introduced to new and interesting realities. That’s the best-case scenario.

There’s no worst-case scenario. Because authenticity will be at the centre of everything. If two authentic people are incompatible, they part respectfully.

I respect authenticity. I say this all the time.

Authenticity comes with consistency.

You will grow to resent me if you take this proactive bonding approach to relationship building. If you think offering to help me every single time will instil in me a desire/obligation to help you just as much you’re living in a world of illusion. (And the world just so happens to be a loving habitat to the rarely seen elephant of the entitlement variety)

You can’t, for example, buy me a rose that I never requested and expect me to buy you one in return. 

That behaviour is synonymous with “mirroring” and I find it particularly annoying, to be honest.

If I told you the number of times I’ve had to explain to people that I don’t remember birthdays and they insisted on saying “Happy Birthday” anyway expecting me to say it back you’d be surprised. I understand the sentiment of telling people you care about “Happy Birthday”. But I don’t believe that sentiment is a fact or a moral imperative I have to live by.

Why not just act authentically without expecting anything in return? Why is that so hard? Pro-active bonders would rather subject themselves to a sprint from which they’ll eventually burn out (and make no mistake, they will). At which point they’ll show their real selves and we get to say “Nice to finally meet you”

To proactively bond (to me) is to take charge of how the relationship flows. It means you know (for certain) how it’s supposed to go.

It means being impatient to see a bond evolve organically over time and choosing to add a bit of your grow-grow juice. Tasteless reasoning in my opinion.

This can be done in a friendship or otherwise. And in some cases, they (the proactive bonder) will be expecting some kind of return for their efforts — or at least some kind of result. A result that signifies compatibility.

The absence of “expected” results is somehow considered self-evident. It somehow signifies the lack of compatibility.

<<Make that irrationality make sense>>

The lack of results is because the recipient of all this proactive bonding is a bad person. It’s definitely not because of this cornucopia of potential reasons:

“Maybe I creeped this person out by being so smothering, that’s why they distanced themselves”

“Maybe telling them I’ve planned a surprise trip without letting them know didn’t translate over to them as a sweet gesture”

“Maybe I need to start putting in the effort to get to know someone before assuming I know what they want”

“Maybe a relationship not growing in the exact way I want isn’t always a bad thing”

I mean, these are just some of the things I would hope these individuals think of before trekking their self-actualised Mt Sinai. 

But I’m just one idiot behind a keyboard, what do I know.

Please, educate me. Show me how wrong I am.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: nathanaeI

How To Get A Girlfriend.

One word: Telescope.

Actually, Seven words: Telescope, Van, Duct tape, Rope and Hope.

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Hope will be used when asking her out on a date

She might say “no”, can’t handle those now, can we?

The telescope is to watch the stars or birds or something

Look man, I don’t know what time your date is taking place

Figure it out.

The rope will be for practising kinbaku

A relatively esoteric trust exercise,

Which won’t be weird on a first date. Obviously.

And the Van is to help carry everything.

The duct tape is for — well — *ahem*

Look, just get in the van alright?

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Tomasz-Mro

Through Stained Glass Windows.

I believe

That you believe

In what you’re saying.

… That still doesn’t make it true.

– O.D. ©2022

Art:  Vetyr

If belief is all it takes to make something true, then that one time in first grade when I believed I could will traffic lights into turning green means I’ve got road superpowers.

That belief is no less ridiculous than misinterpreted information being turned into actual fact.

Sometimes I wonder how people can be so certain about things. To have such firm convictions based on hearsay or what’s simply been theorized. I get it, we’re all fumbling in the dark somewhat, but how can we parse knowledge we haven’t understood as fact?

And even in the presence of thorough investigations that give rise to valid conclusions, how can we just sit and call it a day?

I get the little victories, how they should be appreciated. But I can’t for the life of me understand how one solution should become the only solution.

I suppose I begin to see it as a problem when these “beliefs” are pushed on me or others; I just don’t get it. It’s okay to believe in what you want to believe alone lol

Or maybe I just think too much.

But then again, how much is too much?

Can someone actually sit across from me and tell me with a straight face that I’m overthinking? They can’t, because they’re using their own subjective estimation. And perhaps through doing that they’re highlighting their own ignorance. Because by that logic, if there’s such a thing as overthinking, then we have to accept the existence of underthinking.

I wrote a poem about this a while back; seems these nuggets always find a way of resurfacing.

Roguelike Persuasion.

Depression,

Is realizing you’re trapped in a pit;

And that no one

Is coming to save you.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Vetyr

Shout-out to my buddy Shay for inspiring me to write this one. We were talking about our experiences with depression and I thought the way she described it captured the experience so well.

When you’re in your pit, you’re left with a choice: Do you wait and hope for someone to save you or do start trying to save yourself.

It’s not an easy choice, which is why I don’t believe there’s a “correct” answer. It all depends on the individual and the pit that’s uniquely designed based on their own subjective experiences.

If you’re feeling depressed I would encourage seeking help if you have access to it. Not many have a safety net to fall back to; consider yourself blessed if you do. 

If you don’t have anyone to fall back to, know that you’re not alone. There are many people out there that continue to wrestle with their own pit of despair. I believe the person who gets out of that pit is arguably the most badass version of whoever they were before. 

I don’t believe the pain necessarily disappears forever, but it gets easier to manage; it gets easier to escape the pit on subsequent returns. Please don’t give up.

I’d love to hear your story.

The Ape-Ball Observation.

I don’t give compliments

I share observations.

Please,

Make of them what you will.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Vetyr

“Honesty without kindness is cruelty. Kindness without honesty is manipulation” – Bryan Reeves

Neuroticism Schism.

Don’t be offended;

Be corrected.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by:  wlop

Vibe Check #1

I should start off by saying I feel innate joy. A joy I haven’t felt in years.

A lot has been going my way of late, so when you hear everything else I have to say in this post know that it’s me wrestling with different thoughts.

(Edit: actually, I should say what comes next is stuff I’ve been reading on and thinking about; discussions in the comment section are welcome)

These vibe checks will help me come clean about all the things I think about without necessarily making entire posts for each one of them.

Think of this as one big status update with all the juicy bits; in case you’re curious about what I get up to.

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architect_of_lifespan_by_vetyr_dc0yqxr-fullview

A DETOUR TO ACE VILLE

Being an asexual is something else, man. I’ve seen insecurities fly out of ladies who expected me to ask for sex on a first date.

I’ve seen insecurities fly out of men who thought I was doing some reverse psychology on the ladies.

These are just some of the negatives that come with being asexual. The benefits however are insane.

For example, I have a high appreciation for good fashion in men and women. As odd as it might sound, I also know the difference between a good make-up artist and a bad one — has to do with growing up around many sisters. But other than that, I am able to look past all of that and see who you are.

If someone has a nice body, I don’t get aroused sexually. To describe the feeling I get, it’s a little like seeing a beautiful sunset or an aurora. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but I don’t want to do anything physical with it.

I’d like to believe it’s helped me stay incredibly open-minded about people. Because I know how annoying it is to be misunderstood. The quality of good listening is depreciating rapidly ladies and gentlemen.

And I refuse to be a part of it.

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pink__hair__by_vetyr_dc044wi-fullview

NARCISSIST CLEANSE

“You win”

That’s what narcissists want to hear. They don’t even know what they’re winning at.

Are they winning at their delusional games? Life?

That reasoning sounds about right; because only a moron believes they “win” by overpowering others. Only a moron believes life has winners and losers — a scarcity mindset to spiritual fulfilment that carries roughly the same energy as toddlers fighting over crayons in a pencil case.

Narcissists are the type of children that decided to taste their own faeces one day because they were convinced each slurp would taste different. I pray to God they stopped when they tasted the first one, wouldn’t put it past them to still be sampling.

I would ask “For how long?” narcissists plan to manipulate their way through relationships with family, friends or lovers. But the only thing I’ll be getting at the end of that is either rage or sophist arguments. A cocktail of mental ineptitude I don’t nearly have the bandwidth nor patience for.

People often ask me why I talk about narcissists so much. It’s because I grew up with them.

I know the damage these people inflict, especially on young people. I won’t name drop family members, not out of respect — god no. If I could, I would expose every single one of them for the world to see. But because they’ll get narcissistic supply from it, I’d rather not. They’ll misinterpret all of this as a jab at them when all I’m trying to do is inform others so they don’t have to go through the same thing I went through.

Once you know you’re not alone in dealing with people like this, it becomes easier to see the patterns and you’re more likely to seek help which is an absolute win in my opinion.

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seething_by_vetyr_dcj4t4k-fullview

A GREEK ROAST

René Girard said,Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind.” i.e “people don’t know what they want”

There are two interpretations to this statement (let me know in the comments if there are others):

To begin with, a majority of people don’t know what they want because they haven’t taken the time to explore themselves. To see their strengths, their weaknesses, what brings them shame, what brings them joy and accepting all of it. Most people prefer to keep that hidden and get angry when it’s brought up, even when the intention is to understand, not hurt.

Second, people at their core may not know what they want because desire is mimetic. And that’s no one’s fault. You can say you want to be an astronaut because you saw one and it inspired you. That’s not a wholly original thought. In many ways, you were given what to want, and what to think about what you want. You weren’t the first person to think that very thought.

Before that, you likely had no idea what you wanted. And you could just as easily change your mind if what you want doesn’t mesh well. Or if you’re inspired by something else.

I think the first interpretation works well for those looking to be part of relationships. You can’t be romantically involved with someone who doesn’t know what they want. Because in the end, it will fall on you to make and keep them happy. And that, my friend, is a heavy burden.

I think the second one can be used in many places but I would direct it toward my fellow artists. Plato argued that art is mimetic. He believed that the ultimate reality existed in the realm of ideas and that art was a poor imitation of it.

He uses the example of a chair: So a carpenter thinks of a chair, in the realm of ideas and he manifests it in reality by making a wooden chair. An artist sees this chair and makes a painting of it. Plato’s main argument with his theory of mimesis centred around how things like poetry and art are twice removed from reality and by that very notion, they add no value or teachings.

Cool story bro, but I disagree… and so did Aristotle.

Aristotle countered Plato by mentioning how poetry is not a simple reflection of reality, much like a mirror. He added that:

“Art cannot be a slavish imitation of reality. Literature is not the exact reproduction of life in all its totality. It is the representation of selected events and characters necessary in a coherent action for the realization of the artist’s purpose.

He (the artist) even exalts, idealizes and imaginatively recreates a world which has its own meaning and beauty. These elements, present in art, are absent in the raw and rough real. While a poet creates something less than reality he at the same time creates something more as well. He puts an idea of the reality which he perceives in an object. This ‘more’, this intuition and perception, is the aim of the artist. Artistic creation cannot be fairly criticized on the ground that it is not the creation in concrete terms of things and beings. Thus considered, it does not take us away from the Truth but leads us to the essential reality of life”

My word, what a burn. But Aristotle wasn’t done roasting his mentor lol

“Plato again says that art is bad because it does not inspire virtue, and does not teach morality. But is teaching the function of art? Is it the aim of the artist? The function of art is to provide aesthetic delight, communicate experience, express emotions and represent life. It should never be confused with the function of ethics which is simply to teach morality. If an artist succeeds in pleasing us in the aesthetic sense, he is a good
artist. If he fails in doing so, he is a bad artist. There is no other criterion to judge his worth”

Furthermore.. 

“Morality teaches. Art does not attempt to teach. It merely asserts it is thus or thus that life is perceived to be. That is my bit of reality, says the artist. Take it or leave it – draw any lessons you like from it – that is my account of things as they are – if it has any value to you as evidence of teaching, use it, but that is not my business: I have given you my rendering, my account, my vision, my dream, my illusion – call it what you will. If there is any lesson in it, it is yours to draw, not mine to preach.”

I think that’s a good way to end this post.

The past informs the future and the future informs the past. There is no present.

God, I love being a poet!

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Vetyr

References:

“Plato’s theory on Mimesis”

Girard, “Generative Scapegoating”, in Robert G. Hammerton-Kelly, eds., Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, René Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation, p. 122

Mimesis.

When you live outside space and time

History and the future exist within a bubble —

A repository — from there you get to pick a single moment

Grip the remote and press “resume”

Easy to do when you already know how it concludes.

Once we’re born, we start dying.

My role as a poet is to make sure you enjoy the trip;

And if I do it exceptionally well

You may even start looking forward to it.

Death is the limitation of our interpretation and understanding.

We live in the world as it watches.

Unfasten the ribbon that contains our four-dimensional reality,

The only way to open a gift without harming it;

And when you take a peek you’ll notice a mirror

You’ve always been an integral part of it.

I hung my demon and turned it into a trophy — a warning.

Each moment I wake, I become newly discovered.

Shiny object syndrome, for unrepresented spirits,

The new kid on the block in the realm of darkness and light.

Altered Carbon how they want me as their sleeve.

Desire is mimetic, but I warn people to avoid trying to mirror mine

I carry enough soul to possess all parts of the trolley problem.

Skeptics doubt miracles, all the while looking past the irony of being alive.

Our universe has always been the best embodiment of every genre

From romance to comedy.

To oligarchy power motives and drunk dial confessions;

Even those that curse the world for not being fair and failing to meet our expectations

And here I am …

Just glad to be here.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Vetyr

If Covert Narcissists Were Honest With You.

I promise, I’ve changed

The subtitle. I know I can get a little crazy, but I promise I’ve heard you every single time you’ve said you’re hurt. It will be different this time. I promise.

Boundaries?

I don’t know who lied to you, but you don’t have any autonomy — not when I’m around.

You can say you have a will of your own and I’ll pretend to agree, to pacify. You need to understand that I know what’s best for you — not you.

Whatever line you draw is made for me to cross. Now that I say that out loud, your line kind of looks like a finish line; you know, like in a race. You can’t blame me for doing what comes naturally.

Make lines for me to cross.

I Will Complain, Complain, Complain

And you will listen.

Good friends offer empathy in droves, and so should you. It’s why you’re my friend. You’re supposed to make me feel good about myself absent honesty and truth.

And don’t tell me your solutions, I can fix these things I’m complaining about. I just need you to listen. If what I’ve said so far hasn’t made it clear; I know better, so don’t tell me what to do.

But listen to what I have to say.

This isn’t bitterness, it’s divine vengeance.

Everyone I’m angry at and complain about is wrong. There’s not a single person I’ve ever been angry at who was in the right. That’s just how it is. It’s difficult being me, knowing all the things that I know.

My philosophy is to get revenge whilst the iron is still hot.

What I feel is real, and if someone makes me feel attacked, I will attack them back.

It’s fair.

dbil9g0-94cc6d9d-001a-4fe6-a56c-7b423897f64b

I’m not manipulating you, I’m pushing you in the right direction.

Don’t think you know what’s best for you, come on now. As long as you stick by me, everything will be fine. I will discourage you from pursuing your dreams if they don’t include me because you won’t get far without me. 

I say that because I care; keep me close. Involve me in everything for your own safety.

I know I sometimes say mean things when you don’t involve me in what you’re doing. It’s because I’ll be feeling hurt, and I’ll be trying to make you see reason again. There’s no world without you needing me.

I’m the victim here.

I’m owed everything I never got. The world has never been fair to me. If I had all the opportunities I see others getting, I would be in a much better place. I just know it. 

In the meantime, keep encouraging me. Keep telling me how I’ll make it one day. I can’t do that myself.

You’ve had a bad day?

You can be so self-centred, do you know that? Not everything is about you. We all have bad days, but that doesn’t make you special.

Speaking of bad days…

Remember that story I told you the other day? I have an update — get ready, it’s a long one 😀

Don’t tell me the truth, not when it hurts.

I would tell you about the shame I try to keep buried, but you don’t need to know about that. Just don’t trigger me and we’ll be fine. I keep these things to myself to keep you safe. You wouldn’t be able to handle my rage and dark past.

Don’t you dare leave me.

Not unless you want to be another anecdote on a long list of people who have let me down. I’ll make sure to mention how you hurt me even though I’ve never done anything to hurt you.

Please don’t leave me 😦

I was overreacting when I said all of those things. I’m just passionate, you know that. Please don’t misinterpret my actions (Re-read the first point to know how serious I am about all of this — about you)

– O.D. ©2022

Art by:  LukasFractalizator

The message here is simple. “F*ck narcissists”

The Empath Threshold.

When someone gives you pain

Don’t focus on the why —

Focus on the what.

The why is irrelevant

They did what they did. It’s done.

There is no shortage of answers

You already have what you need.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by:  Vetyr

Emotional abuse often leaves victims ruminating over what they might have done wrong to the abuser. Victims are left trapped, trying to imagine all the ways they could have fixed things.

I’m here to tell you that’s not your job.

If Steven steals your candy even though you told him not to, don’t get sucked in by the why. Motivations are flimsy, moldable and easy to manipulate.

Getting to the true motivation behind Steven’s actions requires a level of trust that’ll already be missing by that point.

Look at the what; that’s empirical evidence. None can deny it.

I believe knowing the why is the cherry on the cake, not entirely necessary — but in many ways aesthetically pleasing.

The why is neatly packed closure. And we don’t always get closure — in this way, I believe closure is a luxury.

Some people have a series of behaviours that can’t be explained. And it’s not your job to try and fix them. Just leave.

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