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This has been on my mind lately.  Settle in.  So basically, I'm very self-centred and very confident, and I love myself deeply.  I'd like to distinguish myself from people with narcissistic personality disorder or tendencies, who actually rely heavily on other people to "prove" their "superiority"; they tend to be quite manipulative, sometimes abusive (though of course anyone can be).  I know I'm great and I don't care what others think, just as I would hope they wouldn't need my opinion in order to feel good about themselves.  Also, I don't think I'm better than everyone else, though I certainly continually strive to be a better version of myself.  I'm simply focused on myself.  Now let me distinguish this from selfishness and unkindness.  I actually consider myself to be empathetic, compassionate, and generous (some of my many good qualities 😉) and I think that makes sense--I want everyone to have and do what's right for them and their happiness, as long as it's not hurting anyone.  Surely I'll focus more on my own choices because, well, they're mine, and again, I would hope everyone would do the same.  Now I'd like to talk about how others react to this.  I can't think of a time when I didn't love myself; I've had few insecurities and those I had were due not to my own innate feelings but to other people projecting them onto me.  For example, my mom used to pick on me for basically every quality I had which she didn't.  My introversion, my disorganization, certain values, what have you.  I was young and she convinced me I was wrong, that I needed to change or hide these things.  It's clear that she's afraid of judgment, unpopularity, and nonconformity.  I'm in fashion design and she asks me whether I like certain of her clothes, and I say "Not really (I very rarely admire anyone's outfit), but so what?  I'm not wearing them.  Most people probably don't like my style, but they're not wearing it, so do I care?"  An ex-friend in high school said behind my back (as reported by another friend) that she thought I had "no fashion sense" and I was like "Ok?  Right back at her, like, what's her point?"  But while that didn't bother me, another reported comment did: that I "think I'm the shit".  When I heard that--I hadn't realized I'd given that impression--my first instinct was to object, to find examples of things I disliked about myself to prove her wrong.  Why?  It's like, we're told to love ourselves, right, but, oh, not too much!  Like when we actually do, we're shamed, criticized, labelled 'arrogant'.  I now see that people like her are just insecure and jealous of others' self-confidence and so they try to bring them down , even if not directly--she was even too timid to say it to my face.  Now, to the claim that I think I'm the shit, I would say "I sure do!"  It's interesting, though, like when people put down their own appearance, one is expected to join in, but I won't, because I know I'm beautiful.  Being unapologetic is revolutionary.  We talked about this in my Philosophy of Beauty class today, how we're expected to be insecure, especially if we don't resemble beauty ideals.  A fat woman can post a photo showing her body and people will applaud her "bravery," implying they wouldn't expect her to be comfortable doing that and she must be doing it to make some statement.  Like nah, she's just having a good time at the beach, she knows she looks good, get over it.  I actually contributed to the discussion, saying "I consider myself very confident, I think I'm very pretty, I've been called arrogant, I'm just calling it like I see it,"--one of the girls presenting said "I think you are too", but I kind of felt the energy in the room, which I interpreted as surprise that I would freely admit that, despite that we'd just seen two presentations touching on the rejection of aspiration to conformity to beauty standards ("we should accept our own beauty and individuality!")  This is what I mean.  It's one thing to love yourself; it's another to embrace your love for yourself.  I've been in both positions and I can tell you this one is so much better.  Now, you know I have to tie it in--I don't think this is because I'm aro but I do think it's relevant.  I mean, I'm sure we've all had a moment (early on, I hope) when we worried about not loving someone, and I'm sure even and perhaps especially allos worry about others not loving them (romantically).  We can include difficulty making friends in this list of concerns.  And it occurred to me that this must lead many people to the conclusion that there will be no love in their life.  And I thought, I'm so glad I know even if I have no one but myself, I'll always be giving and receiving love.  And I also think (and I've said this on here) that the more you love yourself, the easier it is to share love.  You can't pour from an empty cup, and if you have self-esteem issues you need a therapist, not a partner.  I wondered what you guys have to say on this topic.  Do you love yourself and embrace that love?  Has your aromanticism influenced or been influenced by this?  Other thoughts?

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So this response is gonna go in the "other thoughts" category

 

You were mentioning just how tied to physical appearance self-confidence is, and I've been thinking a lot lately about beauty and aromanticism so I guess I'd like to add something about that.

 

I've always been pretty conventionally attractive for a feminine person. Skinny, hourglass figure, average height, well-defined eyebrows, and cheekbones, etc, this is to the point that many people have asked me to model for them. I am advertisement extra pretty so there have always been people in the media that look like me and as a result, I've never had a lot of body image issues (I have had some social dysphoria from other people perceiving me as feminine, but I feel like that's different). But! The one place where I have had a kind of dislike for my body is when it comes to romance. 

 

Straight men will often flirt with me simply because I'm conventionally attractive, people are often surprised to find out I don't have a romantic partner because I'm 'so pretty', and when I say I don't like to date people I'm often told that I "shouldn't think like that because I'm pretty" the assumption being that the only reason I wouldn't try to date people is thinking I'm ugly.

 

Which ya know I don't. I don't think I'm ugly. I don't think I'm especially stunning to look at ether, but listen, I get asked out by people all the damn time (to often for comfort really) so I know there must be something about me that people find attractive. And weirdly that almost depletes my confidence? I never feel worse about how I look than when someone asks me out because I know they're seeing me as someone who is romantic and sexual and that's not who I am at all. I like my body, but sometimes I almost think it would be easier to not have a physical form so that no one could be attracted to me.   

 

And I know that's the opposite of how I'm supposed to feel. I know I'm supposed to take that attraction as a compliment and use it as a confidence booster, but honestly, I'm much more confident in myself when people just leave me the hell alone. I want to view my looks on my own terms, and I don't what to know what others think of those looks. I've always dressed very modestly, but in the last year or so I've made a point of wearing outfits that are not only modest but boxy and to big and it's done wonders for my confidence because people don't flirt with me as much anymore (and the people who do flirt with me now tend to be wlw who don't get creepy about it when I reject them). Dressing in a way that people find less attractive honestly makes me feel so much better about myself. I know that's weird, but ya know, whatever works. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, aro_elise said:

Do you love yourself and embrace that love?  Has your aromanticism influenced or been influenced by this?  Other thoughts?

Firstly I'd like to say it's truly refreshing to read someone is able to love their self like you do and that you're embracing this love.
Self-love is underestimated and gets often thrown into the "you're arrogant / narcissistic" bucket - unjustified.
It feels like our society is afraid of people who have good confidence and stand by themselves, no matter what.
And yes, I do think many people try to fix their lack of self-love with romantic relationships because of the "no one can/will love you like I do" - garbage.
Yet it is more like you wrote: you can only give / share love if you have it in yourself.

[TRIGGER WARNING FOR PEOPLE WHO SELF-HARM OR HAVE LOW SELF-ESTEEM]

Spoiler

In the past, I hated myself for several years. I self-harmed and I basically wished to see myself dead in the ditch.
Especially due to the experiences with romantic relationships and close friendships I soon came to the same insight: I can't love others or even open up to them if I keep this up.
It took many hard lessons and a lot of hurtful moments more for me to realize how damaged my self-love and perception of myself truly was.
The first act of developing self-love was to reach out for professional help. From there on it was still a huge struggle to remotely accept myself but I got by.
Because my will was greater than all the bottled-up hatred. Eventually, the point arrived where I said to myself:
"This is bullshit, why are you hating yourself? You aren't a bad person. There is no rational reason to hate yourself. Not a single one".
I never really thought I'm ugly and therefore unlovable (though I do suffered from body dysphoria). I truly believed my character is extremly flawed, I'm not worth anything and so, I deserve to die.

Discovering my aromanticism and accepting the part of me was another stage to coming to terms with myself.
I had forced myself to date, just to fit in, and it truly felt like an act of self-love to say "I'm done, I'm not doing this anymore, screw it".
All the love I need lies within me. Because even when people had romantic interest in me, it didn't change my self-hate AT ALL. It didn't matter.
I still have an inner critic but it isn't comparable to earlier. I transformed my inner critic to a tool for self-reflection rather than for feeding hatred.
I started to see all the qualities of my character and I often look into the mirror and think "Looking great, as always".
I'm also less judgemental when it comes to other people (though yes there are things that irritate me and things I don't understand, regardless).

It helped a whole lot to realize I'm the person I should get along with the best way possible since I'll spend my whole life with myself.
I can't run or hide from myself and even if I tried it would be a waste of all the energy. Self-loving or being accepting is way less exhausting.
And I guess I value self-love so much because I lacked it for a long time.
But you got to have the courage to do it. To love always takes courage.

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thanks for your replies.  i have depression, myself, i've self-harmed, and i've wanted to stop living (even at my worst i didn't consider suicide, i just wished to fade out of existence), but none of it is/ever was because i was unhappy with myself, or even really with my life, i'm just sad.  but i have realized that there are two big things keeping me alive, at least, and happy, at best.  one is hope, and the other is self-love.  i hear of so many people with mental illness who don't have these things and i think it must make it so hard.  

 

@NotHeartless you said other people's romantic interest in you didn't change your self-hate, and @bananaslug it was interesting to see that it actually lowers your self-confidence, and i do agree it's disappointing that people think our appearance should be related to our relationship status.  i'm also naturally conventionally attractive, but my style is alternative--not related to my aromanticism or self-esteem at all, just my self-expression, so with my dark makeup and clothes and stuff i'm actually farther away from convention (which i like) and therefore conventional beauty (which i don't care about).  not to be too edgy but if i presented like a normie i'd be quite uncomfortable.  when i do go out in sweats and no makeup i want to be like "don't get the wrong idea!" still pretty, but not me.  like you said when people perceive you as romantic and sexual.  anyway, as i say, i think this kind of thing can definitely be true even for allos who don't love themselves but want someone else to--it's something they have to work on themselves.  in class we also discussed how physical appearance is pretty much the basis for sexual attraction (i can agree with that), so if people feel unattractive, they feel undesirable and unlovable--can't relate because i don't see how sex and love are related, and again, i'm not upset if people aren't sexually attracted to me because i don't base my opinion of myself on others'.  my beauty and value are not connected and are certainly not diminished if i'm not having sex or dating (which i'm not).  you'll even see people get together with whomever asks because they're just glad someone did.  very sad.  in fact, i think this can be applied much more broadly--in a different class, we saw a documentary and a panel which included some models and former models, many of whom spoke about trying to achieve the size 0 beauty standard, developing eating disorders, being constantly self-critical, etc., and when they were at the height of their careers (and their smallest size), they were actually at their lowest points in terms of mental and physical health and self-esteem.  it goes to show that if what you think you want doesn't come from a place of self-acceptance and striving for personal growth, not only will it be near-impossible to achieve, but even if you do, it won't make you happy.  some of the models left the industry, some continued while embracing their natural body type, and all are happy.

 

and again you're right: we live with ourselves constantly and forever, no matter who sees us go through stuff or even goes through it with us, only we experience it for ourselves.  only we know completely our mind, heart, and soul.  no one can know us as well as we know ourselves, and so i believe no one can love us as well as we can love ourselves.  so we might as well.

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@bananaslug wow, I’m really sorry you’ve gotten men that act like that and would constantly bother you, that sucks :/ but, I also think it’s interesting that them aging that stuff to you lowered your self-esteem, I think that goes to show that since you didn’t view yourself as “hot” or like someone that would date, those people saw you as someone you were not (if I’m getting this right.) but I think this is a very important lesson for everyone, we need to have self love. I’m working on loving myself more, I really need too. I jsut recently came out as aro, and I’ve gotten so much support from other aros on Instagram and here, yet I’ve been having flip-flop emotions about my orientation still. But anyways, thank you both for sharing! I wish you the best and always love yourself 💚

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It is sort of empowering just to read all your experiences of developing or just having self love. I have remember reading a really good article about self love that I found linked on from an article in the Aro visibility forum...which I will probably never manage to find again. 

 

As for my own experiences......

My family were basically hippies or eccentrics when I was growing up so caring about conforming was never an issue for me. However I have a chronic illness so I viewed my body as the enemy (worse than that, it was my nemesis). Years later the savage flame war I had with my body has cooled to a grudge match staring contest. Because of the complex dance I have to do to manage my condition, and the simple fact that my body will eventually cripple me before old age unless there is a scientific break through, why should I not chase happiness now? I know some people think I am irresponsible to follow hedonistic ideals but at least I know I cannot regret choices I make because I always think about how it will effect me first. I will always choose the path that gives me the most happiness or best pleasure. That doesn't mean there is no hardship or pain, but dealing with my reality I think gives me a grounded perspective and sometimes I just have to make the choice of what will grieve me less. 

Ultimately I don't know if I have any self love. I think my condition has warped how I perceive my 'self' and it's connection to the body. I do always think about myself first but that doesn't mean I am selfish as most of the time I go out of my way for friends and family because they are important to me and being with them makes me happy,  on the other side I am forced to always think about myself bodily to make sure I don't do things that result with me ending up in hospital (okay, so maybe that is actually selfishness?). 

 

TL/DR: Because of body hate I have chosen a hedonistic life

 

 

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@Apathetic Echidna hey friend, I’m really sorry that you deal with a body issue that effects you in life that way, but I’m glad you’ve figured out how to enjoy your life more and start to slowly accept yourself. Keep living your own life wand do what you want to do, I truly admire the fact that you do this, you stand as a role model for all of us to do this ourselves, I want to learn how to do that! Thank you for sharing, stay strong 💚

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@Anything_but_allo  You are so sweet. Sometimes I think my acceptance of myself is a bit too deep, especially when I throw out hard truths to people (that might not actually be true to them) buuut I guess it is a good way to find out whether they are my friend or a polite acquaintance :) 

 

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On 1/25/2019 at 4:12 AM, aro_elise said:

And I thought, I'm so glad I know even if I have no one but myself, I'll always be giving and receiving love.  And I also think (and I've said this on here) that the more you love yourself, the easier it is to share love.  You can't pour from an empty cup, and if you have self-esteem issues you need a therapist, not a partner.  I wondered what you guys have to say on this topic.  Do you love yourself and embrace that love?  Has your aromanticism influenced or been influenced by this?  Other thoughts? 

I find it surprising that there are people like you who understand self-love as literally. I can't conceptualize it in that sense. Love and also other strong emotions directed to others, become just like an odd and much diluted version when applied to myself. I do not feel love towards myself, except metaphorically – I can't feel it literally. Also hate, not possible, literally.

 

(Still, what you wrote was one of the truly nice and uplifting posts here. :))

On 1/26/2019 at 10:40 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

Ultimately I don't know if I have any self love. I think my condition has warped how I perceive my 'self' and it's connection to the body. I do always think about myself first but that doesn't mean I am selfish as most of the time I go out of my way for friends and family because they are important to me and being with them makes me happy,  on the other side I am forced to always think about myself bodily to make sure I don't do things that result with me ending up in hospital (okay, so maybe that is actually selfishness?).

I'm very sorry. 😞💚 I've never suspected that you suffer from something that serious.

 

Thank god, I've never had any chronic problems with my physical health. OK with one exception. But that was just a result of my general craziness (heliophobic OCD … yes, seriously :$) and very easily treatable.


Oh well, mental health is another issue altogether. I have a tendency to lose contact with reality. Now, of course not in the obvious, dramatic fashion like with schizophrenia, where people straightforwardly confuse imagination with reality, but in the more subtle way, that I confuse theoretical possibilities in my imagination with actual probabilities in reality… and that usually results in full-blown OCD (though, even at my worst, I managed to hide it and appear normal).

 

Over time, I've learned ways to identify those errors and traps, when I leave reality and enter imagination; manage to get out of it before it can tighten its grip over me. So I'm more fortunate than many other people who are deeply stuck in that Circus. But still, if you finally find out that all your conviction and commitment to some crazy idea was just due to an invented … story… it's truly shocking.

 

To put it a bit melodramatically: that process ‘fractures’ the self. There are some episodes in my life when I think back and what is “me” is just that weird person in a fantasy world obsessing about extremely far-fetched threats and problems.

 

So getting better from a mental health condition is partially a weird feeling, and not such a simple matter of happiness like when you return from physical illness to good physical health… in my case because it's connected with so much regret.

 

(I hope that wasn't too insensitive … making this all about my first world problems.)

On 1/26/2019 at 10:40 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

Ultimately I don't know if I have any self love. I think my condition has warped how I perceive my 'self' and it's connection to the body.

I'm pretty sure that I don't have any self-love. Though that doesn't feel depressing, I'm just in a neutral state towards my self.

 

It's interesting that you “identify” (?) so much with your body. I don't… otherwise I could say I'm strong, but that would be applying paleolithic standards. xD Applying modern standards you are the strong one.

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26 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

It's interesting that you “identify” (?) so much with your body.

My body is mine but I am not my body. I guess a good metaphor would be I am driving around in a defective car, the car being my body and the driver being my perception of self, connected but other. I had a compare and contrast conversation with members on the Arocalypse discord where health seems to be a much bigger topic of conversation and let me tell you, you weren't insensitive but issues that impinge on personal welfare are not first-world problems because (cue mad concept): if our problems were external to us, our mental or physical problems weren't internal but were coming directly from a stranger, would you have a restraining order on them? or would they be in jail? or slowly rotting in a shallow grave....

One not very nice (probably unhealthy) side to my 'I am not my body' is when people pity me. Sympathy is something you give to an equal, pity is something you give to something/someone believed to be lesser. It is the whole disabled vs differently abled argument. However if someone pities me to my face I can't help but manipulate them and lose pretty much all respect for them. 

 

46 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

So getting better from a mental health condition is partially a weird feeling, and not such a simple matter of happiness like when you return from physical illness to good physical health… in my case because it's connected with so much regret.

That must be such a tricky situation to navigate. I doubt I would be able to deal with that as my whole life is all about avoiding regret. 

Palaeolithic standards of strength is good! lol, not much is more embarrassing than having to go to a neighbours house to get help opening a jar or can (especially if the food is dubious like canned macaroni and cheese)💀

 

 

New point to the self love conversation:

You know how people talk about romantic love, and how it can't exist without trust? Is self love the same, it doesn't work without trust? I can't trust my body not to do something horrible to me so I can't love it. Trust in the yourself is normally seen as confidence but maybe it does have another side, the side of self love because even shy people can love themselves (right?). 

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@Apathetic Echidna thank you so much, you really are too 💚 and I don’t think you could ever love yourself too deeply, unless you coneptlelt cut other people out of your lives, which I know you don’t do at all! And wow, that was beautifully put. The metaphor for your mind and body. I often have to learn how to trust in myself, my future, and my own decisions. I think a lot of why I may not accept myself as much is due to how I feel so... alienated here? Like, I’ve gone through thoughts where I could possibly be transgender if ninbiqnry, heck, even therian, and none of those seemed right? Like, I almost feel like I belong in another world, another dimension, like I know I’m me, but I don’t belong with this society or lament earth? I’m so sorry I’m rambling on, but I’m not sure if this has to do either my aromanticism and the fact that my orientation is different, but sometimes it feels like I’m meant to be somewhere else you know? I’m sorry again I know it almost looks like I was high while writing this, but your metaphor really took me aback and I really found myself in it. Thank you so much for sharing, you’re so brave 💚

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trust, yeah, i'd say i trust myself to do my best and to forgive myself when i think i could have been better.  i don't know what's going to come my way, could be a low point with mental illness, could be a test of my character, could be failure, loss...and i may slip up or let myself down but at least i'm holding myself to my own standards instead of trying to impress others.  if someone you loved was struggling with something difficult, you'd support them and believe in them, if they weren't getting through it very well, you'd be patient and gentle, and if they were, you'd be proud, right?  treat yourself the same way.

On 1/28/2019 at 7:02 PM, DeltaV said:

I find it surprising that there are people like you who understand self-love as literally.

as to this, same thing.  certainly one could ask "would you want to be friends with someone like yourself?" to which i'd answer "yes; i'm authentic, creative, easygoing, smart, fun, and ambitious, and i have cool interests."  and that's part of it.  side note: when you answer this question, essentially "what do you like about yourself?", if it's all ways you can serve others--i.e. "i'm generous, helpful, dependable, a good listener," etc.--or if that's what your friends say they like about you...just think about that.  do you love others for what you can gain from them or for who they are?  yes, it's important that you also ask "would you be friends with someone who treated you like you treat yourself?"  my answer is "yes, as i treat myself with respect, devotion, care, and love."  you know the phrase 'treat others how you want to be treated'?  i would agree, don't get me wrong, but i would certainly add that you should also treat yourself how you want to be treated by others.  because again, then even if others don't, you're still being treated that way.  besides, adding to my earlier point about not being able to give love if you don't have it for yourself, i think it would then also be difficult to receive.  like, if you don't have, say, respect for yourself, you don't believe you deserve it, how can you believe someone who contradicts you?  you know, people who have no sense of self-worth are the easiest to take advantage of, especially if you don't even have to make them feel that way (because they already do).  this is how you get people in unhealthy relationships--mostly romantic--thinking it's better than not being in one at all.  i can't imagine depending on others for everything, feeling like if i don't get certain things out of them i have nothing.  believing i am nothing.  the more i think about this whole topic, the more vital it seems.  to lack self-love is to do yourself a great disservice.  maybe it's easier said than done, but do try.

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Great thread!
I think for us Aros it's very useful to "be our own best friend". Not that you can't have other best friend too. But just know that you're love for yourself will always be there.

 

I wonder what the tie is between independence and self-love. I love myself and also value my independence a lot and I kinda link them too together. @aro_elise it sounds like independence is important to you too? Is there a tie there? 

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6 hours ago, Holmbo said:

@aro_elise it sounds like independence is important to you too? Is there a tie there? 

yeah, i mean i guess in the same way i don't depend on others for my feelings of self-worth or confidence or whatever, i don't depend on them for happiness or success.  we know those are two things ~society~ believes come from romantic relationships and starting families.  i'd be happiest living with my best friend, but i'd also be very happy living alone (and i'm not in either situation...no shade on my roommate tho).  but yeah, i never understood those people who seem to have to be with someone all the time--not just in terms of never being single for longer than a week, but people who are always running around with some gaggle of friends or another.  again, i love my friends, but--and this is partly my introversion--don't you need time to yourself sometimes?  and like, that's gonna make for a difficult life.  i went on two intercontinental trips alone at the age of 19 and there are people that old who can't even seem to go to the school bathroom alone.  and you hear about people much older than me who are like "i can't cook/do laundry/manage my money/make appointments, etc., idk what i'd do without my partner, haha" and i'm thinking 'it's not funny, you're an adult, get it together, use google if you have to!'  i couldn't be in any sort of relationship with someone so incompetent and needy--especially not someone so complacent in their incompetence--just as i couldn't be in one with someone who always needed my validation or praise.  that's not healthy.  i guess what with this, and wanting a lifelong career and no marriage or kids, i'm a real ~modern independent woman~ 😄 i'm not trying to rebel against gender norms for the sake of it (being a housewife is just as valid if that's what you want); i'm just trying to live my life on my own terms and create my own happiness.

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On 1/29/2019 at 2:20 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

I had a compare and contrast conversation with members on the Arocalypse discord where health seems to be a much bigger topic of conversation and let me tell you, you weren't insensitive but issues that impinge on personal welfare are not first-world problems because (cue mad concept): if our problems were external to us, our mental or physical problems weren't internal but were coming directly from a stranger, would you have a restraining order on them? or would they be in jail? or slowly rotting in a shallow grave....

Of course I would never call someone's physical problems “first-world problems” – that would be crazy and extremely insensitive.

 

The reason why certain mental illnesses (not all) sometimes feel like “first-world problems” to me is because they would disappear when standing in front of a tiger.

 

A tiger 🐅 makes OCD go away (for the moment), while it would not make multiple sclerosis go away. Suffering from MS just means you're more likely to get eaten by the tiger. So if my life would be like constantly reacting to real threats, I wouldn't be different from a mentally healthy person.

 

OTOH living without constantly having to react to threats isn't thankfully “first-world”. Though in some areas people have to live under such conditions, there's a huge difference between some normal second-world country like Brazil and South Sudan.

On 1/29/2019 at 2:20 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

One not very nice (probably unhealthy) side to my 'I am not my body' is when people pity me. Sympathy is something you give to an equal, pity is something you give to something/someone believed to be lesser. It is the whole disabled vs differently abled argument. However if someone pities me to my face I can't help but manipulate them and lose pretty much all respect for them. 

Well, “pity” strikes me as a strange word since I'm not a native English speaker. It's pretty unique, because it's something good but with this negative connotation of superiority and condescension. So hopefully it didn't feel like I was pitying you. But still I don't understand what the objective difference between pity and sympathy might be.

I don't think you're lesser than me, I was just genuinely sad that you suffer from something that serious, which I never suspected.

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@DeltaV I meant everything light heartedly, I certainly didn't take anything you said in a bad way. 

 

I didn't realise pity was so unique. I think many people who express pity may truly believe they are expressing sympathy, well, I also know people who claim empathy but show no sign of it at all. So I guess a lot of English speakers mix them up. Objectively, pity is basically sympathy that focuses on the perceived lost ability or negative differences, for example this would be pity "I'm so sorry. It is such a shame you will never Insert appropriate social or physical activity eg. mountain climb/scuba dive/get married". The assumptions can be wrong or irrelevant, or they could throw in some supposedly positive comments like "at least you get the best parks at the supermarket" which puts you in the same category as the severely disabled and wheel chair bound. Pity is a offensive form of sympathy that makes the receiver feel bad or the comments are so wildly inaccurate that they have no connection to their life (which makes you realise how ignorant the person talking is). 

 

:) I hope that clears it up a bit for you. Though I still understand 'first-world problems' to be the hight of triviality and I just don't think that includes any mental health issues.

  

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On 1/29/2019 at 1:20 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

I guess a good metaphor would be I am driving around in a defective car, the car being my body and the driver being my perception of self, connected but other.

One alternative metaphor that occurred to me as I read your posts here - that might help to encourage a better relationship with your body - was this. Could you maybe see your body as being like a child, which, although it isn't the brightest, or strongest or most most eloquent child, it's your child and it tries its best? I don't know if that would help or not? Bear in mind that I don't suffer from any bad chronic conditions myself, so I might have said something dumb here; worst thing I've really had to deal with is eczema that occasionally gets bad (but is mostly fine). But, it has caused me to feel like I was at war with my skin in the past, which probably was not a helpful way for me to view things. Thinking about my body in the way i just described was more helpful for me.

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