Alain de Botton, of ‘The School of Life’, says that we’d be in a much better position in all of our relationships if on first meeting someone, on a date for example, that instead of painting a picture of ourselves as unflawed, perfect beings we explained very calmly what was a bit ‘wrong’ with us.
Now I should point out that I’m yet to try this in real life, but I love the idea that we could all be a little bit more honest about those things that we struggle with, our coping strategies, the weird habits (within reason!) that grip us or the (seemingly) bizarre fears that we harbour.
For the majority of people we meet, we only know what they want us to know about them. The trouble is, this carefully curated image hides the truth. We’re then comparing ourselves, of whom we have an intimate knowledge, with the image we have of the other person and it really skews our idea about what is ‘normal’ in terms of thoughts, behaviours and worries.
If only we could open up, be a little more vulnerable about the ways in which we feel inadequate or why we react to things in a particular way. I think the world would feel like a much less lonely place. Knowing that it isn’t just you. How much easier it might be to show compassion and forgiveness to others because we now understood a little more about what drove their behaviour or actions.
So here it goes, some of the weird and wonderful ways that I consider myself to be just a little bit crazy…
From the relatively serious…
I am constantly seeking the approval of my father (even though he’s told me he’s proud of me!). I feel that if I can emulate his success that I’ll finally be ‘good enough’ (whatever that means!)
I want everyone to like me, but I wish I didn’t. I worry that people who need everyone to like them will never do anything great in the world.
I don’t like conflict. On the odd occasion that I do get into argument, I get really hot and bothered and physically shake. It takes me hours to calm down.
I don’t think I’m very good at speaking up or sticking up for myself.
I often don’t ask for things I want because I’m convinced that I haven’t earned it or I’m somehow undeserving.
I have a tendency to ask people quite deep or personal questions. I’m just very curious about people on a deeper level, but I know some people don’t like this.
I give myself a really hard time when I make mistakes…particularly the smaller, sillier ones. I feel like I shouldn’t be making silly mistakes at my age.
I struggle to separate out the process from the outcome. If something doesn’t turn out right, even if I tried very hard and it wasn’t really within my control to start with, I always blame myself and feel responsible for the failure.
…to the really quite ridiculous!
I often worry, upon being away from home for an extended period, that I’ve left an appliance on. To avoid the inevitable panic, I take photos of the oven and other electrical appliances before I leave home so I have a record that I absolutely did turn the oven off.
I only change the volume on the car stereo, phone or laptop in increments of two…I might stretch to a four, but it absolutely has to be an even number!
Once I’ve locked a door, be it on a car or my front door, I’ll push or pull the handle three times to check it is locked. I don’t understand the significance of three.
All my coat hangers are identical (colour, size, shape) and have to face in the same direction (which is with all the hooks facing towards the back of the wardrobe, if you are interested!).
I only have one page of apps on my iPhone (and my iPad for that matter) and they’re arranged in alphabetical order.
I don’t have any shelves in my home. I don’t understand why people put up shelves and then fill them with trinkets and ornaments.
I consider myself a bit of a minimalist and as such I operate a ‘one in, one out’ policy for anything (not people!) that comes into my home. If I’ve bought a new sweater or, I don’t know a piece of furniture, something else has to leave.
I never change the seat allocated to me on a plane or a train. I have this bizarre worry that if I change the seat and the plane or train crashes, I’d die in the new seat, but would have survived if I’d have sat in the original one given to me (it’s a bit dark, I know).