One of my weaknesses, and I have oh so many, is a desire for sympathy. I have poor likkle me syndrome (I made that up, I don't think it is a clinical diagnosis :p )
I am not sure why. But I know that when I imagine social situations and I imagine me recieving attention, and we all crave attention, the attention that I imagine is always sympathy, or at least empathy. I don't even need to imagine what they say to me, I just like the idea of telling people my sob story and them feeling for me.
I never used to be aware of this little craving of mine. I only began to think of it as a weakness in myself when I heard this song by the Goo Goo Dolls:
I happened to hear the singer, John Rzeznik talking in an interview about why he wrote the song. He said he wrote it to apologise for wanting sympathy from someone, that it was a wrong thing. I remember thinking, why on earth would you apologise for seeking sympathy and see it as wrong? How could it be, as he sings, "killing him from the inside out"? Everyone needs and deserves sympathy sometimes.
But then I got to thinking about myself, and I realised - I need it and crave it too often. I like to use my problems and experiences as excuses: ag poor me, I have been through stuff, you can't expect me to be happy or successful or cope well. I seek sympathy even from myself all the time as an excuse not to do anything about anything. And that is of course utter bullshit. I realised I have been excusing myself my whole life on the basis of poor likkle me syndrome.
And I think I have improved hugely since I realised this. I have definitely become more aware of taking responsibility for actions and feelings.
But I cannot lie, I still do crave it sometimes. And there are certain people who seem to induce this powerful bout of sympathy-seeking in me. I don't exactly know why, but it is unnaceptable. Maybe these people are good listeners, or I feel some kind of connection with them, like they really understand me.
Whatever it is, when I see them I find myself blurting out life stuff that I would not tell other people in normal situations. I put on my "life is hard" face, and find myself complaining. Basically I abuse these people's good naturedness and good listening skills and it has to stop! It is stopping. I now remind myself before I see these people that I should avoid talking about certain subjects, and try to control my cravings.
When things are really bad people deserve sympathy and there is nothing wrong with seeking it in other people. But there are limits and I know I cross them sometimes. Only I am proud to say that I do it so much less these days, and need it so much less. I have come far since my whinging days, and I will keep on trying to stop making excuses.
What is your weakness? Do you fight it? Do you slip up? Do you have poor likkle me syndrome?