Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Girl Interrupted Tuesday

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?


LadyFi said...

We all have poor likkle me syndrome...guess it all harks back to wanting our mums to take care of us... or something...

My weakness is a short fuse and chocolate!

Anonymous said...

I agree with ladyfi...I think we all have that to a degree.

I never really give in to my sympathy seeking urges. Mostly I don't trust anyone I know that much. Blog about my issues? Hell yeah.

My long have you got? ;)

EEbEE said...

A guys perspective (or just mine perhaps).

poor likkel me syndrome is blackmail!
just like crying to get your way!

We are (mostly) suckers for that kind of stuff.

It's plain manipulative! low! evil! down right dirty...(you get the point)

i have to admit though, it's fun watching someones expression when they are expecting sympathy and get squat. must be quite embarrassing on their part.

po said...

Ladyfi: hmmm chocolate, ooh now I am distracted.

sleepyjane: yeah I agree too, but I think I seek it too much you know? You see I tended to avoid blogging about issues but maybe it is a good idea!

EEbEE: that is one way of seeing it, but it is just how you interpret "manipulative". If you think about it, everything we all do is manipulative , cos manipulative means doing what you think you need to do to get what you need or want. Every action we make is manipulative even if we are not aware of it.

So in other words we girls are not recieving the sympathy we need from you boys cos you are a bit thick to read the normal signals, so we need to give you signals that we are in need of sympathy :)

You see, it all makes sense now, every action is just a way of getting what we need ;)

Helen said...

I think we all have it to a certain extent, and to a small degree it's ok. I don't like showing weakness if I can help it, so I turn thigs into a huge drama to get the rush of excitement and a bit of sympathy that I pretend I don't need...

Some people need to stop though. Like a certain garden gnome (who rpetends to be human) in our department who cries about EVERYTHING. She hates me now because I refuse to sympathise at all.

I use my bog to rant about things quite often, it's quite cathartic!

Being Brazen said...

Wow, I definitely have a few "weaknesses". I definitely suffer from poor likkle me syndrome at times too. I also sometimes just crave attention...I hate being ignored (especially by the people i love)


Dora said...

Oh I definitely have that. In fact, I day dream about receiving comfort and sympathy. Perhaps I should seek Freudian therapy to find out why.....childhood issues?! Eck.

MidniteGem said...

wow this rings so true with me.

po said...

BB: I am ok with being ignored to a point, and then I resort to ambush tactics!

Dora: everything comes down to childhood issues innit? Maybe us kids thought we didn't get enough sympathy over our scraped knees or something.

Midnite gem: really? It is tricky hey, stopping yourself sometimes. Well, I find it tricky cos it is so natural for me to seek sympathy.

SonnyVsDan said...

I love Johnny! In their Live in Buffalo CD before he plays that song he goes "here's something we all need once in a while but should never ask for".

I think girls thinking we are "thick" for not giving sympathy is often a misconception on their part - I'm with EEbEE just because we didn't give it, doesn't mean that we haven't noticed, just that sometimes we don't believe in giving it to you. Particularly when we know it is just poor likkle me.

SonnyVsDan said...

my weakness is sharing everything. Perhaps the person I am talking to really isn't the best person to be sharing with, particularly if they have a vendetta going against the person I am whinging about.

But I tend to have an uncontrollable urge to tell everyone I meet about what's on my chest and have a huge sense of relief once it's off.

po said...

sonnvsdan: I have that too! I really do! I think it intermingles with my sympathy syndrome, but I feel the need to off load without getting sympathy and people think I am looking for sympathy. Confusing.

MidniteGem said...

I think it is also harder for us people that have gone through quite hard things in our lifes, esp with health etc. You cant help wanting to explain it to people but then it starts to look like your wanting sympathy from it all...or it looks like an excuse. *sigh* yeah it is a hard balance to keep