The Pleasure Principle

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For a long time, there was a belief that everything I did had to be justified. Then, as time has gone on, a realisation has dawned that actually, that’s not true. A good friend sent me a piece yesterday which sums this up in four lines better than I am ever likely to do in several thousand words:

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I’ve spent a lot of time feeling as if thought processes need justification, but in the end, they don’t. The actions I take are not random or unpredictable: if people look back at events, the reasons why things take place is, undoubtedly, because of their behaviour. Whether it was the ill-thought out comment that is only regretted after the fact, an NSFW picture that shouldn’t have been posted or the DM sent that really, truthfully, shouldn’t have been said… these details are irrelevant.

I’ve stopped reacting in real time to stupidity when it’s abundantly apparent it won’t listen, or can’t hear. This is an even bigger waste of time than spending hours agonising over what people think of me, or complaining about events so far out of my control as to be pointless to concern myself about. All my time and effort now is dedicated to changing what I can, organising positive action and making good on my own promises.

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Of course, there are the moments when those you have developed affection for leave without giving reasons. I have, in the past, written to people who left suddenly or blocked me asking why this took place. It doesn’t happen anymore, because of what I learnt in those first instances: when someone else sees the World in a way that you don’t, that viewpoint is inevitably considered as harmful, and to be avoided.

That’s not how reality works, and it’s taken a long time to grasp that fact. Others won’t blame themselves for their negative actions. That’s what anonymous Internet relationships are becoming the most use for: shifting emotional baggage that you have run out of places to dump in real life. It’s easier to blame the random person who you upset instead and just move on.

That won’t solve the bigger issue.

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Right now, all of my issues are a world away from the Internet. When I return there to try and relax, what is found is often frightening beyond belief. The number of harmful opinions, the people who seem to think they are some kind of arbiter for my actions, that certain thought processes are unacceptable and harmful… and the number of people who will not consider principle… that bothers me the most.

The trick, of course, is to remember that I don’t owe these people a modicum of validation. I have meaningful, reciprocal relationships that matter more. Those who tell me we’re friends without putting in the work are living under a delusion. Those who keep me on their friends’ list because of some misplaced belief I wouldn’t be here without them… and the list goes on. I know who really cares. They show me.

I am no longer interested in your Stupid.