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Making pancakes, as I learned at AP's birthday bash at the beach this weekend, is an unbelievably tedious chore. I don't know why I...

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Mind Chess

I think that if I could change one thing about myself, it would be to erase the part of my psyche that causes me to analyze my interpersonal relationships until I am worn out.

For as long as I can remember, I have been on a mental treadmill on which I run constantly, never reaching a destination. It seems I have an insatiable need to know what each and every person on the planet really thinks of me. Do you care about me? Do you love me as much as I love you? Do you think I'm too tall? Too emotional? Too needy? Too manipulative? Too intense?

Sometimes, I actually order coffee at a cafe and wonder what the cashier thinks of me.

I can't figure out when this started. And it is not just the mental exhaustion of this compulsive analysis that tires me. It is not enough that I spend so much energy figuring out how I'm being perceived. No, I also work hard to plan and plot my actions to further my goals of receiving affection and adoration.

Sometimes I hate my ability (or perceived ability) to manipulate people. My ex, CT, used to say that I was manipulative in a very tricky way. I go in through the back door, get people to give me the responses I desire, and they never even realize it. I still look like a nice guy, even though I'm trying to control people. I would be the best cult leader ever.

That is why I treasure the people I call my very best friends. They are far too smart for such nonsense. They don't coddle me. They call me on my shit. They tease me about my idiosyncrasies. They look at my face and say, "I know exactly what you are thinking right now. Stop doubting yourself. Stop shaking your head. Stop analyzing everything. Isn't it exhausting to put everything under a microscope? Don't you get tired of making excuses for other people and creating stories of their motives when you, frankly, have no way of knowing what they are really thinking?"

Yes. I'm really tired.

The Handsome Prince said to me the other day, "I don't know what world you are living in Todd, but it is not the real one." He was referring to the night I was doubting my ability to attract men. Several of us were having a discussion at the bar. Completely unaware of the irony of the situation, I detailed my bad luck with guys to these men. Three of them were people I had slept with and one of them has a crush on me.

If it were not for my closest friends, I would go crazy.

Today I actually asked someone to please leave a comment on my blog so I would know what they thought of a post I had written. WHAT?? I wish I could be more like Jeff or Jodi. I am impressed by bloggers who don't need comments from readers. They seem to have enough self-assurance that the opinions of others don't have an impact on what they write.

I'm sure I will continue to grow and will someday be liberated from this game of mind chess. From now on I will stop caring what others think of me. I will quit trying to make people like me. I will quit trying to control everyone.

Also, please leave me a comment and let me know if you're okay with what I've expressed here.

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