Archive for April, 2013

Contentment! (according to Jonah Berger)

April 22, 2013

Just polished off Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger, and something he wrote about contentment as a positive emotion that exists as a state of low physiological arousal that does not move one to action hit me about my current situation. Could it be I am actually, finally, experiencing contentment?

If so, this IS a new feeling:)


What is the nature of The Job?

April 17, 2013

Cops, firemen, emergency services personnel – what exactly is the nature of The Job?

To help people.

Not to enforce society’s litany of laws. Not to preserve infrastructure from incendiary destruction. Not to validate the effectiveness of lifesaving equipment.

And what of us?

Trainers for candidates taking standardised assessments?

That’s just so…vulgar.

But some days, like now, it just feels a lot like that way.

Can’t feel anything (sort of)

April 16, 2013

Is that symptomatic of something wrong too?

The usual things that used to get an emotional reaction from me, now return a hollow response. There’s no emotional resonance at all. The feeling is basically indifference. I tried testing myself in various ways, to see if I was actually merely repressing some feelings, but nope, the same reaction – not giving a damn – keeps coming up.

At the same time I have a real antipathy to all the work. It’s not like I hate The Job or anything – it’s important, and vital that I keep up with the volume – but once I think of the workload, I have quite a visceral reaction to it. And unsurprisingly, I haven’t got much done.

I don’t understand why this is happening. I have no problems being alone – in fact I welcome the weekends when I’m free to just be by myself and do what I want (or just nothing at all) without any pressure to be someplace I’d rather not be, or be with people I’d rather take a break from right at that moment. But I just can’t seem to get started on work. Is it that I actually need to emotionally immerse myself in work in order to be motivated to plough through it?

And another thing – I don’t really have feelings for people anymore, I mean normal feelings, whether positive or negative affect. I don’t hate people or anything; I just don’t feel like I need to consider their emotional state when they come to my mind anymore. I don’t feel sad or bad when I think of how some friendships aren’t genuine or have weakened or actually never existed, but life just has to go on and it doesn’t really matter. And that a workplace is fundamentally a place of work with people who perform a function just like me.

I hope I’m not turning into an unfeeling person. Actually, as I’m writing this, I don’t really feel that being called ‘unfeeling’ is particularly bad. One can be called worse things, yes?

That Day in April – is Tomorrow

April 10, 2013

Whatever happens, whatever will be, will be.

I’m proud of the work we did. Letter grades will never do justice to how hard we strived to live up to┬áHope Heart Idea.

Weird feeling alert

April 8, 2013

It’s back.

Can’t shake that weird feeling.

As usual, no emotional turbulence. In fact, no emotions at all, period.

A lot of it has to do with the dreariness of routine.

But there could be something else there too.

Will keep monitoring.

Affirming others doesn’t mean belittling oneself

April 4, 2013

I remember an episode of Frasier where a caller with low self-esteem asks the good doctor for advice, and was suggested ways to act more assertively. Subsequently, he calls in again, only to complain that now others feel he’s “too damn arrogant!”

Granted, this may be a case of going to extremes, but I’ve often wrestled with the issue of being the nice guy.

Do nice people really finish last? Are nice people really more likely to be taken advantaged of?

Is the dirty little secret that when people say you should always be nice, it’s only because they want to take advantage of you, but the moment you try to be assertive to protect yourself, they have no qualms labeling you ‘not nice’?

If the price of protecting oneself from being a subservient doormat who gets exploited is being labelled ‘not nice’, then I’ll gladly pay it. For too long I’ve lived under the constant fear of ‘what if people think I’m not nice?’, to the point where other people’s feelings take priority over my self-esteem. No more.

Of course, no one wants to be “too damn arrogant”, but surely a balance must be struck, where you don’t have to belittle yourself to affirm others?